Millennium Review Meeting Bulletin

A periodic report on activities in preparation for the Millenium Review

 

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 104 No. 3
Sunday, 20 March 2005
 

SUMMARY OF THE PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE ECOSOC 2005 HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT:

16-17 MARCH 2005

The preparatory meeting for the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2005 High-level Segment took place on Wednesday and Thursday, 16-17 March 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. The meeting focused on “achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, as well as implementing the outcomes of the major UN Conferences and Summits.” Roundtable discussions were held on eradication of poverty and hunger, education and literacy, health and mortality, 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: how to advance recommendations on an MDG-based approach to poverty reduction.

The outcomes of the preparatory meeting will feed into ECOSOC’s High-level and Coordination Segments, which will take place as part of the substantive ECOSOC session from 29 June to 27 July 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. The High-level Segment will address “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,” and the Coordination Segment will address the theme, “Towards achieving internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF UN CONFERENCES AND SUMMITS AND THEIR FOLLOW-UP

A key element of the United Nations strategy to address global economic, social and environment challenges has been the hosting of UN Conferences and Summits dedicated to developing global plans of action to move the world towards a more sustainable future and addressing a broader development agenda encompassing poverty reduction, social development and environmental sustainability. The Conferences of the early 1990s addressed issues of children (1990), environment and development (1992), human rights (1993), small island developing States (1994), population and development (1994), disaster reduction (1994), social development (1995), women (1995), human settlements (1996), and food security (1996). These Conference and Summits ushered in a period of heightened international commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

In 1995, ECOSOC launched a major effort to coordinate the follow-up and implementation of these major UN Conferences and Summits. The ECOSOC process aimed to support the implementation and review of the conferences by providing the basis for their substantive integration in the UN system, as well as maintaining the political visibility and profile of the issues that provided the thematic basis for each conference. The process also stressed that the effective follow-up to conferences is critical for implementing their goals.

MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: The UN Millennium Summit was held from 6-8 September 2000, in New York. At the Summit, world leaders agreed on a far-reaching plan to support global development objectives for the new century, and reaffirmed their commitment to work toward a world of peace and security for all and one in which sustainable development and poverty eradication would have the highest priority. The Millennium Declaration, agreed to at the Summit, outlines a clear set of responses to these challenges, and establishes concrete measures for judging performance through a set of interrelated commitments, goals and targets on development, governance, peace, security and human rights. The Declaration addresses issues relating to: fundamental values and principles; peace, security and disarmament; development and poverty eradication; the protection of the environment; human rights, democracy and good governance; the needs of the most vulnerable; the special needs of Africa; and the strengthening of the UN. The Declaration also made a strong commitment to eradicating poverty and securing sustainable development, and reaffirmed the UN as the accepted multilateral body for realizing the world’s aspirations for peace, cooperation and development.

Following the Millennium Summit, review conferences were held on least developed countries (2001), children (2002), food (2002), sustainable development (2002), landlocked and transit developing countries (2003), population and development (2004), small island developing States (2005), disaster reduction (2005), social development (2005), and women (2005). New UN conferences were also held on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (2001), HIV/AIDS (2001), financing for development (2002), and the information society (2003).

FIFTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: At is fifty-eighth session, the General Assembly, in May 2004, adopted resolution 58/291 on the “Follow-up to the Millennium Summit,” in which it decided to convene in New York in 2005, at the commencement of its sixtieth session, a High-level Plenary Meeting of the Assembly with the participation of Heads of State and Government. The Assembly also decided that the High-level Plenary Meeting would undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made in the fulfillment of all the commitments contained in the Millennium Declaration, including the internationally agreed development goals and the global partnership required for their achievement. The Assembly also agreed that the High-level Plenary Meeting would review progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation, at the national, regional and international levels, of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN Conferences and Summits in the economic, social and related fields, on the basis of a comprehensive report to be submitted by the Secretary-General.

FIFTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: At is fifty-ninth session, the General Assembly, in December 2004, adopted resolution 59/145 on the “Modalities, format and organization of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly.” In this resolution, the General Assembly decided that the High-level Plenary Meeting would take place on 14-16 September 2005, and would be composed of six plenary meetings, on the basis of two meetings a day, and four interactive round-table sessions. The Assembly decided to hold a High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development on 27 and 28 June 2005, in New York immediately prior to the ECOSOC 2005 High-level Segment, and to hold a separate meeting on Financing for Development within the framework of the High-level Plenary Meeting. The Assembly requested the President of the General Assembly, in consultation with representatives of non-governmental organizations, to organize informal interactive hearings in June 2005 in New York as an input to the preparatory process of the High-level Plenary Meeting. The Assembly also requested the President of the General Assembly to continue to hold consultations with all member States in an open-ended manner, with a view to taking decisions on all outstanding process-related issues of the High-level Plenary Meeting.

Editor’s note: IISD’s comprehensive introduction to UN Conferences and Summits and their follow-up is online at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/ecosocprep1/sdvol104num2e.html

REPORT OF THE ECOSOC PREPARATORY MEETING

Opening the ECOSOC 2005 Preparatory meeting on Wednesday, 16 March 2005, ECOSOC President Munir Akram (Pakistan), underscored the special significance of the ECOSOC High-level Segment, noting that world leaders will gather in September to review the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UN. He said the achievement of the MDGs is a central part of ECOSOC’s agenda for 2005, and a positive outcome could muster global solidarity to fulfill the MDGs and implement the commitments agreed upon in the Monterrey Consensus, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the Doha Development Agenda. He said the outcome should lead to a credible and collective response to the historic challenge of development. Welcoming the report of the UN Millennium Project, he said many delegates agree with the core operational recommendation, that each country adopt a national MDG-based poverty reduction strategy ambitious enough to achieve the MDGs, complemented by support from development partners.

