GFDD Participates in 70th Anniversary Celebrations of UN Economic and Social Council

January 22, 2016

GFDD, in its capacity as an accredited non-profit organization with special consultative status to United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), participated in the Commemoration of ECOSOC’s 70th Anniversary on Friday, January 22, 2016. The special event brought together former and present Bureau Members of the Council and other stakeholders that have and continue to play major positive roles in upholding ECOSOC’s mission in fully achieving global
sustainable development, while recognizing that they still face major challenges in the road to make the 2030 Agenda a reality.

His Excellency Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India, described ECOSOC as “one of the key pillars of the United Nations system”. He praised ECOSOC’s excellent work but also called attention to the most important, unfulfilled objective of the UN in the 21st century, eradication of poverty. He described the
2030 Agenda for sustainable development as “a new comprehensive reason for development”, and an opportunity to “rethink its role and purpose and make itself more effective”. He stated that ECOSOC’s work will not be concluded unless there is complete freedom and poverty and hunger have been eradicated.

On another note, His Excellency Juan Somavía, former President of ECOSOC from 1993 to 1994 and 1998
to 1999, highlighted the importance of linking global decisions and national decisions, stressing that this action should start at home. Moreover, he suggested finding more mechanisms to measure success between the countries, and called for better mechanisms for financing for sustainable development.

The speakers that followed highlighted the importance of achieving global gender equality, seeking and taking into account the opinions of youth and civil society, and making
environmentally friendly decisions. Mr. Rakesh Rajani, Director of Civic Engagement and Government at the Ford Foundation, stressed the importance of obtaining reliable and sincere citizen feedback. He explained that he considered this to be the key to success, as this feedback provides information as to how to create practical, meaningful mechanisms that help measure the effectiveness of sustainable development.

Although ECOSOC has made great advancement in improving
global human condition, it still faces many challenges that involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The Council has therefore called for a stronger global coordination within and outside the UN system, as well as recognizing the importance of creating and strengthening partnerships with the private sector and civil society.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council
(ECOSOC) was created in 1945 as one of the six principal organs of the United Nations system, with the purpose of offering direction and providing coordination to all economic, social and cultural activities of the UN.

Film “ECOSOC at 70” trailer:

ECOSOC’s 70th anniversary promo video: