UN Commission on Social Development

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Special Session, 1996

The Commission for Social Development special session took place 21-31 May, 1996. The following report was adopted by the Economic and Social Council.

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Contents

Summary

I. Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention
A. Draft resolution
B. Draft decisions
C. Matters brought to the attention of the Council

II. Review of the functioning of the Commission

III. Substantive theme: Strategies and action for the eradication of poverty

IV. Provisional agenda for the 35th session of the Commission

V. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its special session

VI. Organization of the session

 

Chapter I. Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention

A. Draft resolution    [ Up ]

1. The Commission for Social Development recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft resolution:

Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and the future role of the Commission for Social Development *

(* For the discussion, see chap. II below.)

The Economic and Social Council,

Welcoming the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, 1/

Bearing in mind Economic and Social Council resolutions 10 (II) of 21 June 1946 and 830 J (XXXII) of 2 August 1961, by which the Council established the Commission for Social Development and defined its terms of reference, and resolution 1139 (XLI) of 29 July 1966, by which the Council renamed the Commission in order to clarify its role as a preparatory and advisory body of the Council in the whole range of social development policy,

Taking into account General Assembly resolution 50/161 of 22 December 1995 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/60 of 28 July 1995 concerning the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, agreed conclusions 1995/1 approved by the Council on 28 July 1995, 2/ and Assembly resolution 50/227 of 24 May 1996 on the restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields,

I. Framework for the functioning of the Commission

Recalling that the General Assembly, in its resolution 50/161, decided that the Assembly, through its role in policy formulation, and the Economic and Social Council, through its role in overall guidance and coordination, in accordance with their respective roles under the Charter of the United Nations and Assembly resolution 48/162 of 20 December 1993, and a revitalized Commission for Social Development should constitute a three-tiered intergovernmental process in the follow-up to the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development,

Convinced that the follow-up to the Summit will be undertaken on the basis of an integrated approach to social development and within the framework of a coordinated follow-up to and implementation of the results of the major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General, 3/ containing a review of the functioning of the Commission for Social Development, including its future role in the follow-up to the Summit;

2. Decides that the Commission for Social Development, as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council, shall have the primary responsibility for the follow-up to and review of the implementation of the Summit;

3. Calls upon all relevant organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to be involved in the follow-up to the Summit, and invites specialized agencies and related organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen and adjust their activities, programmes and medium-term strategies, as appropriate, to take into account the follow-up to the Summit;

4. Invites the United Nations Development Programme, the International Labour Organization and the Bretton Woods institutions to be actively involved in the follow-up to the Summit, in accordance with the relevant provisions of General Assembly resolution 50/161, and invites the World Trade Organization to consider how it might contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action;

5. Decides that the task forces established by the Administrative Committee on Coordination for the follow-up to the Summit and other related United Nations conferences should inform the Commission and the Economic and Social Council of the progress made in their work for the purpose of system-wide coordination;

6. Stresses the importance of ensuring the participation of high-level representatives from the field of social development in the work of the Commission;

7. Reiterates the invitation extended by the General Assembly to the Secretary-General, inter alia, within the framework of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, to make appropriate arrangements, which may include joint meetings, for consultations with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations funds and programmes and other relevant organizations for the purpose of enhancing the cooperation of their respective organizations in the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

8. Reaffirms the need for ensuring an effective partnership and cooperation between Governments and the relevant actors of civil society, the social partners and the major groups as defined in Agenda 21, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, in the implementation of and follow-up to the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, and for ensuring their involvement in the planning, elaboration, implementation and evaluation of social policies at the national level;

9. Decides, in view of the traditional importance of non-governmental organizations in the promotion of social development, that such organizations should be encouraged to participate in the work of the Commission and in the monitoring and implementation process related to the Summit to the maximum extent possible, and requests the Secretary-General to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the full utilization of existing channels of communication with non-governmental organizations in order to facilitate broad-based participation and dissemination of information;

10. Also decides, in recognition of the valuable contribution of non-governmental organizations to the World Summit for Social Development, the Council and its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, to review the applications of such non-governmental organizations under Council resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968 as expeditiously as possible, and further decides that prior to the thirty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development, the Council will decide on the participation of those non-governmental organizations accredited to the Summit, and that have applied for consultative status, in the Summit follow-up and in the work of the Commission for Social Development, without prejudice to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Arrangements for Consultation with Non-Governmental Organizations;

11. Requests the Secretary-General urgently to draw the attention of non-governmental organizations accredited to the Summit to the provisions of the present resolution and to the process established under Council resolution 1296 (XLIV);

II. Terms of reference                                                                                [ Up ]

12. Reaffirms the existing mandate of the Commission for Social Development as set out in its resolutions 10 (II), 830 J (XXXII) and 1139 (XLI);

13. Decides that the Commission, in fulfilling its mandate, shall assist the Economic and Social Council in monitoring, reviewing and appraising the progress achieved and problems encountered in the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and shall advise the Council thereon, and decides that, to that end, the Commission should:

(a) Improve international understanding on social development through, inter alia, the exchange of information and experience;

(b) Integrate, within the framework of the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, consideration of issues relating to the situation of social groups, including review of relevant United Nations programmes of action related to such groups, and consideration of other sectoral issues;

(c) Identify emerging issues affecting social development that require urgent consideration, and make substantive recommendations thereon;

(d) Make recommendations regarding social development to the Economic and Social Council;

(e) Elaborate practical measures aimed at furthering Summit recommendations;

(f) Identify issues requiring improved system-wide coordination, taking into account substantive inputs from different organizations of the United Nations system, as well as the contributions of other functional commissions concerned, in order to assist the Council in its coordination functions;

(g) Maintain and enhance public awareness and support for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

III. Structure of the agenda and work programme of the Commission

14. Decides that the substantive items of the agenda of the Commission for Social Development for its future sessions will consist of the following:

Substantive item: Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

(a) Consideration of subjects identified in the multi-year programme of work, including the situation of social groups;

(b) Review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, as necessary;

(c) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, as necessary;

15. Decides on the following multi-year programme of work for the consideration of priority subjects, bearing in mind that the core issues of the Summit are interrelated and interdependent and that issues relating to the enabling environment for social development (commitment 1 of the Copenhagen Declaration; 4/ chapter I of the Programme of Action 5/), the special situation of Africa and the least developed countries (commitment 7 of the Copenhagen Declaration 4/), enhancement of social development goals in structural adjustment programmes (commitment 8 of the Copenhagen Declaration 4/), the mobilization of domestic and international resources for social development (commitment 9 of the Copenhagen Declaration; 4/ chapter V of the Programme of Action 5/) and the framework for international, regional and subregional cooperation for social development (commitment 10 of the Copenhagen Declaration 4/) shall be considered every year, and bearing in mind also that the Commission should apply a gender perspective when discussing the different topics under the multi-year programme of work:

1997: Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

Theme: "Productive employment and sustainable livelihoods". Under this theme, the following specific topics will be considered:

(a) The centrality of employment in policy formulation, including a broader recognition of work and employment;

(b) Improving access to productive resources and infrastructure;

(c) Enhanced quality of work and employment;

1998: Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

Theme: "Promoting social integration and participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons". Under this theme, the following specific topics will be considered:

(a) Promoting social integration through responsive government, full participation in society, non-discrimination, tolerance, equality and social justice;

(b) Enhancing social protection, reducing vulnerability and enhancing employment opportunities for groups with specific needs;

(c) Violence, crime and the problem of illicit drugs and substance abuse as factors of social disintegration;

1999: Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

(a) Theme 1: "Social services for all";

(b) Theme 2: "Initiation of the overall review of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit";

2000: Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

Theme: "Contribution of the Commission to the overall review of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit";

IV. Membership, frequency and duration of sessions of the Commission

16. Decides that the Commission for Social Development shall be composed of forty-six members elected from among the States Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized agencies according to the following pattern:

(a) Twelve seats for African States;

(b) Ten seats for Asian States;

(c) Nine seats for Latin American and Caribbean States;

(d) Five seats for Eastern European States;

(e) Ten seats for Western European and other States;

17. Also decides that the Commission shall meet annually, beginning in 1997, for a period of eight working days in New York;

V. Documentation                                                                                        [ Up ]

18. Requests that United Nations documentation be kept concise, clear, analytical and timely, with a focus on relevant issues, in accordance with Council resolution 1987/24 of 26 May 1987 and agreed conclusions 1995/1, and that to the greatest extent possible use be made of integrated reporting, also requests that reports contain recommendations for action and indicate the actors, that they be available in all official languages, in accordance with the rules of the United Nations and that the use of other methods of reporting, such as oral reports, also be explored;

19. Also requests that the relevant reports of the meetings of inter-agency mechanisms established by the Secretary-General be transmitted for information to the Commission to ensure coordination, collaboration and coherence in the implementation of the Programme of Action;

20. Decides that requests for reports of the Secretary-General should be limited to the minimum strictly necessary, and that the Secretariat should use information and data already provided by Governments to the maximum extent possible, avoiding duplication of requests to Governments for such information;

21. Also decides that the voluntary submission of national information, for example national action plans or national reports by Governments, should be encouraged;

22. Requests that, in the preparation of reports, use be made of the practice of assigning task managers, under which a United Nations entity is made responsible for coordinating the response of the entire United Nations system on a given subject, including the formulation of recommendations for future action;

23. Requests the Secretary-General and United Nations bodies to take appropriate measures, in a coordinated manner, to strengthen the United Nations capacity for gathering and analysing information and developing indicators of social development;

24. Requests the Secretary-General to submit the following reports to the Commission:

(a) An annual analytical report on the thematic issues before the Commission, in accordance with the multi-year work programme, including, as far as possible, progress made in national and international implementation and including progress made by the Bretton Woods institutions, other United Nations specialized agencies and other relevant entities, based on available existing data and statistics;

(b) A report on emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups;

(c) An overall report, in the year 2000, on the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

VI. Methods of work of the Commission

25. Recognizes that the practice of inviting experts is expected to deal effectively with the priority subjects addressed in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and to contribute to the effective follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development, and to that end, decides that:

(a) Panels of experts shall be formed, including experts appointed by the Secretary-General, experts working within the United Nations system and experts from Governments and civil society;

(b) Experts shall be chosen from the fields of study addressed under the critical areas of concern, taking into account equitable geographical distribution and the involvement of non-governmental organizations;

(c) The selection of experts, the composition of the panels and the allocation of time to dialogues shall be decided inter-sessionally by the Bureau of the Commission, taking into consideration the proposals of the United Nations Secretariat; the Secretariat shall prepare a list of candidates for the panels based on suggestions from States and civil society; and the Bureau shall convene meetings open to the participation of all interested States to ensure a broad base of participation;

(d) Meetings shall be allotted for dialogue within the United Nations system and civil society and among governmental delegations, and sufficient time shall be devoted to intergovernmental dialogue;

26. Decides that the Bureau of the Commission shall convene open-ended informal consultations of the Commission to improve organizational and procedural aspects of the Commission's sessions, and also decides that the Bureau of the Commission shall meet on a regular basis from 1996, and may consider such issues as recommendations on agenda items and subjects to be discussed, the structure of meetings and lists of guest participants for panel discussions;

27. Calls upon the Bureau to monitor the state of preparedness of documentation for the Commission and take the necessary measures to facilitate its timely issuance in all official languages;

VII. Secretariat

28. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure an effectively functioning Secretariat within which clear responsibility is assigned to assist in the implementation of the follow-up to the Summit and the servicing of the intergovernmental bodies involved, and to ensure close cooperation at the Secretariat level between all the United Nations entities involved in the Summit follow-up;

VIII. Regional dimension

29. Invites the regional commissions, within their mandates and in cooperation with regional intergovernmental organizations and banks, to consider convening, on a biennial basis, a meeting at a high political level to review progress made towards implementing the outcome of the Summit, exchange views on the respective experiences of participating bodies and adopt appropriate measures.

