The Telegraph
 
CIMA Gallary

Special status to NE
- UN agency to discuss region’s problems

Tura, July 9: The United Nations has agreed to accord special consultative status to the northeastern states for the UN Economic and Social Council, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma said today.

Sangma was addressing the inauguration of United Nations Resource Centre — Institute of Vocational and Entrepreneurship (UNIV) here.

The council, established under the UN Charter in 1946, discusses the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges.

The special status to the Northeast will mean that the forum will ensure discussions and policy innovations on development challenges faced by the region in fields such as employment, education and health. It will also give the states an opportunity to be a part of select themes drawn from the UN’s millennium development goals.

The council holds regular meetings with senior academics, business sector representatives and NGOs. Its sessions, held every alternate year in New York and Geneva, focus on high-level coordination, operational activities and humanitarian affairs.

Sangma is the chairman of the Indian Federation for United Nations Association. Under his guidance, three UN resource centres and libraries were recently established at Shillong, Tura and Ampati. One centre each will be opened in Nagaland and Mizoram as soon as the UN gives the go ahead, he added.

Sangma inaugurated a helpdesk to facilitate admission to various courses at UNIV for students from the Garo hills. “Six-month diploma courses on masonry, apparel design and carpentry will be introduced from August. We request students to apply for the sponsored courses so that we can access the number of interested applicants and plan accordingly,” he added.

Sangma said the UN was willing to assist the northeastern states in various initiatives. “This will open a new chapter of engagement and create an enabling environment for learning. We would like to work with all United Nations agencies to harness the benefit of their experience to find appropriate solutions to problems such as poverty, healthcare and education,” he said.