The ECOSOC President underscored that the Council and the General Assembly have been responding through joined-up work to the challenges posed by the economic fallout of COVID-19 and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
She outlined her vision for the year going forward, calling for an inclusive recovery that marshals transformative policies for a long-term acceleration towards the SDGs while addressing immediate needs.
Calling for a “complete overhaul of the way we approach and do things,” the UNGA President characterized the 2023 SDG Summit and the 2024 Summit of the Future as “two sibling Summits” that will serve as “the main building blocks for game-changing initiatives”.
The Presidents of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held a joint briefing to update Member States on efforts to revitalize the work of the General Assembly and strengthen ECOSOC. The briefing highlighted areas of complementarity in the mandates of the two bodies as they work towards the 2023 SDG Summit.
Taking a cross-sectoral approach, focused on transformation, with the SDGs at its core, UNGA President Csaba Kőrösi and ECOSOC President Lachezara Stoeva sought to enhance coordination in responding to the multiple and interlocking crises of today.
In her statement, the ECOSOC President underscored that the Council and the General Assembly have been responding through joined-up work to the challenges posed by the economic fallout of COVID-19 and the impact of the war in Ukraine, including inflation, debt distress, and high food and energy prices, with climate change “setting back years of development gains.” She outlined her vision for the year going forward, calling for an inclusive recovery that marshals transformative policies for a long-term acceleration towards the SDGs while addressing immediate needs.
Stoeva said she will ensure that all ECOSOC’s segments, forums, and meetings, as well as the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July, help “pave the ground” for the SDG Summit. She highlighted:
- the ECOSOC Partnership Forum, on 31 January, where stakeholders will share their experiences, priorities, and expectations for the Summit;
- the ECOSOC Coordination Segment, taking place from 1-2 February, where ECOSOC Functional Commissions and expert bodies, the Regional Commissions, and other UN entities will seek to “identify transformative policy recommendations and actions … to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs,” to inform the SDG Summit, the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and other high-level meetings;
- the ECOSOC Youth Forum in April, where young people will share their aspirations and proposals;
- the UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) in May, where scientists and policymakers will gather to launch new ideas and partnerships;
- the Development Cooperation Forum and the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum), where delegates will share proposals to step up investments in the SDGs that will be discussed at the HLPF and “can lead to transformative recommendations at the SDG Summit, such as on the reform of the international financial system”;
- the ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment, where Member States will take stock of UN Country Teams’ efforts to support preparations for the Summit and hear updates from the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, and UN system Executive Heads on how they are strengthening support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment that will work to strengthen the coordination and effectiveness of the UN-coordinated humanitarian response, which has been costed at USD 51.5 billion, to reach the most vulnerable 230 million people;
- the ECOSOC Meeting on the Transition from Relief to Development, where humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors will discuss key actions to build resilience in countries and regions facing conflict and humanitarian emergencies, including the Sahel, South Sudan, and Haiti; and
- the 2023 HLPF, describing it as “the key preparatory event for the SDG Summit” that “should convene the largest possible number of ministers from all sectors of the SDGs … [and] launch a multisectoral multistakeholder push” towards the Goals. She indicated that the Forum will “reflect on policies to recover from COVID-19 and today’s crises in a way that puts us on track to achieve the SDGs.”
The ECOSOC President, the UNGA President, the UN Secretary-General, and the Youth Envoy are consulting on how ECOSOC can best contribute to the follow-up on the recommendations from Our Common Agenda, she further stated.
In his remarks, the UNGA President said we are “at the apex of several complex, cascading and interlocking crises” and “in a watershed moment for diplomacy and in history.” With only seven years to go until the 2030 Agenda deadline, he called for a “complete overhaul of the way we approach and do things.” Kőrösi characterized the 2023 SDG Summit and the 2024 Summit of the Future as “two sibling Summits” that will serve as “the main building blocks for game-changing initiatives.”
As a reflection of his approach to crisis management through the involvement of science in UNGA’s decision-shaping processes, Kőrösi reminded Member States he will hold scientific briefings in early February on: the Economics of Water; Climate, Conflict and Cooperation; and Early Warnings for Pandemic Preparedness. He emphasized the role of science in finding “a new mechanism to evaluate the implementation of sustainability transformation,” backed by “strong political will and sizeable investments.”
Among additional opportunities to build partnerships, the UNGA President identified, inter alia:
- the UN 2023 Water Conference, which, he said, should become the “Paris Moment” of water management;
- the next meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will discuss the need to “include the digital revolution in our pursuit of women’s rights”; and
- the informal dialogue in April on the enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples in the General Assembly, to be convened in coordination with the meeting of the ECOSOC’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Urging interconnected solutions to interconnected challenges, Kőrösi concluded by calling on Member States to recognize that human rights and sustainable development are mutually reenforcing and to embrace coherence. [Joint briefing by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council]
- High-Level Meeting of the UNGA on the Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR
- Summit of the Future
- ECOSOC Coordination Segment 2023
- ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2023
- UN Development Cooperation Forum 2023
- ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (FfD Forum) 2023
- ECOSOC Youth Forum 2023
- UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) 2023
- ECOSOC Operational Activities for Development Segment 2023
- ECOSOC Meeting on the Transition from Relief to Development 2023
- ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment 2023
- High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2023
- SDG Summit 2023
- UN 2023 Water Conference