B. Draft decisions    [ Up ]

2. The Commission for Social Development recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft decisions:

DRAFT DECISION I

Establishment of a support group to assist the Commission for Social Development in the preparations for the International Year of Older Persons in 1999 *

(* For the discussion, see chap. II below.)

The Economic and Social Council decides to establish an ad hoc informal open-ended support group to assist the Commission for Social Development in the preparations for the International Year of Older Persons in 1999.

DRAFT DECISION II

Report of the Commission for Social Development on its special session of 1996 and provisional agenda and documentation for the thirty-fifth session of the Commission **

(** See chap. IV below.)

The Economic and Social Council:

(a) Takes note of the report of the Commission for Social Development on its special session of 1996 and endorses the recommendations contained therein;

(b) Approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the thirty- fifth session of the Commission set out below.

PROVISIONAL AGENDA AND DOCUMENTATION FOR THE THIRTY-FIFTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT    [ Up ]

1. Election of officers.

2. Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

The Commission will establish an in-session open-ended ad hoc working group for the purpose of carrying out the fourth review and appraisal of the International Plan of Action on Ageing and reviewing preparations for the observance of the International Year of Older Persons in 1999.

3. Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development:

The Commission will review progress made in the implementation and follow-up to the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development and consider at each of its sessions issues relating to the enabling environment for social development, the special situation of Africa and the least developed countries, enhancement of social development goals in structural adjustment programmes, the mobilization of domestic and international resources for social development, and the framework for international, regional and subregional cooperation for social development.

(a) Priority theme: Productive employment and sustainable livelihoods

The Commission will consider the following specific topics: (i) the centrality of employment in policy formulation, including a broader recognition of work and employment; (ii) improving access to productive resources and infrastructure; and (iii) enhanced quality of work and employment. The Commission will consider the specific topics also from a gender perspective.

(b) Review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups

The Commission will carry out the fourth quadrennial review of the International Plan of Action on Ageing and will consider the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on progress in the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The Commission will also review follow-up arrangements for the International Year of the Family, as well as the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond and the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty.

The Commission will review concurrently the relevant activities of the Secretariat and receive reports from the regional commissions on their social development and social welfare activities, as well as reports on relevant expert group meetings.

Documentation

Report on the World Social Situation, 1997

Report of the Secretary-General on the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development

Report of the Secretary-General on productive employment and sustainable livelihoods

Report of the Secretary-General on the fourth review and appraisal of the International Plan of Action on Ageing

Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on progress in the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation and follow-up of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond

Report of the Secretary-General on family issues

Report of the Secretary-General on the major issues and programme activities of the Secretariat and the regional commissions relating to social development and welfare and specific social groups

4. Programme questions and other matters:

(a) Programme performance and implementation;

(b) Proposed programme of work for the biennium 1998-1999;

(c) United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

Documentation

Note by the Secretary-General on the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999

Note by the Secretary-General on the nomination of members of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

Report of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

5. Provisional agenda for the thirty-sixth session of the Commission.

6. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its thirty-fifth session.

C. Matters brought to the attention of the Council                      [ Up ]

3. The following resolution adopted by the Commission is brought to the attention of the Council:

Resolution S-1996/1. Strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty *

(* For the discussion, see chap. III below.)

The Commission for Social Development,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 50/161 of 22 December 1995 on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 49/110 of 19 December 1994 and other relevant resolutions of the Assembly related to international cooperation for the eradication of poverty in developing countries as well as Assembly resolution 50/107 of 20 December 1995 on the observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty,

Recalling further Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/60 of 28 July 1995 and Council decision 1995/324 of 12 December 1995, both related to the special session of the Commission for Social Development in 1996,

Recognizing that poverty is a global problem affecting all countries, in particular developing countries, and that the complexity of poverty requires the implementation and integration of policies and strategies as well as a wide range of measures and actions at the local, national, regional and international levels,

Recalling that the primary responsibility for the formulation and implementation of the strategies, policies, programmes and actions required to eradicate poverty rests at the national level,

Emphasizing the need, in support of national efforts to eradicate poverty and provide basic social protection and services, to fully implement the commitments undertaken by the international community at the World Summit for Social Development, and stressing the urgent need for stronger international cooperation and support to assist developing countries, particularly those in Africa, the least developed countries and small island and land-locked developing countries,

Reaffirming that the role of the State and the commitment of Governments are fundamental in eradicating poverty and in improving living conditions, and that Governments should focus their efforts and policies on addressing the root causes of poverty and providing for the basic needs of all,

Recognizing that economic growth is necessary for social development, but that active intervention is essential, inter alia, through promotion of equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth and income, and through ensuring universal access to basic social services and greater access to resources, through equity and equality of opportunity for all,

Recognizing that limited access, inter alia, to income, resources, education, health care, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and safe water, particularly in Africa and in the least developed countries, has caused an increase in many regions in overall poverty, particularly in the numbers of people living in absolute poverty,

Recognizing also that since women constitute the majority of people living in poverty, mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes aimed at eradicating poverty and the empowerment of women will be critical factors in the eradication of poverty,

Recognizing that children and young people are vulnerable victims of poverty as well as the major human resource for future development,

Recognizing the linkages between poverty, social exclusion and employment policies and the need for new approaches to social safety nets, human resource development strategies and the concept of employment,

Recognizing further that providing basic services to all, including universalization of basic education, access to education for all and the eradication of illiteracy, is essential to the eradication of poverty,

Reaffirming that strengthening the family and empowering its members, in accordance with the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development 6/ are essential to the eradication of poverty,

Recognizing further that the media have an important role to play in promoting awareness of the complex issues surrounding poverty,

Stressing the necessity of promoting and implementing policies and strategies to create a supportive external economic environment, through, inter alia, cooperation in the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policies, trade liberalization, mobilization and/or provision of new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable and are mobilized in such a way as to maximize the availability of such resources for sustainable development, using all available funding sources and mechanisms, enhanced financial stability and ensuring developing countries increased access to global markets, productive investment and technologies, and appropriate knowledge,

Considering that the international community at the highest political level has already reached a consensus and committed itself to the eradication of poverty in the major United Nations conferences and summits organized since 1990,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on policy and programme considerations in the formulation of integrated strategies for poverty eradication, meeting the basic human needs of all and promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives, 7/                                                                    [ Up ]

Noting the discussions that took place on this issue during the panel discussions and the discussion with representatives of inter-agency task forces on the follow-up to international conferences and summits,

Recalling that the commitment to the goal of eradicating poverty in the world, through decisive national actions and international cooperation, is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind,

1. Reaffirms that all States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of people of the world;

2. Stresses that action for the eradication of poverty should take into account the fact that poverty is both a complex and a multidimensional issue, which has significant influence on and is in turn influenced by equality between men and women as well as by the reinforcement of peace and the achievement of social and economic development;

3. Stresses the long-term nature of poverty eradication strategies and the need for their continuous adaptation, and urges Governments to integrate goals and targets for combating poverty into overall economic and social policies and planning at the local, national and, where appropriate, subregional and regional levels;

4. Urges Governments to integrate poverty eradication strategies into overall development policies that take into account a people-centred and equitable process in which the ultimate goal of economic and social policies must be to better the human condition, responding to the needs and maximizing the potential of all members of society;

5. Reaffirms that democracy, transparent and accountable governance and administration in all sectors of society, as well as non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual respect for and valuing of diversity, and promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, are also essential for poverty eradication strategies;

6. Emphasizes the crucial importance of reinforcing the means and capacities for people to participate in the formulation and implementation of social and economic policies and programmes through decentralization and open management of public institutions;

7. Recognizes the central role that women play in the eradication of poverty, and stresses the need for their full and equal participation in the formulation and implementation of policies that take fully into account the gender perspective and that empower women to be full partners in development;

8. Urges Governments to formulate policies and programmes that ensure access to basic social services for all children and young people, in particular those living in poverty;

9. Emphasizes the need to implement sound and stable macroeconomic, micro-economic and sectoral policies that encourage broad-based economic growth and development that is sustainable and equitable, that generate jobs and that are geared towards eradicating poverty and reducing social and economic inequalities and exclusion;

10. Reaffirms that human resources development is an essential part of poverty reduction strategies, which should also be based on strengthening the productive capacities of people living in poverty, inter alia, through the promotion of job training and job-creating activities and wider access to productive resources, as well as through programmes and policies directed towards the simulation of productive employment, labour-intensive development and improvements in productivity;

11. Stresses the need to periodically monitor, assess and share information on the performance of poverty eradication plans, evaluate policies to combat poverty, and promote an understanding and awareness of poverty and its causes and consequences;

12. Recognizes that the role of the State in poverty eradication strategies is fundamental, in particular through applying active social policies and creating an enabling environment, inter alia, for the development of the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises;

13. Stresses the need for a partnership among countries with a view to addressing the issue of poverty eradication;

14. Stresses that Governments, in partnership with civil society and all other development actors, including non-governmental organizations and people living in poverty and their organizations should cooperate to meet the basic human needs of all - inter alia, income, resources, education, health care, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and safe water - in particular of people living in poverty and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

15. Also stresses the need for strategies to address not only inadequate income, but also other factors, such as lack of access to resources and basic social services, and social exclusion;

16. Reaffirms that the satisfaction of basic human needs is an essential element of poverty reduction, these needs being closely interrelated and comprising nutrition, health, water and sanitation, education, employment, housing, and participation in cultural and social life;

17. Emphasizes that strategies for the eradication of poverty at the national and international levels and the provision of basic human needs should be formulated and implemented with the human being at their core, regardless of any political, economic, social or cultural considerations;

18. Stresses the need for Governments and relevant international institutions or organizations to examine how the rapid globalization of the world economy and the increased liberalization of trade is affecting the ability of States to design and implement effective strategies for eradicating poverty and to provide a stable legal framework that creates an enabling environment to achieve social development and to meet the basic human needs of all, in order to prevent greater inequality between different sectors of society;

19. Recommends that States consider more operational ways of addressing social exclusion in the design of global strategies for eradicating poverty;

20. Stresses the importance of reviewing periodically the administrative and institutional arrangements for the provision of basic social services in order to improve access to and the quality of those services;

21. Urges Governments to promote and attain the goals of eradicating illiteracy, universal and equitable access to quality education, and the highest standard of physical and mental health, and to encourage international organizations, in particular the international financial institutions, to support these objectives and to integrate them into policy programmes and operations, as appropriate;

22. Emphasizes that Governments might consider introducing, within a comprehensive framework geared to national needs and capacities, various ad hoc measures initiated at different times to deal with specific forms of poverty, progressively implemented and aimed at enhancing the capacity of people living in poverty to become economically and socially productive members of society;

23. Emphasizes the fundamental importance of strengthening the abilities and opportunities of civil society and local communities to develop their own organizations, resources and activities, as well as ensuring an open dialogue between Governments and citizens or community groups;

