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UN Human Rights Treaties

Travaux Préparatoires


Record of meeting held on 31 Oct. 1980.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/35/SR.38
Convention Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 35th
Type Document

21 p.

Subjects Ageing Persons, Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Religious Intolerance, Rights of The Child, Science and Technology, Youth, Persons with Disabilities

Extracted Text

United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIRTY-FIFTH SESSION Official Records* THIRD COMMITTEE 38th meeting held on Friday, 31 October 1980 at 3 p.m. New York SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 38th MEETING Chairman: Mr. GARVALOV (Bulgaria) later: Mrs. SILVA de ARANA (Peru) CONTENTS AGENDA ITEM 69: INTERNATIONAL YOUTH YEAR: PARTICIPATION, DEVELOPMENT, PEACE (continued) AGENDA ITEM 8l: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES RELATING TO YOUTH (continued) AGENDA ITEM 71: PROBLEMS OF THE ELDERLY AND THE AGED (continued) AGENDA ITEM 73: QUESTION OF A CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (continued) AGENDA ITEM 79: INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF DISABLED PERSONS (continued) AGENDA ITEM 70: PRESERVATION AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL VALUES, INCLUDING THE PROTECTION, RESTITUTION AND RETURN OF CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC PROPERTY (continued) AGENDA ITEM 68: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGI0U5 INTOLERANCE (continued) AGENDA ITEM 72: HUMAN RIGHTS AND SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS (continued) AGENDA ITEM 76: INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS (continued) (a) REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMITTEE (b) FUTURE MEETINGS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE (c) STATUS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS AND THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS Distr. GENERAL A/C.3/35/SR.38 10 November 1980 ORIGINAL: ENGLISH 80-57162 A/C.3/33/SR.38 English Page 2 The meeting was called, to order at 3.20 p.m. AGANDA ITEM 69. INTERNATIONAL YOUTH YEAR: PARTICIPAN. DEVELOPMENT, PEACE (continued) (A/34/855. A/35/361 and Add.l; A/C.3/35/3: A/C.3/35/L.26) AGENDA ITEM 81. POLICES AND PROGRAMES RELATES TO YOUTH (continued) (A/35/503, A/C.3/35/3) AGENDA ITEM 71: PROSESS OF THE ELDERLY AND THE AGED (continued) (A/35/130 and Add.l and Corr.1; A/C.3/35/8) AGENDA ITEM 73: QUESTION OF A CONVANTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (continued) (A/C.3/35/L.14) AGENDA ITEM 79: INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF DISABLED PERSONS (continued) (A/35/274 and ADD.1, A/35/291, A/35/444 and Add.l; A/C.3/35/5) AGEN'DA ITEM 70: RESERVATION AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL VALUES INCLUDING THE PROTECTION, RESTITUTIO"! AND RETURM OF CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC PROPERTY (continued) (A/35/349, A/35/419: A/C.3/35/L.22) AGENDA ITEM 68: ELLiTATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE (continued) AGENDA ITEM 72: HUNAN RIGHTS AND SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS (continued) (A/35/202) AGENDA ITEM 76: INTERNATIONAL CONVENTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS (continued) (A/35/65, A/35/96, A/35/132. A/35/137 and Corr.1 [English only]. A/35/173, A/35/135. A/35/288, A/35/43. A/35/457, A/35/462) (a) REPORT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTE (A/35/40, A/C.3/35/4): (b) FUTURE MEETINGS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTE (A/35/417): (c) STATUS OF THE I.NTERNATIONAL COVENALT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT Oil CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS AND THE OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS (A/33/3/Add.24, A/35/195). 1. Mr. ABAWI (Afghanistan) said that in the civilized world there had always been interest in youth, a dominant theme for outstanding scholars throughout the centuries- Young people, who sometimes created problems for society, needed help from their elders to provide them with experience, information and proper guidance. Very little had been done for youth in the least developed countries because of economic limitations and other social problems. Young people sought revolutionary reforms in the power structure of their societies, which in many cases they recorded A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 3 (Mr. Abawi, Afghanistan) as being characterized by corruption. nepotism and inefficiency, the main obstacles to economic, political and social progress. 2. Co-ordination and analysis of over-all and sectoral programmes for the development and participation of youth were essential. They could be achieved through the establishment of a co-ordinating organ to assist planning bodies in designing programmes and to supervise the implementation of policies and programmes as a whole. The International Youth Year could contribute to the attainment of those goals by ensuring the inclusion of youth programmes in development planning and guaranteeing the execution of those programmes. 3. In Afghanistan, youth played a vital role in the development process and youth organizations had been established throughout the country. Furthermore, Afghan youth organizations were in close contact with other youth organizations around the -world and placed great value on the exchange of experience and views with young people from other countries. In considering the problems of youth and in seeking solutions, it should be remembered that today's youth would be the owners and masters of future societies. 4. Mr. ROUCOUMAS (Greece) said that everyone was aware of the need for adjustments as the number of elderly and aged persons throughout the world grew larger. Rach society should strive to give retired persons the possibility of living. in conditions of comfort, accord them respect and enable them to participate in the life of the community. That was a duty which society owed to those who had shaped the present, and at the same time it was an appreciation of the value of older citizens in the developmental process. Above all, the rights of the elderly and the aged should be regarded as a new category of human rights. 5. It was also important that international organizations, in particular the United Nations, should be aware of new needs and should give careful study to actions that would Make Governments better able to deal with the problems created by changing age patterns. The 1982 World Assembly on the Elderly was therefore of particular interest to his Government, and he hoped that it would have practical and concrete results. 6. Specialized organizations in Greece were actively studying fundamental questions relating to the elderly and the aged. In particular, the Hellenic Gerontological Association concentrated on: (a) care for the aged in the home as comnared to care given in specialized institutions; (b) social services at the national and local levels; (c) conditions of work for the retired and allocation of pensions and allowances, and (d) reorganization of social security services. 7. His delegation supported the Secretary-General's proposal contained in document A/35/130 for the establishment of an intergovernmental advisory committee to participate in the formulation of a draft programme of action. It also supported A/C.3/35/Sr.38 English Page 4 (1 Mr. Roucounas, Greece) the proposal that the 1982 world Assembly should be held at Vienna and was prepared to contribute to achieving its objectives. 8. Mr. BIALY (Poland) said that the serious social, health and economic implications of the problems of the elderly and the aged seemed to assume greater importance with each passing year. In Poland, considerable weight was given to those problems, for at least four reasons. Firstly, in a socialist society, respect for older citizens and Gratitude for what they had achieved were at the root of social policies. Secondly, from a demographic point of view, Poland's population would gradually become older as a result of accomplishments in the social field and progress in medicine. Thirdly, several social elements played an important role which had to be taken into account. For example, as a result of intensive industrialization and urbanization, many young people moved from rural areas, leaving older family members behind. In Poland, the rural population was considerably older than the urban population and therefore required more attention. Fourthly, demand for manpower enabled Poland to pursue a policy of offering the aging the option of retirement from active work or continuation of work: on a restricted basis. 