New ECOSOC President Outlines 2011 Agenda

18 January 2010: In his inaugural speech, the new President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Lazarous Kapambwe (Zambia), outlined his priorities for the Council in the coming year, including accelerating the review, coordination and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He emphasized the need for the ECOSOC to begin a post-2015 development framework, as it is projected that some regions, especially Africa, will not achieve the Goals by the stipulated deadline. He also stressed the need for closer collaboration between the Council and its functional commissions, as well as better linking of its work with that of the executive boards of UN funds and programmes and other UN regional entities, to enhance UN system-wide coherence. Emphasizing that climate change has exacerbated the threat of natural disasters to development, peace and security, Kapambwe said ECOSOC must pay close attention to the connections with its policy making and coordinating roles.

Addressing the ECOSOC's organizational session on 19 January 2011, Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, pledged the UN Secretariat's support to the Council. She urged ECOSOC to "hold countries and partners to their promises," and to pave the way for the UN to do its part in making the development agenda a resounding success. In particular, she called for stepped up actions to build on the climate change progress that was achieved in Cancun; to promote human rights and to improve our response to major humanitarian crises; and to seize the opportunity offered by the conference on the least developed countries (LDCs) to do more to protect the poorest and most vulnerable.

Four ECOSOC Vice-Presidents were also elected: Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Bangladesh; Miloš Koterec, Slovakia; Gonzalo Gutiérrez, Peru; and Jan Grauls, Belgium. [UN Press Release] [Deputy Secretary-General Statement] [ECOSOC Press Release]