45th Meeting of ECOSOC 2016 Session: Coordination and Management

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SIX OFFICIAL 25-Jul-2016 01:46:48
Opening coordination and management session the Economic and Social Council adopts seven texts, including on Regional Cooperation, non-governmental organizations, at the 45th meeting of the 2016 session.
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Opening a three-day coordination and management session today, the Economic and Social Council considered a range of issues — from regional cooperation to the participation of non-governmental organizations at United Nations proceedings —adopting seven resolutions and seven decisions.

The Council reversed two previous decisions of its Non-Governmental Organization Committee, deciding to grant special consultative status to two non-governmental organizations.

By a vote of 40 in favour to 5 against with 6 abstentions, the Council adopted a resolution whereby the Committee to Protect Journalists would be granted special consultative status.

Further, by a vote of in 26 in favour to 7 against with 13 abstentions, the Council adopted a resolution whereby the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights would also be granted special consultative status.

In each case, the Non-Governmental Organization Committee had deferred the group’s application numerous times over the span of several sessions.

In introducing the resolution on the Committee to Protect Journalists, the representative of the United States expressed concern that in recent years, the Non-Governmental Organization Committee had systemically abused its authority to delay the applications of legitimate organizations, with thousands of applications having been deferred, often times because their work seemed to be critical of Governments.

“Honestly, this is outrageous”, she said, adding that such practices hurt the United Nations ability to perform its duties.

The representative of China expressed deep regret and serious concern about the Council taking up the issue at all, saying that efforts by some countries to overturn the decisions of the Non-Governmental Organization Committee were tantamount to stirring up confrontation.

The Council also went on to adopt seven decisions contained within the Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2016 resumed session, in each case without a vote.

In other business, the Council adopted four resolutions related to the recommendations contained in the Secretary General’s report on “Regional cooperation in the economic, social and related fields”. Two of those texts were adopted without a recorded vote, while the resolution “Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia strategy and plan of action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” was adopted by a recorded vote of 28 in favour to 16 against, with 3 abstentions.

Another text, titled “Committing to the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific”, was also adopted by a recorded vote, this time with 29 in favour to 16 against with two abstentions.

In both of those instances, delegations voiced concern about the programme budget implications related to the resolutions and expressed regret that information in that regard had only been provided to Member States the previous day. Other delegations called the lack of timely information a “clear violation of the rules and procedures”.

In other proceedings, by a vote of 42 in favour to 2 against (Australia, United States) with three abstentions (Honduras, Panama, Togo), a resolution titled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan”, was adopted by the Council.

The Council also took note of four documents, including the report of the Secretary-General on the main decisions and policy recommendations of the Committee on World Food Security, the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination on its fifty-sixth session, the annual overview report of the United Nation System Chief Executives Board for Coordination in 2015 and the documentation relating to the proposed strategic framework for 2018-2019.

The Economic and Social Council will resume its work on Tuesday, 26 July, at 10 a.m.
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