ECO is getting new international prominence and stature through its outward-looking approach. It has cooperative relationship with major regional and international organizations including those within the UN system. ECO has in place Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with following UN agencies namely: UNDP, UNODC, UNESCAP, UNIDO, UNFPA, FAO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNECE, UNCTAD, UNEP, UN/ISDR, UIC, ITC, OIC, IDB, OSJD, ICARDA, WCO, WMO, UPU, IOM, Colombo Plan, ASEAN, SCO, IRU, CICA, EC, and TIKA. These agencies have active collaboration and provide technical and financial assistance for projects in ECOís priority fields. Some more MOU are also expected to be signed with international organizations.
Ever since ECO acquired observer status with the UN in 1993 in consequence of General Assembly Resolution 48/2 of October 13, it regularly participates in the annual General Assembly Sessions in that capacity. Every two year a resolution on ECO & UN cooperation is passed in the General Assembly which has important bearing on ECOís relations with all UN agencies. So far, 13 such reoslutions have been adopted so far.
The UN General Assembly in its latest Resolution No. A/RES/65/129 of 13 Dece,ber, 2010 adopted at the 65th session invited various specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations system and relevant international financial institutions to join in their efforts towards realization of the goals and objectives of the ECO. The UN General Assembly in its Resolution also welcomed the efforts of the ECO with regard to consolidating its ties with the UN system and relevant international and regional organizations towards the furtherance of its objectives and the promotion of cooperation in resolving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems. A fresh resolution will be tabled before the General Assembly in September-October 2012.
Every two years the UN Secretary General also has to submit a report on Status of Cooperation between UN and ECO. ECO Secretariat has helped draft all previous UN Secretary Generalís report and has forwarded its inputs to UNESCAP (which is a coordinating agency of United Nations in Asia & Pacific).
Generally there is a goodwill and desire, internationally, to help ECO Member States. There are a lot of synergies and complementarities between ECO and other international and regional organizations. ECO is striving to build on such synergies for the betterment of the region and the world.
Guidance in this regard is provided by successive Summit, Council of Ministers Meeting, CPR and RPC. With the objective to expand and deepen meaningful collaboration in the sphere of external relations, in 2009, ECO approved a comprehensive Plan of Action. Its implementation is being pursued vigorously and a number of recommendations have been implemented successful. As a result of these efforts, ECO Contact Groups among Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives of EFCO Member States to UN in New York, UNIDO in Vienna and FAO in Rome have been activated. Efforts are underway to activate the Contact Groups in such other places as Jeddah (OIC and IDB), Bangkok (UNESCAP) and Geneva (WTO and UNCTAD).
The ECO Council of Ministers in its meeting in Istanbul in December, 2010 decided to expand ECO relations with international organizations. The ECO has been endeavouring to get greater international visibility as well as technical assistance in pursuing its objectives.
Guided by its objectives in the sphere of external relations, several projects have been undertaken (details can be seen in relevant Directorates web pages) and more are being formulated. The Secretary General of ECO regularly attends the meetings of these organizations and invites their representatives in ECO meetings. These occasions are used to boost bilateral relations.
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