21 April 2017, New York, USA - The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations met today in New York for its Coordination and Management Meeting and considered agenda item 20 (United Nations research and training institutions).

The Council heard a presentation by the Executive Director of UNITAR Mr. Nikhil Seth (via video-link from UNITAR Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland) introducing the Report of the Secretary General on UNITAR to the Council (E/2017/48). Mr. Seth outlined the core activities of the Institute and its commitment to deliver effective training and capacity building activities, also aligning UNITAR’s agenda to the implementation of the new 2030 Agenda. In his words, “UNITAR’s mission is to develop the capacities of individuals, organizations and institutions, largely in developing countries, driven by the goals and values of the United Nations. UNITAR was established more than 50 years ago, with its flagship area of programming targeting diplomats and delegates in New York. Earlier in my career, I was once a beneficiary of UNITAR, and I am sure that many of you have also benefitted from the Institute’s training services at one time or another”.

UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil Seth, presenting the SG report to ECOSOC via video linkDuring the general discussion statements in support of UNITAR were made by the delegations of Azerbaijan, United States and United Arab Emirates. Azerbaijan positively acknowledged UNITAR’s training and capacity building activities as tool that help Delegations to effectively deliver in their work at the United Nations; United Arab Emirates stressed its support for UNITAR and specifically mentioned the focus areas of the new Strategic Framework. United States welcomed UNITAR’s efforts on effectiveness as well as on building partnerships with the private sector and academia.

A draft resolution entitled “United Nations Institute for Training and Research” (E/2017/L.19) proposed by Algeria was considered by the Council. A statement was delivered by Mr. Mourad Mebarki of Algeria (facilitator of the draft resolution) to introduce it to the council. Before action on the draft resolution a statement was delivered by the Delegation of Iraq, expressing strong support for the Institute and recalling its “pioneering role over the last 15 years”.

Draft resolution E/2017/L.19 was adopted by consensus by the Council and was cosponsored by Algeria (author), Azerbaijan, Colombia, Italy, Lebanon, and South Africa.

In the previous weeks the New York Office has been conducting extensive outreach activity to ECOSOC Member States to brief them on the Report of the Secretary General on UNITAR (E/2017/48) and on the draft resolution (E/2017/L.19).

The Head of the New York Office has also met informally and bilaterally a number of Member States and secured support for both the Report of the Secretary General and the draft resolution. The Head of the New York Office met the following Delegations: Afghanistan, Algeria (facilitator), Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chad, Chile (ECOSOC Vice-Chair), Colombia, Czech Republic (ECOSOC Vice-Chair), Estonia, Germany (ECOSOC Vice-Chair), India, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan (ECOSOC Vice-Chair), Peru, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Spain Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Viet Nam, and Zimbabwe (President of ECOSOC).

During bilateral meetings all Member States expressed support for both the Report and the draft resolution. Some of them further expressed the intention of cosponsoring the draft resolution and/or delivering a statement in support of it.

The Delegation of Algeria convened an informal meeting on 10 April for Member of ECOSOC to start negotiations on the draft resolution. The meeting was attended by some 25 Member States and was chaired by Mr. Mebarki. No objections were raised on the proposed text and the facilitator put the draft resolution under silence procedure. Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of UNITAR New York Office, was also invited to attend the meeting and briefed Delegations on the Report of the Secretary-General.

Silence procedure agreed in the consultations was not broken in 24 hours by Member States and the Mission of Algeria then submitted the draft resolution on 13 April 2017 to the Vice-Chair of the Council responsible for the CMM (H.E. Ms. Marie Chatardova, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations) as well as to the Secretary of the Economic and Social Council for processing the official document (E/2017/L.19).