Amb. Eduardo Sevilla Samoza (Nicaragua), speaking on behalf of General Assembly President Jean Ping, said the decision by ECOSOC to focus its High-level Segment on the implementation of the international development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration, is an appropriate choice, and noted that monitoring progress, and identifying the challenges and opportunities should be the Council’s starting point. Regarding the UN Millennium Project, he said the General Assembly had held a series of informal consultations on its core recommendations, and noted that many delegations, while welcoming the report’s conclusions, expressed concern that the focus on the MDGs has had the un-intentional impact of diverting attention away from other international goals and the broader dimensions of fighting poverty and achieving sustainable development. He also said delegations had expressed support for the report’s recommendations on: the links between peace, security and development; official development assistance targets; MDG-based poverty reduction strategies; quick wins; and good governance.

José Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, underscored that the UN Development Agenda is the result of the main UN Conferences and Summits, and represents the specific contribution of the UN to building a dynamic and equitable society in the age of globalization. He noted that some of the obstacles to the international development goals present a formidable challenge and highlighted the need to: address the availability of financial resources; assist Africa, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs); resolve conflict; build productive infrastructure; and build national capacity. He said 2005 is a crucial year, which must end with consensus on the way forward for the revitalization of the UN as whole, and urged the Council to place the goals and targets of major UN Conference and Summits at the center of the raison d’être of the UN.

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the MDGs, urged developed countries to implement their promise made 35 years ago to invest 0.7% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Official Development Assistance (ODA). He emphasized that the MDGs are achievable, but require changes in current practices. He identified the basic steps that need to be taken to achieve the MDGs and to save 8 million lives every year, as outlined in the Millennium Project’s report. He said achieving the MDGs has costs, but emphasized that costs do not exceed the 0.7% of GDP, stressing the futility of more rhetoric and new commitments. He identified actions such as investments in health, education, nutrition, family planning, environment and infrastructure that would enable the MDGs to be achieved. He also questioned the IMF practice of applying pressure to freeze payrolls and control budgets in poor countries. Finally he emphasized that eradicating extreme poverty is key for international security and should be supported by the UN.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS

ROUNDTABLE 1: ERADICATION OF POVERTY AND HUNGER: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC President Munir Akram and moderated by Hartwig de Haen, Assistant-Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The lead organizers of the roundtable were FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 1 - Poverty and Hunger - Final Background Note.pdf

Panel presentations: Chair Akram stressed that many countries are failing to achieve the goals they have set and highlighted the deterioration of poverty indexes in a large number of countries. He called attention to the dramatic situation in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and said poverty reduction should be regarded as a public good. He urged participants to discuss concrete actions to achieve the international development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration.

De Haen recognized the important steps taken during the last decades to reduce hunger, and expressed concern over current levels of extreme poverty, affecting 1.2 billion people of the world, saying that this is totally unacceptable. He emphasized that there is enough knowledge of the causes of poverty, and called for scaling-up action to address poverty. He identified key areas for further work, including increasing ODA, promoting economic growth, and achieving a conducive trade environment through better international trade rules on market access, subsidies and export support.

Amb. Judith Mbula Bahemuka (Kenya) highlighted the interdependence of the MDGs and said that their realization can only be accomplished if actions are complimentary. In this respect, she emphasized the relationship between lack of education, poor health and poverty. She noted that the implementation of the MDGs hinges on global partnerships, fair trade, ODA, debt relief, and the promotion of enabling environments for economic development. She called for debt cancellation of all heavily indebted least developed countries and said that the General Assembly’s High-level Plenary Meeting in September should give world leaders the opportunity to deliver on promises made.

Derek Byerlee, World Bank, highlighted the importance of making progress in agriculture and rural development. He highlighted three key areas for action to achieve the poverty reduction goal: increasing ODA with a focus on agriculture and rural development; promoting an appropriate investment climate to allow the private sector to be the driving force for development; and access to global markets through the successful conclusion of the agriculture negotiations under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round.

Geeta Rao Gupta, International Center for Research on Women, underscored that investments targeted to women and girls are crucial to reduce inequalities and meet the MDGs. She said that gender inequality and discrimination are key determinants of poverty, and that woman and girls are over-represented among the poor. She outlined the seven strategic priorities developed by the MDG Task Force on Gender and Education including: strengthening opportunities for girls’ post-primary education, and universal education for women and girls; guaranteeing women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights and health; investing in infrastructure to reduce women and girls’ labor time; guaranteeing women and girls property and inheritance rights; eliminating gender inequality in employment and work; increasing women’s participation in national parliaments and local decision-making bodies; and combating violence against women.

Gary Howe, International Fund for Agricultural Development, underscored the importance of focusing on rural development issues in developing countries, particularly in new rural employment and income opportunities. He called for making the international trade regime in agricultural products open and fair, and for highly targeted programmes of collaboration with small-scale farmers to take advantage of the “hoped for” reduction in international trade distortions. He also urged: increasing ODA and national investments for agricultural and economic development among the rural poor; supporting the capacity of the poorest developing countries to formulate and implement their own responses to specific country circumstances; and ensuring the active participation of rural people and their organizations in the development of policies and programmes to reduce poverty.

Noting the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, Eddie Lee, International Labor Organization, underscored the need for fair global trading systems and fair globalization to reduce poverty. He said direct interventions to address the immediate needs of the poor and hungry through income creation and distribution should be strengthened. He welcomed the recommendation of the Millennium Project’s report for a 21st century green revolution for Africa, and stressed the need for minimizing employment displacement and avoiding the marginalization of small farmers by larger ones.

Discussion: Jamaica underscored the need for the immediate transfer of resources; tackling the debt problem; building institutional and productive capacities; changing the international trade environment to allow for the trade in the products of the poor, small producers and developing countries; and creating an international governance regime that allows for national policy space, use of national experiences and the effective participation of the poor and developing countries in global rule making.

Expressing its commitment to meeting the MDGs, Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union (EU), underscored the need to strengthen implementation at national and local levels, focus on Africa, and coordinate long-term efforts to fight hunger and attain the MDGs and outcomes of other UN Summits. He called for a global framework for action, focusing on economic, social and human development, as well as regional integration. He noted that issues of gender equality, sustainable development, human rights, institutions, HIV/AIDS, and capacity building are all cross-cutting issues that warrant further attention. He urged improving investments for all sizes of business, microfinance for women, increased and improved trade assistance, and providing special tariffs and market access for LDCs.

