UN: EU statement on the report of the Economic and Social Council

UN 61st Session; Plenary Meeting, Agenda Item 42: Report of the Economic and Social Council

Statement by Mr. Jarl-Håkan Rosengren, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union

New York, 3 November 2006


I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.


The EU welcomes this opportunity to discuss the report of ECOSOC and the work of the Council during this year. We would like to express our appreciation to the bureau of the Council for its leading role in contributing to a successful Substantive Session of ECOSOC. We would also like to extend our compliments to the Secretariat.


The 2006 Substantive Session of ECOSOC in Geneva was productive, and outcomes from the high-level, coordination, humanitarian and operational activities segments were finalized. The EU would like to thank all member states for their constructive approach that resulted in a timely conclusion of negotiations.

The theme of this year's high-level segment was “Creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development”. It was a major step forward to bring the decent work agenda to a wider UN context. The EU sees the vital importance in including the social dimension of globalization and the fundamental principles and rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue in the Ministerial Declaration.

In the operational activities segment, discussions on the role of operational activities in achieving the Millennium Development Goals gave valuable insights for further elaborations. The EU regards the debate and deliberations on the progress of implementation of General Assembly resolution 59/250 on the triennial comprehensive policy review as a very good and sound basis for the preparations for the next TCPR in 2007. The EU remains committed to being a constructive partner during this preparation process.


Strengthening of the coordination of the UN humanitarian assistance at all levels was the crucial theme of the humanitarian affairs segment. In this regard, the EU looks forward to further strengthening the UN humanitarian system, and sees, inter alia, the cluster leadership approach as a useful way for strengthening humanitarian coordination. The traditional transition event, organized in Geneva, also provided valuable inputs for our common work on transition from relief to development. In addition, the panel discussions on gender-based violence and chronically under-funded emergencies provided a good basis for further discussions on both important topics.

In the general segment of the substantive session, more than 40 resolutions were adopted. However, work still remains to be done. In this regard, the EU is looking forward to a constructive resumed session of ECOSOC and hopes that all the outstanding issues can be resolved in a timely manner. 

With relation to the 2006 Special High-level Meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO and UNCTAD, the EU acknowledges the continued work  for coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the 2005 World Summit Outcome.


The EU attaches great importance to strengthening and revitalizing ECOSOC along the lines set out in the World Summit Outcome document. We hope that the negotiations on the draft resolution on ECOSOC reform will take new momentum, so that ECOSOC could continue its work with reformed functions in its next substantive session. We encourage the co-chairs to continue to provide leadership for our work in implementing fully the mandate given by the Summit.

Thank you.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.