The first item of the 24th meeting of the incumbent session of the ECOSOC centered on the future of governance of international development, and also touched on the future categorization of least developed countries. Mr. O’Connor briefed the council on the current progress in the mainstreaming of the three aspects of sustainable development, namely environmental, economic and social sustainability, into the medium or long-term agenda of international entities such as the Bretton Wood institutions and UN agencies. He suggested that the way forward is to accelerate the effort of mainstreaming and to ensure coherence in policies of different institutions, and these goals are best achieved if a social and environmental statistics and assessment repository is to be established in the UN Data platform.
Mr. Ocampo added on the need of reform of member states’ participation in governing international development, particularly in form of giving developing countries a voice. With reference to the lack of international fiscal cooperation involving developing countries, he stated that governments’ resources to implement poverty reduction are significantly curtailed because of the asymmetry in participation of global governance on international development.
Mr. Ocampo also drew the council’s attention to methodology behind categorizing countries as least developed countries. He pointed out that the benchmarks for graduating from the category must be prudently set, for standards too easily met may mean losing preferential treatment on trade for those countries. Without a smooth national transition strategy, countries graduating from the category may be victims of their own successes. To this end, he stated that the Committee on Development Policy reviewed the methodology behind the human asset index and economic vulnerability index, both of which are indicators of a country’s development. Mr. Lee spoke on Korean support on the Committee‘s report, and tabled a draft resolution for the council’s consideration.
Meeting Title: 24th Meeting of 2014 Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): Agenda 1 – Presentation on the sixteenth session of the Committee for Development Policy and dialogue with the Chair of the Committee
Speakers: Mr. Oh Joon, Vice-President of the UN ECOSOC Session 2014; Mr. David O’Connor, Division of Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Mr. Jose Antonio Ocampo, Chairman of the Committee on Development Policy; Mr. Lee Tung, Representative from the Permanent Mission of Korea.
Location: Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters
Date: 13th June, 2014
Written By WIT representative: Harrison Chung