9. The basic principle followed in Poland was that the elderly and the aged should remain as long as possible in their own environment. The State was responsible for meeting their basic needs and paying proper attention to their changing living conditions. Organized health care was one of the most important elements that allowed older citizens to continue living in their own environment. All citizens of Poland were eligible for free medical care, and those on retirement pensions were also entitled to medicines free of charge. 10. It was generally recognized that proper attention had to be paid to the psychological and emotional needs of the elderly and the aged, who were much more sensitive than younger people. The feelings of helplessness and uselessness and the frequently unfounded suspicion of being a burden on the family made thew deeply unhappy. They needed to love and to be loved, to be recognized, to be accepted, to be useful, to have an opportunity to discuss their problems, to feel safe, to have new experiences and to have prospects in life. 11. His delegation was most interested in international exchanges of views on the problems of the elderly and the aged. The report of the Secretary-General on the draft programme and arrangements for the World Assembly on the Elderly (A/35/130) was a valuable presentation, correctly identifying basic problems and different proposals. His delegation agreed that for the purposes of the World Assembly, the aging ought to be defined as those who were 60 year3 of age or older. It also agreed with the observations in paragraphs 11 and 12 on the role of the family and on the effects of industrialization and urbanization. His delegation felt that greater attention should be given to the general considerations contained in paragraphs 16-19 and that all specific problems should be discussed within the broad context of social and economic development. It had no objection to the observations A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 5 (Mr. Bialy, Poland) in paragraphs 21-24 on humanitarian issues and paragraphs 25-32 on developmental issues. In particular, it shared the views expressed in paragraphs 27-28 that the skills of the aging population should not be dispensed with lightly, His delegation would prefer to see greater attention given to the problem of the psychological needs of the aging. With regard to paragraph 32, his delegation was of the opinion that although it was the responsibility of the State to ensure the rights and care of older people, international co-operation and exchange of experience should be further encouraged. Consequently there should be more emphasis on international co-operation in identifying the purposes of the World Assembly, as set forth in paragraph 38. His delegation supported the proposals contained in chapter III, sections B, C and D. 12. The final outcome of the World Assembly would depend largely on the organization of the preparatory work. That work must be taken up at both the national and the international level, but the success of the Assembly should not be measured in terms of the epectacular. What was needed was serious discussion of the world situation of the elderly and the aged and the adoption of measures which would truly advance their cause in all countries. 13- Mr. KJAERGAARD (Denmark) said his delegation was gratified that one of the main themes chosen for the International Youth Year was "participation". It was of crucial importance that youth, with its energies, enthusiasms and creative abilities, should be involved in the decision-making process at the national and international levels. At the national level, it was important to motivate young people to participate actively in shaping the future of society. While young people today had better opportunities than in the past, much remained to be done. Participation in the decision-making process obviously required a sharing of responsibility for the decisions made. His Government believed that youth could and would take that responsibility upon itself if given the opportunity to do so. 14. The serious economic problems following the recession of the past decade had had particularly serious consequences for the young generation. Even after completing their education, far too many young people, particularly young women, were unable to find employment. The human and economic effects of unemployment were grave for everyone irrespective of age, but they were particularly grave for young people. Special efforts to deal with the unemployment problems of young people were therefore crucial, and his Government had been implementing programmes in that field for years. The main aim of those programmes was to ensure the access of young people to the labour market. 15. Another basic problem confronting society was the need to shape the educational system so that it could, on the one hand, respond to the wishes of young people and, on the other, enable them to meet the demands which would be placed upon them after they completed their education. Obviously there could be no definitive solution for that problem; it could be tackled only by a continuous dialogue with young people. A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 6 (Mr. KJaergaard, Denmark) 16. There was a trend in today's society towards more leisure time. One main reasc, for that was, of course, technological development. However, another important reason was the growing desire of many people, particularly young people, to focus less on material gain and to give higher priority to other values. Those developments had increased the need for meaningful leisure activities. In its planning for the future, society had often neglected the special need3 of young people, who had frequently teen left to passive and commercialized activities. The voluntary youth organizations in Denmark were fully aware of that problem and were endeavoring to engage young people in meaningful leisure activities. His Government supported those activities through economic contributions which were administered by the organizations themselves. It had decided to set up a commission which, in the light of developments in society, was given a mandate to present proposals designed to improve the situation of youth in society, especially with regard to employment, housing, education and leisure activities, and to establish a basis for a coherent youth policy. Denmark considered it important to involve young people in international co-operation of every kind. It believed that a considerable number of the activities arranged by the United Nations on a broad international level could be far better managed on a regional level, making funds available for more useful activities. The problems of youth often varied from region to region, and therefore co-operation within the region was, in many instances, a prerequisite for useful results. At the regional level, it would seem natural to concentration youth exchange;., for example, through specialized meetings and seminars dealing with specific youth problems, as well as increased co-operation with regard to research and exchanges of information. 17. Denmark believed that a number of activities arranged by the United Nations at a global level should be directed at non-governmental youth organizations. It was therefore desirable to increase the significance of the informal meeting at Geneva as a link between nongovernmental youth organizations and the United Nations system. His delegation noted with satisfaction that a number of Governments had emphasized that point in their replies to the Secretary-General with respect to resolution 34/163. it appeared that little had been achieved in improving the channels of communication between the United Nations and youth and youth organizations, and more work should be done in that regard. In that connation, his delegation wished to emphasize the importance of strengthening and broadening the practice of providing internships for young people in the United Nations Secretariat. It also favored wider circulation of and improvements in the Youth Information Bulletin, which could, for example, be translated and edited at the national level on the basis of material issued by the United Nations. 