Deputy Minister Fransman to undertake a working visit to Geneva, Switzerland

02 July 2013

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman will undertake a working visit to Switzerland to participate in the 2013 Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, which is taking place from 01 to 26 July 2013.

The ECOSOC Substantive Session is held annually in alternative years in New York and Geneva. The 2013 ECOSOC Substantive Session will incorporate the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), which is to focus on the theme “Science, technology and innovation (STI), and the potential of culture for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs.”

Additionally, a thematic debate will be held on the contribution of the ECOSOC to the elaboration of the development agenda post-2015.Panel discussions on international cooperation in the development, transfer and diffusion of technologies in Africa and least developed countries, as well as one on Universal Health Coverage, will also be held.

Deputy Minister Marius Fransman is expected to make a statement on the theme of the AMR, as well as participate in the thematic debate and panel discussions.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council is the principal UN body tasked with the co-ordination of the economic and social activities of the UN. ECOSOC is thus the main body for policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development and for the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The Council consists of 54 member countries, elected on a rotational basis, by the UN General Assembly.

South Africa assumed its membership of ECOSOC on 1 January 2013, for the term 2013-2015. South Africa’s three year term on the ECOSOC presents an opportunity to strategically position South Africa’s leadership on development issues and reinforce the country’s role as a consistent and effective player in multilateralism while ensuring that the ECOSOC is further strengthened and reformed to better meet evolving global challenges and the needs of developing countries.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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