General Assembly President calls for stronger Economic and Social Council

11 November 2011

The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, today urged the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to strengthen its role as the central mechanism for coordination of economic and social issues and to play the key role in implementing decisions of UN conferences and summits.

One of the Assembly’s priorities during the current session is to strengthen the UN system for global governance through creative and adaptive structural changes, Mr. Al-Nasser said in a message to an ECOSOC discussion headlined ‘Enhancing the Role of ECOSOC’ held in the hamlet of Manhasset in New York.

“Emerging challenges to the international system have resulted in suggestions of reform to UN bodies,” Mr. Al-Nasser said in a message delivered on his behalf by Anwarul Chowdhury, his Senior Special Advisor.

“In particular, serious concerns relating to food security and the global financial and economic crisis have exposed how fragile and fragmented global economic governance has become. It is very appropriate and in all of our interest for ECOSOC to assume greater responsibility in this area.”

He called for greater attention to the relationship between ECOSOC and intergovernmental organizations, saying that its effectiveness could be constrained if it does not engage strategically with existing and emerging institutions.

“Another relevant area is the relationship between ECOSOC and the Bretton Woods Institutions [World Bank and International Monetary Fund]. Here, there is need to build on earlier successes in improving their cooperation and coherence on global economic and financial matters, and in bolstering ECOSOC’s identity as the ‘port of entry’ for discussions on these issues,” said Mr. Al-Nasser.

He said it was encouraging that ECOSOC intends to focus on the inter-linkages between peace, security and development, noting that peaceful settlement of disputes through mediation was one of the main themes of his Presidency of the Assembly.

The ECOSOC retreat session was also addressed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


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