Feature story

ECOSOC high level forum discusses global public health progress and challenges

06 July 2009

20090706_ecosoc_260_200 ECOSOC events are organized in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.
Credit: ECOSOC

The high-level segment of the annual session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) opened this morning in Geneva with addresses by Sylvie Lucas, President of the Economic and Social Council; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Hans-Rudolf Merz, President of Switzerland.

The focus of the 2009 Annual Ministerial Review (AMR), which takes place during this high-level segment of ECOSOC will focus on "Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to global public health."

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé participated in a session this afternoon on “Partnerships in health – lessons from multi-stakeholder initiatives.”


People affected by HIV have always been at the heart of the response.

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Mr Sidibé spoke about the prominent role of partnerships in the success of the AIDS response and the importance of collaboration with civil society, faith-based groups and the private sector as “partnerships are the life blood of the AIDS response.”

“People affected by HIV have always been at the heart of the response,” said Mr Sidibé. He also called for a broadened vision, an “AIDS+MDG movement” to address global health and development challenges.

He was joined on the panel by Philippe Douste-Blazy, Special Advisor on Innovative Financing for Development and Chair of the Board of UNITAID Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

On Tuesday, Mr Sidibé will participate in a satellite on injecting drug use and a ministerial meeting on AIDS vaccines.

The high-level segment is a forum for Ministers and executive heads of international institutions and high-ranking officials, as well as civil society and private sector representatives to discuss key issues on the international agenda in the area of economic, social and environmental development.

    It provides an opportunity to:
  1. Assess the state of implementation of the United Nations Development Agenda;
  2. Explore key challenges in achieving the international goals and commitments in the area of global public health;
  3. Consider recommendations and proposals for action, including new initiatives.


The Economic and Social Council

ECOSOC was established in 1945 under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes. It serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.

The gathering runs until 9 July at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.