Summary record of the 13th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Wednesday, 21 October 1992, New York, General Assembly, 47th session.
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/47/SR.13|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Persons with Disabilities, Ageing Persons, Youth, Rights of The Child, Racial Discrimination, Self-Determination of Peoples|
FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION Official Records
Wednesday, 21 October 1992
at 10 a.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 13th MEETING
Chairman: Mr. KRENKEL (Austria)
CONTENTS AGENDA ITEM 93: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (continued)
(a) QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE WORLD SOCIAL SITUATION AND TO YOUTH, AGEING, DISABLED PERSONS AND THE FAMILY (continued)
(b) CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (continued)
AGENDA ITEM 91: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION* (continued) AGENDA ITEM 92: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION* (continued)
* Items considered together.
9 November 1992
92-57132 6165S (E)
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The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
AGENDA ITEM 93: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (continued)
(a) QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE WORLD SOCIAL SITUATION AND TO YOUTH, AGEING, DISABLED PERSONS AND THE FAMILY (continued) (A/47/214-E/1992/50, A/47/216-E/1992/43, A/47/339, 349, 369 and 415; A/C.3/47/4)
(b) CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (continued) (A/47/80-S/23502, A/47/87, A/47/88-S/23563, A/47/232-S/24025 and Corr.1, A/47/312-S/24238, A/47/344, A/47/356-S/24367, A/47/379, 381, 391 and 399)
AGENDA ITEM 91: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued) (A/C.3/47/L.2, L.3, L.6 and L.8-10)
AGENDA ITEM 92: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued) (A/C.3/47/L.4, L.5 and L.7)
1. Mr. SANNER (Norway) expressed regret that at a time when humankind had more knowledge and resources than ever before and when hopes had been high for a new world and, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new Europe, problems were getting steadily worse: poverty and war, which created millions of refugees, environmental degradation, the widening gap between North and South, the resurgence of nationalism and the emergence of neo-nazism, and the exclusion and despair of young people. The current generation had no right to leave to its successors the economic and environmental problems that it had created, which could be best solved by cooperation.
2. Through the information explosion and better education, young people had become aware of environmental threats and the contrast between rich and poor, which had inspired in them the desire to act. However, that enthusiasm could give way to apathy if political action leading to concrete results failed to materialize.
3. Environmental degradation and global poverty were the two greatest challenges of contemporary life. Traditional models of economic growth were not sustainable and could not solve those problems. The answer was not to halt development but to base it on better utilization and systematic recycling of resources rather than on the plunder of the planet. Countries must not shirk their responsibilities in that regard, but international cooperation was also essential, which was why the United Nations needed to be strengthened.
4. The third world was in need of financial assistance (in particular, debt relief) and technology transfers. The target of 0.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of wealthy countries was an absolute minimum for such assistance. At the same time, it was crucial to ensure that aid was not diverted, for example, to military uses. Economic aid alone was not enough, however: access to the markets of the developed countries was fundamental to
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(Mr. Sanner, Norway)
developing new productive activities in the third world, which was paying a high price for the industrialized nations' protectionist measures.
5. Education, the most valuable resource of nations and individuals, was also essential to development. A good educational system laid the foundation for independence and determined a country's level of development. As frequently noted by the World Health Organization, there was a positive correlation between girls' educational level and the general health of the population.
6. The ecological disaster threatening the Arctic ecysystems the dumping of nuclear waste in the Barents and Kara Seas and in the Kola Peninsula lakes; the existence of ageing nuclear power stations in the former Soviet Union which were environmental time-bombs and air pollution caused by industrial plants proved that environmental degradation could not be contained within national boundaries. While Norway intended to respond to that threat, it could not solve those problems on its own. There was an urgent need to carry out a detailed review of the situation and to launch clean-up and prevention efforts.
7. The cold war had given way to ethnic and national conflicts in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which had resulted in untold suffering and had forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. The international community, in particular countries at peace, should help those refugees to return to their communities, instead of shuttling them back and forth between countries. However, measures to aid refugees must not be exploited as a means of achieving ethnic cleansing. Education was one of the most effective ways of assisting refugees that went beyond ensuring a minimum of security and he suggested that host countries should offer refugees from a specific region educational programmes in which young people from rival groups would come together to study the principles of democracy, economics and administration so that, when hostilities ceased, they could contribute to the reconstruction of their countries and become leaders of the future.
