Geneva, June 28, 2013
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL HOLDS 2013 SUBSTANTIVE SESSION AT PALAIS DES NATIONS IN GENEVA FROM 1 TO 26 JULY
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which serves as the central United Nations forum for discussing international economic and social issues, will hold its 2013 substantive session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 1 to 26 July. Government ministers, private sector leaders and heads of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes will meet from 1 to 4 July for the High-level Segment.
Given the focus of this year's high-level meeting on science, technology and innovation, participants include over 500 delegates, heads of non-governmental and corporate groups and international financial institutions. Innovations in science, technology and culture—in public and private sectors—will be essential tools for overcoming twenty-first century challenges, such as extreme poverty, inequality and environmental degradation, according to the Secretary-General's report on "Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals" for the 2013 Annual Ministerial Review.
"Innovation is at the core of the three pillars of sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," said Néstor Osorio, President of ECOSOC. "Our societies require a change in the way we think about future development. Education, science, technology and innovation were identified as important elements of viable long-term solutions to sustainable development challenges. ECOSOC will play a key role in promoting sustainable development through a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions."
Ambassador Osorio (Colombia) will open the High-level Segment with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Vuk Jeremić, President of the General Assembly, and Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation. Keynote addresses will be given by Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director-General, CERN, David Sengeh, Founder of Innovate Salone; and Daphne Koller, Co-founder of Massive Open Online Courses. The Directors-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will also deliver keynote addresses. Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of Colombia, will deliver a special keynote address on 3 July.