9 August 2023
ECOSOC President Defines Priorities for New Annual Cycle
UN Photo/Manuel Elías
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Paula Narvaez, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Chile to the UN, was elected President of ECOSOC for the 2024 session.

Among other priorities, the incoming ECOSOC President will focus on tackling the food crisis, addressing gaps in the international financial architecture, and preparing for the 2024 Summit of the Future.

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has commenced a new annual cycle. In an inaugural statement, the incoming President of ECOSOC outlined her priorities for the year, calling for the Council to “lead the way” in translating the commitments from the September SDG Summit into “policy guidance and practical actions for countries to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Paula Narvaez, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Chile to the UN, was elected President of ECOSOC for the 2024 session, succeeding Lachezara Stoeva, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria.

Addressing the Council at the first plenary meeting of its 2024 session, on 27 July 2023, Narvaez set her agenda for the rest of the session, which will run from 27 July 2023 to 24 July 2024. She highlighted the following eight priorities:

  • Leverage ECOSOC’s policy guidance in an international context of multiple crises, to support Member States in addressing the crises while advancing the implementation of the SDGs;
  • Focus on the food crisis and strengthen humanitarian aid;
  • Address gaps in the international financial architecture by tackling the rising debt levels of developing countries, including middle-income countries (MICs), and supporting the Secretary-General’s SDG Stimulus;
  • Prepare for the 2024 Summit of the Future by deliberating on “major issues proposed by the Secretary-General for action” and contribute to the 2024 Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda and the 2024 Third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Kigali, Rwanda;
  • Focus on concrete solutions for scaling up climate action in the face of the triple crisis, including by delivering on climate finance commitments such as the loss and damage fund and increasing mitigation and adaptation efforts, particularly in highly vulnerable countries such as SIDS;
  • Promote gender equality by “mainstreaming a gender perspective, with special emphasis on increasing female participation in the labor market and in science, technology and innovation, and recognizing and investing in the care economy”;
  • Strengthen institutions in a context of rapid technological change; and
  • Strengthen ECOSOC’s engagement with civil society, to ensure no one is left behind.

Narvaez reminded Council Members of the joint theme of the 2024 sessions of ECOSOC and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, ‘Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions.’ She reiterated the Goals undergoing in-depth review in 2024, namely: SDG 1 (no poverty); SDG 2 (zero hunger); SDG 13 (climate action); SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions); and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

Also during the 27 July meeting, the Council adopted its provisional agenda and elected its bureau. ECOSOC elected, by acclamation, Akan Rakhmetullin (Kazakhstan) from the Asia-Pacific States, Ivan Šimonović (Croatia) from the Eastern European States, and Robert Rae (Canada) from the Western European and Other States (WEOG) as Council Vice-Presidents for the 2024 session. According to UN meeting coverage, “[t]he election of the Vice-President from the African States will be held at a later date.” [UN News Story] [Working Arrangements for ECOSOC’s 2024 Session]

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