24. Also emphasizes the importance of institutional capacity-building in poverty eradication strategies;

25. Further emphasizes that the adoption and implementation of measures to substantially alleviate the external debt of developing countries, in accordance with the commitments of the Copenhagen Declaration, in particular the external debt of African countries and the least developed countries, should contribute to the eradication of poverty;                                                                       [ Up ]

26. Stresses the importance of reducing excessive military expenditures and investments for arms production and acquisition, as appropriate and consistent with national security requirements, in order to increase resources for social and economic development;

27. Reaffirms the urgent need for the international community to strive for the fulfilment of the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of the gross national product of developed countries for overall official development assistance as soon as possible, and increase the share of funding for social development programmes, commensurate with the scope and scale of activities required to achieve the objectives and goals of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development;

28. Calls upon the international community to seek to mobilize new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable and mobilized in such a way as to maximize the availability of such resources and use all available funding sources and mechanisms, inter alia, multilateral, bilateral and private sources, including, as mutually agreed, on concessional and grant terms;

29. Reaffirms the agreement on a mutual commitment between interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 per cent of official development assistance and 20 per cent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes, and notes with interest the consensus reached at Oslo on 25 April 1996 on this matter;

30. Calls upon all States and the international community to encourage and support local community development projects that foster the skill, self- reliance and self-confidence of people living in poverty and that facilitate their active participation in efforts to eradicate poverty;

31. Stresses that international cooperation and assistance are essential for the full implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development and, to that end, the international community, and the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, should fulfil the commitments they have made pursuant to chapter V of the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, in support of national efforts of developing countries, particularly in Africa, the least developed countries, and small island and land-locked developing countries, towards the eradication of poverty;

32. Stresses that countries that are undergoing fundamental political, economic and social transformations because they are in the process of consolidating peace and democracy require the support of the international community in their efforts to eradicate poverty;

33. Also stresses that the reduction of poverty in countries with economies in transition requires the assistance of members of the international community in developing their social protection systems and social policies;

34. Recalls that the United Nations system is to strengthen existing structures for coordination of actions relating to poverty eradication, including the establishment of a focal point for information exchange and the formulation and implementation of replicable pilot projects to eradicate poverty;

35. Invites all relevant specialized agencies, funds, programmes and related organizations of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, to strengthen and adjust their activities, programmes and strategies, as appropriate, with a view to achieving the overall goal of eradicating poverty, meeting the basic human needs of all and promoting self- reliance and community-based initiatives, through, inter alia, financial and technical support to developing countries in their efforts to translate all measures, recommendations and commitments into operational and concrete programmes, projects and activities;

36. Reaffirms that the international financial institutions should contribute to the mobilization of resources for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development by further integrating social development goals into their policies, programmes and operations in support of national efforts of developing countries;

37. Welcomes the decision of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme to launch the "Poverty Strategies Initiative" to support implementation at the national level of activities in follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development;

38. Invites the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme to examine the options for continuing such initiatives during the period of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), so as to help developing countries, in particular African countries and the least developed countries, in the elaboration of national plans or programmes to eradicate poverty, as well as in the formulation and implementation of replicable projects to eradicate poverty;

39. Calls upon all States to contribute substantially to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, which includes in its activities those related to the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty;

40. Requests the Secretary-General, in elaborating the report on action envisaged to be taken by the United Nations system in preparation for the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, to propose specific activities for each year of the Decade in order to facilitate the follow-up to and evaluation of such activities;

41. Also requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution within the framework of his reporting to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and on action taken in connection with the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

4. The following decisions adopted by the Commission are brought to the attention of the Council:

Decision S-1996/101. Proposals for the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001

The Commission for Social Development takes note of the note by the Secretary-General on proposals for the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001. 8/

Decision S-1996/102. Chairman's summary of the panel discussions and the dialogue with chairpersons of inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences

The Commission for Social Development decides to include the Chairman's summary of the panel discussions and the dialogue with chairpersons of inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences in the report on its special session. 9/

Notes
1/ Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.
2/ A/50/3, chap. II, para. 22.
3/ E/CN.5/1996/2.
4/ Report of the World Summit for Social Development ..., chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.
5/ Ibid., annex II.
6/ Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6-12 March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.
7/ E/CN.5/1996/3.
8/ E/CN.5/1996/4 and Corr.1.
9/ For the Chairman's summary, see para. 29 below.

 

Chapter II. Review of the functioning of the Commission                  [ Up ]

1. The Commission for Social Development considered item 3 of its agenda at its 1st to 3rd, 7th, 9th, 10th and 12th to 15th meetings, on 21, 22, 24, 28 and 29 to 31 May 1996. It had before it the following documents:

(a) Report of the Secretary-General on the future role of the Commission for Social Development (E/CN.5/1996/2);

(b) Note by the Secretary-General containing proposals for the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 (E/CN.5/1996/4 and Corr.1).

2. At the 1st meeting, on 21 May, an introductory statement was made by the Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development.

3. At the same meeting, statements were made by the representatives of China, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, the Republic of Korea and Gabon and the observer for Costa Rica (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China).

4. Also at the same meeting, statements were made by the observers for the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, category I, and the Development Caucus.

5. At the 2nd meeting, on 21 May, the representatives of Japan and Chile made statements.

6. At the same meeting, the observer for the International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centres, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, category I, made a statement.

7. At the 3rd meeting, on 22 May, statements were made by the representatives of Egypt, Norway, China, Austria, Peru, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ukraine, the Republic of Korea, Belarus, the Philippines and the United States of America and the observers for Italy (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia), Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

8. At the 7th meeting, on 24 May, statements were made by the representatives of Chile, the Philippines, Venezuela, the Russian Federation, Ethiopia, Belarus, Gabon, Co^te d'Ivoire, Mongolia and the Sudan and the observers for Kazakstan, Algeria, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

9. At the same meeting, statements were made by the observers for the American Association of Retired Persons and Franciscans International, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, category I, and the Ambekdar Centre for Justice and Peace, a non-governmental organization accredited to the World Summit for Social Development.

10. At the 9th, 10th and 12th meetings, on 28, 29 and 30 May, the Chairperson of the Working Group on the Future of the Commission for Social Development made a statement.

Action taken by the Commission

Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and the future role of the Commission for Social Development

11. At the 13th meeting, on 30 May 1996, Mrs. Ruth S. Limjuco (Philippines), in her capacity as Chairperson of the Working Group on the Future of the Commission for Social Development, introduced a draft resolution (E/CN.5/1996/L.5) entitled "Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and the future role of the Commission for Social Development", which read as follows:

"The Economic and Social Council,                                                             [ Up ]

"Welcoming the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development,

"Bearing in mind Economic and Social Council resolutions 10 (II) of 21 June 1946 and 830 J (XXXII) of 2 August 1961, by which the Council established the Commission for Social Development and defined its terms of reference, and resolution 1139 (XLI) of 29 July 1966, by which the Council renamed the Commission in order to clarify its role as a preparatory and advisory body of the Council in the whole range of social development policy,

"Taking into account General Assembly resolution 50/161 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/60 on the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, agreed conclusions 1995/1 approved by the Council on 28 July 1995, and Assembly resolution 50/227 of 24 May 1996 on the restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields,

"I. "Framework for the functioning of the Commission

"Recalling that the General Assembly, in its resolution 50/161, decided that the Assembly, through its role in policy formulation, and the Economic and Social Council, through its role in overall guidance and coordination, in accordance with their respective roles under the Charter of the United Nations and Assembly resolution 48/162 of 20 December 1993, and a revitalized Commission for Social Development shall constitute a three-tiered intergovernmental process in the follow-up to the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, "Convinced that the follow-up to the Summit will be undertaken on the basis of an integrated approach to social development and within the framework of a coordinated follow-up to and implementation of the results of the major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields,

"1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the review of the functioning of the Commission for Social Development, including its future role in the follow-up of the Summit;

"2. Decides that the Commission for Social Development, as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council, shall have the primary responsibility for the follow-up to and review of the implementation of the Summit;

"3. Calls upon all relevant organs, organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to be involved in the follow-up to the Summit, and invites specialized agencies and related organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen and adjust their activities, programmes and medium-term strategies, as appropriate, to take into account the follow-up to the Summit;

"4. Invites the United Nations Development Programme, the International Labour Organization and the Bretton Woods institutions to be actively involved in the follow-up to the Summit, in accordance with relevant provisions of General Assembly resolution 50/161, and invites the World Trade Organization to consider how it might contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action;

"5. Decides that the task forces established by the Administrative Committee on Coordination for the follow-up to the Summit and other related United Nations conferences should inform the Commission and the Economic and Social Council of the progress of their work for the purpose of system-wide coordination;

"6. Reiterates the invitation to the Secretary-General, including within the framework of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, to make appropriate arrangements, which may include joint meetings, for consultations with the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations funds and programmes, and other relevant agencies for the purpose of enhancing the cooperation of their respective organizations in the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

"7. Reaffirms the need for ensuring an effective partnership and cooperation between Governments and the relevant actors of civil society, the social partners, and major groups as defined in Agenda 21, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, in the implementation of and follow-up to the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, and for ensuring their involvement in the planning, elaboration, implementation and evaluation of social policies at the national level;

"8. Decides, in view of the traditional importance of non-governmental organizations in the promotion of social development, that such organizations should be encouraged to participate in the work of the Commission and in the monitoring and implementation process related to the Summit to the maximum extent possible, and requests the Secretary-General to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the full utilization of existing channels of communication with non-governmental organizations in order to facilitate broad-based participation and dissemination of information;

"9. Also decides, in recognition of the valuable contribution of non-governmental organizations to the World Summit for Social Development, the Council and its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, to review the application of such non-governmental organizations under Council resolution 1296 (XLIV) as expeditiously as possible, and further decides that prior to the thirty-fifth session of the Commission for Social Development, the Council will decide on the participation of those non-governmental organizations accredited to the Summit that have applied for consultative status in Summit follow-up and in the work of the Commission for Social Development, without prejudice to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on the Review of Arrangements for Consultation with Non-Governmental Organizations;

"10. Requests the Secretary-General urgently to draw the attention of non-governmental organizations accredited to the Summit to the provisions of the present resolution and to the process established under Council resolution 1296 (XLIV);

"II. "Terms of reference                                                                       [ Up ]

"11. [Reaffirms]/[Takes note of] the existing mandate of the Commission for Social Development as set out in its resolutions 10 (II) of 1946, 830J (XXXII) of 1961 and 1136 (XLI) of 1966;

"12. Decides that the Commission, in fulfilling its mandate, shall assist the Economic and Social Council in monitoring, reviewing and appraising progress achieved and problems encountered in the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and shall advise the Council thereon, and decides that to that end, the Commission should:

"(a) Improve international understanding on social development, including through the exchange of information and experience;

"(b) Integrate, within the framework of the follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development, consideration of issues relating to the situation of social groups, including review of relevant United Nations programmes of action related to such groups, and consideration of other sectoral issues;

"(c) Identify emerging issues affecting social development that require urgent consideration, and make substantive recommendations thereon;

"(d) Make recommendations regarding social development to the Economic and Social Council;

"(e) Elaborate practical measures aimed at furthering Summit recommendations;

"(f) Identify issues where United Nations system-wide coordination needs to be improved, taking into account substantive inputs from different organs of the United Nations system, as well as the contributions of other concerned functional commissions, in order to assist the Council in its coordination functions;

"(g) Maintain and enhance public awareness and support for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