China said that poverty relief is not the same as reducing poverty, and said poverty reduction is a long-term and persistent process. Colombia stressed the importance of rethinking the current direction of globalization, and noted that proposed measures should not be palliative and must address structural issues. He expressed concern on the sectoralization of the Millennium Project report and said that middle income States are alienated in this process. The US outlined national initiatives to address chronic hunger and poverty, focusing on Africa. She mentioned a G8 initiative to end the cycle of famine in the Horn of Africa centered on Ethiopia and highlighted the importance of agricultural research through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

Anawarul Chowdhury, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS), said poverty and hunger are two sides of the same coin and said action in LDCs is key for meeting the MDGs. He highlighted the need for rural development, community based empowerment, investment in women and girls, and a greater role for civil society organizations.

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues stressed a focus on the poverty concerns of indigenous and tribal people, and noted that many MDG country reports do not adequately reflect the conditions of indigenous people. She said the MDGs should be underpinned by a human rights approach to development and should not be achieved at the expense of indigenous and tribal people. The Common Fund for Commodities highlighted the role of commodity trade on poverty reduction and social development.

ROUNDTABLE 2: EDUCATION AND LITERACY: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC Vice-President Johan Verbeke (Belgium) and moderated by Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director, Division of Basic Education, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Edwin Judd, Director of Programme Division, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The lead organizers of the roundtable were UNESCO and UNICEF. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 2 - Education and Literacy - Final Background Note.pdf

Panel presentations: Ndong-Jatta highlighted the promotion of a gender inclusive world through education, basic literacy and numeracy, and the need to address reform and accountability to meet the MDGs.

Beverly Jones, Academy of Educational Development, presented a case of school improvement in Nicaragua focusing on quality teaching and quality classrooms in poor communities. She highlighted the importance of parent participation to keep children in school, empowering, supporting and training teachers, and allowing homegrown solutions and flexibility in national education systems.

Anne Scholz, School Sisters of Notre Dame, highlighted the need to ensure quality education to prevent drop-out and repetition rates, and the importance of granting not just access to education, but meaningful education that promotes peace and tolerance. She outlined key elements including teacher training, materials adapted to local and social realities, school accountability and management, dependable educational funding, female education, and free schooling. She also said countries should dedicate at least 3% of GDP to education.

James Page, Carleton University, said literacy should be related to other key government concerns such as health, nutrition and disease prevention. He highlighted that literacy can be relevant to national and local governments as a means to achieve other urgent public policy ends.

Carolyn Bartholomew, Basic Education Coalition, emphasized that no country has achieved sustained economic growth without quality primary education and highlighted the potential of education to prevent deaths due to HIV/AIDS. She highlighted that indicators of school enrollment are important, but also noted the need to measure school completion. She highlighted the need for stronger leadership and partnerships to shape strong education systems even when there is government failure.

Discussion: FAO highlighted the interconnectedness of literacy and nutrition, and called for a focus on rural education for girls and boys. Rotary International and MDG Global Watch highlighted the usefulness of school lunch programmes to keep children in schools. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) stressed the importance of comprehensive and strategic partnerships to promote education and achieve reproductive health and HIV prevention. She highlighted girls’ education as a key component of development. China outlined progress achieved at the national level and stated that it has the goal to reach 4% of GDP for education in the short term to ensure that all children can complete primary school.

The International Federation of University Women questioned whether there are barriers to political will, and asked why political will is lacking when research on the importance of education is so widely recognized. Panelists responded highlighting the importance of advocacy and popular will to influence political will, and noted that access to education and quality education should be dealt with simultaneously.

Benin, Belize, Tanzania and Indonesia raised questions on financing education, highlighting that political will is sometimes insufficient to deliver quality education, as structural adjustment programmes require cutting the budgets of educational programmes. Venezuela highlighted the importance of inclusive strategies in education.

Judd highlighted leadership at the national level and the need to confront the issue of political will. He said top-down and bottom-up approaches should be used simultaneously and governments should combine a major overhaul and reform of education systems with fine-tuning to ensure integration and quality.

ROUNDTABLE 3: HEALTH AND MORTALITY: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC Vice-President Ali Hachani (Tunisia) and moderated by Andrew Cassels, Director for MDGs, World Health Organization (WHO) and France Donnay, Chief, Reproductive Health Branch, UNFPA. The lead organizers of the roundtable were WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and UNICEF. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 3 - Health and Mortality Final Background Note.pdf

Panel presentations: Hachani said the MDGs are a synthesis of the key outcomes of the major UN Conference and Summits of the 1990s, and noted that health-related measures are addressed in three of the eight MDGs, as well as in other key international development goals. He said the roundtable should: address advances in meeting the MDGs; identify what remains to be done, including key difficulties and overarching constraints; and address the opportunities to move the health agenda forward.

France Donnay said the MDGs cannot be achieved without explicit recognition of the key linkages with the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and noted that sexual and reproductive health is essential for achieving the MDGs. She said reproductive health is not solely a health issue, but rather a matter of social justice, gender equality and human rights. She noted that the report of the Millennium Project Task Force on MDGs 5 and 6 recommended that the ICPD goal of ensuring universal access to reproductive health by 2015 through the primary health care system be included as an additional target under MDG-5.

Noting the major global causes of child mortality, Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s National Commission to Fight AIDS and co-coordinator of the Millennium Project’s Task Force on HIV/AIDS, said that everyday “silent tsunamis” occur in the poorest countries. She identified affordable and already available tools to address mortality rates, including bed nets to fight malaria, vaccinations, anti-retrovirals, fertilizers and agroforestry to raise crop yields, bore wells, and diesel generators for village electricity. Among the global challenges she urged addressing the needs of countries not on track to meet the MDGs, implementing good governance at the national, regional and global levels, and reaching the poor with services, including scaling-up healthcare access.

Delanyo Dovlo, Rockefeller Foundation, World Bank and WHO Joint Learning Initiative’s Human Resources Working Group on Africa, addressed the cost of inaction on developing the human resource-base of the health sector. He said inaction could lead to: inefficient utilization or wastage of available resources; dysfunctional or collapsed health systems; and poor ability to react to health emergencies around the world. He said the absorptive capacity of health systems in crisis countries to utilize new initiatives/funds is constrained by shortages in health care workers.

