The 2022 Coordination Segment took on the UNGA's mandate to provide guidance and coordination to subsidiary bodies, aligning their work with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and promoting implementation of the ministerial declaration from the previous year’s HLPF.
The ECOSOC President called on participants to identify "orphan SDGs and targets" and find them a home in the ECOSOC system.
The ECOSOC cycle will next include forums on: youth, in April 2022; financing for development, in April 2022; and science, technology, and innovation, in May 2022.
The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened its 2022 Coordination Segment. The two-day session aimed to advance the outcomes of the 2021 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) through integrated action across UN bodies.
In resolution 75/290A of June 2021 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agreed on changes to several elements of ECOSOC’s work and annual calendar of meetings. On the coordination segment, it decided that the segment will provide guidance and coordination to subsidiary bodies, ensuring a clearer division of labor, aligning their work with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and promoting implementation of the ministerial declaration from the previous year’s HLPF.
The coordination segment was mandated with providing detailed guidance for ECOSOC subsidiary bodies and other UN system bodies, regarding their work on the main theme for the ECOSOC cycle, their contributions to the thematic review taking place during that year’s HLPF. It will also review those bodies’ work on interlinkages among the SDGs and the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The resolution also indicated that heads of key bodies including the regional commissions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should participate in the Coordination Segment.
The 2022 ECOSOC cycle is the first since governments adopted these reforms. ECOSOC President Collen Kelapile kicked off the segment on 3 February 2022, saying its opening the day after the Partnership Segment “concretizes one of the most significant changes introduced by the General Assembly last June for strengthening ECOSOC.” He explained that the resolution calls for ECOSOC to hold a “flagship moment early in the year to kick off the ‘ECOSOC season’,” and to provide direction for the remainder of the Council’s work during the year, which culminates with the HLPF and the ECOSOC high-level segment in July.
Kelapile also observed that ECOSOC is “the one and only platform that gets the overview of the work of the UN system bodies and organizations on sustainable development,” and the new design of the Coordination Segment aims to enhance this aspect of ECOSOC’s role and maximize the UN’s impacts on sustainable development. He called on participants to identify aspects of the 2030 Agenda that receive inadequate attention, such as “orphan SDGs and targets,” and find them a home in the ECOSOC system.
The head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, reported on plans for this year’s Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) and other key initiatives for 2022 in the region, including:
- scaling up comprehensive social protection and universal health care systems that secure vaccines for all;
- translating commitments from the region’s ‘Action Plan to Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Social Protection’ into national actions in several countries;
- integrating climate actions into national COVID-19 recovery strategies;
- developing national roadmaps for SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy);
- accelerating digitalization in line with the 2030 Agenda; and
- debt-for-climate swaps in the Pacific and sustainability bonds in the least developed countries (LDCs) in the region.
The head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, also spoke. His prepared remarks echoed ESCAP’s emphasis on vaccinating people against COVID-19, noting that only 11% of people living in low-income countries have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the last six months, more people have received booster shots in the world’s richest countries than first shots in low-income countries, he reported.
Steiner cited three priorities for multilateral efforts to build forward better from the pandemic: get the world vaccinated; expand fiscal space and drive forward SDG-aligned financial flows, including debt relief, concessional financing, Special Drawing Rights and SDG “push” investments; and advance energy access and the transition to a global green economy.
A summary of the 2022 Coordination Segment will be prepared by the ECOSOC President. The ECOSOC cycle will next include forums on: youth, in April 2022; financing for development (FfD), in April 2022; and science, technology, and innovation (STI), in May 2022. [Forum website] [Webcast of opening session]