Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York at the ECOSOC High-Level Segment (HLS) 2021 of the ECOSOC-HLPF “Strengthening ECOSOC at its 75th anniversary for sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 and advancing the 2030 Agenda”, 16 July 2021

I thank you, Mr. President.

We align ourselves with the Statements of the G-77 & China and the LDC group.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

The focus of this meeting on strengthening ECOSOC is very timely. The COVID-19 pandemic has put serious stress on multilateral development system. The SG’s report on “Sustainable and resilient recovery” reveals that our hard-won gains on all the SDGs are rapidly sliding back.  The ECOSOC as the custodian of 2030 Agenda, has one of the most crucial roles to play now. As the principal deliberative body of the UN development issues, it must be strengthened to prove its mettle during this trying time.  This should be our pledge as we mark its 75th anniversary.

Allow me to share some specific thoughts in this regard:

First, to recover better, we must recover together.  In this endeavour, ECOSOC should engage with Governments, the private sector, youth, CSOs, academia and foundations to break the cycle of ineffective past practices and build a new culture of cooperation and multi-stakeholder partnership for implementation of SDGs.

Collaboration with World Bank Group, IMF and relevant economic and financial agencies is also now more critical than ever before to drive coherent actions on SDGs, climate and biodiversity, vaccines, financing, and other common challenges.

Second, reforms and recalibration should be a dynamic priority of the ECOSOC.

It must drive better interagency coordination to address gaps, overlaps, and duplications of SDGs implementation that will bring about transformative and impactful results on the ground. In this regard, it is imperative to ensure effective implementation of ECOSOC resolutions and decisions.

The SG’s reforms agenda places efficiency and effectiveness at the heart of UN’s development agenda. The ECOSOC subsidiary bodies, regional commissions, and the funds and programmes should constantly track the impacts of their work in an evidence-based manner.

Alignment with national priorities, robust transparency and accountability mechanism are highly important, as it is important to ensure inclusive and people-centric decision-making.

Third, the pandemic exposed our fragility and vulnerabilities to emergencies and shocks.

To build resilience against such shocks and develop more sustainable response, it is imperative to close the gaps of inequalities and fragilities that have been exacerbated further by the pandemic.

The SG’s report on “Long-term future trends and scenarios” provides many forward-looking recommendations in this regard, especially to harness the untapped potentials of digital and frontier technologies.

The enhanced means of implementation in terms of ODA, concessional financing, trade and investment, infrastructure building, and technology transfer is going to be highly critical.

We also need to strengthen further the regional commissions and the new generation of country teams for stimulating regional and local level solutions.

Finally, ECOSOC should be able to leverage upon the experiences from the pandemic to reshape the global development and economic structure to ensure that no one is left behind.

The pandemic has disproportionality impacted the LDCs and other vulnerable countries, such as the climate vulnerable countries. Any efforts to strengthen the ECOSOC should also consider scaled up support to LDCs and such other vulnerable countries. And the upcoming COP26 and LDC5 Conference should provide an opportunity to ECOSOC to make substantive contribution to these countries.

I thank you all.