"III. "Structure of the agenda and work programme of the Commission

"13. Decides that the substantive items of the agenda of the Commission for Social Development for its future sessions will consist of the following:

"Substantive item: Follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development

"[(a) Enabling environment for social development]. The situation of social groups would be considered under this sub-item in relation to the topics chosen;

"(b) Consideration of priority subjects [plus reference to social groups];

"(c) Review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, as necessary;

"(d) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, as necessary;

"14. Decides [in the light of the need for a focused and thematic multi-year work programme on the specific themes, bearing in mind the importance of the enabling environment for social development and that the specific themes are interrelated and interdependent,] on the following multi-year programme of work for the Commission for Social Development:

"[1997: Follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development

"(a) Theme: "Productive employment and sustainable livelihoods". Under this theme, the following specific topics will be considered:

"(i) Centrality of employment in policy formulation, including a broader recognition of work and employment (chapter 3A and 3E, and relevant parts of Commitment 3);

"(ii) Improving access to productive resources and infrastructure (chapter 2B and relevant parts of Commitment 2);

(iii) Enhanced quality of work and employment (chapter 3C and relevantparts of Commitment 3);

"(b) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups:

"(i) Disability: report of the Special Rapporteur to the Commission on progress achieved in implementing the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities;

(ii) Ageing: fourth quadrennial review of the International Plan of

Action on Ageing and preparations for the International Year of Older Persons (1999)];

"[1998: Follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development

"(a) Theme: 'Promoting social integration and participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons'. Under this theme, the following specific topics will be considered:

"(i) Promoting social integration through responsive government, full participation in society, non-discrimination, tolerance, equality and social justice (chapters 4A, 4B, 4C, and relevant parts of Commitments 4 and 5);

"(ii) Enhancing social protection, reduced vulnerability and employment opportunities for groups with specific needs (chapters 2D, 3D and 4D, and relevant parts of Commitments 2, 3 and 4);

"(iii) Violence, crime and the problem of illicit drugs and substance abuse as factors of social disintegration;

"(b) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups];

"[1999: Follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development

"(a) Theme 1: 'Social services for all, including a specific focus on education' [particularly health and education] (relevant parts of chapters 2C, 3B and 4C, Commitment 6 and relevant parts of Commitment 2, 3 and 4);

"(b) Theme 2: 'Enhancement of social development goals in structural adjustment programmes' (Commitment 8);

"(c) Theme 3: 'Initiation of the overall review of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit';

"(d) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups];

"[2000: Follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development

"(a) Theme: 'Contribution of the Commission to the overall review of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit';

"(b) Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups];

"Alternative themes                                                                                  [ Up ]

"(a) [1997: 'Promoting social integration and participation of all people, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons';

"(b) 1999: 'Social services for all, including a specific focus on education';

"2000: 'Special session of the General Assembly to review and appraise the implementation of the outcome of the Summit' (Assembly resolution 50/161)];

"[15. Also decides that the Commission should apply a gender perspective when discussing the different topics under the multi-year work programme, and that issues on the enabling environment for social development (Commitment 1 and chapter 1), the special situation of Africa and the least developed countries (Commitment 7), and the mobilization of domestic and international resources for social development (Commitment 9 and chapter 5), which are cross-sectoral in nature and relate to all the areas for action identified in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, should be treated on an annual basis and in an integrated manner];

"IV. "Membership, frequency and duration of sessions of the Commission

"16. Decides that the Commission for Social Development shall be composed of [53] [32] members elected from among the members of the United Nations and of its specialized agencies [according to the following pattern ...] [taking into consideration an equitable geographic representation];

"17. Also decides that the Commission shall meet [annually, beginning in 1997,] [biennially] for a period of [five] [eight] [at least 10] working days in New York;

"V. "Documentation

"18. Requests that all United Nations documentation be kept concise, clear, analytical and timely with a focus on relevant issues, in accordance with Council resolution 1987/24 of 26 May 1987 and agreed conclusions 1995/1 of 28 July 1995, and that to the greatest extent possible use be made of integrated reporting; that reports contain recommendations for action and indicate the actors; that reports be available in all official languages, in accordance with the rules of the United Nations; and that the use of other methods of reporting, such as oral reports, also be explored;

"19. Also requests that the relevant reports of the meetings of inter-agency mechanisms established by the Secretary-General be transmitted for information to the Commission to ensure coordination, collaboration and coherence in the implementation of the Programme of Action;

"20. Decides that requests for reports of the Secretary-General should be limited to the minimum strictly necessary, and that the Secretariat should use information and data already provided by Governments to the maximum extent possible, avoiding duplication of requests to Governments for such information;

"21. Also decides that voluntary submission of national information, for example national action plans or national reports by Governments, should be encouraged;

"22. Requests that, in preparing reports, use should be made of the practice of assigning task managers, under which a United Nations entity is made responsible for coordinating the response of the entire United Nations system on a given subject, including the formulation of recommendations for future action;

"23. Also requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations bodies to take appropriate measures, in a coordinated manner, to strengthen [within existing resources] the United Nations capacity for gathering and analysing information and developing indicators of social development;

"24. Further requests the Secretary-General to submit:

"(a) An [annual] analytical report on the thematic issues before the Commission, in accordance with the multi-year work programme, including, as far as possible, progress made in national [and international] implementation, [including United Nations specialized agencies and other relevant entities and the Bretton Woods institutions,] based on available existing data and statistics;

"(b) An [annual] report on emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development, including the situation of specific groups;

"(c) An overall report, in the year 2000, on the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;

"25. Recommends to the General Assembly that The World Economic and Social Survey and the Report on the World Social Situation be consolidated into a single report, giving full consideration to social development issues annually;

"VI. "Methods of work of the Commission

"26. Recognizes that the practice of inviting experts is expected to deal effectively with the priority subjects addressed in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and to contribute to the effective follow-up of the World Summit for Social Development, and to that end, decides that:

"(a) Panels of experts shall be formed, including experts appointed by the Secretary-General, experts working within the United Nations system and experts from Governments and civil society;

"(b) Experts shall be chosen from the fields of study addressed under the critical areas of concern, taking into account equitable geographical distribution and the involvement of non-governmental organizations;

"(c) The selection of experts, the composition of the panels and the allocation of time to dialogues shall be decided inter-sessionally by the Bureau of the Commission, taking into consideration the proposals of the United Nations Secretariat; the Secretariat shall prepare a list of candidates for the panels based on suggestions from States and civil society; and the Bureau shall convene meetings open to the participation of all interested States to ensure a broad base of participation;

"(d) Meetings shall be allotted to dialogue within the United Nations system and civil society and among governmental delegations, and sufficient time shall be devoted to intergovernmental dialogue;

"[27. Decides that the Chairman shall submit to the Commission summaries of discussions, including the deliberations of representatives of States, and the Commission shall determine the format in which to transmit to the Council the results of the discussions, which format could include resolutions, decisions, summaries of the main points or action-oriented agreed conclusions;]

"[28. Also decides that the Bureau of the Commission shall convene open-ended informal consultations of the Commission to improve organizational and procedural aspects of the Commission's sessions, and that the Bureau of the Commission shall meet on a regular basis from 1996, and may consider such issues as recommendations on agenda items and subjects to be discussed, the structure of meetings and lists of guest participants for panel discussions;]

"29. Calls upon the Bureau to monitor the state of preparedness of documentation for the Commission and take necessary measures to facilitate its timely issuance in all official languages;

"[30. Decides that to the extent practicable and at no cost to the Commission or to the United Nations, the Bureau of the Commission shall hold open meetings during the years that the formal session does not meet, and that, to further coordination of follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, the Bureau could, inter alia, review the work of the past year and prepare for the next year's formal session, hold meetings with the secretariats of relevant functional commissions and other relevant bodies to review the activities of those groups in regard to the Summit follow-up, develop a timetable for future meetings, and disseminate information regarding government-sponsored inter-sessional activity;]

"VII. "Secretariat                                                                                       [ Up ]

"31. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure an effectively functioning Secretariat within which clear responsibility is assigned to assist in the implementation of the follow-up to the Summit and the servicing of the intergovernmental bodies involved, and to ensure close cooperation at the Secretariat level between all the United Nations entities involved in the Summit follow-up;

"VIII. "Regional dimension

"[32. Invites the regional commissions, within their mandates and in cooperation with regional intergovernmental organizations and banks, to consider convening, on a biennial basis, a meeting at a high political level to review progress made towards implementing the outcome of the Summit, exchange views on the respective experiences of participating bodies and adopt appropriate measures.]"

12. In introducing the draft resolution, the Chairperson of the Working Group orally revised it. Among the revisions was a proposal to add a new section (section IX), entitled "Follow-up", containing the following operative paragraph:

"[33. Agrees to review the functioning of the Commission in the first session following the special session of the General Assembly in the year 2000 for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, bearing in mind the ongoing work on restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields, as and when appropriate.]"

13. At the 14th meeting, on 31 May, the observer for Costa Rica, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China, introduced amendments (E/CN.5/1996/L.7) to the draft resolution, by which operative paragraphs 16 and 17 were to be replaced by the following text:

"16. Decides that the Commission for Social Development shall be composed of fifty-three members elected from among the members of the United Nations and of its specialized agencies;

"17. Also decides that the Commission shall meet annually at least from eight to ten working days in New York, as required."

14. In introducing the amendments, the observer for Costa Rica orally revised them so that they read:

"16. Decides that the Commission for Social Development shall be composed of forty-six members elected from among the members of the United Nations and of its specialized agencies, according to the following pattern: 12 seats for African States, 10 seats for Asian States, 9 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States, 5 seats for Eastern European States and 10 seats for Western European and other States;

"17. Also decides that the Commission shall meet annually, beginning in 1997, for a period of eight working days in New York."

15. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May, the Chairperson of the Working Group further orally revised the draft resolution.

16. At the same meeting, statements were made by the representatives of the United States of America, the Sudan, Japan, Egypt, China and Ukraine and the observers for Costa Rica (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China) and Italy (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union).

17. Also at the same meeting, the representative of the Programme Planning and Budget Division of the Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts of the United Nations Secretariat made a statement.

18. The Secretary of the Commission then read out a statement on the programme budget implications of the amendments, as orally revised (see annex IV below).

19. At the same meeting, the Commission adopted the amendment to operative paragraph 16, as orally revised (see para. 14 above) by 24 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

20. Statements were then made by the representatives of China, Japan, Mongolia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, the Philippines and the Sudan.

21. At the same meeting, the Commission adopted the amendment to operative paragraph 17, as orally revised (see para. 14 above) by 24 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.

22. The Commission then adopted operative paragraph 23 of the draft resolution by 25 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions. Before the paragraph was adopted, the Chairperson of the Working Group made a statement.

23. Also at the 15th meeting, on the proposal of the representative of the United States of America, the Commission voted on a motion to retain operative paragraph 33 (see para. 12 above). The motion was rejected by 24 votes to 5.

24. Before the motion was rejected, the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran made a statement.

25. At the same meeting, the Secretary of the Commission read out a statement on the programme budget implications of the draft resolution as a whole, as orally revised (see annex IV below).

26. At the same meeting, the Commission adopted the draft resolution, as a whole, as revised, by 27 votes to 1, with 1 abstention (see chap. I, sect. A).

27. After the draft resolution was adopted, the representatives of the United States of America and the Ukraine made statements.