18. The preparations for the International Youth Year would offer the United Nations an excellent opportunity for further strengthening communications with youth and youth organizations. The active participation of youth in those preparations wa3 essential for its success. His delegation hoped that the Advisory Committee A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 7 (Mr. KJaergaard, Denmark) would present in good time a detailed and concrete programme for the activities envisaged for the International Youth Year, It was important that youth organizations should be given the opportunity to take a direct part in the elaboration of programmes, which should address themselves not only to Governments but also directly to youth organizations; they should, furthermore, concentrate on activities aimed at the solution of the specific problems facing young people today and thus avoid political questions dealt with in other and more appropriate forums. Lastly, where appropriate, the Advisory Committee should consider adopting a regional approach. 19. Mr. VELLA (Malta) said that his Government viewed the elderly and the aged as the citizens who had worked to make the nation what it was today; therefore, what they received from society was theirs by right and not by charity. 20. It was well known that by the year 2000 there would be almost 600 million older people in the world, two thirds of them in developing countries. That fact had serious sccio-eccnomic implications both for the aging individual and for the society as a whole. Since 1969, when Malta had requested the inclusion of the item on the elderly and the aged in the agenda of the General Assembly, his delegation had closely followed the work of the United Nations in that connexion. The Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs had developed a useful programme on the aging; his delegation had no doubt that the Centre's activities would continue and grow in the future, since the problem of the aging was one which would increase in seriousness as the years went by. 21. from the views expressed by Member States, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations on the main humanitarian issues involved, it could be assumed that the 1982 World Assembly would deal with a large number of topics of direct interest to the aging, such as health, housing and environment, social welfare, income security, education and, perhaps the must important of all, strengthening the role of the aging within the family The World Assembly was also expected to give special consideration to international action in relation to the aging - for example, on the question how international organizations could best assist national programmes for dealing with aging in the development context. The types of training and the advisory and technical information services available from organizations of the United Nations system should be looked at, as well as those of governmental bilateral programmes and private bodies. His delegation wished to propose that the title of the Assembly should be changed to the "World Assembly on Aging1', as that title better described the activities in the programme prepared by the Secretary-General. 22. If the World Assembly was to be successful, it had to be thoroughly prepared, and his delegation was happy to see that tank being tackled in earnest by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. Of particular interest and importance were the regional technical meetings on aging which the Centre was convening. As a reflection of the importance it attached to those meetings, Malta had hosted the first meeting, in June 1960, dedicated to the problems of the aging in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 8 (Mr. Vella, Malta) 23, While reaffirming its support for the Secretary-General's programme, his delegation viewed the World Assembly not as an end in itself but simply as an opportunity, at one particular time in history, to draw world attention to a problem which had existed before and would continue to exist after the Assembly. The Assembly would highlight the problems and take decisions, but they would all remain dead letters unless action was taken to implement them. 24. On the basis of past experience, his delegation wished to urge the Chairman to start consultations as early as possible with a view to establishing the Advisory Committee before the end of the current session. Having been both the initiator of the item and an active participant in all the work connected with it, Malta was prepared to give its services in that Committee. 25. Mr. LATUMAHINA (Indonesia) said that hi3 Government attached great importance to the projected International Youth Year and had therefore sent him, as a member of the Indonesian Farliament, to address the Committee on the progress achieved in Indonesia with respect to its youth programmes and policies. The International Youth Year would have great significance lor the world community since it would help to increase mutual understanding, co-operation and respect on the part of nations for each other's aspirations and, most important of all, would foster friendly relations among people in general and youth in particular throughout the world. 26. The younger generation had to face many problems, including a generation and communication gap, limited educational facilities and limited employment opportunities. The development of the younger generation, both in accordance with national aspirations and in line with young people's talents and abilities, would guarantee the achievement of the nation's welfare. 27. Viewed from the standpoint of national development, youth as the future source of manpower and as the human resource of the nation's potential should be prepared to play an active and effective role in the development of the State and nation. The development of youth was of the greatest importance because young people had to bear the responsibility for the preservation of the nation's ideals. The development of organizational life among the younger generation should take place in school and on the campus as well as within the community itself. Activities acceptable to young people themselves should be provided, the widest opportunity should be afforded to prepare them for future leadership roles, and facilities should be made available for productive dialogue both among young people themselves and between young people and the leadership of the country. 28. His delegation favored the following guidelines for fostering the younger generation: (l) full involvement of youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, in the process; (2) opportunities for training young people to carry out by themselves simple projects such as the rehabilitation and improvement of villages; (3) work training projects involving local industrial activities which required skilled manpower; (4) technical assistance and funds to enable urban youth to plan and execute their own projects; and (5) instructing the younger generation about the function of work, so as to enable them to fill employment opportunities available in the development process as soon as possible. A/C,3/35/SR.38 English Page 9 (Mr. Latumahina, Indonesia) 29. At the international level, his Government had already sponsored student and youth exchange programmes, through which a number of young Indonesians and their counterparts from other countries had been able to participate in village activities by helping the local population in development projects. His delegation sincerely hoped that the International Youth Year would attain its ultimate goals, and it would do its best to ensure that the Advisory Committee successfully completed its tasks. 30. Mr. ERDOS (Hungary) said that careful preparation and successful observance of the International Youth Year would give new impetus to the solution of the social, economic and cultural problems that affected youth throughout the world. In the realization of that task, youth 6hould participate and co-operate at the national and international levels. 