8. It was often said that young people were the future, which seemed to
imply that they were not important in the here and now. Yet young people were
ready to participate and eager to shape their own future. They had played a
central role in environmental movements, had actively suported democracy and
freedom throughout the world and had mobilized the international community
around those causes. Their enthusiasm and energy must not be underestimated
in deference to the tradition and experience of the establishment. Young
people could be mobilized through non-governmental organizations, which
encouraged them to assume responsibilities. Putting young people on hold
until they were old enough might destroy their desire to participate and to
act. The States Members of the United Nations should be encouraged to make
good use of young people and youth organizations.
9. Mrs. AL-HAMAMI (Yemen) said that there was a need to strengthen international, national and local action to solve the social problems under
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(Mrs. Al-Hamami. Yemen)
consideration by the Committee. The recent celebration by the General Assembly of the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons demonstrated the importance of that category of citizens to the international community. She was also grateful to Canada for having hosted the International Conference of Ministers Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, held in Montreal on 8-9 October 1992. Those two historic events had provided an opportunity to reaffirm the major goals of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, namely, to ensure equal opportunities for the disabled and to integrate them fully in society. North-South cooperation was needed to ensure that those principles were applied at the same rate in all countries, regardless of their level of development.
10. The General Assembly debate on activities carried out under the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons had shown that there was general agreement on the goals of the World Programme of Action and on the need to ensure that disabled persons participated fully and on an equal footing in economic and social life. It appeared also that the principles of the World Programme of Action had been implemented more rapidly in the wealthy countries, which had been able to tackle the causes of disability, than in the developing countries, where endemic diseases and malnutrition were still wreaking havoc. In addition, because of economic and social conditions, the incidence of disabilities in developing and developed countries was not the same. Lastly, while the developing countries would benefit from the increased efforts they made for disabled persons, poverty and the overall economic situation remained major obstacles. Her country requested coordination of such action and an increase in international assistance to societies that made an effort to help the disabled.
11. The elderly were another category of citizens who deserved attention. The celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Plan of Action on Ageing was a tribute to older people, to whom younger generations owed a great deal. She endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing (A/47/369) and emphasized the need to consider that Plan from the twofold standpoint of humanitarian values and development, which were complementary and equally valuable. Yemenite law was based on charia, which advocated compassion and kindness, and it held families responsible for the fate of elderly people.
12. While it was the elderly who had built today's world, the future depended on young people. As a developing country, Yemen ensured that its young people, who participated fully in the country's development, played a significant economic, social, political and cultural role. The wealth of States stemmed from their ability to develop their human resources, and people were both the means and the end of development. In that spirit, Yemen was designing programmes intended to enable families to participate in development in the context of a coherent society and was also involved in preparations for
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(Mrs. Al-Hamami, Yemen)
the International Year of the Family (1994) and for the world summit for social development in 1995, two events which would give renewed impetus to the principles of the new international humanitarian order. In that regard, she thanked the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his work in preparing for the summit.
13. The international community should not be interested in the fate of only certain groups of citizens: humanitarian responsibility encompassed all groups in all regions of the world. It was not only children, young people and the elderly who needed help, but all those who were suffering, particularly in Iraq and Somalia, where thousands of people were disabled and were dying for lack of food. Yemen was also sensitive to the sufferings of the oppressed peoples of Palestine and the occupied Territories, South Africa and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hoped that everything possible would be done to help those innocent victims.
14. Mr. TERPSTRA (Netherlands), quoting from a mediaeval legal text in the Frisian language, said that in the Middle Ages, the welfare of the child had already been a major concern of lawmakers in his country. The importance of that issue was now recognized world wide, as many international charters and conventions showed, the most recent being the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted on 20 November 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly. It was not, however, sufficient to legislate; laws should also be respected, which, unfortunately, was not always the case. Governments were responsible for ensuring compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which applied to children up to the age of 18. That was an arbitrary age-limit. Young people aged between 15 and 25 had specific problems, a fact which had been recognized by the General Assembly at its fortieth session.
15. The Charter of young people's rights drawn up by the European Youth forum was an excellent gauge of the rights to which young people in the industrialized countries aspired. Their demands might appear trivial when one considered the problems faced by young people in many other countries of the world. Nonetheless, the Charter was an important document, partly because it had been drawn up by young people themselves and partly because it dealt with
a number of issues which had been neglected or barely touched upon in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For instance, it underlined the right of young people to live in a clean environment and to be adequately informed about the state of that environment, illustrating the concern which young people in Europe felt about the problem.
