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ECOSOC Opening Statements Highlight Importance of Rio+20 Outcomes

2 July 2012: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has opened its 2012 substantive session, which is taking place from 2-27 July 2012, in New York, US. The agenda includes macroeconomic policies for sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth.

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the most significant of the UN Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcomes is the agreement to launch a process to establish universal sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will build on progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

ECOSOC President Miloš Koterec warmly welcomed the commitment at Rio+20 to strengthen ECOSOC as "the principal organ in the follow up of all conferences and summits." He said the Conference "unequivocally recognized" the Council's key role in the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, and added that this applies to the whole ECOSOC system, meaning that all subsidiary bodies must gear up to pursue sustainable development. He also suggested that ECOSOC is meant for political engagement, rather than to create supra-structure or a parallel system, and cautioned against building any new structures. Koterec noted that meeting all the MDGs would not be possible without a dynamic global economy, driven by sustainable growth and job creation.

The substantive session will comprise: a High-Level Segment (HLS) including the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and Development Cooperation Forum (DCF); and Coordination, Operational Activities, Humanitarian Affairs, and General Segments. The DCF will focus on ways to pursue sustainable development, as well as their impact on the allocation, design and delivery of development cooperation. Operational Segment will discuss the two reports of the Secretary-General for the 2012 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR). [UN Press Release] [DESA Press Release] [Statement of UNSG] [Statement of ECOSOC President] [Press Conference with ECOSOC President]