ECOSOC holds panel discussion on rural development

9 July 2003

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), holding its annual session in Geneva, today organized a panel to examine ways to collaborate on rural development with a view to realizing internationally agreed upon development goals.

Abhimanyu Singh, Lead Manager of Dakar Follow-up Unit at the Education Sector of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), listing solutions help provide education to all in rural areas, suggested adjusting school calendars to rural life and economic routines. He also urged increasing community-based and community-owned learning activities.

Jean Majeres, Chief of the Employment Intensive Investment Programme at the UN International Labour Office (ILO), said that economic development required economic growth, but for this growth to translate into benefits for the poor it must generate jobs and incomes. Employment-intensive growth was needed, he stressed.

Eduardo Doryan, Special Representative to the UN for the World Bank Group, recalled that the implementation of internationally agreed goals concerning rural development was of primary importance in the global situation of today, which was characterized by interdependence and a rapidly expanding population.

Many participants, during an interactive dialogue following the panel presentations, pointed out that economic growth alone would not suffice to achieve development - there was a need for a comprehensive approach to capacity building, which cut across sectors and involved all stakeholders.


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