Press Releases

    ECOSOC/6176
    28 July 2005

    Economic and Social Council Adopts 16 Texts on Wide Range of Issues, as It Concludes 2005 Session

    Economic Impact of Israeli Occupation, HIV/AIDS, Haiti, Support for Non-Self-Governing Territories among Issues Addressed

    NEW YORK, 27 July (UN Headquarters) -- The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted 13 resolutions and three decisions today in such areas as the economic and social impact of Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory, the action programme for least developed countries, support to Non-Self-Governing Territories and countries in conflict, and HIV/AIDS, as it concluded its 2005 session.

    In a recorded vote of 49 in favour to 2 against (Australia, United States), with 1 abstention (Costa Rica), the Council adopted a draft on the economic and social repercussions of Israeli occupation on the living conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.  Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic conditions for those populations, the Council demanded by that draft the complete cessation of all violent acts, including those of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction.

    By further terms, it called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian cities, towns and other populated centres, to cease its destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural fields, and end all forms of closure and curfew, which impeded efforts to ameliorate economic and social conditions and development of the Palestinian people.  (See Annex III.)

    Speaking on behalf of the European Union after the vote, the United Kingdom’s representative called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians and facilitate the movement of Palestinian people and goods, as well as access by humanitarian organizations.  Expressing concern at the recent escalation of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, she said Israel must exercise maximum self-restraint and the Palestinians must take action against those committing attacks.

    Israel’s representative said the resolution was one-sided, out of context, and failed to include the rights of Israeli civilians or contribute in any way to a lasting, peaceful solution.  In Israel’s view, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child did not apply in the West Bank and Gaza, particularly as long as armed conflict and violence continued.

    Noting that Israel had continued to deprive the Palestinian people of their basic rights, Palestine’s Observer said those violations must end, rather than the international community’s vigilance in monitoring them.  He hoped the resolution would bring the Palestinian people one step closer to achieving their economic and social rights.

    In a second recorded vote of 32 in favour to none against, with 20 abstentions, the Council adopted a text on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations.  By that draft, it requested United Nations bodies and regional organizations to strengthen existing support and draw up assistance programmes for remaining Territories to speed up progress in their economic and social sectors.  (See Annex II.)

    The Council also requested the Department of Public Information, in consultation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), specialized agencies and the Special Committee on decolonization, to prepare an information leaflet on assistance programmes available to the Territories, and to disseminate it among them.  Further, it requested the administering Powers concerned to facilitate the participation of Territory representatives in United Nations meetings and conferences, so that their areas could benefit from agency activities.

    Abstaining from the vote on that text, the Russian Federation’s delegate said its contents distracted the Council from performing its main coordinating functions, and that the item should be removed from its agenda.  Other representatives abstaining from the vote said it was the responsibility of the administering Powers, not ECOSOC, to decide on the Territory’s participation or lack thereof in United Nations meetings, stressing that issues dealt with in the resolution were outside the Council’s competence.

    The Council also adopted several drafts on coordination and programmes addressing HIV/AIDS, rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development, information and communication technologies, and support for Haiti.

    By a text on the Joint United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), it urged governments to work with the Programme and its partners beyond 2005 to make HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services universally accessible.  It also urged the Programme to strengthen its support, as well as monitoring and evaluation efforts at global, regional and country levels, especially in priority countries, by providing technical support and posting specialist staff in those and other countries.

    The Council also adopted a draft on the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, following a recorded vote of 51 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, on operative paragraph 4 [relating to long-term support for the Ad Hoc Advisory Group].  By that text, it decided to extend the Group’s mandate until the Council’s 2006 substantive session, with the purpose of closely following and providing advice on Haiti’s long-term development strategy to promote socio-economic recovery and stability.  It also decided that the Group’s work would be reviewed at the 2006 substantive session, with a view to considering whether to continue its mandate, based on the Council’s consideration of the Group’s report and the situation prevailing in Haiti at that time.  (Annex I)

    Speaking in explanation of the vote, the representative of the United States said that calling a vote in no way demonstrated his country’s lack of support for the people of Haiti.  However, given the modest amount of funding mentioned in paragraph 4 and the substantial resources available to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, funding for the Group’s travel should be absorbed within existing resources.

