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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06USUNNEWYORK547 2006-03-20 22:11:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

ECOSOC MEETING ADOPTS HUMANITARIAN SEGMENT THEME

Tags:   EAID EFIN KUNR KPKO ECOSOC TBIO PHUM 
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VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0547/01 0792211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 202211Z MAR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8382
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1988
RUEHRO/USMISSION UN ROME
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000547 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN KUNR KPKO ECOSOC TBIO PHUM
SUBJECT: ECOSOC MEETING ADOPTS HUMANITARIAN SEGMENT THEME

REF: USUN 303



1. Summary: ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) held
informal consultations March 10 on open items handled in the
current organizational session, followed by a brief formal
meeting to adopt the Humanitarian Affairs Segment theme. The
President proposed continued consultations on the Operational
Activities Segment Theme (these are now scheduled), followed
by briefings on the election process for the Peacebuilding
Commission Organizational Committee, the Commission on
Science and Technology in Development, and an Avian Flu
special event. In addition, the President reminded
delegations about the April 4-5 informal preparatory meeting
for the 2006 High Level Segment, the Spring Meeting with the
Bretton Woods Institutions, as well as an upcoming ECOSOC
meeting in June with the Secretary General's High-Level Panel
on UN-System Wide Coherence. End Summary.

Operational Activities Segment



2. ECOSOC President Hachani (Tunisia) proposed continued
consultations regarding the Operational Activities Segment
theme in order to be as "transparent as possible." South
Africa, on behalf of the G77, asked whether more could be
accomplished through further consultations. Ambassador
Hachani suggested that it would be best to hold the
consultations quickly and reach a prompt decision in the next
several days. (Note: These consultations have now been
scheduled. End Note.)

Peacebuilding Commission



3. President Hachani then shifted to the Peacebuilding
Commission's Organizational Committee elections. Referring to
"unforeseen" difficulties regarding distribution of seven
seats among the regional groups, the President cited "obvious
reluctance" by some groups to reach an agreement. The
President mentioned a recent meeting with GA President
Eliasson on the issue and urged delegations to reach a
"comprehensive understanding" in the spirit of Resolution
60/180. Various delegations commented, with India asking that
the President advise regional groups of any further
discussions or "understandings" reached during any talks with
Eliasson. Brazil said it supports Hachani's efforts, but that
the election issue should be handled in a "broader context,"
(i.e. in conjunction with the General Assembly.)

Commission on Science and Technology in Development



4. During the agenda item "Future Mandate of CSTD," which was
changed at the last minute from "WSIS Follow-Up," President
Hachani referred to CSTD's strengthened role in WSIS
follow-up matters. He also stated his plans for extensive
consultations after the SYG report was completed in order to
prepare ECOSOC in Geneva. USDel pointed out that para. 105 of
the Tunis Agenda said ECOSOC would only "consider the
strengthening," and that "strengthening the CSTD" was not a
fait accompli. In addition, USDel emphasized it looked
forward to working with others on this issue in Geneva during
ECOSOC's substantive session in July, a point reiterated
several times by both the US and the Austrian representative
to the EU.

Avian Flu



5. President Hachani moved to discussion on a possible Avian
Flu special event during either May or July. Though President
Hachani said such a session would avoid thematic duplication
of other international fora, the USDel nevertheless
questioned whether such an ECOSOC special event served any
useful purpose. Given that the WHO was convening an Avian flu
meeting later this month, and that the Beijing Donor
Conference had raised nearly US $2 billion, did ECOSOC really
need to inject itself into an already crowded field?
Regardless, USdel requested notification of any possible
Program Budgetary Implications (PBI) regarding a special
event while pointing out that if held, it would be more
practical in Geneva during July, given WHO and FAO proximity.
The President replied he was aware of the Beijing Donor
Conference and other technical meetings, and continued by
stating that ECOSOC's goal was not to discuss technical
topics, but to "sensitize" people on a global scale and to
provide an overview/framework to discuss the overall issue.
Austria, speaking for the EU, echoed some USDel concerns on
the event's usefulness, but also asked what any outcome would
be. Sri Lanka and Indonesia spoke in favor of a special
event, stating that the "pandemic's real threat" has large
social and economic ramifications that clearly fall within
ECOSOC's purview.

Formal Meeting - Humanitarian Theme Approved



6. The President then convened a fourth formal meeting of the
Organizational Session, which ended quickly with the adoption
of an agreed theme for the Humanitarian Affairs Segment:
"Strengthening of the coordination of United Nations
humanitarian assistance: implementing improved humanitarian
response at all levels, including strengthening capacity,
with particular attention to recent humanitarian emergencies,
including severe natural disasters." The Segment will also
contain two panels on: 1) Gender-based violence in
Humanitarian emergencies, and 2) Chronically underfunded
emergencies. USDel delivered a short statement regarding the
need for reasonable advance notification for formal meetings,
which had not happened in the case of this session. A
decision to hold this formal meeting was made in the ECOSOC
Bureau meeting on March 13, and formal notification had not
been sent to missions until after close of business that same
day.

Upcoming Meetings



7. USUN understands another informal and formal meeting of
ECOSOC will be scheduled for March 24, to process the backlog
of action items not finalized in the February 7-10
Organizational Session meetings. Another formal session is
also scheduled for March 22 to handle the follow-up to the
establishment of the Human Rights Council via resolution
60/251. In addition, the President reminded the ECOSOC of the
upcoming informal preparatory meeting on the ECOSOC High
Level Segment (April 4-5), the Spring meeting with the
Bretton Woods Institutions (April 24), as well as of his
intention for the SYG Panel on System-Wide Coherence to meet
with ECOSOC in Geneva this July.
BOLTON