Economic and Social Council: Meetings Coverage

While mortality had declined and life expectancy had risen across the world -- trends underpinned by a shift in the “disease burden” from communicable to non-communicable diseases -- the HIV pandemic had halted progress and, in some regions, reversed it, health experts told the Commission on Population and Development today, as it continued its general debate.
While life expectancy had risen in all regions over the past 50 years -- one major achievement of the last century -- health improvements and medical advances were not reaching huge swaths of the developing world, mandating the global community to work harder to ensure that people did not die of preventable disease, the Commission on Population and Development heard today as it opened its forty-third session under the theme of “Health, morbidity, mortality and development”.
The President of the Economic and Social Council today welcomed the “open and constructive” discussions held during the 54-member body’s special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, and expressed hope that the spirit of engagement over the past two days marked the beginning of closer relations between the United Nations and the major international financial institutions.
Gathered at Headquarters in New York for their annual meeting with the Economic and Social Council, top officials from the major international financial institutions today highlighted the new possibilities provided by the financial and economic crisis to intensify support for developing countries and mobilize action and resources within the United Nations-backed Financing for Development process to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Commission on the Status of Women concluded its fifty-fourth session today with the adoption of six resolutions on a range of issues concerning gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the approval of one text, by recorded vote, on Palestinian women, to be sent to the Economic and Social Council for adoption. The Commission also adopted the draft report of its current session, as well as the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session.
Gender inequality and discrimination were key drivers of women’s and girl’s increased vulnerability to HIV infection, and while various global commitments had been made, national interventions had not been implemented on a scale that made a true difference in prevention, the Commission on the Status of Women heard today as it addressed health and related issues on its last day of high-level debate.
Addressing the Commission on the Status of Women’s fifty-fourth session this afternoon, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said the General Assembly’s proposal to create a United Nations body for gender issues was an historic opportunity to give women a stronger voice in global governance and policymaking.