31- At the national level, young people should enjoy the rights which would enable* them to participate actively in the development of their country. In Hungary the rights and duties of young people were incorporated into a law on youth adopted by the National Assembly in 1971, which was implemented by the National Committee on Youth. Its objective was to co-ordinate the interests of young people with those of the Government. One of the manifestations of that co-ordination effort was the Youth Parliament, which met every five years; in addition, a special working group within the National Committee on Youth had begun activities for the preparation of the International Youth Year. 32. At the international level, young people should be the driving force behind the peace movement. The final document of a Joint meeting of European student and youth organizations held recently at Budapest, representing youth of different ideological, political and religious tendencies, had resolved to undertake concrete and Joint actions for peace, detente and disarmament. The objectives of that European body were in perfect harmony with the goals pursued by the young people of all countries in their struggle for national independence, respect for human rights, and the establishment of a new international economic order, and against colonialism, exploitation and racial discrimination. 33. The organization of the International Youth Year should be part of a dynamic long-term process, and, as stated by the Secretary-General in his note on the subject (A/35/361), it should be seen not as a one-time event but as a beginning towards a wider and a more global vision of the demands of youth and the conditions necessary to fulfil them. Actions undertaken under the auspices of the Year should be concentrated on the search for solutions to national problems, and manifestations organized at the regional and international levels should reflect and serve efforts aimed at the settlement of specific problems at the national level. 34. The impact of the International Year of the Child on the world's conscience had been considerable. His delegation had supported from the very beginning the efforts to elaborate a convention on the rights of the child and whole-heartedly favored the draft resolution on the question (A/C.3/35/L.14). A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 10 (Mr. Erdos, Hungary) 35. It was important that the World Assembly on the Elderly should be a success and should Justify the legitimate hopes of millions of men and women who expected that forum to make a substantial contribution to the security of economic and social assistance for older citizens and to the search for opportunities for their participation in national development. Out of a total of 10.5 million inhabitants, Hungary had more then 2. million persons past retirement age. The interest in improving the lot of the elderly and the aged in Hungary was thus a constant prompation of governmental authorities and social organizations. It was important that older citizens should feel that they continued to be respected and necessary members of a society which counted on their work in the development of the country. 36. with regard to the International Year of Disabled Persons, he said that on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, his Government had established a national organizing committee to co-ordinate and carry out national activities in observance of the Year, including: the study of the results end conclusions of international scientific conferences in the area of rehabilitation; professional, cultural and sports activities with the participation of disabled persons; and the development of an annual programme of information for 1901. The organizing committee had also emphasized the importance of a regular exchange of information and international co-operation in the area of scientific research. Preparatory work on the International Year for Disabled Persons should be intensified, giving particular consideration to the interests end needs of developing countries. 37. Mr., MALHOTRA (India) said that the world's youth population was expected to rise to 800 million in 1980. For the developing countries, the issues relating to youth were of great importance, since nearly 90 per cent of the increase in the youth population had taken place in those countries. Investment in youth was the best guarantee for a brighter and more prosperous future. 36. Young people had to face problems of alienation, frustration, unemployment and lack of adequate opportunities. Those were problems that confronted all societies in one form or another, but in developing countries they were accentuated by poverty and underdevelopment. The problems of youth were therefore inextricably linked with the problems of development. International co-operation had a particularly important role to play in that regard. The proclamation of 1985 as the International Youth Year 6hould be viewed as an affirmation of the international community's determination to work together in the historic task of preserving and promoting the very future of mankind. 39. Early completion of ohe task of forming the Advisory Committee for the International Youth Year would contribute to initiating the preparations for the observance of the Year. The Advisory Committee could consider identifying areas and formulating proposals for action that could be undertaken at the international level in consultation with Member States, as suggested in document A/35/503. In particular, the suggestions relating to the provision of effective channels of communication, to the Strengthening Of contacts between youth organizations at the national, regional and international levels and to increased exchanges of training A/C-3/35/SR.38 English Page 11 (Mr. Malhotra, India) programmes among youth of different countries should all receive favorable consideration. It would also be necessary to involve the regional commissions and regional and sub regional youth organizations which would take up issues relating to youth. 40. India was contributing to the international effort in advancing the cause of youth through technical co-operation programmes and cultural and sports exchanges. While international action was indeed welcome, the major focus would have to remain on activities at the national level. It was necessary to make sure that youth would have a feeling of participation in national life. In India, a number of programmes ensured such participation, particularly in the fields of education and employment. India was continuing to expand educational opportunities and literacy programmes in order to achieve universal literary. It had undertaken a number of programmes to provide employment for an additional 100 million young people over the next 10 years, including programmes of non-formal education, technical training, the redesigning of courses in order to relate them to the social and economic needs of their society, and the integration of curriculum development. India placed considerable emphasis on ensuring the participation of youth in rural reconstruction activities. 41. Youth was also playing an increasing role in politics in India. Over one third of the members of Parliament elected in January 1980 belonged to the younger generation. 42. He reaffirmed his delegation's firm support for the objective of the International Youth Year. The issue of youth called for understanding, commitment and solidarity between peoples and nations. 43. Mr. DUEHRING (German Democratic Republic) said that the quest for practical measures to achieve military detente on the basis of equal security and the solution of international conflicts by peaceful means were of particular significance for young people in all countries. There wa3 a close connexion between the participation of youth in the social development process and the struggle for peace, on the one hand, and the guaranteeing of youth's political, economic, social and cultural rights, on the other. The preparation and observance of the International Youth Year would provide excellent opportunities for showing young people new directions towards the all-round implementation of their rights. In that context, such fundamental rights as the right to political co-determination, the right to work and the right to education should be accorded a central place. 