Background

In introducing the report of HLCP at its fifth regular session, its Chairman, Mr. Lennart Båge, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), outlined the main considerations that were guiding the Committee in elaborating its new work programme, which had been developed within a longer-term perspective of its work and contribution, and focused on five priority areas: Follow-up to the United Nations Millennium Declaration: preparations for the 2005 comprehensive review; conflict prevention: nexus between political, humanitarian and sustainable development; HIV/AIDS: linkages with food security and governance; energy in the follow-up to Johannesburg; and international trade and the Doha development round.

Discussion

Executive Heads noted with grave concern the continuing and extraordinary toll that the HIV/AIDS pandemic is taking on human lives and its severe consequences for food security, public-health and educational systems, and on the institutional capacity in the public and private sectors in affected countries, particularly those in Africa. There was a need for much more to be done, individually and collectively, by the organizations of the system, which between them have the technical and convening capacities required to scale up the response.

Because of both humanitarian and moral considerations, CEB stressed the importance of a multilateral agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and public health before the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, to be held in Cancún, Mexico, in September 2003.

Action

CEB requested HLCP to pursue further work on the issue of HIV/AIDS and its linkages with food security and institutional capacity, and to report on the matter to the Board at its second regular session of 2003. The Board will revert, at that time, to the feasibility of issuing a statement on the subject.

On system-wide support for Africa’s development and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), CEB endorsed the approach recommended by HLCP, in other words, one in which the thematic clusters established in the context of the regional consultations on NEPAD should serve as the main instrument for consolidating United Nations system support for African development. The Board decided to issue a statement in support of the Doha Development Agenda.

CEB welcomed the approach adopted by HLCP in elaborating its work programme and identifying priority areas for its work, and endorsed the work programme proposed by the Committee. The Board especially emphasized the importance of the Committee’s role in contributing to the shaping of the structure and content of the 2005 comprehensive review of the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.