At its fall 2005 session, immediately following the 2005 World Summit, CEB focused its discussion on the implications of, and follow-up to the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The Secretary-General stressed that the Summit Outcome should be seen as a call to action — for Member States, civil society and other stakeholders, and the United Nations system as a whole. Its implications for the United Nations system were clear: the system had been challenged to be more effective and efficient across the breadth of its agenda and to demonstrate greater coherence. The bar had been set high.

CEB members stressed the relevance of the Summit Outcome for the work of their organizations and outlined the steps they were taking to contribute to its follow-up. They noted with satisfaction that the Summit Outcome not only reaffirmed the goals and commitments in the Millennium Declaration and the internationally agreed development goals emanating from the United Nations summits and conferences, but also contained new important guidelines that were at the centre of the work of many organizations of the system. These related, in the development field, to: rural and agricultural development; productive employment and decent work; science and technology, including information and communications technology and early warning systems for natural hazards; reproductive health; slum prevention and slum upgrading; investments; and migration and development. High significance was also attached by CEB members to the strong reaffirmation by Member States of their commitment to achieving the objectives of “Education for all”, programmes, achieving gender equality and empowerment of women, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

The renewed emphasis that the Summit Outcome places on eradicating poverty and promoting sustained economic growth and sustainable development, particularly the strong reaffirmation of the commitment to the global development partnership agreed in Monterrey, the crucial importance of a successful conclusion of the Doha round and the advances made on debt relief and aid were strongly welcomed by CEB members. As part of these discussions, CEB adopted a statement on the multilateral round of negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda and the sixth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, held in Hong Kong, China, from 13 to 18 December 2005, which is reproduced in the annex of the present report.

The new opportunities presented by the Summit’s advances on aid and debt to step up system efforts in support of developing countries were highlighted. Special emphasis was placed on the need for coherent system-wide support for the Summit Outcome provisions relating to the elaboration of comprehensive national development strategies to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and for the new mandate assigned to the Economic and Social Council as the principal United Nations body for assessing and monitoring progress in the implementation of these goals.

On the environment, the need was underlined to integrate the key issues — climate change, natural disasters, energy, freshwater, water and sanitation, production and consumption patterns, chemicals and hazardous wastes, oceans and seas, and coastal zone management — within a development framework and to ensure a coordinated response by the system. With a view to helping maximize the contribution of tourism to sustainable development, CEB launched, at its spring 2006 session, the United Nations Tourism Exchange Network, to be steered by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

System-wide coherence

The High-level Panel on United Nations System-wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment; Increasing the effectiveness and coherence of United Nations system activities at the country level.