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Global leaders and experts to open annual meeting of UN development council

Global leaders and experts to open annual meeting of UN development council

The annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) opens tomorrow as government leaders and agency chiefs address the raft of issues on the UN's development agenda, from poverty and human rights to issues in trade, markets, telecommunications and infrastructure.

The "High-Level" segment of this year's ECOSOC meeting, taking place from 29 June to 1 July, will hear from, among many others, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, President Tarja Halonen of Finland and Prime Minister Gerard Latortue of Haiti.

A Ministerial Declaration to be adopted on Friday, the final day of the segment, will address key development issues, such as sources of financing for development, effective macro-economic policies and the integration of African economies into the mainstream.

The meeting and its declaration will also provide an opportunity for participants to discuss issues related to the 2005 World Summit in September.

Among those issues, this year's session will have the Secretary-General's reform proposals on the table, advocating a more active role for ECOSOC including timely meetings in response to natural disasters and a global forum for development cooperation.

ECOSOC consists of representatives of 54 Member States. Its annual policy session usually alternates between Geneva and New York.

Following the High-Level Segment, this year's session continues until 27 July.