Lynn Freedom, Columbia University, proposed an additional MDG-based indicator to address the strengthening of health systems, and to track coverage and functioning of emergency obstetrician care. She also noted the need to include a neo-natal mortality rate indicator. She said careful attention needs to be given not only to pro-poor targeting, but also to the structure of health systems, and urged all countries to address equity issues in the health sector, noting this is not just an issue for developing and poor countries.

Discussion: Noting the UK moratorium on importing critical health care workers, Ireland requested clarification on donor practices in reversing the “medical brain drain.”

Cuba noted the importance of generic medication, and stressed the need for technology transfer, including South-South and triangular cooperation. He also addressed the impact of structural adjustment programmes on the public health sector in developing countries.

The UN High Commission for Refugees said that MDG-based strategies need to consider the role of the health sector in conflict situations, post-conflict reconstruction and in fragile States. He said the MDGs have been primarily addressed by the development sector, and largely ignored by humanitarian agencies. He stressed that challenge was to ensure that humanitarian action can support the MDGs, particularly in post-conflict situations, and address excluded groups such as internally displaced people. Australia, Croatia and Canada also welcomed the focus on the special challenges of fragile and post-conflict States.

Brazil said there was a need to address cultural barriers associated with reproductive rights, such as the free distribution of condoms. Costa Rica underscored the need to rationalize expenditures, and Canada stressed the link between access to quality reproductive health and the MDGs. Noting the correlation between malnutrition and child mortality, FAO supported closer collaboration between the healthcare and food and nutrition sectors and organizations. Stressing that building human and institutional capacities in LDCs to address HIV/AIDS was a central pillar of the Brussels Programme of Action, OHRLLS said more attention should be devoted to meeting the health-related MDGs in LDCs. MDG Global Watch urged a focus on the role of civil society organizations in contributing to the health sector and health-related MDGs.

ROUNDTABLE 4: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND FINANCING DEVELOPMENT: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC President Munir Akram and moderated by Carlos Fortin, Officer-in-Charge of UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The lead organizer of the roundtable was UNCTAD. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 4.pdf

Panel presentations: Akram noted that progress in meeting the MDGs has been modest and said that a major impediment in this regard is the availability of resources. He stressed the need for a global partnership to achieve the MDGs and other international development goals based on four pillars: good governance and the right polices at international and national levels; the availability of the quantity and quality of financial resources required by developing countries through debt elimination, ODA, investment and trade instruments; a multilateral trading system based on clearly-defined development priorities with concrete political and financial commitments to achieve them; and access to technology, technical cooperation and capacity building.

Underscoring the need for maximizing trade for development, John Richardson, European Commission, addressed measures regarding trade-related assistance, the Doha Development Round, and market access. He said that for developing countries to benefit from trade, they must have the capacity to trade, including supply-side responses, trade-related infrastructure, trade facilitation, and appropriate domestic regulatory frameworks for a sound enabling environment. On the Doha Development Round, he said with its comprehensive development agenda, it can bring benefits to all developing countries, including, more and better market access. He said the negotiations need to ensure that LDCs and the most vulnerable developing countries maintain the possibility of opening markets in a gradual and flexible manner. He said preferential market access is necessary for poor countries, and urged developed countries and upper income developing countries to grant similar type preferences to LDCs, such as the EU’s “Everything but Arms Initiative.” He also noted that the EU supported the simplification and relaxation of rules of origin to stimulate more trade, and supported the concerns of many developing countries regarding the erosion of preferences due to trade liberalization. Finally, he said the EU would work for a development-friendly outcome of the Doha Round and push for outcomes that will contribute to the realization of the MDGs.

ECOSOC President Akram focused on possible trade-related decisions/outcomes of the General Assembly’s High-level Plenary Meeting in September, noting the need for political commitment for a successful outcome of the Doha Development Round, as well as transforming it into a genuine development round. The first set of outcomes Akram proposed included: a commitment on agriculture to eliminate subsidies; the provision of safety nets for LDC and low income developing countries; and policy space to pursue food security. On non-agricultural market access, he said the recommendations in the Millennium Project’s report on tariff removal and timelines could form the basis of a commitment. Second, he proposed a set of quick win actions on trade, including: a deadline for removal of agricultural export subsidies; the elimination of tariff peaks; the reduction of phytosanitary and sanitary measures; full participation of developing countries in standard setting institutions; and a development view on the TRIPS agreement. Third, he called for the creation of a trade capacity-building fund, a mechanism to address the stabilization of commodity prices, and reviving one or more international compensatory financing mechanisms to address revenue losses by developing countries due to trade liberalization.

Gawain Kripke, Oxfam America, said that even though commodities are seen with suspicion as an engine for development, due to their volatile nature commodity dependence is a reality for most developing countries and thus constitutes the baseline for future action. He proposed taking action to make commodities a better engine for development and to bring international trade rules in line with this objective.

Wilfred Luktenhorst, UNIDO, said the opening of markets is not sufficient if supply-side capacities are not addressed. He highlighted that many countries do not have the capacity to export or confront non-tariff barriers to trade. He highlighted the value of domestic investment as a motor for growth and said partnerships work when they are flexible, complementary and sustainable.

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Harvard University, spoke about the East Asian experience where human development indexes have improved substantially during the last decades. She emphasized the importance of coherent strategies combining trade investment and technology transfers with market access, highlighting that Japan provided most of the foreign investment in East Asian developing countries while simultaneously becoming their main export market. She underscored that ODA should have a long-term strategy to forge partnerships that are not based on charity but on mutual interest.

Amb. Aminu Bashir Wali (Nigeria) underscored that good governance at all levels is necessary to attract resources and create an enabling environment. He said that in Monterrey and at the WSSD governments committed to partnerships that complement, not substitute, intergovernmental actions. He said the case for ODA cannot be overstated or ignored, and urged new and additional resources to finance development, including through innovative mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility and others identified in the joint Brazil-France-Chile-Spain report on innovative financing options. He stressed that it was counter productive to provide ODA resources with one hand and withdraw them with another, which is the case with debt servicing.

