Commission Studying United Nations Functions and Structure in Economic and Social Fields Continues Work

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Commission studying United Nations functions and structure in economic and social fields continues work

A SPECIAL COMMISSION created this year by the Economic and Social Council continued at its third session (27 April-1 May, New York) its task of identifying ways to simplify the United Nations intergovernmental structure and functions in the economic and social fields. Although he considered the exchange of views among delegates "only preliminary', Special Commission Chairman Abdel Halim Badawi (Egypt) said on 1 May that the session had marked a significant stage in the progress of its substantive work.

Most discussions had taken place informally, and a sharper focus had been given to a picture that had previously been blurred, the Chairman reported.

The first two sessions of the body-- the formal title of which is the "Special Commission of the Economic and Social Council on the In-depth Study of the United Nations Intergovernmental Structure and Functions in the Economic and Social Fields'--were held in March (see UN Chronicle, 1987, No. 2).

Mr. Badawi said he hoped the next stage of the study would produce a set of agreed elements to be studied with the objective of enhancing the effectiveness of both the General Assembly and the Council.

The Special Commission at its April/May meeting reaffirmed that the Assembly should function as the principal forum for policy-making and for establishing overall strategies, policies and priorities of the system in respect of international co-operation in the economic and social fields.

The Economic and Social Council, it had also agreed, should monitor and evaluate implementation of overall strategies, policies and priorities established by the Assembly. At a later stage, the Commission would need to elaborate modalities to assist both the Assembly and the Council in fulfilling their responsibilities to an optimum degree.

The Special Commission, open to all Member States, was established under Council decision 1987/112, approved at the Council's organizational session in February.

The General Assembly, on 19 December 1986, adopted resolution 41/213, concerning the report of the Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations.

The "Group of 18' had proposed that the in-depth study include a comparative analysis of agendas, calendars and programmes of work of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and related subsidiary bodies. …