    Jamaica, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said she was extremely disappointed that the Council had been asked to vote on the resolution, which was crucial in advancing assistance to the Haitian people.  Adding that the substantive issue was too important to be sacrificed for mere procedural concerns, she stressed that the United Nations must be unambiguous in its support for long-term support to Haiti.

    Haiti’s representative said the Council’s facilitating role for his country had three dimensions -- to reinforce Government capacities, impart momentum to programmes, and intensify donor mobilization.  Adding that 2005-2006 would be a key year for the Group, he said it would be supporting development of a long-term programme, which should contribute to promoting the nation’s economic and social development, as well as maintaining stability.

    Adopting another text on implementation of the Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010, the Council expressed deep concern over insufficient progress in implementing the Programme, and urged least developed countries and their bilateral and multilateral development partners to increase their efforts and adopt speedy measures to meet its goals and targets.  The Council also called on development partners to assist least developed country national statistical bodies to strengthen monitoring and reporting on implementing the Programme of Action; and on least developed countries to carry out national reviews on implementing the Programme, with a special focus on progress, obstacles, actions and measures needed to further implement it.

    Addressing that draft, Anwarul Chowdhury, High Representative of the Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, noted that the resolution addressed several issues, including the mid-term review of the Brussels Programme, and national statistical capacity development.  A paragraph also referred to least developed countries’ inclusion in economic and social reports, which he said should also cover reports by the agencies, funds and programmes.

    By another text, on the role of ECOSOC in the integrated and coordinated implementation of the outcomes of and follow-up to major UN conferences and summits, the Council decided to continue promoting integrated and coordinated implementation of internationally agreed development goals, and to further strengthen its links with United Nations regional commissions.  It would also underline the urgency of completing the multi-year work programme of the Council’s coordination segment, which would enable it and the functional commissions to introduce thematic coherence and predictability into their work programme.

    Other texts adopted by the Council concerned the Damascus Declaration and the role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in achieving internationally agreed development goals; the work of the functional commissions; rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development; implementation of the Declaration on granting independence to colonial countries and peoples; the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); the Committee of Experts on Public Administration; transport of dangerous goods; and an informal resolution on the Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

    The Council also adopted a decision to extend the Commission’s Gender Advisory Board mandate for another five years; and decisions to approve the Commission’s work methods, as well as its report.  It also adopted an oral decision to defer consideration of the Committee on Development Policy report.

    In other action, the Council took note of the annual overview report for the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination; and nine documents related to regional cooperation, including two reports by the Secretary-General and an addendum on regional cooperation, summaries of regional surveys and the project for a Europe-African permanent link through the Strait of Gibraltar.

    It also took note of six reports related to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), assistance to third States affected by sanctions, and narcotic drug control.  In addition, it took note of reports of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and of the Executive Board of the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR).

    In concluding remarks, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said ECOSOC had understood the United Nations development agenda as the comprehensive framework for pursuing poverty eradication and sustainable development, had stressed the need to quickly overcome the so-called “implementation gap”, and to strengthen its links with subsidiary bodies.  It had also emphasized the importance of regional cooperation, the need for ECOSOC to enhance its capacity in humanitarian affairs.

    He added that the September Summit was likely to adopt several proposals on Council functions, including providing for peer reviews, serving as a development cooperation forum, convening emergency meetings, and engaging in peacebuilding.  To perform those functions effectively, the Council would need to introduce more flexibility in its work; respond to the diversity of the United Nations system; and meet as required, during the year.

    Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan) said the session had been deliberately conceptualized as a contribution to preparations for the 2005 World Summit.  A key innovation had been the “Voices against Poverty”, which had highlighted the systemic basis for widespread poverty in the world; the increase in joblessness, which required policies to redress it; conflict as a key offshoot of poverty; and ECOSOC’s unique role in bringing the whole system together to work for development.