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 (PRSPs), and outlined the targets in the OECD Paris Declaration on Aid Harmonization.

Discussion: FAO said that least developed countries are not just commodity producers but in many cases net food importers, and stressed that work should focus both on the demand and supply sides. He highlighted WTO negotiations on market access, subsidies and domestic measures as key to address the instability and vulnerability problems related to commodity dependence. The Common Fund for Commodities 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. Costa Rica expressed concern over the loss of preferences by developing countries in the current Doha Round. NGOs highlighted that the focus should be on whether current trade practices actually benefit poor people in developing countries. Richardson said the EU is looking into compensating losses to developing countries for the erosion of trade preferences through increased ODA. Chair Akram said that the EU policy for least developed countries “Everything but Arms” does not take into account that these countries are not able to take advantage of such preferences. He highlighted barriers to market access, safeguards, and dumping measures that prevent other developing countries from accessing the European market.

Jamaica urged addressing diversification and production capacity in developing countries, noting the need for developmental-type venture capital resources to access and develop technology on favorable terms. The US stressed the link between trade and investment and democratization, noting that they are mutually supportive. He urged the conclusion of the Doha round, including significant agricultural commitments not addressed in the Uruguay Round.

ROUNDTABLE 5: GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN: Strengthening institutions to deliver on commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC Vice- President Jaime Moncayo Garcia (Ecuador) and moderated by Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM.). The lead organizer was UNIFEM. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 5 - unifem.pdf

Panel presentations: Heyzer stressed the need to link the results of the Beijing +10 Conference with the General Assembly’s High-level Plenary Meeting to ensure implementation and action on gender equality. Highlighting the priorities identified in the report of the Millennium Project’s Task Force on Gender Equality, she asked participants to address the transformation of institutions to become more accountable to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Amb. Johan Løvald (Norway) said the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing outcomes should be used as the basis for interpreting the gender equality dimensions in the MDGs. He supported the inclusion of a specific target and indicators on universal access to sexual and reproductive health services. He also highlighted the importance of women’s participation in processes to promote gender equality, stressing that no change can be achieved without adequate representation.

Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, questioned the level of commitment by governments to gender equality, highlighting that the MDGs do not provide concrete targets or funding in this area. She stressed that violence against women is entirely missing from the MDGs and from the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. She proposed “bringing back” the human rights-based grounding of the Millennium Declaration that is absent from the MDGs. She also called for including gender equality in the discussions on the UN reform.

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 led by civil organizations can be used.

Caroline Moser, Brookings Institution, highlighted the challenge of translating gender policies into practice. She underscored the role of women as agents of change within institutions and said the heterogeneous nature of women’s organizations places a challenge to their effective participation. She also stressed the need for operational tools to allow women to claim their rights effectively, and urged increasing the number of women decision-makers in international and national institutions.

Ngokwey Ndolamb, UNICEF, spoke of his personal experience within international organizations, underscoring that “rhetoric or the right wording” should not replace action on gender equality. He highlighted the potential of UN reform as a transformational opportunity, and stressed that adequate resources and technical capacity are needed to support governments in mainstreaming gender equality into social policy.

Discussion: The African Union highlighted progress made at the continental level to promote gender equality. Canada said that the results-based MDG focus should not ignore the importance of long-term strategies for gender equality. FAO stressed the disproportionate share of women in the agricultural workforce and the rural poor, and highlighted that women’s access to education is key to preventing malnutrition and children dying from preventable diseases, and to achieve the goals of poverty reduction. The UK said the development discourse has changed from development promotion to helping poor people and expressed concern over the loss of its transformational goal. The Women’s Environment and Development Organization highlighted the lack of attention to gender equality in the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Aruna Rao said that bureaucracies are not useful as vehicles for transformation, but that they can provide the resources and services needed by people who are undertaking change. Finally, Løvald highlighted the importance of making gender equality a benchmark for MDG implementation.

ROUNDTABLE 6: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: This roundtable was chaired by ECOSOC Vice-President Agim Nesho (Albania) and moderated by Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, UN-HABITAT, and Werner Obermeyer, UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The lead organizers were UNEP and UN-HABITAT. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 6 -  Env.sustainablity - Final.pdf

Panel presentations: Nesho stressed that sustainable management of natural resources underpins development, and noted that environmental sustainability is the foundation on which achieving all the MDGs must be built. He said the provision of water, sanitation and solid waste treatment will have an immediate and life saving impact on urban environments and slum dwellers.

Gebre-Egziabher said the Millennium Declaration, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and 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, 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, recommending a new target for 2020 to include the provision of adequate alternatives to new slum formation. He also urged: regularizing and upgrading existing informal settlements; providing a viable and affordable alternative to new slum formulation, through assisted self-help housing on accessible and serviced land; supporting and enacting local pro-poor strategies; providing adequate and affordable land, infrastructure and services; mobilizing resources and investment; empowering local action; and monitoring progress. He also highlighted the recommendation for the creation of “Millennium Cities,” where cities are invited to embrace the MDGs and formulate local-based MDG poverty strategies.

Albert Wright, co-coordinator of the Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, highlighted the need to: move sanitation to the top of the development agenda; integrate water and sanitation policies; include planning and investment strategies in national priorities by making them MDG-based; adopting quick win actions; focusing on community-based franchising for rural service delivery; focusing on sustainable service delivery rather than on the construction of physical facilities; giving high priority to hand washing, hygiene education, treating safe water at the household and school levels; and promoting total sanitation coverage and public sanitation. He also called on international donors to adopt 12 MDG fast track countries for the rapid scale-up of ODA for water supply and sanitation.

Prayono Atiyanto, Charge de Affairs, Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, outlined the results of UNEP’s 23rd Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, in particular the President’s Summary of the ministerial consultations on gender, environmental sustainability and finance. He said the General Assembly’s High-level Plenary Meeting in September provides an opportunity to review the implementation of MDG-7 on environmental sustainability and cautioned against re-negotiating the MDGs or the outcomes of other UN Summits and Conferences.

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 mayors’ and municipal leaders’ summit to develop urban sustainable community development strategies. He also outlined the need to address coastal poverty and human settlement, early warning systems, and the issues of HIV/AIDS and migrant fishermen. Welcoming UNEP’s work with civil society, he called for greater civil society participation and “real” partnerships.

