President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) Ambassador Miloš Koterec of Slovakia initiated first joint meeting of ECOSOC with representatives of civil society and private sector to hear about their contributions to sustainable development. The event was held as part of preparations for the Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 to be held in June in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. President of ECOSOC convened this historically first event with the aim of providing a forum for civil society and private sector to present in the United Nations their numerous activities in support of sustainable development and to enhance mutual cooperation of ECOSOC with civil society and private sector in this key area.
President of ECOSOC Koterec in his opening statement stressed the neccessity to join forces of all actors in the interest of sustainable development. The First Rio Conference 20 years ago recognized that sustainable development could not be achieved without active participation of all sectors of society. President of the ECOSOC highlighted the tremendous transformation in how the international society tackles serious issues the most important proof of which is the enhanced cooperation and significantly increased influence of civil society over the last 20 years. Important partnership that has been formed between governments and non-State actors from all sectors of society is crucial to achieving tangible results in the area of sustainable development.
ECOSOC, which has been charged with the implementation of the outcomes of the world conferences and summits, plays a key role. It can act as a springboard for further enhancement of partnership with the aim of advancing the international development agenda. ECOSOC provides a platform for all actors for exchange of ideas and experiences among governments, civil society and private sector.