I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
I would like to congratulate you, Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe of Zambia, for your election as the new President of the ECOSOC, as well as the Vice-presidents and new Bureau members, Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, Ambassador Gonzalo Gutiérrez Reinel of Peru and Ambassador Milo Koterec of Slovakia.
ECOSOC carried out commendable work in 2010 and reaffirmed its role as a principal organ for cooperation, coordination and policy review of the United Nations economic, environmental and social agenda. The Council contributed decisively to the preparations and successful outcome of the MDGs Summit, particularly in the area of gender equality and empowerment of women. In addition, important efforts were made to enhance the dialogue with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the WTO, Unctad and also with the G20. For these reasons, we must congratulate and thank Ambassador Hamidon Ali of Malaysia as President of the Council last year, as well as the departing ECOSOC Bureau members. Their active dedication certainly contributed to revitalizing the Council.
In 2011, we need to build upon this progress, especially as we are about to engage in the review of resolution 61/16. Following the guidance of the outcome of the MDGs Summit, ECOSOC needs to act as a catalyst of efforts of the UN development system to achieve the MDGs in a sustainable manner, particularly in countries and areas most lagging behind and in those facing fragility constraints. We will also have the opportunity to focus on education and to contribute to a successful outcome of the forthcoming UN Fourth Conference on the LDCs.
In the short term, ECOSOC will be holding its annual Special High Level meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO and UNCTAD (the “Spring” meeting). As in previous years, we hope that the format of this important meeting will allow for truly interactive and dynamic discussions. In this regard, we encourage the ECOSOC President to invite participants to not hold lengthy pre-written statements but to submit these well in advance of the meeting, so as to facilitate fruitful exchanges during the meeting. A focused and well prepared programme, in close cooperation with the participating organizations, will be essential to ensure the positive engagement of all stakeholders, specially our guests coming from Washington and Geneva. We look forward to receiving further information in this regard.
To conclude, Mr. President, we welcome your personal commitment to continue increasing the effectiveness and profile of the Council. You can count on the full engagement of the European Union in that endeavour.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.