44. As a socialist State, the German Democratic Republic had provided comprehensive opportunities for its young generation to participate actively in shaping social life in all spheres. Socialist youth policy followed the main objective of offering young people clear-cut prospects, assigning them a concrete place in society. That process had been considerably facilitated by the decision to reduce to 18 years the age at which young people could vote and be elected. Today more the,43,000 young deputies between ages 18 and 30 participated in decisions on social and local affairs. The youth policy pursued by the German Democratic Republic was determined A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 12 (Mr. Duering, German Democratic Republic) by the principle of placing confidence in young people and conferring responsibility on them. In many spheres of the national economy, youth supplied a significant number of highly qualified administrators. It had proved successful to turn over the management of key projects in socialist construction to young people. The performance of the younger generation had gained it the respect of society. The unity of political, economic, social and cultural rights and the guaranteed observance of those rights had been translated into everyday practice in the German Democratic Republic. That was reflected in the all-round education of young people. It was also guaranteed that, upon completion of his or her education, every young person would be given a job that corresponded to the skills so acquired. 45. War propaganda, racial hatred, chauvinism and anti-Semitism were alien to young people in the German Democratic Republic, who lived under secure social conditions and were educated in the spirit of peace and understanding among peoples. The young generation of the German Democratic Republic gave support to the initiatives which served the preservation of peace, disarmament and detente and stood firmly at the side of the peoples fighting against national oppression, apartheid and racism. He stressed in particular the solidarity of his country's young people with the liberation movement of the African continent, the struggle waged by the Palestinian people for self-determination, the people of the People's Republic of Kampuchea now building a new society, and the patriots in Chile. Since 1976, the young people of the German Democratic Republic had transferred more than 20 million marks to the Solidarity Account of the Free German Youth, and those donations had been used for such purposes as establishing schools, youth centres and sports facilities in Asian, African and Latin American countries. 46. The German Democratic Republic supported the initiative to proclaim the year 1985 as International Youth Year and was prepared to contribute actively to the implementation of the objectives set for the Year. 47. Mr. VOICU (Romania), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/35/L.26 on International Youth Year, said that it was a follow-up to General Assembly resolution 34/151. The preambular part of the draft resolution included a number of ideas about the place and role of youth in the contemporary world, including the importance of the participation of young people in shaping the future of mankind, the need to harness the energies of the younger generation to bring about world progress and international peace and co-operation, the importance of participation by the young in national development efforts, the role of specific programmes relating to young people the need for better co-operation in youth prograrammes and the potential contribution of young people to the Hew International Economic Order. 48. The operative paragraphs of the draft resolution represented an updating of the corresponding provisions of General Assembly resolution 34/151. He drew attention to some provisions of an institutional nature relating to the work of the Advisory Committee for the International Youth Year. The sponsors particularly wished to emphasize the need for prior preparation of all the sessions of the Advisory Committee. The terms of reference of that Committee had been patterned after similar provisions contained in resolutions on the International Year of Disabled A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 13 (Mr. Voicu. Romania) 49. Since the provisions in operative paragraph 7 of resolution 34/151 had not been implemented, they had been reproduced in draft resolution L.26. Many delegations took the view that the implementation of those provisions would help to improve the channels of communication between the United nations and youth organizations throughout the world. In view of the limited resources available to the United Nations, operative paragraph 3 appealed for generous voluntary contributions to help finance the programme of the International Youth Year. The last operative paragraph provided for the inclusion in the provisional agenda of the thirty-sixth session of an item entitled International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace". He hoped that the draft resolution, like its predecessor General Assembly resolution 34/151, would be adopted by consensus. 50. Mrs. Silva de Arana (Peru) took the Chair. 51. Mr. SCHLINGEMANN (Netherlands), speaking on agenda item 71, said that his delegation agreed with the view expressed by many States that the question of aging should not be regarded as an isolated phenomenon. The World Assembly on the Elderly, apart from providing an opportunity for an exchange of views and information, should concentrate on the promotion of national and international action to meet the needs of the elderly in the fields of social welfare and security, housing and environment, health and education, and social and economic development in general. The world Assembly should therefore be a meeting of policy-and decision-makers and should result in practical and action-oriented guidelines to assist Governments and international agencies in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes with regard to the elderly and the aged. Particular emphasis should be placed on the multidisciplinary character of the many issues involved and their relationship with other major social and economic concerns. 52. His delegation fully agreed that the Assistant Secretary-General for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs should be in charge of the organization of the World Assembly and that the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs should have substantive responsibility for the world Assembly and function as its secretariat. It also supported the suggestion that an advisory committee be established to assist in the formulation of a draft international action programme for the elder3y. The Netherlands was interested in serving on the Advisory Committee. 53. The complexity, multidisciplinary and interrelated character of the many humanitarian and developmental issues involved required a thorough and substantive preparation process and major contributions from the specialized and other international organizations and institutions within and outside the United Nations system, including non-governmental organizations. His delegation fully supported the proposal to establish an ad hoc interagency task force to ensure the co-ordination of the inputs of the agencies. It also endorsed the suggestion to convene a panel of experts on the question of aging in the context of development needs. A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page l4 (Mr. Schlingenann, Netherlands) 54. In general, the financial estimates and requirements for the World Assembly seemed reasonable. However, his delegation hoped that the Secretary-General would study ways of increasing the effectiveness of the existing institutional arrangements and limiting, as far as possible, the recruitment of additional temporary staff. 55. Mr. ERRAZURIZ (Chile), reverting to agenda item 69, said that the National Youth Secretariat in Chile was doing valuable work which helped both young people and the country, and acted as channel of communication between youth organizations and the authorities. Youth organizations covered a broad field of activities, including voluntary service, mainly in the form of summer Jobs, when young people worked in anti-poverty and anti-illiteracy campaigns, health and emergency housing programmes and assisted in training. Young people were taking positions of increasing responsibility in both the private and public sectors. Chile strongly supported the International Youth Year, and earnestly hoped that a compromise would be reached that would make it possible for the Advisory Committee for the International Youth Year established by General Assembly resolution 34/151 to begin its work in 1981, as indicated in draft resolution A/C.3/35/L.26. In general, his delegation agreed with the comments on the observance of the International Youth Year given in document A/34/468, paragraphs 5 to 20. 