9 January 2018
Co-Facilitators Initiate ECOSOC Review Process
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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The first informal meeting to discuss the review of UNGA resolution 68/1 regarding reform of ECOSOC will take place on 1 February 2018.

Delegates are expected to discuss, inter alia: the timeline and the outcome of the review; the approach to carry out the review; ways by which ECOSOC could generate effective “leadership, strategic direction and specific guidance;” and augmenting the added-value coming from the various interlinked functions of the ECOSOC cycle.

20 December 2017: The co-facilitators to lead the intergovernmental consultations on the review of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 68/1 regarding reform of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) announced that they will convene an informal meeting to discuss the timeline, outcome and other substantive and structural elements of the review process. The meeting will take place on 1 February 2018, in New York, US.

Following the adoption of UNGA resolution 68/1 titled, ‘Review of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council,’ in 2013, ECOSOC underwent a series of reforms to strengthen the Council. By that resolution, UN Member States must review the arrangements during the 72nd UNGA session.

In their letter to UN Member States on 20 December 2017, co-facilitators Einar Gunnarsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland, and Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, invite delegations to share their views on the timeline and outcome of the review process. They also pose four key questions for the informal meeting on 1 February, addressing: the approach to carry out the review in order to cover the substantive and structural aspects of resolution 68/1; ensuring that the review accounts for related processes without overburdening its focus; ways by which ECOSOC could generate effective “leadership, strategic direction and specific guidance” including through its annual main theme; and suggestions for augmenting the added value of the various interlinked functions of the ECOSOC cycle.

Resolution 68/1 outlines arrangements on ECOSOC’s functions and architecture. Among other provisions, it calls on the Council to: adopt a July-to-July cycle for its programme of work; have a strengthened issues-based approach to enhance its lead role in achieving a balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development; and base its annual programme of work on a main theme that takes into account the role of the Council in promoting sustainable development and enables the Council to promote UN system-wide coherence and coordination. The resolution also outlines arrangements for ECOSOC segments and meetings, including for its operational activities for development segment, its humanitarian affairs segment, its high-level segment, its integration segment, and its coordination and management meetings. The resolution calls on ECOSOC to: continue to strengthen and further promote implementation of the financing for development (FfD) agenda; promote the active participation of Major Groups, NGOs, other relevant stakeholders and regional organizations in the activities of the Council; further promote the integration of youth into its deliberations; and devote time to the specific needs of countries in special situations. [Co-Facilitators’ Letter on First Informal Meeting] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Co-Facilitators’ Appointment] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Review Preparations]

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