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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
We have just joined consensus on the draft resolution on the Working arrangements for the 2019 session of the Economic and Social Council, contained in document E/2019/L.1.
Nonetheless, we would like to register our strong concern regarding the conflict of dates between the meetings of the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, to be held in New York on 14 and 15 May 2019, and the Commission of Science and Technology for Development, to be held in Geneva from 13 to 17 May 2019. The two mechanisms deal with, to a large extent, similar, if not the same issues, and are addressed to the same circle of highly specialized participants who traditionally participate in both events, contribute to discussions held within the Forum and the Commission, and benefit from both opportunities to exchange views and expertise with their peers. It would only be logical to sequence the two events in a way that would allow for a meaningful participation of dedicated experts and high-level representatives. This will not be possible next year due to the fact that the two meetings will now overlap.
We are disappointed that, after lengthy negotiations on the ECOSOC reform, held earlier this year, in which the UN Membership univocally recognized the need for strengthened coherence and coordination in the work of the ECOSOC system, a decision has been taken that clearly contradicts these principles. And this is despite the fact that some practical solutions to this unfortunate situation have been proposed to the Bureau before the adoption of the resolution, and despite a letter sent by the Chair of the CSTD to the ECOSOC Bureau explaining the constrains faced by the CSTD and highlighting the difficulties around the decision.
We regret the decision that was taken and sincerely hope that similar situations will be avoided in the future, and that the ECOSOC will be able to act in line with the principles of efficiency, coordination and coherence across its entire system.