56. Chile hoped that it would soon be possible to adopt a Convention on the rights of the child, which would supplement the Declaration on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly in 1959. He welcomed the inclusion in the draft Convention of the statement that newborn infants should be fed on mother's milk. In recent years the Chilean Government had introduced a number of nutritional and health programmes for children, with notable results: infant mortality had fallen from 79-3 per thousand live births in 1970 to 36.3 in 1979. One such programme was the supplementary feeding programme which provided for the distribution of milk to children under six and pregnant women. In 1978 over 32 million kg of milk had been distributed, 80 per cent more then in 1970. The number of children attending kindergarten had increased five times between 1973 and 1979. In 1979t the National Children's Council had also provided care for three times as many children with special needs as in 1973. The care of children was a field in which voluntary agencies could play a most important role, and by using them the State could restructure its system of subsidies so that it covered real costs, was non-discriminatory and provided a fixed sum for each child. 57. Turning to the subject of the elderly, he agreed with the view expressed by the Secretary-General in document A/35/130 that the World Assembly on the Elderly needed careful preparation. Chile had transmitted its comments to the Secretary-General, and made a number of proposals concerning the draft provisional programme for the World Assembly. Regional meetings should be held in preparation for the World Assembly, with a view to arriving at agreed positions so as to ensure that realistic conclusions would be reached at the World Assembly, based on the specific characteristics of the various regions. The recommendations in General Assembly resolution 34/153 largely coincided with what Chile was already doing through its National Council for the Protection of the Elderly; the data collected by the Council provided the basis for policies and programmes for the benefit of the elderly. English Page 15 (Mr. Errazuriz Chile) 58. with respect to the International year of Disabled Persons he said that Chile had replied to the questionnaire circulated by the secretariat of the International Year and made suggestions for the preliminary draft of the long tern world plan of action. Chile attached great importance to the holding of the international suposium of experts on technical assistance in the field of disability and technical co-operation among developing countries and expressed gratitude to Argentina for its offer to act as the host to the symposium. as indicated in document A/C.3/35/5. There were 140 000 disablesersins in Chile, or 1.4 per cent of the population. Health measures such as mass vaccination campaigns and programmes of environmental sanitation and child nutrition had prevented the spread of such major disabilities as the effects of poliomyelitis and there was no severe malnutrition. There were many rehabilitation programmes. covering health, education, employment and social welfare and recreation. The Chilean Minister for Health was responsible for organizing the programmes connected with the International Year of Disabled Persons and had established a multispectral working Group operating both at the national level and in the various regions of the « country. The main objective was the integration of the disabled into the community and their full rehabilitation. 59. Mr. ACOSTA (Venezuela) said, in connexion with International Youth Year- that the Ministry of Youth, Science and Culture had been established in Venezuela as early as 1972 in the belief that young people were one of the most progressive and important factors in society. The Ministry determined State policy end strategy in relation to children, young people. the family. sports and recreation, implemented action to solve problems and meet needs, co-ordinated State and municipal plans, and co-ordinated and supervised the programmes of subsidiary bodies. That work had been carried out in stages' first, there had been a dialogue at the municipal and rural level and teams of psychologists, anthropologists and social planners had been trained in the problems of youth: then a socio-demographic study of youth had been carried out on the basis of the data collected; third, and most important, a national plan for youth defining policies and administrative and legal reforms at the State level had been worked out. The Ministry was thus helping to direct young people towards a better life, instil an interest in science and culture and create an appropriate atmosphere for their over-all development as individuals. 60. Turning to the problems of the elderly and the aged, he noted that as a developing country, Venezuela was experiencing very rapid and economic growth without commensurate changes in the value systems of the population. The work of achieving economic development involved the participation of the entire population, of which 4.74 per cent was over 60 years old. An increase in life expectancy and decline in the mortality rate' had led to an increase in the number of elderly people and produced a number of varied and complex problems. Those who were too old to work became dissatisfied and were alienated not only from their families but also from the life of the community. That led to a steady deterioration in personality and a marked increase in emotional needs with the result that they experienced feelings of loneliness, neglect and even uselessness. Their emotional stability was also affected by failing health and attendant financial problems. That syndrome was aggravated in countries subjected to colonialism apartheid and any other form of racism and racial discrimination. A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 16 (Mr. Acosta, Venczuela) 61. Because of the magnitude of the problem, appropriate measures had to be taken at both the State and individual levels to alleviate the sufferings of those who had worked and striven to achieve a better future. In order to mitigate the differences resulting from the population structure and provide for future demographic fluctuations resulting from the high level of immigration from various parts of the world his Government, in 1978, had established a life pension for indigent elderly people amounting to 70 per cent of the national minimum wage. A law passed In 1978 had clearly established the need for State protection and assistance in the medical, economic, social, cultural and legal fields for the aged. Under the same law, the national Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology and the Gerontological Unit of Caracas had been established. His delegation supported the convening of a world Assembly of the Elderly in 1982. 62. Mr. CORTI (Argentina) said that what the developing countries needed was not a piecemeal approach to development through the proliferation of specialized committees that formed a huge bureaucratic machine, but a reform of the United Nations system based on the comprehensive social development policies approved when the Declaration on Social Progress and Development had been adopted in 1969 (General Assembly resolution 2542 (XXIV)). As yet the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs had no medium-term plan that brought together all the activities designed to promote the three objectives set forth in Article 55 of the United Nations Charter. 63. His delegation welcomed the continuing work on the drafting of a single Declaration on the Eliminatior of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief, and hoped that the General Assembly would adopt a resolution designed to maintain the consensus already reached. He also welcomed the progress made by the working group that was drafting a Convention on the rights of the child. He questioned the validity of the upper limit of 18 years for the definition of "child". That definition should not be confused with the legal definition of a minors in United Nations practice, the accepted limit was 14 or 15 years. 