    The session had noted that the world was off-track in achieving the Millennium Goals in many nations, he said, and that a truly integrated follow-up must still emerge.  It had also observed that operational activities were critical in helping the most disadvantaged developing countries; security and development were inextricably linked at every stage; and humanitarian emergencies must be addressed through coordinated and effective response.

    Also speaking were the representatives of Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Japan, Benin, Cuba, Tunisia, Panama, Syria, and Italy.

    Background

    The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) met today to take action on all outstanding drafts and conclude its session.  (For background information, see Press Release ECOSOC/6154 of 23 June.)

    Before the Council was a note of the Secretary-General on the high-level segment of the substantive session of 2006 of ECOSOC (document E/2005/52), which would focus on the theme “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in countries emerging from conflict”.  It also had before it a report on implementation and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits (document E/2005/61), and a draft resolution on implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (documents E/2005/L.28 and E/2005/L.46).

    Concerning coordination, programme and other questions were reports of coordination bodies (document E/2005/63), and a draft resolution on promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development (E/2005/L.27 and E/2005/L.48).  Also under that topic were reports and draft resolutions on long-term programme of support for Haiti (documents E/2005/66; E/2005/L.20/Rev.1); the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force (documents E/2005/71; E/2005/L.23); and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (documents E/2005/59; E/2005/L.18 and E/2005/L.40).

    Additional reports and draft resolutions related to implementation of General Assembly resolutions 50/227, 52/12B and 57/270B [on implementation of the outcomes of and follow-up of major United Nations conferences and summits] (documents E/2005/61; E/2005/L.31 and E/2005/L.43); regional cooperation (documents E/2005/15, E/2005/15/Adds.1-2, E/2005/16-21; E/2005/L.45); the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population (document E/2005/L.24/Rev.1); and support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (document E/2005/L.22).

    The Council also had before it several documents on economic and environmental questions, including a report on that topic (document E/2005/74) and a draft resolution on promoting coordination and consolidation of the work of the functional commissions (document E/2005/L.41).  Other related documents concerned sustainable development (document E/2005/33, Supplement No. 13); science and technology for development (document E/2005/31, Supplement No. 11); and reports of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme’s twentieth session (document A/60/8, Supplement No.8), the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/60/8, Supplement No. 8), and the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (document E/2005/44, Supplement No. 24).  Additional documents and drafts focused on international cooperation in tax matters, assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions (documents A/59/334 and E/2005/62), and transport of dangerous goods (documents E/2005/53; E/2005/L.42).

    Also before the Council was a report on social and human rights questions (document E/2005/74), and reports and related draft resolutions on the advancement of women (documents A/60/38 (Part I) and E/2005/75; E/2005/L.32 and E/2005/L.44).

    Action on Drafts

    The Council then took up the draft on promoting an integrated approach to rural development.  It was adopted without a vote.

    Next, the Council decided to take note of the annual overview report for the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination (document E/2005/63).

    The draft resolution on a long-term programme of support for Haiti was taken up, along with the draft on programme budget implications.

    The representative of Canada drew attention to several mistakes in the final text.  He recalled that he had presented the report of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti last week.  Some countries had criticized that report, due to some activities attributed to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).  Canada had a strong and valued relationship with the Haitian Government.  It was working to lay in the short term the groundwork for the longer term.  The role of an advisory group was to give advice as it saw fit, and it was up to the receiver to use that advice.  He was pleased to note that the resolution did take note of the report as a whole.  It would not have been useful to “cherry pick” among the report’s recommendations.

    The representative of Brazil said the draft provided for the renewal of the Group’s mandate.  He expressed appreciation for the Group’s report and looked forward to the continued valuable work of the Group.