Nestor Eugenio Ramirez Cardona, Mayor of Manizales, Colombia, underscored the importance of addressing the needs of the population at the local level. He said there is little clarity on the role of the MDGs at the local and grassroots levels. He also called for the right to access services for all to be recognized at the intergovernmental level.

Ann Wanjiru, Mathare Slum resident, Groots Kenya, highlighted the urgent need to implement the slum dwellers target and not wait to 2015 to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers. She noted that slum dwellers were already implementing actions to improve their living conditions, but said in most cases their work remains undocumented and unrecognized outside of the immediate community. She said simple actions could be taken now, and added that addressing the issue of land tenure is a prerequisite for investments in infrastructure improvements.

Discussion: Noting that many small island developing States (SIDS) are not on track to meet the MDGs, Tuvalu, with Cuba, highlighted the impact of disasters, climate change and sea level rise on small islands. He said the challenges for SIDS are complicated by their vulnerability, and urged action on building capacity and resilience for SIDS against external forces. He also called for urgent adaptation and mitigation action to address climate change, as well as financial support to help SIDS and LDCs implement their adaptation plans. On freshwater resources, he outlined the need for actions to help SIDS manage freshwater and groundwater resources. Kenya, with France, said the MDG target 11 on slum dwellers is not ambitious enough. He said the solution to urban problems also depends on what happens in rural areas, noting the need to address rural areas, agriculture and stem rural to urban migration. The Russian Federation highlighted the UN “Decade of Water for Life 2005-2015,” noting it was an important framework for the implementation of the water-related MDGs.

The US said CSD-13 offers an excellent forum to exchange real life, practical and concrete experiences. He said the US is deeply concerned about the negative consequences of natural disasters for all vulnerable countries, including SIDS. He said natural disasters are best addressed in a comprehensive way that recognizes that increased human vulnerability is caused largely by where and how people live. FAO urged the use of market-based mechanisms for environmental services. Cuba said the identification of a list of countries that would be defined as MDG fast-track countries to get a rapid scale-up of ODA under the basis of controversial criteria is a distortion of the principles of impartiality and non-selectivity that should guide the granting of such assistance. South Africa welcomed the Water and Sanitation Task Force’s recognition of the role of both the central and local governments in service provision, and the concept of learning by doing. France said UNEP’s role needs to be reinforced and reiterated its proposal to upgrade UNEP into a specialized agency. He said the time has come to launch a process to reflect on the options for reinforcing international environmental institutions. The International Council for Caring Communities stressed the importance of sport in achieving MDG-7.

ROUNDTABLE 7: 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: This roundtable was chaired by Munir Akram and moderated by José Antonio Ocampo. The lead organizers were the UN Development Programme and the UN Millennium Project. The background note prepared for this roundtable is available online at: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/docs/2005/Roundtable 7.pdf

Panel presentations: Amb. Christopher Fitzpatrick Hackett (Barbados) highlighted the need for resources and support to strengthen the ability of developing countries to achieve the MDGs. He also underscored the need for national ownership over development strategies and innovative sources of funding to complement ODA. Focusing on the situation of SIDS, he called for reform of the international financial system and institutions to enhance the voice of developing countries and reduce their vulnerability.

Amb. Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg (Brazil) supported urgent action to achieve the MDGs, outlining national efforts underway. He highlighted the particular situation of middle income countries with pockets of poverty and cautioned against over-simplifying the analysis or taking for granted that middle income countries will achieve the MDGs.

Amb. Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France) urged involving all Heads of State and Government in achieving the MDGs. He underscored that the MDGs and the outcomes of major conferences should be mutually reinforcing. Supporting the opportunities for quick wins identified in the Millennium Project’s report, he highlighted the value of national strategies, sectoral initiatives, financing and ECOSOC’s work in achieving the MDGs. He also said France is committed to reach the target of 0.7% of GDP for ODA and that the EU as a whole will set an intermediate target in the coming weeks.

Amb. Judith Mbula Bahemuka (Kenya) provided an overview of Kenya’s process of integrating and mainstreaming the MDGs into national planning. She said a rich north and a poor south is not suitable for humanity, and noted that “you can’t use a mosquito net when you don’t have a house or a bed.” She called on the international community and development partners to meet the commitments in the Monterrey Consensus to take concrete actions to meet 0.7% of GDP target for ODA. She said the achievement of the MDGs will require new and innovative partnerships between the private sector, civil society, other players and the donor community.

Amb. Alounkèo Kittikhoun (Laos) underscored the full and effective implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action on LDCs as central to achieving the MDGs. He highlighted LLDCs remoteness from markets, and high transport costs as challenges for their development. He noted the challenges of border crossing, noting that for LLDC access to trade through transit countries depends on: the relationships with transit neighbors; the infrastructure of transit countries; and the political and social stability of the transit country. Stressing the 2003 Almaty Programme of Action, he highlighted its call for efficient transit systems in LLDCs and its request for the WTO negotiations to pay particular attention to trade in products from LLDCs. On the Millennium Project’s report, he welcomed the recommendation to offset the geographical vulnerability of certain countries by targeted investments in infrastructure, health and education.

Amb. Abdullah Alsaidi (Yemen) 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 commitment enshrined in the Millennium Declaration. He stressed that protectionism and subsidies are serious challenges to free trade, and called on developing countries to work “sincerely and transparently” to address good governance and root out corruption.

Discussion: Chile recognized the complexity of the task at hand and highlighted the situation of middle income countries that have pockets of poverty and need development assistance. He also stressed that the IMF should align its lending policies to ensure that they are supportive of social development.

