Remarks at the Economic and Social Council Session on Item 2: Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration of the high-level segment

Ambassador Elizabeth Cousens
U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council 
New York, NY
December 16, 2013


Thank you Mr. President.

On behalf of the United States, let me first convey sincere appreciation to you, Mr. President, to the Bureau, and to the Secretariat for all of your efforts during this Economic and Social Council session. This has been an exceptionally rich year for ECOSOC. We have embarked on an ambitious and important reform of the Council. We have made important changes in how we organize our work going forward that we hope and trust will enable ECOSOC to serve as a dynamic platform for collaboration - one that can adapt to changing needs and respond to members’ common priorities for the future. Many of the sessions that you presided over this year, particularly the Partnerships Forum and the Youth Forum, already began to prefigure the possibilities as we look forward to 2015 and beyond. These kinds of interactions can help all of us to integrate the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainable development in a meaningful way, and we thank you for your leadership.

We also thank you for your commitment to concluding an Annual Ministerial Declaration that reflects the relevance and power of science, technology, innovation, and culture to drive development progress and promote the dignity and well-being of all individuals. The rapid pace of technological advance and the potential of human ingenuity to lift millions out of poverty, improve the quality of people’s lives around the world, and husband our planet’s resources for future generations, make this set of issues important for all of us. This is an agenda to which the United States has long been deeply committed in its bilateral as well as multilateral efforts.

Science, Technology, Innovation, and Culture need to be at the core of development solutions in the 21st century. They are essential to our common cause of combating extreme poverty and essential to accomplishing that task in a way that expands opportunities for all of our citizens. The United States will continue to be among the world’s biggest providers of technical and financial assistance to countries seeking to grow their economies and deepen the capacity for innovation and tomorrow’s development solutions. We support training and collaboration opportunities for scientists, fund energy efficiency programs, and provide technical assistance on development of regulatory regimes that support innovators, among numerous other programs.

Mr. President, you mentioned that there was a typo in Operative Paragraph 1. We believe there is a further typo in OP1, which should read “We reaffirm the 2012 ministerial declaration of the Economic and Social Council annual ministerial review.” With this correction, we welcome and can support this outcome which emphasizes the invaluable contribution of science, technology, innovation, and culture to our shared goals.

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2013/271