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Updated On: Sunday, 25 August 2019

Presenting Annual Report to General Assembly, Economic and Social Council President Discusses Leadership Role in Building Resilient Societies

Content by: UN General Assembly

The Economic and Social Council is strengthening its leadership role in identifying new frontiers in sustainable development as part of its quest for resilient societies, the General Assembly heard today as it took note of the Council’s report.

The report, titled “Report of the Economic and Social Council on its 2018 session” (document A/73/3), was introduced by Council President Marie Chatardová (Czech Republic).  She said the Council has stepped up its focus on delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  The various segments and the High-level Political Forum under the Council’s auspices helped it “see clearly that we have made significant progress”, she said.  “Yet, we still have a long road to travel to realize sustainable and resilient communities while leaving no one behind.”

Ms. Chatardová outlined highlights of the Council’s 2018 session.  The Forum allowed 46 participating States to reflect on progress regarding achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Participants presented voluntary national reviews that showed that many countries “have made great strides in aligning their policies” with the Goals.  During the Council’s high-level segment participants analysed the future impacts of economic, demographic and technological change and offered projections for the future achievement of the Goals.  The Council’s segments and forums delivered a range of integrated policy options and recommendations related to the Sustainable Development Goals.

She said a unique session of the Committee for Development Policy took an in-depth look at policies to leave no one behind.  The Council’s Forum on Financing for Development follow-up sent a message in support of the centrality of multilateralism and constructive engagement for financing the 2030 Agenda.  The Forum achieved important progress in building resilience, adapting to digitization and mainstreaming gender equality.  The Sustainable Development Goal Investment Fair, which followed the financing forum, responded to the growing need for additional investment related to the Goals, especially in the most vulnerable countries.  The Council “showed that together, we can find solutions to keep the 2030 Agenda on track”, she said.

The Economic and Social Council continued to strengthen its leadership role in identifying new frontiers in sustainable development, she stressed.  The Council broke ground in consideration of the impact of technology on the Sustainable Development Goals.  Through a joint meeting between the Council and the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the General Assembly, participants considered the implications of artificial intelligence and other technological trends that are shaping the future.  The multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation addressed the impact of rapid technological change on sustainable development.  The Council’s role “as a platform for multi-stakeholder participation is unrivalled,” she said.

Driven by the theme “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all”, she said she convened a special meeting that brought together a wide range of actors to highlight the benefits of participatory and inclusive approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  The Council also continued to support the adjustment model of the United Nations development system “to get better results in a changing development landscape”.  She said the 2018 operational activities segment was the first opportunity for Member States to dig deep into Secretary-General proposals to reposition the development system.

Also before the Assembly was a note by the Secretary-General titled, “United Nations Population Award, 2018” (document A/73/275), by which he transmitted the report of the Secretary of the Committee for the United Nations Population Award, submitted in accordance with Economic and Social Council decision 1982/112.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 9 November, to take up the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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