Costa Rica asked panelists for opinions on the preference issues contained in the trade part of the Millennium Project Report. Azerbaijan highlighted the situation of fragile States. Cameroon said that political will must be enhanced, underscoring that politicians do not act out of charity. 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 matters and stressed that attention should be focused on the problems of migration and “brain drain.” Ocampo emphasized support expressed to country-based MDG-strategies, governance and accountability and said attention should be paid to fragile States that are not recipients of ODA. He highlighted that, according to OECD figures, 28% of ODA effectively enters recipient countries’ budgets and suggested that even without additional resources, improving this proportion could make a great difference in achieving the MDGs.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: In his keynote address on Thursday afternoon, Francois Bourguignon, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, World Bank, presented an analytical framework necessary to make plans to reach the MDGs consistent with macroeconomic development. He noted the need to link MDGs with PRSPs and highlighted the importance of addressing the absorptive capacity of developing countries. He noted that the PRSP framework is an adequate framework for planning and thinking about the MDGs, as it ensures the coherency and consistency of policies, and it gives back ownership to governments and civil society. He stressed it will be impossible to meet the MDGs without renewing growth. Highlighting the need to address the effectiveness of aid, he stressed it must predictable, transparent and harmonized by donors. He also outlined the need to consider the sequencing of type of aid and its interaction with the economy.

CLOSURE OF THE PREPARATORY MEETING

In his closing remarks, ECOSOC President Akram said that while the discussions focused on the key dimensions of the MDGs, there was a need to further address the outcome of all UN Conferences and Summits, particularly the cross-cutting themes such as governance, participation, human rights, and the core issues of trade, finance and debt. He said these issues need to be addressed in a more comprehensive manner and not only in the context of the MDGs, and noted that further roundtable discussions will be held to cover the broader development agenda linked to outcomes of the UN Conferences and Summits. Finally, he stressed that it was important to talk about partnership and not charity, underscoring “the mutual interest to all” in advancing the MDGs and the outcomes of other UN Conferences and Summit. Chair Akram gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:53 pm on Thursday, 17 March 2005.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

FIFTH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: Organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UNEP, the World Bank, and the Asia Development Bank, this conference will take place from 24-29 March 2005, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: ESCAP; tel: +66-2-288-1234; fax: +66-2-288-1000; e-mail: escap-esdd@un.org; internet: http://www.unescap.org/mced/; IISD Reporting Services coverage: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/mced/ 

112TH INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION ASSEMBLY AND RELATED MEETINGS: These meetings will convene from 3-8 April 2005, in Manila, the Philippines, to consider, inter alia, the role of parliaments in: establishing innovative international financing and trading mechanisms to address the problem of debt and to achieve the MDGs; and advocating and enforcing observance of human rights in the strategies for the prevention, management and treatment of HIV/AIDS. For more information, contact: Carmen R. Arceño, Organizing Committee, Office of International Relations and Protocol; tel: +632-551-6795; fax: +632-551-2006; e-mail: oirp@senate.gov.ph; internet: http://www.ipu.org/conf-e/112agnd.htm

20TH SESSION OF THE UN-HABITAT GOVERNING COUNCIL: Convening from 4-8 April 2005, in Nairobi, Kenya, the UN-HABITAT Governing Council will address two special themes: involvement of civil society in improving local governance; and post-conflict, natural and man-made disasters assessment and reconstruction. For more information, contact: Joseph Mungai, Secretary to the Governing Council; tel: +254-20-623-133; fax: +254-20-624-175; e-mail: Joseph.Mungai@unhabitat.org; internet: http://www.unhabitat.org/governingbodies/gc20/default.asp; Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage: http://www.iisd.ca/habitat/gc20/

38TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 4-8 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. Convening under the theme “Population, Development and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on poverty,” the session will also consider, as an additional topic, the contribution of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. For more information, contact: Hania Zlotnik, Director, UN Population Division; tel: +1-212-963-3185; fax: +1-212-963-2147; e-mail: zlotnik@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/population/cpd/comm2005.htm

UN SYSTEM CHIEF EXECUTIVES BOARD FOR COORDINATION (CEB) SPRING 2005 SESSION AND 9TH SESSION OF THE CEB HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE ON MANAGEMENT: The CEB’s High Level Committee on Management will meet from 4-5 April 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland, and will be followed by the 2005 Spring Session of the CEB, which will meet from 8-9 April. For more information, contact: CEB Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-5719; fax: +1-212-963-4190; e-mail: http://ceb.unsystem.org/contact/contact.asp?swho=2; internet: http://ceb.unsystem.org/calendar.htm 

THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD-13): CSD-13 will take place from 11-22 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. This “Policy Session” will decide on measures to speed up implementation and mobilize action on water, sanitation and human settlements. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; tel: +1-212-963-2803; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd13/csd13.htm; Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage: http://www.iisd.ca/csd/csd13/ 

2005 SPRING MEETINGS OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND WORLD BANK GROUP: The meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee will take place on 16 April 2005, in Washington, DC, and the meeting of the Development Committee will convene on 17 April. For more information, contact: IMF Annual Meeting inquiries; tel: +1-202-473-7272; fax: +1-202-623-4100; e-mail: bfcoffice@worldbank.org; internet: http://www.imf.org/external/spring/2005/index.htm

ECOSOC SPECIAL HIGH-LEVEL MEETING WITH THE BRETTON WOODS INSTITUTIONS AND WTO: ECOSOC is holding a special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development on 18 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. This meeting will focus on “coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.” For more information, contact: Sarbuland Khan, ECOSOC; tel: +1-212-963-4628; fax: +1-212-963-1712; e-mail: khan2@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/bwi2005/ 

RESUMED ECOSOC ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION: This session will meet from 27-28 April 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Sarbuland Khan, ECOSOC; tel: +1-212-963-4628; fax: +1-212-963-1712; e-mail: khan2@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/meetings2005.html

UNFF-5: The fifth session of the UN Forum on Forests is scheduled to be held from 16-27 May 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: barsk-rundquist@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html

FOURTH SESSION OF THE PERMANENT FORUM FOR INDIGENOUS ISSUES (PFII): This session will meet from 16-27 May 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, to focus on the theme of “MDGs and Indigenous Peoples.” For more information, contact: PFII Secretariat; tel: +1-917-367-5100; fax: +1-212-963-3063; e-mail: IndigenousPermanentForum@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/4session/4session.htm

MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE 3R INITIATIVE: This conference, which was endorsed by the 2004 G8 Summit, will meet from 28-30 April 2005, in Tokyo, Japan, to launch the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3R) Initiative. For more information, contact: Task Force for 3R Initiative Ministerial Conference; tel: +81-3-5521-8348; fax: +81-3-3593-3636; e-mail: 3R@env.go.jp; internet: http://www.env.go.jp/earth/3r/en/index.html

