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Economic and Social Council

Opening its regular session for 2012, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which is responsible for vetting applications seeking consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, today recommended special consultative status for 47 organizations, all but three of which were based in countries in the global South.
As the United Nations embarked on an important year of milestone events, Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon said today that the work of the Economic and Social Council — the central forum for discussing and coordinating action on such issues as sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and economic growth — would be vital in realizing his vision of global “solidarity for an era of austerity and uncertainty”.
Resuming its 2011 substantive session, the Economic and Social Council today adopted two draft texts, including one on small island developing States, and filled vacancies on seven subsidiary bodies, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).
Concluding its tenth anniversary session today with the adoption of a draft report on that session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues looked to its future work, welcoming the opportunity and full responsibility in playing a central role in preparations for the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and underlining the need for the equal, direct and meaningful participation of indigenous communities during all stages of that landmark meeting.
With major global meetings on the horizon, members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said today that ensuring the “full, meaningful and equal” participation of indigenous representatives had taken on a truly paramount importance. Speaking at a Headquarters press conference to mark the end of the Forum’s tenth session, members of the Forum said indigenous participation in decision-making processes had been an overarching theme during the session.
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, meeting today to discuss the provisional agenda for its next session, solidified its plans to hold discussions in 2012 on food security, human rights and the session’s proposed special theme, the “Doctrine of Discovery” — which some members stressed would be a “forward thinking” dialogue.