ECOSOC to go ahead with focus on development for women, UN official says

11:02, October 21, 2010      

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A senior UN official said here Wednesday that the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will continue to focus its strategy on promoting the world efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in order to promote development, especially for women.

The statement was contained in a speech by President of ECOSOC Hamidon Ali at a meeting to discuss the role of the Council in the world economic and social development.

ECOSOC's discussions on development during its substantive session in July had served as a "rich source of ideas and elements for the high-level plenary meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," which promote gender equality, he said.

Progress towards the MDGs, a set of eight international development objectives to be completed by 2015, was reviewed in September by world leaders at a high-level plenary of the General Assembly. Several of the goals require meeting the development needs of women and children.

Ali said that ECOSOC placed focus during its substantive session on the advancement of women to spur development. ECOSOC even made gender issues the theme of its annual ministerial review (AMR), a high-level conference held once a year during the substantiative session.

ECOSOC is the UN body charged with coordinating the economic and social tasks of UN agencies and conducting consultations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), members of the business world, and others.

"There was strong support for accelerating progress for achieving the targets for women and children and the council gave impetus to the secretary-general's action plan on women and children, which was launched during the MDG summit," Ali said of the Council's high-level activities.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Joint Plan for Women and Children's Health focuses on the MDG objectives of improving maternal health and the survival rates of young children.

Speaking to the assembly Wednesday, the minister counselor from the Indonesian Mission to the UN, Mohamad Hery Saripudin, said that ECOSOC's work in the past year, "rightly emphasized measures to address the inequalities restraining women through their root causes."

Next year, Ali said, ECOSOC will focus the AMR on another major development topic -- education. He told the assembly that "no real progress" can be made in other development areas without an education agenda in place.

"As we all know education is fundamental for the economic and social development of societies and it links strongly with the sustainability of our planet in the long run," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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