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Economic and Social Council


The urgency of integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment as a stand-alone goal, as well as a cross-cutting element of the post-2015 development agenda, dominated the second day of the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, with some speakers suggesting specific ways of advancing the overarching spirit of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.


“As women thrive, so will we all,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he opened the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women today, marking two decades of progress that he warned had been “unacceptably slow” in achieving gender equality since the historic adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995.


Expanding the United Nations’ partnerships — with Governments, business, the philanthropic community, civil society and academia — would be central to effectively implement the new development agenda, Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council, told the 54-member body today, as delegates evaluated how to harness their potential, including by setting up voluntary review mechanisms to assess results.


A truly transformative post-2015 agenda demanded adaptation and change from the United Nations development system across the board, the President of the Economic and Social Council said today, as debate concluded on improving the Organization’s internal processes and external interventions designed to help countries strengthen national institutions and improve peoples’ well-being.


While “sprinting towards the last mile” in achieving targets set out under the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations must also prepare for the “marathon” challenge of improving life for the most vulnerable in the post-2015 era, said the heads of the Organization’s Funds and Programmes in a dialogue with the Economic and Social Council today.


While huge efforts had been made to adapt the development system to evolving country needs, the United Nations must use its credibility, impartiality and access to specialized knowledge more effectively in order to deliver fit-for-purpose results over the next 15 years, the Economic and Social Council heard today, as it opened its 2015 operational activities segment.


Twenty years after the landmark “Copenhagen Summit”, speakers in the Commission for Social Development today called for transformative public policies that supported a rights-based vision of a world which uplifted living standards for society’s most neglected while recognizing the vast differences among countries’ abilities to bring about that worthy goal.