Establishment of a support group to assist the Commission for Social Development in the preparations for the International Year of Older Persons in 1999

28. At the 13th meeting, on 30 May 1996, the representative of the Dominican Republic, also on behalf of Argentina, Mongolia, Morocco and the Sudan, introduced a draft decision (E/CN.5/1996/L.6), entitled "Establishment of an inter-sessional Working Group to prepare recommendations and a draft programme for the observance of the International Year of Older Persons", which he orally revised by replacing the words "an inter-sessional ad hoc informal open-ended working group" by the words "an ad hoc informal open-ended support group". The draft decision, as orally revised read as follows:

"The Economic and Social Council decides to establish an ad hoc informal open-ended support group to prepare recommendations and draft a programme for the observance of the International Year of Older Persons in 1999, to be submitted to the in-session working group of the Commission for Social Development at its thirty-fifth session."

29. At the same meeting, Benin, Chile, Costa Rica, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan joined in sponsoring the draft decision.

30. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May, the Commission had before it a revised draft decision (E/CN.5/1996/L.6/Rev.1), entitled "Establishment of a support group to prepare recommendations and a draft programme for the observance for the International Year of Older Persons".

31. Also at the 15th meeting, the Chairman informed the Commission that the draft decision had no programme budget implications.

32. At the same meeting, the representative of Austria made a statement. The Secretary of the Commission also made a statement.

33. Also at the same meeting, the representative of the Dominican Republic further orally revised draft decision E/CN.5/1996/L.6/Rev.1 by changing the title to read "Establishment of a support group to assist the Commission for Social Development in the preparations for the International Year of Older Persons in 1999", and by deleting the words "and to submit its recommendations to the in-session working group of the Commission for Social Development at its thirty-fifth session" at the end of the paragraph.

34. At the same meeting, Guatemala joined in sponsoring the revised draft decision, as further orally revised.

35. The Commission then adopted draft decision E/CN.5/1996/L.6/Rev.1, as further orally revised (see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision I).

Proposals for the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001

36. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May 1996, the Commission decided to take note of the note by the Secretary-General (E/CN.5/1996/4 and Corr.1) containing proposals for the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 (see chap. I, sect. C, Commission decision S-1996/101).

 

Chapter III. Substantive theme: Strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty                                                                                            [ Up ]

1. The Commission for Social Development considered item 4 of its agenda at its 3rd to 8th, 10th to 13th and 15th meetings, on 22 to 24, 29 to 31 May 1996.

2. For its consideration of the item, the Commission had before it the following documents:

(a) Report of the Secretary-General on policy and programme considerations in the formulation of integrated strategies for poverty eradication, meeting the basic human needs of all and promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives (E/CN.5/1996/3);

(b) Statement by non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (E/CN.5/1996/NGO/1).

3. At the 3rd meeting, on 22 May, the Officer-in-Charge for the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development made an introductory statement.

4. At the same meeting, statements were made by the representatives of Egypt, Norway, China, Austria, Peru, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ukraine, the Republic of Korea, Belarus, the Philippines and the United States of America.

5. At the same meeting, the observers for Italy (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union, as well as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia), Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba made statements.

6. At the 4th meeting, on 22 May, the Commission began the first of a series of panel discussions. The following experts addressed the Commission: Gerry Rodgers (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Roberto Bissio (Uruguay), Valimohamed Jamal (Kenya), Louis Emmerij (Netherlands) and Pasuk Phongpaichit (Thailand).

7. At the same meeting, the observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference made a statement.

8. At the 5th meeting, on 23 May, the Commission held its second panel discussion. The following experts addressed the Commission: Jan Vandemoortele (United Nations Children's Fund), Leonor Briones (Philippines), Kerstin Trone (United Nations Population Fund) and Yao Graham (Ghana).

9. At the same meeting, statements were made by the representative of Argentina and the observer for India.

10. At the 6th meeting, on 23 May, the Commission held its third panel discussion. The following experts addressed the Commission: Huguette Redegeld (France), Kasa Pangu (United Nations Children's Fund), Caroline Pezzullo (United States of America), Atila Roque (Brazil) and Else Oyen (Norway).

11. At the same meeting, the representative of the Dominican Republic made a statement.

12. Also at the same meeting, the observers for the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Council on Social Welfare, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, category I, and the International Catholic Child Bureau, category II, made statements.

13. At the 7th meeting, on 24 May, statements were made by the representatives of Chile, the Philippines, Venezuela, the Russian Federation, Ethiopia, Belarus, Gabon, Co^te d'Ivoire, Mongolia and the Sudan and the observers for Kazakstan, Algeria, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

14. At the same meeting, the representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme made statements.

15. Also at the same meeting, the observers for the American Association of Retired Persons and Franciscans International, non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, category I, and the Ambekdar Centre for Justice and Peace, a non-governmental organization accredited to the World Summit for Social Development, made statements.

16. At the 8th meeting, on 24 May, the representatives of Bolivia and Ukraine made statements.

17. At the same meeting, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made a statement.

18. At the 10th meeting, on 29 May, the Chairperson of the Working Group on Poverty Eradication made a statement.

19. At the 11th meeting, on 29 May, the Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development made a statement.

20. At the same meeting, the chairpersons of the inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences addressed the Commission: Katherine Hagen (Chairperson of the Task Force on Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods), Mark Malloch Brown (Chairperson of the Task Force on the Enabling Environment for Social and Economic Development), Colin Power (Chairperson of the Task Force on Basic Social Services for All), and Rosario Green (Chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues). The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme acted as Moderator.

21. At the same meeting, statements were made by the representatives of the Sudan, Chile, Argentina, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Benin and the observers for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mexico, Jamaica and Canada.

22. At the 12th meeting, on 30 May, the Chairperson of the Working Group on Poverty Eradication made a statement.

Action taken by the Commission

Strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty

23. At the 13th meeting, on 30 May, Mr. Sten Arne Rosnes (Norway), in his capacity as Chairperson of the Working Group on Poverty Eradication introduced a draft resolution (E/CN.5/1996/L.4) entitled "Strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty", which read as follows:

"The Commission for Social Development,                                                  [ Up ]

"Recalling General Assembly resolution 50/161 of 22 December 1995 on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development,

"Recalling also General Assembly resolution 49/110 of 19 December 1994 and other relevant resolutions of the Assembly related to international cooperation for the eradication of poverty in developing countries as well as Assembly resolution 50/107 of 20 December 1995 on the observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty,

"Recalling further Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/60 of 28 July 1995 and Council decision 1995/324 of 12 December 1995, both related to the special session of the Commission for Social Development in 1996,

"Recognizing that broad-based and sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development is necessary to sustain social development and social justice, particularly as regards efforts to eradicate poverty,

"Alt. 1: Recognizing also that poverty is a global problem affecting all countries, in particular developing countries, and that the complexity of poverty requires the implementation and integration of policies and strategies as well as a wide range of measures and actions at the local, national, regional and international levels,

"Alt. 2: Recognizing also that poverty is a global problem affecting all countries and that the multidimensional nature of poverty requires a comprehensive and integrated approach to poverty eradication (in the national and international domains),

"Recalling that (, while) the main responsibility for the formulation and implementation of the strategies, policies, programmes and actions required to (combat/eradicate) poverty rests primarily at the national level (, there is also an urgent need for stronger international cooperation and the support of international institutions to assist countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty and to provide basic social protection and services) (, they cannot be successfully achieved without the collective commitment and efforts of the international community),

"Reaffirming that the role of the State and the commitment of Governments are of fundamental importance in combating poverty and in improving living conditions, and that Governments should focus their efforts and policies on addressing the root causes of poverty and providing for the basic needs of all,

"Recognizing that over one billion people in the world today live under unacceptable conditions of poverty, mostly in developing countries, and particularly in rural areas of low-income Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the least developed countries, (and recognizing also that people living in absolute poverty, particularly women, are on the increase,) resulting in limited access, inter alia, to income, resources, education, health care, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and safe water (, and that in all developing countries, particularly in Africa and in the least developed countries, the same trends are observed in other regions),

"Alt. 1: Recognizing also that mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes aimed at combating poverty and that empowerment of women will be critical factors in the eradication of poverty, since women constitute the majority of people living in poverty,

"Alt. 2: Recognizing also that mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes aimed at eradicating poverty and that empowerment of women, who constitute the majority of people living in poverty, is crucial in the eradication of poverty,

"Recognizing further that the eradication of illiteracy, the universalization of basic education and the access to education for all are essential in the eradication of poverty,

"Alt. 1: Reaffirming that the strengthening of the family is essential to the eradication of poverty,

"Alt. 2: Recognizing further that the (economic and political) empowerment of families and their individual members is an indispensable strategy in combating poverty,

"Recognizing further that the media have an important role to play in promoting awareness of the complex issues surrounding poverty,

"Stressing the necessity for promoting and implementing policies and strategies to create a supportive external economic environment, through, inter alia, cooperation in the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policies, trade liberalization, mobilization and/or provision of new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable and mobilized in such a way as to maximize the availability of such resources for sustainable development, using all available funding sources and mechanisms, enhanced financial stability and ensuring of increased access of developing countries to global markets, productive investment and technologies, and appropriate knowledge,

"Considering that the international community at the highest political level has already reached a consensus and committed itself to the eradication of poverty in the major United Nations conferences and summits organized since 1990,

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on policy and programme considerations in the formulation of integrated strategies for poverty eradication, meeting the basic human needs of all and promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives (E/CN.5/1996/3),

"Noting the discussions that took place on this issue during the panel discussions and the discussion with representatives of inter- agency task forces on the follow-up to international conferences and summits,

"Recalling that the commitment to the goal of eradicating poverty in the world, through decisive national actions and international cooperation, is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind,

"1. Reaffirms that all States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of people of the world;

"2. Stresses that stronger political will, at the national and international levels, is a prerequisite of the eradication of poverty;

"3. Recognizes that it is helpful to set achievable output-oriented targets for efforts to eradicate poverty in order to provide a common vision for all countries;

"4. Stresses that (reducing/eradicating) poverty can be achieved (in each country only) on the basis of a (clear and lasting/strong) political will (of the State based on national consensus/at the national and international levels) and directed in particular towards promoting more equitable distribution of the benefits of growth and equal access to productive resources and social services;

"5. Recognizes that the eradication of poverty is both a complex and a multidimensional issue, fundamental to promoting equality between men and women as well as to reinforcing peace and achieving social and economic development;

"6. Alt. 1: Urges Governments to integrate goals and targets for combating poverty into overall economic and social policies and planning at the local, national and, where appropriate, subregional and regional levels;

"6. Alt. 2: Urges Governments to integrate poverty eradication strategies into overall development policies within the context of a people-centred and equitable process in which the ultimate goal of economic and social policies must be to better the human condition, through responding to the needs and maximizing the potential of all members of society;

"7. Reaffirms that democracy, transparent and accountable (Government/governance) and administration (in all sectors of society/at all levels), as well as non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual respect for and valuing of diversity, and (respect for and promotion of/promotion of and respect for) human rights and fundamental freedoms, are also imperative for poverty eradication strategies;

"8. Emphasizes the crucial importance of reinforcing the means and capacities for people to participate in the formulation and implementation of social and economic policies and programmes through decentralization and open management of public institutions;                                                                                            [ Up ]

"9. Recognizes the central role that women play in the eradication of poverty, and stresses the need for their full and equal participation in the formulation and implementation of policies that take fully into account the gender perspective and that empower women to be full partners in development;