OECD FORUM 2005 AND OECD MINISTERIAL SUMMIT: The OECD Forum 2005 will convene from 2-3 May 2005, in Paris, France, to consider policy issues in the areas of international trade and investment, economic development, the Millennium Declaration, and energy. This multi-stakeholder summit will feed into the OECD Ministerial Summit, which will take place from 3-4 May. For more information, contact: John West, Forum Director; tel: +33-1-45-248-025; fax: +33-1-44-306-346; e-mail: john.west@oecd.org; internet: http://www.oecd.org/site/0,2865,en_21571361_34225293_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

UN SYMPOSIUM ON INTEGRATED IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Convened by DESA, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Jiangxi, China, this symposium will meet from 10-12 May 2005, in Nanchang, China. For more information, contact: Zhu Juwang, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-0380; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: zhu@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/calendar/symposium_announcement.pdf

HIGH-LEVEL MEETING TO REVIEW THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED IN REALIZING THE COMMITMENTS SET OUT IN THE DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT ON HIV/AIDS: This General Assembly High-level Meeting will take place on 2 June 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Office of the President of the General Assembly; tel: +1-212-963-2486; fax: +1-212-963-3301; internet: http:///www/un.org/ga

GEF CONSULTATIONS AND COUNCIL MEETING: The GEF consultations and Council meeting will take place from 6-10 June 2005, in Washington, DC. For more information, contact: GEF Secretariat; tel: +1-202-473-0508; fax: +1-202-522-3240; e-mail: secretariat@TheGEF.org; internet: http://www.gefweb.org/Outreach/Meetings_Events/meetings_events.html

SECOND SOUTH SUMMIT: This meeting, which is scheduled to be held from 12-16 June 2005, in Doha, Qatar, will review the implementation of the outcomes of the South Summit that took place in Havana, Cuba, in 2000. For more information, contact: Office of the Chairman of the Group of 77; tel: +1-212-963-0192; fax: +1-212-963-3515; e-mail: g77off@unmail.org; internet: http://www.g77.org/meetings/daily.html

HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT: This meeting is scheduled to take place from 27-28 June 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: Financing for Development Office; tel: +1-212-963-2587; fax: +1-212-963-0443; e-mail: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/contact6-04.htm; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffdcalendar2003.htm

2005 ECOSOC HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT AND SUBSTANTIVE SESSION: The ECOSOC High-level Segment will convene from 29 June to 1 July 2005, at UN headquarters in New York, to address the theme “Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration as well as the implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: progress made, challenges and opportunities.” The session will also comprise the: Coordination Segment (5-7 July); Operational Activities Segment (8-12 July); Humanitarian Affairs (13-18 July); General Segment (18-25 July); and conclusion (26-27 July). For more information, contact: Sarbuland Khan, ECOSOC; tel: +1-212-963-4628; fax: +1-212-963-1712; e-mail: khan2@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/meetings2005.html

G8 2005 SUMMIT: The 2005 G8 Summit will convene from 6-8 July 2005, at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. Under the UK Presidency, the G8’s deliberations will focus on Africa and climate change among other topics. For more information, contact: British Prime Minister’s Office; fax: +44-20-7925-0918; e-mail: http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page821.asp; internet: http://www.g8.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1078995902703

THIRD WORLD YOUTH CONGRESS: This Congress will meet from 30 July to 8 August 2005, in Stirling, Scotland. Convening under the theme of “Young People working together for a sustainable world community,” delegates will seek to highlight how much youth do and are doing to support the achievement of the MDGs. For more information, contact: Ray Bugg, Media and Communications Manager; tel: +44-131-244-7425; fax: +44-795-726-1178; e-mail: ray.bugg@scotland.gsi.gov.uk; internet: http://www.scotland2005.org

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGAGING COMMUNITIES: Organized by DESA and the State Government of Queensland, Australia, this conference will meet from 14-17 August 2005, in Brisbane, Australia, and will convene under the theme “Citizen-government dialoguing for social justice and social equity.” For more information, contact: OzAccom Conference Services; tel: +61-7-3854-1611; fax: +61-7-3854-1507; e-mail: info@engagingcommunities2005.org; internet: http://www.engagingcommunities2005.org/home.html

58TH ANNUAL DPI/NGO CONFERENCE: Scheduled for 7-9 September 2005, in New York, this conference will focus on the review of the Millennium Declaration, the MDGs and United Nations reform. For more information, contact: DPI NGO Section; tel: +1-212-963-6842; fax: +1-212-963-6914; e-mail: dpingo@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/

HELSINKI CONFERENCE 2005 � MOBILIZING POLITICAL WILL: Convening from 7-9 September 2005, in Helsinki, Finland, this conference represents the culmination of the Helsinki Process on Globalization and Democracy. For more information, contact: Pieni Roobertinkatu, Helsinki Conference Secretariat; tel: +358-9-698-7024; fax: +358-9-612-7759; e-mail: secretariat@helsinkiprocess.fi; internet: http://www.helsinkiconference.fi

GLOBAL DAY FOR MOBILIZATION: Organized by the Global Call to Action against Poverty, the Global Day for Mobilization will be celebrated globally on 10 September 2005, and will seek to mobilize citizens to pressure their leaders to tackle the causes of poverty, and meet the MDGs. For more information, contact: GCAP; e-mail: info@whiteband.org; internet: http://www.whiteband.org/

HIGH-LEVEL PLENARY MEETING OF THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE OUTCOME OF THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT: This meeting will take place from 14-16 September 2005, at UN headquarters in New York. The meeting is expected to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress made towards the commitments articulated in the UN Millennium Declaration. The event will also review progress made in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes and commitments of the major UN Conferences and Summits in the economic, social and related fields. For more information, contact: Office of the President of the General Assembly; tel: +1-212-963-2486; fax: +1-212-963-3301; internet: http://www.un.org/ga/


The Millennium Review Meeting Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Soledad Aguilar and Richard Sherman. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.