Preparatory Meeting for the ECOSOC 2005 High-Level Segment Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, as well as implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: Progress made,
challenges and opportunities
16–17 March 2005 | United Nations headquarters, New York
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Highlights from Thursday, 17 March 2005

Delegates to the ECOSOC 2005 Preparatory meeting met in morning and afternoon roundtables to address: global partnerships and financing development; gender equality and the empowerment of women; environmental sustainability; and implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, at the country level and how to advance recommendations on an MDG-based approach to poverty reduction.

In the afternoon, delegates met in plenary to hear a keynote address from Francois Bourguignon, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank.


Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable on Global Partnerships and Financing Development

Munir Akram, President of ECOSOC (Pakistan), noted that progress in meeting the MDGs has been modest and said that a major impediment in this regard is the unavailability of resources. Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge of UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), moderator of the Roundtable on Global Partnerships and Financing Development. John Richardson, European Commission, addressed measures regarding trade–related assistance, the Doha Development Round, and market access.

Gawain Kripke, Oxfam America, said that even though commodities are seen with suspicion because of their volatile nature, commodity dependence is a reality for most developing countries and thus constitutes the baseline for future action. FAO said that least developed countries are not just commodity producers but in many cases net food importers, therefore work should focus both on the demand and supply sides. Amb. Ali Mchumo, Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), said commodity price volatility has not yet received an adequate answer and highlighted the importance of engaging the private sector.

Nigeria suggested consideration of an adjustment factor to compensate commodity price fluctuations due to the depreciation of the dollar. Cinthia Soto, Costa Rica, asked panelists for opinions on the preference issues contained in the trade part of the Sachs' Millenium Project Report.  NGOs highlighted that the focus should be on whether current trade practices actually benefit poor people in developing countries.

Wilfred Luktenhorst, UNIDO, said the opening of markets is not sufficient if supply side capacities are not addressed. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Harvard University, spoke about the experience of East Asia where human development indexes have improved substantially during the last decades.

Luca Barbone, World Bank, underscored the importance of country level implementation and accelerating assistance to achieve the MDGs through a broader application of Poverty reduction Strategy Papers, and outlined the Paris Declaration on Aid Harmonization.


Aminu Bashir Wali, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN, underscored that good governance at all levels is necessary to attract resources and create and enabling environment. Byron Blake, Jamaica, urged addressing diversification and production capacity in developing countries, noting the need for developmental-type venture capital resources to access technology and developing technology on favorable terms. Delegate from IPU.

The US stressed the link between trade and investment and democratization, noting that they are mutually supportive. Delegate from Guyana.

Rountable on Environmental Sustainability

Agim Nesho, Vice-President of ECOSOC, stressed that the sustainable management of natural resources underpins development, and noted that environmental sustainability is the foundation on which achieving all the MDGs must be built. Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, Director, UN-HABITAT New York Office, said the Millennium Declaration, the JPOI, the Declaration on Cities and the Habitat agenda represent a global consensus and commitment to bring the vast majority of the world people out of the poverty trap. Pietro Garau, co-coordinator of the Millennium Project Task Force on Urban Slums and University of Rome, presented the recommendation of the Task Force’s report highlighting that the slum goal is a moving target and there is a requirement to prevent new slum development.

Albert Wright co-coordinator of the Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, outlined the five critical principles and ten critical actions identified in the Task Force report. Noel Brown, Friends of the UN, urged a link between MDG-7 and the Decade of the Education for Sustainable Development and called for a mayor’s and municipal leader’s summit to develop an urban sustainable community development strategy. Nestor Eugenio Ramirez Cardona, Mayor of Manizales, Colombia, underscored the importance of addressing the needs of the population at the local level.

Werner Obermyer, Chief, Inter-Agency Affairs, UNEP, NY Office. Prayono Atiyanto, Charge de Affairs of Indonesia, underscored the importance of promoting sustainable development, and noted that environmental degradation and management together with other development issues have been high on the agenda of UN conferences and summits. Ann Wanjiru, Mathare Slum resident, Groots Kenya, urged discussions on the living conditions of slum dwellers and not waiting untill 2015.

Oleg Shamanov, Russian Federation, highlighted the decade of water for life 2005-2015, noting it was an important framework for the implementation of the water-related MDGs. FAO noted that often the solution to one MDG can be found somewhere else, and urged the use of market based mechanisms for environmental services. Kenya said MDG target 11 on slum dwellers is not ambitious enough.