"10. Alt. 1: Emphasizes that strategies for poverty eradication shall consist, inter alia, of a combination of efforts to enhance human resources development, with a special focus on girls and women, and to create economic opportunities by appropriate macroeconomic and micro-economic policies, including facilitating of the access of people living in poverty to resources;

"10. Alt. 2: Reaffirms that human resources development is an essential part of poverty reduction strategies, which should also be based on the strengthening of the productive capacities of the poor, inter alia, through the promotion of (demand-driven training for) job-creating activities and wider access to productive resources, as well as through the stimulation of productive employment, labour- intensive (programmes or policies) development and improvements in productivity;

"11. Stresses the need to periodically monitor, assess and share information on the performance of poverty eradication plans, evaluate policies to combat poverty, and promote an understanding and awareness of poverty and its causes and consequences;

"12. Recognizes that the role of the State in poverty eradication strategies is fundamental, in particular through applying active social policies and creating an enabling environment, inter alia, for the development of the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises;

"13. Alt. 1: Stresses that Governments, in partnership with all other development actors, including people living in poverty and their organizations, should cooperate to meet the basic human needs of all, comprising, inter alia, income, resources, education, health care, nutrition, shelter, sanitation and safe water, in particular of people living in poverty and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

"13. Alt. 2: Stresses that Government, in partnership with civil society, including non-governmental organizations, and with people living in poverty and their organizations, should cooperate to meet the basic needs of all, inter alia, and in particular, people living in poverty and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

"14. Also stresses the need for strategies to address not only inadequate income, but also other factors, such as lack of access to resources and basic social services, and social exclusion;

"15. Reaffirms that the satisfaction of basic human needs is an essential element of poverty reduction, these needs being closely interrelated and comprising nutrition, health, water and sanitation, education, employment, housing, and participation in cultural and social life;

"16. Emphasizes that strategies for the eradication of poverty at the national and international levels and the provision of basic human needs should be formulated and implemented with the human being at their core, regardless of any political, economic, social or cultural considerations;

"17. Recommends that the relationship between meeting the basic needs of all and creating a stable legal framework, on the one hand, and that between, inter alia, globalization and trade liberalization, on the other hand, be examined;

"18. Stresses the long-term nature of poverty eradication strategies and the need for their continuous application;

"19. Recommends that States consider more operational ways of integrating a social exclusion concept into the design of global strategies for eradicating poverty, notably through human rights, democracy, good governance and administration, a stable legal framework, participation in decision-making, non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual respect for and valuing of diversity, universal access to basic social services and adequate social protection;

"20. Urges Governments to formulate and strengthen national strategies for the eradication of illiteracy and the universalization of basic education, and encourages international organizations, in particular the international financial institutions, to support these objectives in integrating them into policy programmes and operations as appropriate;

"21. Emphasizes that Governments might consider introducing, within a comprehensive framework geared to national needs and capacities, various ad hoc measures initiated at different times to deal with specific forms of poverty, progressively implemented and aimed at enhancing the capacity of people living in poverty to become economically and socially productive members of society;

"22. Stresses the need for a partnership between donor and recipient countries in which they commit themselves to addressing the issue of poverty eradication in a more cooperative manner;

"23. Emphasizes the fundamental importance of strengthening the abilities and opportunities of civil society and local communities to develop their own organizations, resources and activities, as well as ensuring an open dialogue between Governments and citizens or community groups;

"24. Also emphasizes the importance of (institutional) capacity- building in poverty eradication strategies;

"25. Further emphasizes that the adoption and implementation of measures to substantially alleviate the external debt of developing countries, in particular African countries and the least developed countries, should contribute to the eradication of poverty;

"26. Alt. 1: Calls upon the international community to fulfil the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for overall official development assistance as soon as possible, and increase the share of funding for social development programmes, as commensurate with the scope and scale of activities required to achieve the objectives and goals of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development to eradicate poverty;                                                         [ Up ]

"26. Alt. 2: Calls upon the international community to strive for the fulfilment of the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for overall official development assistance as soon as possible, and increase the share of funding for social development programmes, as commensurate with the scope and scale of activities required to achieve the objectives and goals of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development;

"27. Also calls upon the international community to mobilize new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable and mobilized in such a way as to maximize the availability of such resources and use all available funding sources and mechanisms, inter alia, multilateral, bilateral and private sources, including (, as mutually agreed,) on concessional and grant terms;

"28. Reaffirms the agreement on a mutual commitment between interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 per cent of official development assistance and 20 per cent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes;

"29. Calls upon all States and the international community to encourage and support local community development projects that foster the skill, self-reliance and self-confidence of people living in poverty and that facilitate their active participation in efforts to eradicate poverty;

"30. Stresses that international cooperation and assistance are essential for the full implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development;

"31. Also stresses that the reduction of poverty in countries with economies in transition requires the assistance of members of the international community in developing their social protection systems and social policies;

"32. Recalls that the United Nations system shall strengthen existing structures for coordination of actions relating to poverty eradication, including the establishment of a focal point for information exchange and the formulation and implementation of replicable pilot projects to eradicate poverty;

"33. Alt. 1: Invites all relevant specialized agencies, funds, programmes and related organizations of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, to strengthen and adjust their activities, programmes and strategies, as appropriate, with a view to achieving the overall goal of eradicating poverty, meeting the basic human needs of all and promoting self-reliance and community-based initiatives, through, inter alia, financial and technical support to developing countries in their efforts to translate all measures, recommendations and commitment into operational and concrete programmes, projects and activities;

"33. Alt. 2: Stresses that the international community, and the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, should fulfil the commitments they have made pursuant to chapter V of the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, in support of national efforts of developing countries towards the eradication of poverty;

"34. Reaffirms that the international financial institutions should contribute to the mobilization of resources for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development by further integrating social development goals into their policies, programmes and operations (in support of national efforts of developing countries);

"35. Invites the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme to consider so extending the duration of the eradication of poverty fund as to cover the period of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), in order to help developing countries, in particular African countries and the least developed countries, in the elaboration of national plans or programmes to eradicate poverty as well as in the formulation and implementation of replicable projects to combat poverty;

"36. Calls upon all States (, in particular donor countries,) to contribute substantially to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, which includes in its activities those related to the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty;

"37. Requests the Secretary-General, in elaborating the report on action envisaged to be taken by the United Nations system in preparation for the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, to propose specific activities for each year of the Decade in order to facilitate the follow-up to and evaluation of such activities;

"38. Also requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution within the framework of his report on action envisaged to be taken in preparation for the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, and to report thereon also to the Commission at its next session."

In introducing the draft resolution, the Chairperson of the Working Group orally revised it.

24. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May, the Chairperson of the Working Group further orally revised the draft resolution.

25. The meeting was suspended. When the meeting resumed, the Chairperson of the Working Group informed the Commission of the revisions to the draft resolution agreed upon during informal consultations.

26. The Commission then adopted the draft resolution, as further orally revised (see chap. I, sect. C, Commission resolution S-1996/1).

Chairman's summary of the panel discussions and the dialogue with chairpersons of inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences

27. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May, statements were made by the representatives of the Sudan, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran and China and the observer for Jamaica.

28. At the same meeting, the Commission agreed that the following text would be included in the report of the Commission:

"The Commission held three panel meetings with invited experts (22 and 23 May 1996) and a dialogue with the chairpersons of the ACC inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences (29 May 1996), on issues related to agenda item 4 (Strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty).

"The principal elements emerging from the discussions were summarized by the Chairman of the Commission. This text was presented to the members of the Commission and the Chairman received comments from various delegations that were accommodated in the summary. However, the text was not negotiated nor was it adopted by the Commission."

29. At the same meeting, the Commission decided to include the Chairperson's summary of the panel discussions and the dialogue with the chairpersons of inter-agency task forces in the report of the Commission (see chap. I, sect. C, Commission decision S-1996/102). The summary reads as follows:

"STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: CHAIRMAN'S SUMMARY OF THE PANEL DISCUSSIONS AND THE DIALOGUE WITH CHAIRPERSONS OF INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCES ON FOLLOW-UP TO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES              [ Up ]

"A. Summary of the panel discussions

"1. An essential characteristic of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Summit for Social Development is its recognition of the interrelated nature of three core issues of social development: eradication of poverty, enhancement of productive employment and promotion of social integration. The historic commitment to eradicate poverty represents a moral, political and economic imperative for the international community to act, at all levels, to strengthen policies, programmes and institutions to fight poverty.

"1. The international enabling environment

"(a) Macro strategies

"2. There may be any number of micro-level strategies to fight poverty, but in the absence of effective macroeconomic policies they are unlikely to be effective. Sectoral policies and programmes aiming to eradicate poverty may be offset or undermined by fiscal or monetary policies which can lead to greater poverty. Increasingly, the arena for implementing effective macroeconomic policy is global, requiring attention and action by major global organizations such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and multinational corporations.

"(b) Relieving the burden of debt and structural adjustment

"3. These fundamental questions of policy remain to be resolved satisfactorily. Debt-servicing continues to require enormous resources in many developing countries, resources which could be utilized for the implementation and operationalization of social programmes (the choice of directing resources remains a governmental prerogative).

"4. Structural adjustment policies, particularly in Africa, have often been based on false assumptions about the nature of the problems many countries face. The cause of African economic stagnation was thought to be 'urban bias' in the labour market and in the provision of social services, at the expense of farmers and exporters of commodities. Structural adjustment policies aiming at devaluation and promotion of commodity exports was expected to unleash the potential of these countries for economic growth. However, faced with declining commodity prices, as well as increased competition from other countries all following the same export-oriented strategies, many countries have found that liberalized trade regimes have not led to increased growth but to deindustrialization and an impoverished urban working class.

"5. Structural adjustment policies have generally ignored the distinct differences among countries and sought to impose standard solutions to diverse problems. A lack of sensitivity to the particular needs and circumstances of individual countries may threaten their future development potential.

"(c) Provision of resources

"6. Increased resources are essential for the full and effective implementation in many countries of strategies to eradicate poverty. Even with the best intentions, without sufficient resources it is often difficult for many Governments to implement the strategies and proposals which already exist.

"7. Resources are both financial and in-kind. Additional financial resources obtained through established means - including increased and dependable official development assistance (ODA), better mobilization of domestic resources and greater foreign direct investment - are called for. Efforts should be made to reduce or delink conditionalities. Further discussion and consideration should also be given to raising resources from untried means, including international taxation. In-kind resources are the non-financial contributions of communities to their own development. Particularly where financial resources are scarce, they will remain an essential element of poverty eradication strategies.

"(d) Globalization and trade liberalization

"8. Rapid globalization of the world economy and increased liberalization of trade have affected the abilities of many Governments to design and implement effective strategies for national development and poverty eradication. Greater attention should be given in international institutions and intergovernmental forums to the potentially serious consequences of these developments.

"9. To ensure that the wider opening of national economies through globalization does not lead to greater inequality, it is essential that Governments guarantee the rights of all sectors of societies and promote equal access to resources.

"2. The relationship between economic growth and social development

"10. Economic growth is essential for social development, particularly when social development is defined mainly in physical terms - such as provision of basic social services. Yet even when economic growth is strong, social development does not automatically follow. It is also not necessary for Governments to wait for economic growth to improve conditions for people living in poverty. Nevertheless, it is evident that many policies and programmes for social development remain based on the concept that the benefits of growth will 'trickle down' to the poor. More active intervention by a partnership of Government, civil society, multilateral institutions and donors is required.