    Haiti’s representative thanked the Council, the Ad Hoc Advisory Group, Canada and the Secretariat for their efforts since 1999 when the first ad hoc group was constituted.  He reiterated what his country expected from ECOSOC, which should facilitate development.  The Council’s facilitating role had three dimensions:  to reinforce the capacities of the Government; to impart momentum to programmes; and to intensify the mobilization of donors.  The period 2005-2006 would be a key year for the Group, because it would have to support the development of a long-term programme, which should contribute to promoting the economic and social development of the country and to maintaining stability.

    The representative of Argentina thanked all members of the Group for the recommendations contained in the Group’s report, and welcomed the Council’s decision to extend the programme.  Stability and political dialogue in Haiti depended on economic recovery and development, and a long-term programme in that regard was vital.  The international community must play a supporting role for consolidating peace and development in the country.  That was why the coordinating role of ECOSOC was so important.  He supported the recommendations of the Group, and reiterated his appeal to the donor community to give importance to those recommendations. 

    Venezuela’s representative said the disintegration of a State was the direct result of foreign intervention, which undermined the State’s sovereignty.  She reiterated that any international initiative intended to solve the present crisis in Haiti should not violate, alter or undermine the right of the Haitian people to decide for themselves everything about their social and political development.  It was the duty of the international community to respect the needs of all peoples, including the Haitian people, and their right to decide on their own political and social institutions.

    A recorded vote was requested on operative paragraph 4 with regard to long-term support for the Ad Hoc Advisory Group.

    In an explanation of position before the vote, the representative of the United States said that calling for the vote was in no way intended to show his country’s lack of support for the people of Haiti.  He felt that, given the modest amount of funding mentioned in the paragraph and the substantial resources available to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the issue of funding of travel for the Group should be absorbed within existing resources.

    A proposal to retain operative paragraph 4 was adopted by a recorded vote of 51 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions (see Annex I). The draft resolution as a whole was adopted without a vote.

    Japan’s representative said that, while he supported the resolution, he was not happy with the way it was put forward for adoption.  The resolution, which contained a programme budget implication, should have been thoroughly discussed. Any additional costs should be absorbed by existing resources.

    Jamaica, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the Group voted in favour of the text and operative paragraph 4, in keeping with its support for the long-term development of Haiti.  The Group was strongly in favour of extending the Ad Hoc Advisory Group’s mandate.  The distressing situation in Haiti was well known.  She was extremely disappointed that the Council had been asked to vote on the resolution, which was crucial in advancing assistance to the Haitian people.  Notwithstanding the explanation given by the United States, she was of the view that, in this instance, the substantive issue was too important to be sacrificed for mere procedural concerns.  The United Nations could not be ambiguous for its support for long-term support to Haiti and its people.

    Haiti’s representative thanked all members who voted for the resolution.

    The Council turned to the draft on implementation of the programme of action for the least developed countries for the decade 2001-2010 and deferred consideration at the request of the United States.  When the item was taken up again, the representative of that country introduced the textual changes that had been made.  The draft was adopted without a vote.

    After adoption, Benin’s representative thanked all those who took part in the negotiations, enabling the Council to reach a consensus document.

    ANWARUL K. CHOWDHURY, High Representative of the Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, thanked the Council for the adoption of the resolution.  He also thanked delegations for their interventions when the report on the Brussels Programme of Action was presented to the Council’s substantive session.  He noted that the resolution had addressed several issues, including the mid-term review of the Brussels Programme.  For example, operative paragraph 6 spoke about national statistical capacity development.

    Also, he continued, paragraph 11 referred to the inclusion of the least developed countries in the reports on economic and social issues.  That paragraph should also cover reports by the agencies, funds and programmes.  His office had made an effort to present a results-oriented matrix to the Council, which was contained in a conference room paper and had been helpful to delegations.  During the debate, the Chairs of the Group of 77 and the least developed countries had asked for the convening of consultations to discuss the preparations for the mid-term review.  He would undertake to convene those consultations.

    A draft resolution on the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force was taken up.  The text was amended to emphasize the ongoing World Summit on Information Technologies Process and the resolution was adopted without a vote, as orally amended.

