General Assembly: Statement by Minister Plenipotentiary Silberberg at the ECOSOC-Ministerial Meeting

Sep 24, 2012

(General Assembly: Statement by Minister Plenipotentiary Silberberg on the occasion of the ECOSOC-Ministerial Meeting)

Mr. President,

Germany aligns itself with the statement made by the EU on behalf of the EU and its member states.

From the outset, I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this important meeting. It is a timely and crucial initiative as reflecting on the question whether the institutional set up and working methods that we are using in this body,. are suited for the challenges we are facing is a continuous task. To address the urgent global challenges we need an inclusive, strengthened, effective and – what is also very important in times of tight budgets - an efficient Economic and Social Council. What is required, is innovative “out of the box”-thinking, the consideration of horizontal issues and systemic problems.

It is our firm conviction that ECOSOC can play an important role if its strengths and comparative advantages could be further developed:

- In this context I would like to emphasize that ECOSOC is in a unique position to look at problems and monitor developments from many different angles, in particular from the local, regional, agency or international expert perspective.

- My Government also highly values the coordinating role of ECOSOC for operational activities and the “ECOSOC-system” consisting of the functional and regional commissions, other expert bodies and the specialised agencies.

- Furthermore ECOSOC is an excellent platform for exchange of best-practices and for informal discussions.

- Finally, ECOSOC has the capacity to convene many outside actors from civil society, academics, philanthropists and the private sector.

The institutional set-up provides all these options already today. An improvement of our working methods could help us to make the best use of them.

Ensuring policy-wide coherence as resolution 64/289 requested, is difficult. We have to continue working on it and ensure that the division of labour between ECOSOC and the Second Committee of the General Assembly is well understood and respected. That does not mean that these two principal organs always have to stay separate, but the work of both bodies has to be better coordinated so that it is mutually stimulating. Duplication of work should be reduced to a minimun. Preparing the GA-negotiations on the QCPR-resolution in this year’s ECOSOC Substantive Session with a multitude of interesting and interactive panel discussions was a good example of how the ECOSOC can tap the expertise of  the UN-system and civil society as well as the private sector for the benefit of the Second Committee.

In Rio we decided to establish a universal intergovernmental High Level Political Forum that should follow-up on the implementation of sustainable development, provide political leadership for sustainable development as well as a platform for regular dialogue, monitor progress also through peer reviews, be a driver for agenda setting to advance sustainable development and enhance the three dimensions of sustainable development in a holistic and cross-sectoral manner. We are looking forward to develop with our partners the modalities for the new body in the negotiation process decided in Rio.

Let me conclude, Mr. President, by reaffirming that Germany is ready to play an active part in the ongoing efforts to strengthen ECOSOC’s role in coordinating the UN system, in providing a platform for exchange of best practises and in bringing together different stakeholders from civil society, academics and the private sector. You can count on our support.

Thank you for your attention.

© GermanyUN

Germany and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Junge Menschen aus aller Welt in traditionellen Kostümen mit Landesfahnen

Germany is committed to promoting sustainable economic growth and fostering social environments conducive to improving living standards around the globe. As a member of the Economic and Social Council, Germany plays an important role in finding solutions to current problems.

Watch our latest on youtube...

See our latest on flickr...