ECOSOC to advise and build support for long-term development in Haiti

27 July 2004

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has approved the reactivation of its dormant group on Haiti to advise the Caribbean nation on development programmes into the future and to help ensure international support for this process.

ECOSOC, the principal organ coordinating the UN's economic and social work, made its decision last Friday, the final day of its annual session, following a request by Haiti's transition government.

Ambassador Marjatta Rasi of Finland, ECOSOC's President, noted that the Ad Hoc Advisory Group's work will complement steps taken by international donors on shorter-term support for reconstruction. Last week in Washington, DC, donors pledged over $1 billion to help with short- and mid-term projects in Haiti.

During the Council's high-level segment from 28 to 30 June, the concerns of the world's poorest countries were placed "on the forefront of the international agenda and provided an opportunity to reflect on how to work towards mobilizing resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)" in those States, Ambassador Rasi said in her closing remarks.

With the President of Benin, ministers and other senior officials participating in the high-level segment, concrete ideas were generated to promote the implementation of the 2001 Brussels Programme of Action. That plan contains a set of key pledges for implementing the MDGs, including specific commitments relating to governance, trade, sustainable development and the mobilization of financial resources.

ECOSOC also passed a ministerial declaration addressing difficulties in implementing the Brussels Programme and the need for strong domestic policies and continued international support.

The application of humanitarian principles in responding to complex emergencies and the need to build local capacity in natural disaster preparedness and response emerged as key themes during the humanitarian affairs segment. The outcome was designed to provide fresh impetus to coordination of UN system work in this area.

ECOSOC decided that next year its high-level segment will look at ways to achieve internationally agreed development goals while examining the progress made as well as challenges and opportunities ahead.


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