    The draft on the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS was taken up and adopted without a vote.

    The representative of the United States said it was premature to endorse or to act on the recommendations of the Expert Group before its report was finalized.

    The draft on ECOSOC’s role in implementing outcomes and follow-up to conferences and summits was taken up and adopted without a vote.

    Next, the text on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories was taken up.

    Cuba’s representative noted amendments to the text, including deleting operative paragraph 18.

    Speaking before the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had consistently favoured the implementation of self-determination for the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  However, the contents of the resolution distracted the Council from performing its main functions in the area of coordination.  He favoured the removal of that item from the Council’s agenda, and would abstain in the vote.

    The representative of the United States said she would abstain on the resolution, rather than vote against it, because she supported in principle the agencies that provided support to Territories not members of the United Nations.  But it was inappropriate to link the work of the specialized agencies to the Declaration on decolonization or the issue of colonial peoples.  It was the responsibility of the administering Powers, not ECOSOC, to decide the nature of the Territory’s participation, or lack thereof.

    The representative of the United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, said that, notwithstanding the flexibility shown during the negotiations, the Union would abstain during the vote.  The issues dealt with were not under the competence of ECOSOC.

    The draft resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 32 in favour to none against, with 20 abstentions.  (See Annex II.)

    The draft on the Damascus Plan and the ECOWAS role in achieving development goals for western Asia was taken up and adopted without a vote.

    Next, the Council took up a draft resolution on implementation of resolutions concerning the participation of associate members of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in follow-up to conferences and ECOSOC’s work.

    The Council decided to note receipt of the resolution and not to take action on the matter.

    The Council then took note of nine documents related to regional cooperation, including two reports by the Secretary-General, plus an addendum on regional cooperation, summaries of regional surveys and the project for a Europe-African permanent link through the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Next, the draft resolution on repercussions of the Israeli occupation was taken up.

    Tunisia’s representative introduced the draft resolution, and noted two small corrections in the text.  He hoped the text would be adopted by consensus and that it would contribute to alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people.

    In explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the United States said his Government’s Middle East policy was based on President Bush’s vision of two States -– Israel and Palestine -- living side by side in peace and security.  Necessary for that were effective Palestinian security and a response to humanitarian needs by building strong, responsible Palestinian institutions.  One-sided resolutions undermined the credibility of the Council and did nothing to assist the people of the region.  It only served to divert attention from the practical steps that needed to be taken to move the parties to the two-State vision.

    The resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 49 in favour to 2 against (Australia, United States), with 1 abstention.  (See Annex III.)

    After the vote, Canada’s representative said he remained concerned by the security, economic and social conditions in the West Bank and Gaza, but was encouraged by recent positive developments.  He welcomed, in particular, the renewed possibilities for promoting Palestinian economic regeneration, resulting from Israel’s decision to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.  He urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to engage with each other, in order to bring about an orderly transition.  He also welcomed the resolve of the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorism and carry out security sector reform, which would contribute to strengthening the Palestinian economy.  He called on all parties to adhere to their responsibilities under international humanitarian law.  Canada had maintained its vote in favour of the resolution.

    Panama’s representative said he had voted in favour of the draft.  He expressed concern over the economic and social consequences of the Israeli occupation.  He favoured a solution to the situation by peaceful means.  He was also concerned over the duplication and redundancy of resolutions in connection with the Palestinian/Israeli issue, which did not make a significant contribution to achieving a lasting peace.  The United Nations should focus efforts on resolutions conducive to the peaceful resolution of that overly protracted conflict.

    The representative of the Russian Federation said he voted in favour of the resolution.  It was important to resolve the humanitarian situation, prevent the manifestation of terrorism and reach a real consensus in the field of security.  Considering that that item in ECOSOC was increasingly taking on a politicized nature, it distracted the Council from its main function of coordinating action in the economic and social fields.

