Opening 2002 session, ECOSOC elects senior Croatian diplomat as President

Opening 2002 session, ECOSOC elects senior Croatian diplomat as President

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – the United Nations principal organ for coordinating economic, social, and related work – began its 2002 session today with the election of a senior diplomat from Croatia as its President.

Ambassador Ivan Simonovic, the Permanent Representative of Croatia to the UN since February 1997, was elected to chair the 54-nation body. He has served as ECOSOC Vice-President since January 2001.

Among the issues on ECOSOC's agenda for this session is to increase linkages between peace and development as the Council is expected to explore opportunities to strengthen ties between the principal organs of the UN, such as the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council.

Development in Africa also remains a high priority for the Council, and issues such as gender mainstreaming and the implementation of the recommendations of the Third Conference on Least Developed Countries have become regular agenda items.

The main theme of this year's high-level segment, which will take place this July in New York and include the participation of ministers and other senior government officials, will concern the contribution of human resources, including health and education, to the process of development.

Another objective of this year's session will be to consider how the outcomes of the World Conference on Financing for Development, set for March in Monterrey, Mexico, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for August in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be integrated into the follow-up of the UN's Millennium goals.