"11. To ensure that growth is translated into development is not easy; there is no single policy prescription. The complexity and magnitude of the issues involved and the need to shape responses to the needs of individuals and countries rules out the possibility of a standard blueprint. Yet experience from countries which have made advances in reducing poverty indicates that strong and sustained political commitment to policies which promote distribution and investment in human resources through the provision of basic social services, combined with effective service delivery mechanisms and mobilization of all the actors involved are fundamental to eradicating poverty.

"3. The question of growth and distribution

"12. While economic growth is essential to promote employment and eradicate poverty, it is not, in itself, a guarantee of better standards of living. Experience indicates that increased economic growth can lead to greater income inequality, resulting in large numbers of people remaining in poverty even as average per capita GDP figures soar. The persistence of poverty in spite of economic growth raises significant questions as to why particular groups fail to benefit from development.

"13. An increasing income gap also has potentially severe social and political implications. It is essential to ensure that the distribution of the benefits of high economic growth is equitable.

"14. To a certain extent, the fact that much recent economic growth has led to rising inequalities in some countries can be attributed to the speed with which that growth has taken place. Opening economies to globalization may enhance inequality, as many people are incapable of adjusting quickly to new and changing conditions. It is to be hoped that with prolonged economic growth inequalities will diminish, but Governments may also need to intervene to encourage some degree of redistribution.

"4. The creation of productive employment

"(a) Employment-intensive development

"15. Continued and enhanced economic growth remains a priority for all countries, but current patterns of development should be revised to encourage growth which is more labour-intensive and job-creating. Labour markets have changed markedly in many countries. Governments cannot leave the responsibility for job creation to the private sector alone, but have a function to stimulate appropriate labour-intensive growth through effective policies.

"(b) Improving the productivity of labour

"16. There remains a massive problem for workers whose employment is not productive enough to lift them out of poverty: the persistence of the 'working poor', in spite of their best efforts and the long hours they put in, is a major component of poverty in nearly all countries. Policies and programmes should be implemented to enable workers to become more efficient, thus raising their productivity and, eventually, their incomes.

"17. The provision of education and training, designed to impart practical skills and knowledge and revised regularly to take into account changing labour markets and national development needs, is essential and should be a prime concern of Governments.

"18. While employment is considered essential to poverty eradication, recognition also must be given to situations in which people cannot find employment, are physically or emotionally incapable of maintaining employment, or are unable to earn sufficient income to sustain themselves. In such instances it is important for Government to maintain a basic minimum standard of living.

"5. The potential of the informal sector [ Up ]

"19. The informal sector and small and medium-sized enterprises have the potential to provide jobs and income for people living in poverty; often these jobs, precarious though they may be, are the only means available to the poor to earn some income. Yet because of their low productivity, jobs in the informal sector rarely provide workers with sufficient income or protection to enable them to lift themselves out of poverty. Some people view the informal sector as a trap for poor workers, consigning them to jobs with low productivity, unsafe conditions and little protection.

"20. This raises the question of whether government policy should seek to encourage the informal sector and small and medium-sized enterprises to grow, thus promoting their integration into the formal economy, or whether it should encourage them to remain small and informal. In general, Governments are encouraged to support the further development of the informal sector, through such means as improving access to credit, while also adopting measures designed to raise productivity levels, thus leading to increased incomes and greater stability and protection for workers.

"21. In rural areas emphasis should be given to the non-farm sector as a means to absorb surplus labour.

"6. Who are the poor? The problem of perception and presentation

"22. Policies aiming to eradicate poverty must take into consideration the various aspects of the problem, and must recognize and overcome the stereotypes and prejudices which often accompany public discussion of the issue. They must consider the perception that people living in poverty have of themselves. The media have an important role in creating and maintaining images of the poor and the causes of their condition, and they should be encouraged to provide balanced and thoughtful analyses of the complex issues surrounding poverty. Yet the media often merely reflect the sentiments of society at large, and cannot be expected to take the place of sensible and sensitive policy-making for poverty eradication.

"23. Reference was made to the need for a better understanding of the causes of poverty - political, economic, social and personal. Various explanations currently being advanced were mentioned during the discussion, particularly the following: structural and institutional factors rooted in societies; specific barriers that groups have to confront and overcome, such as lack of access to education or resources; for individuals, lack of community or family support and a host of personal problems that lead to social dependence. None of these were considered as adequate explanations of poverty, taken singly. All of them had to be addressed together with the creation of a national and international enabling environment if strategies to eradicate poverty were to be successful.

"24. Strategies for poverty eradication should recognize the varied experiences of different countries and their identification of the poor. Several aspects can be determined which identify or refer to people living in poverty: although much attention is given to the problems of the urban poor, in many countries the poor most often live in rural or isolated areas; they often have large families and low life expectancy; they survive without benefit of many basic services; they evidence a low level of participation in economic and political life; they often lack the basic means for productive employment; and they generally lack a sense of security in their lives. Policies to eradicate poverty must address these aspects of poverty, must seek to strengthen the determination of people living in poverty to improve their conditions and must assist them with planning and advice.

"7. Basic human needs and basic social services

"25. The Social Summit did not distinguish between the concepts of basic human needs and basic social services. For practical purposes, basic social services are often defined to include basic education, primary health care, nutrition, family planning and low-cost access to clean water and sanitation. The definition of basic human needs is broader in scope and extends to essential aspects of life, including employment, shelter and personal freedom. Discussion focused on the provision of basic social services as an effective and cost-efficient way to reduce poverty and a fundamental contribution to the satisfaction of basic human needs. Quality basic education for all was singled out as being of critical importance to economic and social progress and the eradication of poverty. Experience has shown the vital role of basic education in the transformation of societies and the expansion of opportunities for the disadvantaged and those living in poverty.

"26. The provision of basic social services is a complicated undertaking, particularly across widespread territory and in isolated areas. It requires a dedicated and long-term commitment from Governments to identify and reach the people most in need and to overcome the tendency for programmes to be usurped by those with more power, connections or information. In many places it also requires a sustained commitment from non-governmental organizations, networks, communities and families, all of which are often called upon to provide resources, labour, management skills, time and enthusiasm.

"27. Although the importance of providing basic social services is widely recognized, assurance of their financing has not been achieved. Sources of increased resources include increased government allocations, greater mobilization of community resources, debt relief or debt swaps, additional bilateral and multilateral aid, foreign borrowing, private investment and privatization of services, special taxes and greater use of cost-recovery.

"28. The 'Oslo Consensus on 20/20', developed at a recent meeting in that city, calls on developing countries to initiate dialogues with their development partners aimed at identifying methods to expand and fund access to basic social services. In the future, consultative group and round-table meetings will include a session on the implementation of 20/20 and the financing of basic social services. Recently, at the high-level meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in Paris, a series of time-bound commitments was approved aiming to reduce poverty and meet targets for the provision of basic social services. The report of that meeting, entitled 'Shaping the 21st Century', was made available to the Commission for Social Development.

"29. Each of the sources of resources listed provides opportunities and each has drawbacks, and the provision of basic social services under actual conditions will likely continue to rely on various combinations of all of them. No single option or combination of options can be predetermined. Governments have the responsibility to determine their own particular needs and develop their own solutions in partnership with the organizations of civil society, donors and multilateral institutions.

"8. The role of civil society

"30. As expressed in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, Governments have recognized the potential of non-governmental organizations and other actors of civil society to reach people living in poverty, and they are increasingly willing to enter into partnerships to promote policies and programmes for poverty eradication, including employment creation and provision of basic social services. These partnerships should be supported and encouraged.

"31. Organizations of civil society have been praised for being flexible, responsive, representative and open to wide participation; many function at the grass-roots level and provide vital opportunities for two-way communication with local communities. Many also provide the best, if not the only, means for people living in poverty to express their needs and concerns. It is, however, important to avoid making general assumptions about the nature of these organizations. Given the wide array of organizations and the diversity of their goals, operating methods and accomplishments, it would be an oversimplification to make all-inclusive conclusions about the role of the organizations of civil society. Nevertheless, the importance of involving a variety of organizations of civil society in efforts to eradicate poverty and the beneficial results of many of their efforts is frequently demonstrated and has been reflected throughout this summary.

"9. The need for institution-building at all levels

"32. At the international level, the United Nations and particularly the Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions, are clearly primary forums for discussion of the issues surrounding poverty and strategies for its eradication. Whether existing institutions can and should be revitalized and reshaped to enable them to promote and support new approaches to economic and social development is an issue which is currently being addressed, both in the Commission for Social Development and throughout the system. The question of whether new institutions should be developed has not been addressed.

"33. Nationally, the design of policies for economic and social inclusion which will promote new approaches to development and to poverty eradication will also require a degree of rethinking about the institutions currently charged with these responsibilities. Questions were raised about the ability of existing ministries and national bureaucracies to implement the emerging international consensus on new approaches to development. New partnerships of Government and civil society will clearly be required, and this should be seen as a positive development. A part of the effort to eradicate poverty must include an analysis of the institutions which will be charged with the implementation of strategies.

"34. Local communities must be able to help themselves; the vulnerable groups need to be defended against the process of exclusion, which may gain strength as economic growth accelerates. Therefore, it is essential that local networks, organizations and community groups be strengthened - with funding, with training and with increased self-confidence - to enable them to defend and support their members.

"10. The need to guarantee rights and protections [ Up ]

"35. A major factor influencing the ability of individuals and groups to raise themselves from poverty is their enjoyment of rights to resources - land, forests, fisheries - which they can utilize and manage to ensure sufficient incomes. Sometimes, social groups which have contributed significantly to national economic development are not able to enjoy the benefits of that development because they are excluded from ownership of or access to resources.

"11. The need for continuous information and monitoring

"36. Policies to eradicate poverty should strive to be comprehensive but focus on key issues. As economic growth continues social conditions change rapidly. For policies to be effective, it is essential that they be continuously reviewed and revised as necessary to address changing situations and needs. This will require that policy makers have access to continuous and up-to-date information about conditions and about the impact of current policies.

"37. Information gathering and policy monitoring are, however, not ends in themselves: it is necessary that information be properly and sufficiently acted upon so that effective policies remain so and ineffective policies are changed. The organizations of civil society will also be instrumental in providing information and in monitoring policy performance.

"12. The issue of social change and its impact on economic growth

"38. Many societies have witnessed profound social change, most noticeably in terms of gender relations and in family structures, which are both cause and effect of economic growth and developments.

"39. Social change, in particular with regard to women or to vulnerable social groups, actually refers to changes in attitudes about their roles in and their contributions to the societies in which they live. These changes in attitudes should lead to their empowerment and greater participation in economic and social life, which should improve their positions enormously. It can be expected that such change would lead to greater and faster economic growth, by freeing pent-up potential and skills which now go unutilized. It also requires change based on the political will to promote inclusion and the rights of all members of society.

"40. The particular role of the family as a source of support should be recognized and supported by policies and programmes, while taking into account the evolution which traditional notions of the family have undergone in most places.

"13. Obstacles to eradicating poverty

"41. Many of the traditional theories and concepts of development, and the policies they have engendered, have been based on an ethic of materialism, exclusion and domination, rather than a sense of solidarity among all people, and have resulted in situations whereby participation by the poor is not facilitated and their views, experiences and contributions are not valued. It was perceived that, within many societies, a certain level of poverty may be considered desirable, as a source of cheap labour and to maintain a passive political constituency. Any strategy to eradicate poverty must first make a careful and honest assessment of which groups or institutions within society may actually benefit from poverty and how, so that likely resistance to anti-poverty efforts may be taken into account.

