Tuesday 2 July 2013
Relations with Intergovernemental Organisations

UIC participates in ECOSOC 2013 Substantive Session (Geneva, July 2013)

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The United Nations Economic and Social Council opened on 1 July its 2013 substantive session, which will run from 1 to 26 July at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Council started its High-Level Segment by hearing opening addresses by Nestor Osorio, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as well as by Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. These were followed by keynote addresses on the theme of the Annual Ministerial Review on science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. ECOSOC also launched the Global Innovation Index and heard policy messages from Annual Ministerial Review Preparatory Meetings.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that innovation lay at the heart of addressing the interlinked challenges of global development. Science, technology and culture were necessary elements for any post-2015 development agenda, and the need for innovation was clear. Many solutions for sustainable development were waiting to be scaled up. This required the right incentives and ensuring that knowledge and information were shared in a collaborative, open and problem-solving manner. The challenge was to pull together these views and aspirations and craft a post-2015 agenda that was ambitious, inspiring and universal – relevant to all people and all societies.

“Investing in youth will enable us to solve sustainable development challenges such as poor education, lack of access to health care, high unemployment, violence, conflicts and extremism. This involves reaching out, listening to and learning from young people”, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a video message to promote the campaign, a week before the opening of the High-Level Segment.

With a call to “Innovate your Future”, young people have been encouraged to sustain the planet and ask the world leaders at ECOSOC to help. By sharing a single tweet, Twitter users from all over the world and from all backgrounds showed their support to empower youth. “At the United Nations, we believe that young people have the energy and ideas we need to change the world”, added the Secretary-General in his message.

As UIC has consultative status to the United Nations (ECOSOC) and has observer status at the UNFCCC, this status gives UIC the possibility to actively participate in UN activities and meetings.
UIC will be indeed present this week at the Palais des Nations at a meeting of the Expert Group on the Unification of Railway Legislation, organised by the UN ECE and that will take place at the same time and in the same place. Thanks to its roster status UIC will also participate in meetings of the High-Level Segment.

More information will be available in the next edition of UIC eNews.

The Economic and Social Council, commonly known as ECOSOC, is the main body for coordinating the UN’s economic and social activities. It is one of six main UN bodies (under Article 7 of the UN Charter) and is governed by Chapters IX and X of the Charter. Its functions are: to promote higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; to identify solutions to international economic, social and health problems; to facilitate international cultural and educational cooperation; and to encourage universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For further information on the High-level Segment:

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the opening of the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2013 substantive session (© UN / JM Ferré)