64. He considered that the existence of two separate International Covenants on human rights conflicted with the principle of the indivisibility of human rights. He noted that the Committee on Human Rights established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights had not yet adjusted its time-table for the submission of reports so that the Economic and Social Council could consider them at its spring session when it was also considering the application of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural nights. The minor adjustment needed in the work of the Committee on Human Rights would enable the Economic and Social Council to fulfil article 21 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and make general recommendations in the light of its consideration of the reports of the States parties. 65. Argentina's comments on the International Youth Year were contained in document A/35/36l/Add.l. He noted that in accordance with General Assembly resolution 33/6, the Secretary-General was to submit a report in 1981 on physical education and sports exchanges among young people, and said that sports activities A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 17 {Mr. Corti, Argentina) should have a special place in the International Youth Year. Argentina welcomed the establishment of national points of contact for relations between the United nations Secretariat and local youth organizations , with special emphasis on the participation of young people in national development programmes. Argentina supported measures to promote the activities of the United Nations Volunteers. and looked forward with interest to the report that the Secretary-General and the Administrator of UNDP would be submitting in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 32/135. 66. His delegation hoped that the World Assembly on the Elderly that was to meet in 1982 Would adopt recommendations for co-operation with States to assist the family unit and better equip it to meet the material needs of elderly people and protect them from loneliness. 67. With regard to the International Year of Disabled Persons, he said that since his delegation had not yet received annexes 1 and 2 to document A/35/444. it would have to speak on the subject at a later stage. Argentina had established a national committee for the International Year, and had sent information about it to the secretariat for the International Year and the Department of Public Information 'or dissemination. As indicated in document A/C.3/35/5, the Government of Argentins had offered to act as host to the international symposium of experts on technical assistance in the field of disability and technical co-operation among developing countries, and he hoped that the General Assembly would accept that offer. His delegation would be Joining with other interested delegations in submitting a draft resolution on the exchange of information on harmful pharmaceutical and chemical products to be prohibited with a view to preventing physical and mental handicaps. 68. Turning to the question of cultural values, he said that much damage had been done during the colonial period by the removal of works of art. Although the world appeared to be progressing towards the development of an integrated culture, Argentina fully supported the idea that works of art and items of cultural interest should be restored to their countries of origin, and had also supported the establishment of the UNESCO committee on the subject. where restitution was not practical or was not in the interests of the country lodging a complaint, compensation might be a means of settling the question. Such compensation did not in any way imply surrender of the irrevocable rights of a people to preserve the evidence of its 01m culture, or relieve States of the obligation to return illegally obtained cultural objects to the country of origin. An effort should be Made to achieve a compromise that was roost advantageous for both parties: with special regard for the interests of the country that had been deprived for years of items of its cultural heritage, and that. might now prefer for various reasons to acquire cultural items from other countries in order to internationalize its culture an 1 strengthen its own roots by providing comparison with those of other cultures. That more international trend had been illustrated recently by the large number of major cultural exhibitions that had travelled to many other countries. 69. Mr.GIUSTUTTI (France), speaking on agenda items 68, 72 and 76, reaffirmed his delegation's support for the draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance. Freedom of conscience was a fundamental freedom which A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 18 {Mr. Ciustetti. France) involved the right of non-belief in societies which tried to impose a religion and also the right of belief in societies which tried to prohibit or eradicate religion; it also meant tolerating all forms of religious persuasion or belief that accorded with morality and law and order. The State should observe strict neutrality and if it professed an official ideology or religion. it should refrain from any propaganda against individuals professing other ideologies or beliefs. H is delegation hoped that the draft Declaration would be completed at the next session of the Commission on Hunan Rights. 70. On the subject of human Rights and scientific and technological developments, a Misunderstanding seemed to have arisen which was in many ways similar to the misunderstanding regarding General Assembly resolution 32/130; it was therefore to be hoped that it, too, could be dissipated. Science and technology were essentially beneficial, for both developed and developing countries, but it was also clear that they could be misused and that all countries faced that danger. Although the developing countries at least escaped the dangers resulting from over-abundance and excessive and alienating use, they in turn would one day be exposed to the negative aspects of industrial civilization. The most immediate danger to society was that of a force for evil amed with the resources of modern technology unfortunately the means to Kill. torture. spy and enslave were already within reach of many budgets. 71. It was understandable that the developing countries were anxious to stress the need for technological progress in order to achieve full respect for human rights. The subject had not been considered in the previous year by either the Committee or the Commission on Human Rights and should be of particular concern to international bodies competent in the sphere of human rights. The need for a study on the question was obvious and no country should view it as or opportunity for propaganda or for putting forward demands. 72. Laws authorizing Trance's accession to the International Covenants on HUMAN Rights had been passed and ratification would follow shortly. The care with Which the two instruments had been studied was the best Proof of France's desire to respect fully those international instruments, notwithstanding the reservations it might express at the appropriate tine. Under the French legal system, treaties were directly applicable in domestic law, and any citizen could invoke their provisions. 73. With regard to the work of the Sessional Working Group on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, it was necessary to bear in mind that the Covenant itself conferred on the Economic and Social Council the task of monitoring its implementation by States parties. Only member States of the Economic and Social Council could be members of the Working Group and it would seem logical that they should also be States parties to the Covenant. Thus Economic and Social Council decision 1978/10 did not need to be reviewed however, a system of equitable geographical distribution was needed, modified to take into account the number of States parties in each geographical croup. His delegation believed that the role of the Working Group should be a preparatory one it should not try to do the work incumbent on the Economic and Social Council. The working Group should provide detailed summaries of national reports and could also submit observations and recommendations on the report, A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 19 (Mr. Giustetti. France) provided that they reflected the unanimous view of the group. If differences arose, the main opinions expressed should be indicated in the Working Croup's report. The Economic and Social Council should not simply endorse the report of the Working Group the consideration of reports would lose much of its effectiveness. The consideration of reports was the only means of control available since there was no individual recourse or State recourse under the International Covenant. 