"42. Many previous anti-poverty strategies have been organized in a paternalistic, top-down fashion which failed to take into account the needs, concerns and considerations of people living in poverty. Tremendous resources have been squandered in such efforts. Experience indicates that government interventions which fail to devolve decision- making to the local community tend to be far less successful than those which promote decentralization of responsibility.

"43. There has also been a failure on the part of some Governments and donors to recognize the complexity of the condition of poverty. Often, poverty has been considered to be a single phenomenon with similar causes and effects everywhere, and assumptions have been made that all people living in poverty have essentially identical needs and aspirations. These false assumptions lead to simplistic, universal solutions which fail completely to take individual considerations into account and which are therefore often inappropriate, leading to failure, wasted resources and frustration.

"44. It is important to recognize the tendency for the non-poor to usurp control over anti-poverty projects and to hijack their benefits, as well as the counter-strategies developed by the non-poor to perpetuate their economic and social advantages. Further research should be undertaken on the strategies of the non-poor and their impact on the ability of people living in poverty to improve their condition.

"14. Establishing partnerships with people living in poverty

"45. The eradication of poverty will require the establishment of partnerships between people living in poverty and the rest of society. Partnerships must be based on respect and solidarity, as well as on a recognition of the rights and responsibilities of both the poor and the non-poor.

"46. Partnership must also be built on a new way of thinking about the poor: they may be 'cash poor' but rich in vision, tradition and initiative. Strategies to eradicate poverty must be imbued with an awareness of the skills, expertise and knowledge of people living in poverty, must acknowledge and respect diversity, must provide the information and access to services and resources that will enable people living in poverty to raise their standard of living, and must base their prescriptions on the solutions that the poor themselves develop.

"47. Successful partnerships rest on ensuring access to fundamental services; protecting and empowering families; investing in human resources; allowing time for trusting relationships to develop; sharing knowledge between the poor and the non-poor; training individuals and institutions working with the poor; assessing progress, with the participation of the poor.

"48. Particularly in cities and other areas of steady in-migration, where traditional patterns of solidarity have often broken down, it is important to support emerging forms of solidarity, including religious, women's or youth groups.

"49. To encourage self-reliance requires a long-term effort to reach out to communities of people living in poverty. It requires efforts to encourage them to develop their own organizations based on common needs, interests or goals and should take into account a series of different phases of enablement, including consciousness-raising, mobilization, participation, organization, capacity-building and allowing local control of space and resources.

"B. Summary of the dialogue with the chairpersons of inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences *                                                 [ Up ]

(* Task Force on Basic Social Services for All, chaired by the United Nations Population Fund and represented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Task Force on Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, chaired by the International Labour Organization; Task Force on the Enabling Environment for Social and Economic Development, chaired by the World Bank; and Inter-Agency Committee on Women, chaired by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues. The dialogue was moderated by the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.)

"50. The dialogue focused on the link between intergovernmental policy processes and actions taken to implement in an integrated and coordinated fashion commitments adopted at recent United Nations conferences in the social and economic sectors.

"51. The dialogue can be summarized in terms of five issue clusters.

"15. Development - as an inclusive process

"52. A major focus in the work of the various inter-agency mechanisms is how to ensure that development is a process which is inclusive of all, sustainable and equitable. At present many countries, groups and individuals have been left behind in the emerging global economy. While the market-oriented approach was generally recognized as being capable of bringing greater dynamism and efficiency, it did not ensure broad-based development and fulfilment of basic human needs for all. Positive policies of the State at different levels were therefore essential. Special attention is being directed to effective incorporation of gender concerns in implementation of recent conference goals and commitments. Measures are also being tested and evaluated to ensure that relief and rehabilitation efforts in post-conflict situations can progress smoothly, are mutually reinforcing and ensure a smooth transition to renewed development and social progress.

"16. More effective and efficient system-wide follow-up

"53. It was noted that the inter-agency mechanisms have yielded a number of improvements in terms of specific time-bound and demand-driven responses to country-level needs that further the implementation of recent conference goals and commitments. This has served (a) as a driving force for a better division of system-wide efforts, as evidenced by the subject-matter focus of the three task forces; (b) as an enabling mechanism for integrated country-level action; and (c) as a vehicle for critical new input on complex development issues, as evidenced by the Secretary-General's Africa regional-level initiative on agreed development objectives and the United Nations system-wide approach to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

"54. Reform efforts were bringing about changes in organization of work and outreach among specialized constituencies both among the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions. Both had instituted measures to consult with civil society on issues and trends and had established new public-private sector partnerships to promote sustained and equitable development.

"55. Among obstacles in the way of a satisfactory system-wide response to conference follow-up, a lack of financial resources for the necessary level of development cooperation was cited. Resource shortfalls had affected progress in implementing the 'Education for All' commitments adopted at the Jomtien Conference. Second, was a need for a United Nations system organizational framework at all levels as well as an appropriate institutional framework for cooperation with the bilateral donor community. Third, was a need to strengthen the process of genuine country 'ownership' of development cooperation activities among programme countries.

"17. Initiatives in system-wide coordination

"56. The decision of ACC to establish the three task forces and the Inter-Agency Committee on Women was based on a concern to reduce duplication of efforts and to focus on priority objectives of recent conferences. The task force experience is to be appropriately incorporated in the programmes of work of participating United Nations organizations, including specialized agencies.

"57. Lessons emerging from the coordination initiatives to date include the importance of an agreed division of labour among concerned members of the system to achieve efficiencies in the design and delivery of development cooperation, of promoting cooperation with all concerned development partners, including civil society, to further demand-driven development cooperation, and of formulating country-level frameworks, such as the country strategy note, to further country ownership of development cooperation activities.

"58. System-wide coordination initiatives have resulted in the identification of gender and of the family as important cross-cutting concerns in poverty eradication measures. In addition, the view was expressed that the exploitation of children and child labour represented another issue for system-wide action since it involved basic education, health, labour standards and rights, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods among men and women.

"18. Initiatives in institutional development

"59. Effective poverty eradication will require strengthened institutional arrangements. These include both the market as a mechanism to mobilize and allocate resources and the involvement of representative and participatory organizations of civil society.

"60. Recent experience also suggests the importance of effective and transparent governance in sustained and equitable development and an effective public service. Greater importance needed to be given to restoring the role and effectiveness of public services at all levels. Governance was considered at the resumed fiftieth session of the General Assembly in the context of public administration and development as well; and the role of the State in development will be the subject of the World Development Report, 1997.

"19. Resources management initiatives

"61. Conference follow-up involved issues of new and improved output measures as well as improved data and information for development reporting, of new and alternative resources for social investments, particularly in the light of debt-service levels in many countries, and of building national capacities for sustained development.

"62. Improved data for evaluating progress is being considered by the three task forces with a view to greater consistency in the respective indicators of progress achieved. In terms of output indicators, income inequality and gender-based distributional and demographic measures were stressed, and also infant mortality.

"63. The need to identify new and additional resources for social investments had led to a number of initiatives in mobilizing private sector flows as well as community-based resources among selected programme countries. Specific reference was made to recent relief and rehabilitation activities in post-conflict countries. The World Bank also cited its current study in cooperation with the non-governmental community on structural adjustment measures and the social objectives.

"64. National capacities and institutional capabilities represent a third development resource dimension. National capacities will necessarily influence the nature and pace of country 'ownership' of development cooperation activities. Effective and participatory institutions will influence the nature and role of civil society in development decision-making as well as in the sharing of the benefits of development."

 

Chapter IV. Provisional agenda for the 35th session of the Commission                                                                                                                     [ Up ]

1. The Commission considered item 6 of its agenda at the 15th meeting on 31 May 1996. It had before it a note by the Secretariat containing the provisional agenda for its thirty-fifth session together with a list of requested documentation (E/CN.5/1996/L.2). The provisional agenda had been approved by the Economic and Social Council in its decision 1995/248 of 24 July 1996, on the recommendation of the Commission at its thirty-fourth session.

2. The Officer-in-Charge of the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development orally amended the provisional agenda in the light of resolutions and decisions adopted by the Commission.

3. At its 15th meeting, the Commission approved the provisional agenda for its thirty-fifth session, as orally amended, together with the requested documentation (see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision II).

 

Chapter V. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its special session                                                                                                                   [ Up ]

1. At the 15th meeting, on 31 May 1996, the Rapporteur introduced the draft report of the Commission (E/CN.5/1996/L.3), which he orally corrected.

2. The Commission then adopted the report, as orally corrected.

3. Statements were made by the representatives of Austria, the United States of America and Egypt.

 

Chapter VI. Organization of the session [ Up ]

A. Opening and duration of the session

1. The Commission for Social Development held its special session of 1996 at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 21 to 31 May 1996. The Commission held 15 meetings (1st to 15th meetings) and a number of informal meetings.

2. At the 1st meeting, on 21 May, the Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development made an introductory statement.

B. Attendance

3. In accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1147 (XLI) of 4 August 1966, the Commission is composed of 32 States Members of the United Nations, elected on the principle of equitable geographical distribution.

4. The session was attended by 30 States Members of the Commission. Observers for other States Members of the United Nations and for non-member States, representatives of specialized agencies and observers for intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also attended. A list of participants is given in annex I to the present report.

C. Election of officers

5. At the 1st meeting, on 21 May 1996, the Commission elected the following officers, by acclamation:

Chairman: Koos Richelle (Netherlands)

Vice-Chairman: Julia Tavares de Alvarez (Dominican Republic) Ruth S. Limjuco (Philippines)

Rapporteur: Sileshi Shewaneh (Ethiopia)

D. Agenda and organization of work

6. At the 1st meeting, on 21 May 1996, the Commission adopted the provisional agenda contained in document E/CN.5/1996/1 (see annex II to the present report) and approved the organization of its work (see E/CN.5/1996/L.1/Rev.1).

E. Appointment of chairpersons of working groups

7. At the 8th meeting, on 24 May 1996, the Commission endorsed the appointment of Ruth S. Limjuco (Philippines) as Chairperson of the Working Group of the Future of the Commission for Social Development and Sten Arne Rosnes (Norway) as Chairperson of the Working Group on Poverty Eradication.

F. Panel discussions and dialogue

8. At the 4th to 6th meetings, on 22 and 23 May 1996, the Commission held panel discussions on the following themes:

Formulation of integrated strategies (agenda item 4 (a))

Meeting the basic human needs of all (agenda item 4 (b))

Promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives (agenda item 4 (c))

9. At the same meetings, members of the Commission held a general exchange of views with the panellists.

10. At the 11th meeting, on 29 May, the chairpersons of inter-agency task forces on follow-up to international conferences addressed the Commission. The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme acted as Moderator.

11. At the same meeting, members of the Commission held a general exchange of views with the chairpersons.

G. Consultations with non-governmental organizations

12. In accordance with rule 76 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council (E/5975/Rev.1), representatives of the following non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council made statements:

Category I: American Association of Retired Persons, Franciscans International, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and International Council on Social Welfare

Category II: International Catholic Child Bureau and International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centres

Accredited to the World Summit for Social Development: Ambekdar Centre for Justice and Peace

United Nations Document E/1996/29 E/CN.5/1996/5

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