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Commission for Social Development 35th session, 25 February - 6 March,
At its thirty-fifth session, the Commission for Social Development considered two main
topics under its restructured agenda and multi-year programme of work, namely the priority
theme "Productive employment and sustainable livelihoods"; and review of
relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of
On the question of productive employment and sustainable livelihoods, the Commission
adopted a resolution in which it took note of the report of the Secretary-General prepared
in cooperation with the International Labour Organization and decided to adopt agreed
conclusions and transmit them to the Economic and Social Council as a contribution to the
high-level segment of its substantive session of 1997 (resolution 35/2).
Key points from the agreed conclusions include the importance of:
- Full, productive, appropriately and adequately remunerated and freely chosen
employment as a central objective of economic and social policies;
- Setting time-bound goals and targets for expanding employment and reducing
- Increasing productivity in rural and urban informal sectors through improving access
to credit, fertile land, productive inputs, infrastructure, basic social services,
information and extension services;
- Balanced macroeconomic policies to ensure employment growth, price stability and low
- Maximizing the quality and accessibility of such social services as education and
health both to improve well-being and to increase employment;
- Promoting consensual, equitable approaches to income determination through a prices
and incomes policy as a means of moderating unemployment, inflation and industrial
- Promoting life-long learning, beginning with basic education and continuing with
opportunities for further education, training and skills development;
- Encouraging flexible working time arrangements such as job sharing and part-time work
in order to promote equitable access to work;
- Increasing international, mutually reinforcing economic growth and social
- Improving statistical databases on key social indicators.
After reviewing relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action relating to the
situation of social groups, the Commission recommended five draft resolutions for adoption
by the Council and adopted one resolution to be brought to the attention of the Council.
For the purpose of conducting the fourth review and appraisal of the International Plan
of Action on Ageing and reviewing the preparations for the observance of the International
Year of Older Persons in 1999, the Commission, in accordance with Council decision
1996/243, convened an informal in-session ad hoc working group. The Commission recommended
to the Council the adoption of a draft resolution for the General Assembly, by which the
Assembly would encourage States to establish a national focal point and formulate national
programmes for the Year, bearing in mind the conceptual framework referred to in General
Assembly resolution 50/141; invite States to consider actively supporting the United
Nations Secretariat in the preparation and implementation of the projects for the Year,
inter alia, through voluntary financial or personnel contributions; request the
Secretary-General to officially launch the Year in 1998, on the occasion of the
International Day of Older Persons; and decide to devote four plenary meetings at its
fifty-fourth session to the follow-up to the Year, which should take place at an
appropriate global policy-making level (draft resolution I).
After taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the fourth review and
appraisal of the International Plan of Action on Ageing, the Commission invited the
Secretary-General to make recommendations on different options for the future review and
appraisal of the implementation of the Plan of Action and requested the Secretary-General
to report to the Commission at its thirty-sixth session on the implementation of the
resolution (resolution 35/1).
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/96, the Commission considered the
report of its Special Rapporteur on Disability, as well as the future mandate of the
Special Rapporteur. After hearing a statement by the Special Rapporteur, the Commission
recommended to the Council the adoption of a draft resolution, by which the Council would
decide to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years
so as to make it possible to continue the monitoring of the implementation of the Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in accordance
with section IV of the Rules; urge States to make contributions to the United Nations
Voluntary Fund on Disability so as to support initiatives on disability and also urged
them to support, by financial and other means, the important work of the Special
Rapporteur (draft resolution II).
With regard to children with disabilities, the Commission recommended to the Council
the adoption of a draft resolution, by which the Council would urge Governments, as well
as the United Nations system, to give full attention to the rights, special needs and
welfare of children with disabilities (draft resolution III).
After taking note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on the
implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, the
Commission recommended to the Council the adoption of a draft resolution, by which the
Council would call upon all States, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental
organizations and non-governmental organizations, in particular youth organizations, to
make all possible efforts to implement the Programme of Action, and would welcome the
offer of the Government of Portugal to host a World Conference of Ministers Responsible
for Youth in Lisbon in August 1998 (draft resolution IV).
With regard to the follow-up to the International Year of the Family, the Commission
recommended to the Council the adoption of a draft resolution for the General Assembly,
calling for a more focused and coordinated approach to family issues within the United
Nations system and calling upon Governments to encourage the active follow-up of the
International Year of the Family at the national and local levels (draft resolution V).
The Commission held two panel meetings with invited experts on the subject of
productive employment and sustainable livelihoods and a dialogue with the chairpersons of
the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) inter-agency task forces on follow-up
to recent major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields.
The Commission also reviewed the proposed programme of work of the Division for Social
Policy and Development for the biennium 1998-1999 and the report of the Board of the
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) for the period
1995-1996. It nominated, for confirmation by the Council, five candidates for membership
in the Board.
Finally, the Commission recommended that the Council approve the provisional agenda and
documentation for its thirty-sixth session, in 1998.
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