. Six locals get internship
Botswana is set to assume the Presidency of one of the key organs of the United Nations (UN) – the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – on Friday July 23, 2021.
Botswana’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Collen Kelapile will take over the position of President of ECOSOC – created in 1945 as one of the six principal organs of the United Nations – for a whole year.
ECOSOC is one of the six Charter-based principal organs of the United Nations, alongside the UN General Assembly (193 members), UN Security Council (15 members), International Court of Justice (15 Judges), the dormant Trusteeship Council as well as the UN Secretariat which is headed by the Secretary-General.
ECOSOC membership has evolved over the past 75 years since its founding and now has 54 members, with 18 new members elected annually by the UN General Assembly. Botswana was elected into ECOSOC in 2019 for a 3-year term from 2020-2022 and is among the 13 members representing the Africa Region. In July 2020 Botswana was endorsed by the Region to serve in the Bureau of the on-going 2021 Session as Vice-President in charge of the Management Segment of the Council.
When quizzed about the development Ambassador Kelapile while confirming the looming elevation of the country insisted that all communication with regard to the matter was being handled by the ministry.
ECOSOC has a powerful mandate of promoting international cooperation on economic, social and cultural issues. Specifically, it is tasked with the promotion of: Higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; Solutions of inter-national economic, social, health, and related problems, and international cultural and education cooperation; and Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
ECOSOC assists the General Assembly and Security Council in executing their mandates by creating commissions, convening international conferences and conducting follow-up and review the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other UN Summits and Conferences.
It also coordinates the work of specialised agencies along with funds & programmes and provides a platform for engagement with Non-Governmental Organisations.
Botswana intends to make use of this opportunity by having six locals attached to the Presidency as interns so as to learn about ECOSOC operations and for capacity building while advancing delivery of the associated work programme during Botswana’s tenure.