    The representative of the United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, expressed deep concern at the continuing humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  She called on Israel to respect its obligation under international humanitarian law; alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians; and facilitate the movement of the Palestinian people and goods and access by humanitarian organizations.  She was concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.  She emphasized that Palestinians and Israelis must not return to the cycle of violence.  Israel must exercise maximum self-restraint and the Palestinians must take action against those committing attacks.  She urged both sides to coordinate on the planned disengagement.

    Japan’s representative said he had voted in favour of the draft.  He stressed that it was essential that the withdrawal be conducted smoothly.  For that to happen, it was critical for the two parties to exert the utmost efforts and the international community to provide support.  Japan would continue to be engaged politically and financially to assist the parties.  He added that it was not appropriate for the Council to deliberate on political issues such as this one.

    The representative of Israel regretted the adoption of the resolution, which was one-sided, out of context and did not contribute in any way to a lasting, peaceful solution, or add credibility to the role of the United Nations in those efforts.  He could not accept the fact that the rights of Israeli civilians were not included in the text and were ignored by the co-sponsors.  He added that it was Israel’s view that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child did not apply in the West Bank and Gaza, particularly as long as armed conflict and violence continued.

    Palestine’s observer thanked all those who voted in favour of the text.  Israel continued to deprive the Palestinian people of their basic rights.  Those violations were what must come to an end, not the international community’s vigilance in monitoring them.  He hoped the resolution would bring the Palestinian people one step closer to achieving their economic and social rights.

    Syria’s representative said that the support given to the resolution reflected the support by the international community for a just and durable peace in the Middle East.  It also reflected the fact that the international community was fully aware of the economic and social aftermath of Israel’s defiance of international law and resolutions.

    At the conclusion of statements, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s note in his report on that matter.

    The draft resolution on the work of the functional commissions was taken up and adopted without a vote.

    An oral decision was adopted on deferring consideration of the Committee on Development Policy report.

    The representative of the United States said she would join consensus, since the Committee’s recommendations concerned important matters requiring further discussion, such as the issue of criteria.  It was important that the Committee developed one criterion for admission and graduation of countries from the list of least developed countries.  It was regrettable that last-minute submission of the draft prevented adequate discussion.  She urged the establishment of reasonable deadlines for the tabling of proposals.

    Next taken up was the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, containing one draft resolution and three decisions.  The resolution was reformulated through an informal paper and adopted without a vote.

    The United Kingdom, speaking for the European Union and associated countries, said she was joining consensus, but not without some reservations about the recommendations as a whole.  For example, governments had not been invited to review and implement the recommendations.  Towards implementation, foreign direct investment projects must have a development component, including in terms of infrastructure.  A careful cost/benefit analysis must also be conducted for projects being considered.

    A draft decision on extending the Commission’s Gender Advisory Board mandate for another five years was adopted without a vote, as orally amended.  A decision on the Commission’s work methods was adopted without vote, as was a decision on the report itself.

    The text by the Committee of Experts on Public Administration was taken up.

    ANTONIO BERNARDINI (Italy) reported on the consultations that had been held and said the agreement had been made to request a deferral of consideration of the issue to a later date.

    Cuba’s representative said she would go along with the decision to defer consideration of the resolution to a resumed session of the Council, so negotiations could continue.  Nevertheless, she was disappointed that agreement had not been reached during the substantive session, particularly due to a sub-paragraph not linked to the central topic dealt with by the draft.

    Consideration of the text was deferred, as was consideration of another text on international cooperation in tax matters.

    The Council then took up a draft resolution on the Committee dealing with the transport of dangerous goods, and adopted it without a vote.

    The representative of the United States said he was pleased to join consensus on the amendments contained in the draft.  Although the resolution made a passing reference to a 1975 resolution referring to work towards an international convention, the Committee had not agreed that it should work in that direction.  More productive work could be carried out on harmonization, rather than a convention.  Many developing countries were not in a position to adopt all aspects of the model regulations.  It would be better to assist countries to do that, rather than impose an international convention on them.  The development of an international convention was resource intensive, and it was doubtful that all countries would become signatory to it.  Efforts should focus on harmonization of national, regional and international regulations on the safe transport of dangerous goods.

