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UN Secretary-General Releases Advance Report on Strengthening ECOSOC

4 February 2013: The UN Secretary-General has released the advance unedited version of a report titled “Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 61/16 on the Strengthening of the Economic and Social Council.” The report looks at methods for strengthening the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and recommends ways to make the body more “issue-oriented, knowledge-based, [and] stakeholder-friendly.”

Following the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), ECOSOC adopted resolution 2012/30 mandating this report on proposals to more effectively fulfill its functions. The Rio+20 outcome document, "The Future We Want," commits ECOSOC to coordinated implementation of major UN conference outcomes in the environmental, social, and economic fields, and asserts the body's role in integrating these three dimensions of sustainable development.

The report of the Secretary-General offers several proposals for ECOSOC to: promote issue-based agenda setting; serve as a platform for high-level engagement between multiple stakeholders; improve its public profile and relationship with other intergovernmental bodies and institutions; enhance its coordination and oversight at the programme level; and strengthen its institutional mechanisms and role as a “thought-leader.”

Wu Hongbo, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented the advance version of the report at UN General Assembly (UNGA) consultations on the strengthening of ECOSOC, on 8 February 2013. [Publication: Advance Unedited Version: Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 61/16 on the Strengthening of the Economic and Social Council: Report of the Secretary-General] [IISD RS Story on Report Request] [IISD RS Story on UNGA Consultations to Strengthen ECOSOC]