26 November: Dialogue between the President of the 67th session of the General Assembly and civil society
H.E. Mr. Vuk JeremiŠ, President of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, met with representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with DPI on Monday, 26 November. The meeting focused on the issues before the 67th session of the General Assembly. A brief statement on these issues by the President was followed by a substantive exchange with the NGO representatives.

In his introductory remarks, the President underlined the need to further engage with civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He also addressed the many initiatives towards the building of an agreed post-2015 development agenda, and welcomed the participation of civil society in these discussions. The President also presented a brief overview of the ongoing General Assembly negotiations in follow-up to the Rio+20 conference, including the delays in the forming of an open-ended working group on sustainable development goals, as has been called for in the Rio+20 outcome document. He expressed confidence that the group would be able to start its work in early 2013.

On the matter of global economic governance, the President stated that this matter was a priority for him. He expressed his intention to strengthen the footprint of the General Assembly in economic and social areas, and stated that this could be best done by engaging the G-20. He intended to launch a consultative framework between the General Assembly and the G-20 with the participation of the IMF and World Bank as appropriate.

Finally, the President presented a preliminary list of six thematic debates that will be held in the resumed part of the 67th session, as follows:
1. A thematic debate on enhanced cooperation between the G-20 and the United Nations;
2. A thematic debate on climate change and green energy, in cooperation with the Earth Institute, led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs;
3. A thematic debate on social inequality, to be organized in cooperation with the Organization of American States;
4. A thematic debate on development as a tool of peaceful resolution of disputes, with a focus on Africa, in cooperation with the African Union;
5. A thematic debate on culture and development, to be organized in cooperation with Unesco;
6. A thematic debate on the role of international criminal justice in reconciliation.
In all of these events, the President would welcome contributions from civil society and participation by non-governmental organizations.

During a frank and open question-and-answer session, the President answered a number of queries by representatives of NGOs on the above topics. NGO representatives praised the President for the open spirit in which he addressed them and answered each of the questions in a focused and clear way.

Under the guidance of the Office of the President, the meeting had been organized by the OESC NGO Branch in collaboration with UN-NGLS and DPI NGO Relations.

More information: http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/67/

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