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About the Author

Ruth Spencer
Editor-in-Chief, TH|NK ABOUT IT (Montreal, Canada)

Ruth is a 23 year-old Associate Editor at the European Journalism Centre and Editor-in-Chief of TH!NK ABOUT IT. She was also EIC of TH!NK1 (European Elections). Ruth has production experience in television and theatre.

Post

UN to hold key meeting next month on Haiti

Published 21st March 2010 - 1 comments - 1863 views -

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – the body responsible for coordinating economic and social work of the UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies – said today that it will host a meeting next month to consider what else the UN can do to help the Haitian Government rebuild its country.

“The Government of Haiti formulated the national plan for reconstruction, so we will see how ECOSOC and its bodies fit into the plan,” Hamidon Ali, ECOSOC President for 2010, told journalists in New York today during an overview of the UN body’s work for the year ahead.

“The Council is also an important forum where Member States and humanitarian organizations discuss the challenges, opportunities and activities related to emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations,” Mr. Ali added.

The ECOSOC meeting is expected to provide guidance and maintain the momentum of international assistance to Haiti, following the donors’ conference scheduled for 31 March at UN Headquarters in New York.

“ECOSOC has also been home to the ad hoc advisory group on Haiti for the past decade,” said Nikhil Seth, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, who stressed that the body was looking at the long-term development of Haiti, and not just recovery from the 12 January earthquake.

The UN body is also planning its Annual Ministerial Review, which will be held from 28 June through the end of July on the theme of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“We hope to build around the excitement and momentum around the recently concluded Commission on Status of Women and celebration of the Beijing Plus 15,” Mr. Ali said, referring to the landmark conference on women held in 1995 in the Chinese capital.

The global review will include a series of national voluntary presentations from developing and developed countries on their progress in implementing internationally agreed development targets, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This year, presentations are expected from Australia, Brazil, France, Guatemala, Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

The reports will contribute to the General Assembly MDG Summit planned to coincide with the beginning of the Assembly’s high-level debate in New York in September.

In terms of other goals, Mr. Ali stressed the importance of UN intergovernmental bodies speaking with one voice to promote an integrated approach to peace and development.

He also highlighted the need to engage with civil society, the private sector and academia to turn political commitment into actions and concrete results.


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Comments

  • Hieke van der Vaart on 25th March 2010:

    Hi Ruth, especially the last sentence of your post struck my attention: I think that besides all the necessary meetings it is most of all important to DO something and make the results visible.

    I am not an expert on the tasks, duties and political influence of the different UN bodies (maybe this blog will help me?). But I am curious about the results of those meetings. Haiti has received mayor media attention billions of aid dollars/euros are pending. How will that money be spent? How will it help the Haitians?

    Oliver Wates had a point when he explainded how to report on the developing world. Go there, talk to people, he said. Take your time. As a blogger stuck in my daily life in the developed world I can’t, unfortunately. But I hope to read more articles about Haiti’s status quo the upcoming months, and less about people debating on how to help Haiti. (Or worse, whether “George Bush wiped his hand on Clinton’s shirt after shaking hands with a Haitian man at a refugee camp”).

    Any tips about were to find articles on how the Haitians are doing while the world is holding conferences about them? Any Haitian bloggers maybe?


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