    Next, the Council took note of six reports related to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), assistance to third States affected by sanctions, and narcotic drug control.  Procedural clarifications were made regarding the Commission on Sustainable Development and the United Nations Forum on Forests.

    Then the Council took up the resolution on the United Nations Development Fund for Women and adopted it without a vote.

    Finally, the Council took note of two reports related to the advancement of women, the reports of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

    Closing Statements

    JOSÉ ANTONIO OCAMPO, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the Council today sent a clear, coherent message to the September Summit, and he outlined what he saw as the seven key elements of that message.  The first was that ECOSOC understood the United Nations development agenda as the comprehensive framework for pursuing poverty eradication and sustainable development.  Second, the Council stressed the need to quickly overcome the so-called “implementation gap”.  Third, the Council recognized the need to continue to strengthen its links to its subsidiary bodies, as well as its role in system-wide coordination.

    Fourth, he continued, the United Nations system should promote stronger linkages between its normative and operational work.  Fifth, the session had stressed the importance of regional cooperation and the need to better integrate regional bodies in global processes.  Sixth, ECOSOC members had made a unanimous call for the body to make every effort to enhance its capacity in humanitarian affairs.  Seventh, the Council also provided the forum for addressing the security-development nexus.

    He added that the Summit was likely to adopt a number of proposals regarding the functions the Council should perform, including providing for peer reviews, serving as a development cooperation forum, convening emergency meetings, and engaging in peacebuilding.  To perform those functions effectively, the Council would need to rethink and change its working methods.  Among other things, the Council needed to introduce more flexibility in its work; its coordination function had to respond to the diversity of the United Nations system; and it needed to meet, as required, during the year.

    Council President MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said this session was successful in many ways.  This year, the session was deliberately conceptualized as a contribution to preparations for 2005 World Summit.  A key innovation was the “Voices against Poverty”, which sent at least four messages:  there was a systemic basis for widespread poverty in the world; there should be concern about the phenomenon of jobless growth, which required policies to redress it; a key offshoot of poverty was conflict; and ECOSOC had a unique role in not only 

    coordinating views and actions, but in bringing the whole system together to work for development.

    Important messages emerged from the session, he said.  The first was that the world was off-track in achieving the Millennium Goals in many sectors and in many countries.  Second, the United Nations system had come together behind the Goals and the United Nations development agenda.  However, a truly integrated follow-up still had to emerge.  Third, operational activities were critical to help the most disadvantaged developing countries.  Fourth, security and development was inextricably linked at every stage.  Fifth, humanitarian emergencies must be addressed through coordinated and effective response.  Finally, there was wide recognition of the role of ECOSOC, given its convening power, in action for development.  He added that it was necessary to ensure that the decisions taken at the World Summit regarding ECOSOC be translated into action.

    (annexes follow)

    ANNEX I

     

    Vote on Operative Paragraph 4/Haiti Support

    Operative paragraph 4 of the draft resolution on a long-term programme of support for Haiti (document E/2005/L.20/Rev.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 51 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guinea, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania

    Against:  United States.

    Abstain:  None

    Absent:  Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    (END OF ANNEX I)

    ANNEX II

    Vote on Non-Self-Governing Territories

    The draft resolution on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories (document E/2005/L.22) was adopted by a recorded vote of 32 in favour to none against, with 20 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour:  Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Brazil, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania.

    Against:  None.

    Abstain:  Albania, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

    Absent:  Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    (END OF ANNEX II)

    ANNEX III

    Vote on Israeli Occupation

    The draft on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation (document E/2005/L.24/Rev.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 49 in favour to

    2 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

    In favour:  Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guinea, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania.

    Against:  Australia, United States.

    Abstain:  Costa Rica.

    Absent:  Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    * *** *