Xolisa Mahbango, South Africa's acting Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, welcomed the Task Force’s recognition of the role of both the central and local government in service provision, and the concept of learning by doing. Noting that many SIDS are-off track countries, Tuvalu highlighted the impact of disasters, climate change and sea level rise on small islands. Richard Jordan, International Council for Caring Communities stressed the importance of sport in achieving MDG-7.

France said UNEPs role needs to be reinforced and reiterated its proposal to upgrade UNEP into a specialized agency. Delegate fron UNESCO.

Rountable on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women: Strengthening institutions to deliver on commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment

Chair Jaime Moncayo Garcia (Ecuador), ECOSOC Vice-President. Moderator Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), stressed the need to link the results of the Beijing +10 Conference with the Millennium+5 Summit to ensure implementation and action on gender equality.

Aruna Rao, Gender at Work, said formal organizations like the UN reflect the environments where they are embedded and in order to make them more responsive and promote change, top-down approaches starting at the executive level or bottom up approaches lead by civil organizations can be used.


Johan Løvald, Norway’ s Ambassador to the UN, said the Convention on the End of All forms of Discrimination on Women and Beijing outcomes should be used as the basis for interpreting the gender equality dimensions in the MDGs. Caroline Moser, Brookings Institution, underscored the role of change agents within institutions and said the heterogeneous nature of women’s organizations places a challenge to their effective participation. Ngokwey Ndolamb, UNICEF, said rhetoric or wording should not replace action on gender equality.

Participants of the Rountable on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Keynote Address

Munir Akram, President of ECOSOC (Pakistan). Francois Bourguignon, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank.

Roundtable on Decisions Needed to Implement the Millennium Development Goals and Other Internationally Agreed Development Goals at the Country-Level: How to Advance an MDG-Based Approach to Poverty Reduction

José Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. Christopher F. Hackett, Barbados Permanent Representative to the UN, highlighted the need for resources and support to strengthen the ability of developing countries to achieve MDGs. Ronaldo Mot a Sa rde n berg, Brazil's Permanent Representative to the UN, supported urgent action to achieve the MDGs outlining national efforts underway.

Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, France's Permanent Representative to the UN, urged involving all the heads of state and government in achieving the MDGs. Judith Mbula Bahemuka, Kenya’ s Ambassador to the UN, provided an overview of Kenya’ s process of integrating and mainstreaming the MDGs into national planning. Alounkeo Kittikhou, Laos Ambassador to the UN, underscored the full and effective implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action on Least Developed Countries, as central to achieving the MDGs.

Abdullah Alsaidi, Yemen’s Ambassador to the UN, urged world leaders to exert greater efforts to address the imbalance in the international trading system, ensure open markets for developing country products, and fulfill the commitments enshrined in the Millennium Declaration. Chile recognized the complexity of the task at hand and highlighted the situation of middle income countries that have pockets of poverty and also need development assistance. Cinthia Soto, Costa Rica, urged countries to make the structural changes needed in international markets and said focusing solely on ODA might worsen the situation of developing countries that do not receive it.

Garfield Barnwell, Guyana. Husniyya Mammadova, Azerbaijan, highlighted the situation of fragile states with conflicts and security problems. Cameroon said that political will must be enhanced and underscored that politicians do not act out of charity, therefore urged participants to identify the benefits of achieving the MDGs to raise political will.

Lithuania suggested using the lessons learned by countries that are successfully moving towards achieving the MDGs. Cuba said that some economic models tend to simplify the matters and attention should be paid to the problems of migration and “brain drain”.

Miscellaneous photos





Delegate from ECE.