74. The reports from specialized agencies should be considered very carefully since they enabled the Economic and Social Council to study the extent to which specialized agencies contributed effectively to the realization of the objectives of the International Covenant. They also helped it to assess the extent to which States parties were fulfilling their obligations, and to make an evaluation at the level of the entire international community. 75. The idea of entrusting the consideration of reports of States parties and specialized agencies to experts acting in an individual capacity ran counter to the International Covenant and would require its revision. The existing system was wise not because Government representatives were more qualified than individual experts but because there were no experts in the field of human rights; economists, sociologists and specialists in social and economic questions would be able to analyse the situation in various countries but would be unable to make any value Judgments or to decide whether particular situations were in conformity with particular legal provisions. It was therefore for the international community represented by the member countries of the Economic and Social Council to ensure that each State party did everything in its power to ensure that the rights set forth in the International Covenant were effective realities for all their citizens. That undertaking required good will on the part of Governments. 76. Mr. Garvalov (Bulgaria) resumed the Chair. 77. Mr. BrYUSHXOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), speaking on agenda items 69. 81 and 71, said that the General Assembly's decision to proclaim 1985 as International Youth Year had been favorably received by Soviet youth and youth organizations. They saw their role in the preparation and organization of the Year as one of drawing the attention of the younger generation to the need to solve vitally important problems: the need to strengthen international peace, preserve the process of detente, limit the arms race and achieve disarmament, and strengthen the solidarity of the younger Generation with peoples struggling for their national independence against fascism, racial discrimination, apartheid, aggression and occupation, all forma of colonial and foreign domination and for the restructuring of international economic relations on an equal. Just and democratic basis. Great attention must be paid to ensuring the political and socio-economic rights of the younger generation, and particularly the rights to work, education and vocational training. The achievement of those goals would help improve the situation of young people in many countries of the world and ensure their active participation in all spheres of national life. 78. The success of the International Youth Year would depend greatly on the extent to which representative international youth organizations were involved in its A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 20 (Mr. Bryushilov. USSR) preparation and observance: the discrimination against international democratic organizations which had taken place in the preparation of youth events within the United Nations must be eliminated. The success of the International Youth Year would also depend significantly on its programme. His delegation believed that the programme should consist in the first place of national, and in some cases, regional events. Such events could promote the exchange of experience about the participation of young people of various countries and regions in the process of political economic social and cultural development. His delegation believed that the establishment of a new United Nations body in connexion with the International Youth Year would lead to an undesirable duplication of work. The successful realization of the goals of the International Youth Year was a vital necessity in view of the intensification of the arms race, the diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars for military purposes and the continuing unjust economic relations in the world. 79. The socio-economic upheavals in developed capitalist countries directly affected the situation of young people. Almost half of the 10 million unemployed in those countries were young people who were subjected to discrimination in hiring, remuneration and access to education and culture. Unemployment undermined the moral and physical well-being of young people and led to drug addiction and crime. In many developing countries, the severe consequences of years of colonial oppression, the exploitation of national resources by multinational corporations and various forms of neo-colonialism adversely affected the situation of young people. 80. The favorable experience accumulated by member States of the United Nations in solving problems of young people must be fully taken into account. The great October socialist revolution had opened up broad prospects for young people in the USSR. The Constitution of the USSR guaranteed Soviet young people a broad range of rights and freedoms in all areas of life. Under the Constitution, young people played an important role in the management of the State and in public affairs. The All-Union Leninist Communist Youth League, the mass youth organization with over 38. million members, had the right to submit legislation in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Young people were broadly represented in organs of State power at the higher and local levels. Solution of the major tasks facing the USSR would be impossible without the high educational level of the people, in general, and young people, in particular. Over 56 million young people were engaged in study at various institutions and young people made up nearly half the intelligentsia and played an important role in the development of science. They had broad opportunities to use their knowledge and creative ability. In Siberia and the Far must alone young people were participating in the construction of 140 major projects. In difficult natural and climatic conditions they had built the Baikal-Amur railway through the impenetrable taiga of southern Siberia and the Far must. 81. In fulfillment of their international duty. Soviet young people were participating in economic and social development assistance to over 100 countries of the world. The progressive youth movement played a major part in the struggle for peace and security, co-operation among peoples, national liberation and social A/C.3/35/SR.38 English Page 21 (Mr. Bruyshkov. USSR) progress and Soviet young people were active in the movement. Soviet youth organizations were co operating actively with student organizations of 130 countries of Europe Asia, Africa and America. Raised on the ideas of "Marxism and Leninism, Soviet young people participated actively in the international solidarity movement to strengthen international peace and security. eliminate colonialism. racism and apartheid and to achieve economic independence and social progress. The twenty second Olympic Canes held at Uoscov had been a festival of youth and peace: the young participants had demonstrated an aspiration towards peace. friendship and mutual understanding. The Moscow Olympics had clearly demonstrated that the intrigues of the opponents of international co-operation, however cunning, were doomed to failure. 82. His delegation attached great importance to the proposal by the Polish People's Republic for the elaboration of an international Convention on the rights of the child and honed that the Commission on "Human Rights would complete the drafting of • the Convention at its ne;:t session so that it could be approved by the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth session. The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m.