Related links

Meeting information

WSSD (26 August - 4 September 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa)
WSSD PrepCom IV (25 May - 7 June 2002, Bali, Indonesia)
WSSD PrepCom III (25 March - 5 April 2002, New York)
WSSD PrepCom II (28 January - 8 February 2002, New York)
WSSD PrepCom Informal Brainstorming Session (16-17 January 2002, UN headquarters, New York)
WSSD Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting (27-29 November 2001, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
WSSD West Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting (24 October 2001, Cairo, Egypt)
WSSD LAC Regional Preparatory Meeting (23-24 October 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
WSSD African Regional Preparatory Meeting (15-18 October 2001, Nairobi, Kenya)
WSSD ECE Regional Preparatory Meeting (24-25 September 2001, Geneva, Switzerland)
WSSD International Eminent Persons Meeting on Interlinkages — Bridging Problems and Solutions to Work Towards Sustainable Development (3-4 September 2001, Tokyo, Japan)
WSSD PrepCom I (30 April - 2 May 2001, New York)

Earth Summit +5

UNGASS-19 (23-27 June 1997, New York)
Debate on UNCED-Related Issues (1992, 1993, 1994, New York)

UN Conference on Environment and Development

UNCED (3-14 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
PrepCom IV UNCED (2 March - 4 April 1992, New York)

Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Mauritius International Meeting (10-14 January 2005, Port Louis, Mauritius)
BPOA+10 second round of informal informal consultations briefing note (7,8 and 11 October 2004, UN headquarters, New York)
BPOA+10 Informal Informal Consultations Briefing Note (17-19 May 2004, UN headquarters, New York)
SIDS Preparatory Meeting for BPoA +10 (14-16 April 2004, UN headquarters, New York)
BPOA+10 PrepCom Briefing Note (15 March 2004, UN headquarters, New York)
SIDS Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the 10-year Review of the BPOA (26-30 January 2004, Nassau, Bahamas)
UNGASS Review and Appraisal of Implementation of Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (27-28 September 1999, UNHQ, New York)
Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS (25 April - 6 May 1994, Barbados)

Disaster Reduction

World Conference on Disaster Reduction (18-22 January 2005, Kobe-Hyogo, Japan)
World Conference on Disaster Reduction PrepCom2 (11-12 October 2004, Geneva, Switzerland)
World Conference on Disaster Reduction PrepCom1 (6-7 May 2004, Geneva, Switzerland)

Human Settlements

25th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (Istanbul+5) for an Overall Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda (6-8 June 2001, UNHQ, New York)
Second PrepCom for UN General Assembly for an Overall Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda  (19-23 February 2001, Nairobi, Kenya)
Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (3-14 June 1996, Istanbul, Turkey)
Third substantive session of the Habitat II PrepCom (5-16 February 1996, UNHQ, New York)
Second substantive session of the Habitat II PrepCom (24 April - 5 May 1995, Nairobi, Kenya)
First substantive session of the PrepCom for the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (11-22 April 1994, Geneva, Switzerland)
ENB archives of Habitat meetings

Social Development

Twenty-first Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-21) (30 June - 2 July 1999, UN headquarters, New York)
UN Commission on Population and Development Resumed Session of the ICPD+5 PrepCom (24-29 June 1999, UN headquarters, New York)
32nd Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development and ICPD +5 Preparatory Meeting (22-31 March 1999, UN headquarters, New York)
The Hague Forum (8-12 February 1999, The Hague, The Netherlands)
United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (5-13 September 1994, Cairo, Egypt)
ENB archives of ICPD meetings

Women and Gender

2005

Beijing +10: Commission on the Status of Women (28 February - 11 March, New York)
Copenhagen +10: Commission for Social Development (February, New York)
World Conference on Disaster Reduction  (18-22 January, Hyogo, Japan)
Small Island Developing States: 10 year review  (10-14 January, Mauritius)

2003

World Summit on the Information Society Geneva Phase (10-12 December, Geneva)    

2002

World Summit on Sustainable Development (26 August - 4 September, Johannesburg)
World Food Summit: five years later (10-13 June, Rome)
General Assembly Special Session on Children (8-10 May, New York)
Second World Assembly on Ageing (8-12 April, Madrid)
International Conference on Financing for Development (18-22 March, Monterrey)

2001

World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (6-8 June, New York)
Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (14-20 May, Brussels)

2000

Millennium Summit (6-8 September, New York)
World Summit for Social Development and Beyond: Achieving Social Development for All in a Globalized World
Review the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and of the Beijing

1999

Small Island Developing States (Special Session of the General Assembly, 27-28 September, New York)
International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD+5]  (30 June - 2 July, New York)

1997

Earth Summit+5 (23-27 June, New York)

1996

Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II) (3-14 June, Istanbul)

1995

Fourth World Conference on Women (September, Beijing)
World Summit for Social Development (6-12 March, Copenhagen)

1994

Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (25 April - 6 May, Barbados)
International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) (September, Cairo)


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