16. Unfortunately, the results of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (UNCED), held at Rio de Janeiro from 1 to
14 June 1992, had been mixed. While support for the principle of sustainable development had apparently grown, the main industrial countries had failed to reach agreement on issues such as biodiversity. Earlier in the year, youth delegates at the conference of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had adopted a strong resolution. It would be irresponsible of the generation
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(Mr. Terpstra. Netherlands)
now in power to mortgage the planet to the detriment of the next generation. The recommendations of the Brundtland Report were relevant in that connection: how could the rights of children and young people be exercised in an environment which was unfit to support life?
17. Both the Charter of young people's rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasized the right to a good education. While sound education systems had been built up in many European countries, in some cases education budgets were not being cut. The areas most affected were precisely those which required extra attention, namely, the inner cities and rural areas, where many young people were becoming caught up in a vicious circle of crime. Basic educational skills were deteriorating, even though the Convention on the Rights of the Child had rightly stressed the need to transfer educational expertise.
18. In many developing countries, the quality of education was poor and access to it was far from universal. Inadequate educational infrastructures were not the only problem, however: child labour was also an important factor in limiting access to education in those countries. In a study on development cooperation and education in the 1990s, the Netherlands Government had underscored the importance of good primary schooling. In addition, 15- to 25-year olds who were forced to work to support their families missed opportunities for vocational training, a loss which compromised their own future and that of society. He appealed to the industrialized world, together with the developing countries, non-governmental organizations and UNESCO, to intensify their efforts to improve public education, especially in basic skills such as literacy in the developing countries.
19. In many countries, the armed forces were guilty of violating the rights of young people, such as their fundamental right to physical integrity. The Charter of young people's rights recognized the right to conscientious objection, and the Netherlands Government had been doing its best for a long time to get the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to recognize that right as a basic human right. It planned to submit a new resolution on the subject in 1993.
20. The Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibited the conscription into the armed forces of children under the age of 15. That age limit was too low, and he urged Member States to follow the example of the Netherlands and adopt a minimum age of 16 for conscription, and to amend article 3 8 of the Convention accordingly.
21. The army should not deprive conscripts of their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and association, and should certainly not subject them to any form of brutality. In countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, conscripts enjoyed a considerable measure of freedom, without compromising either the effectiveness of the army or the security of the State. He suggested that the Secretary-General, benefiting from the prestige
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(Mr. Terpstra. Netherlands)
enjoyed by United Nations peace-keeping forces, should propose to troop-contributing countries a package of minimum rights for peace-keeping troops.
22. The situation of conscripts was even worse in war time. No method was shuned, including the enlistment of very young recruits. In his view, nothing justified sending children into battle, even when the cause was just. The United Nations could play only a secondary role in the matter. It was up to young people themselves to take the initiative and be selective in their approach to nationalism. It need not be harmful to identify with a nation sharing a common past, customs, norms and values. However, aggressive nationalism based on hatred was reprehensible. When young people were well informed, they were in a better position to resist the appeal of nationalist leaders who sought to use them as a political power base and as soldiers to achieve their goals. Recent history had shown the world what a powerful weapon a well-organized youth movement could be.
23. Mr. LAZARO (Peru) said that his delegation attached great importance to the convening of the world summit for social development and wished to suggest some principles by which preparations for the summit should be guided. First, the summit's essential task should be the elaboration of a strategy that was realistic, strongly political and action-oriented. The General Assembly at its present session should set up a preparatory committee mandated,
inter alia, to draw up an agenda for the summit. It was desirable that during the first, political stage of its work the preparatory committee should be composed of permanent representatives to the United Nations. Later on, during the second or operational stage, a more technical contribution towards the preparation of the summit could be made by representatives of Heads of State. Further, it was desirable that the resolution adopted on the subject by the General Assembly should take account of the fact that the convergence of views existing at present with regard to the market economy and the strengthening of democracy meant that the United Nations could now tackle social issues in a pragmatic and realistic manner. The essential task today was to examine the political dimension of the social problems of the developing world. Another point that should be covered in preparing the summit was the need to ensure that its objectives and those of the specialized agencies were mutually reinforcing. It was also to be desired, in order to avoid academic or ideological debates, that each Government should submit a document describing its experience in connection with social programmes. Another essential point was the establishment of solid links between the World Bank and regional development banks. In that connection it might be possible to envisage an intergovernmental mechanism that would, in one form or another, ensure coordination between the World Bank and the regional development banks with particular emphasis on the social sector, especially in the developing countries. Such a mechanism would add a practical dimension to the political orientations formulated at the summit. Lastly, the preparatory committee should envisage adopting a decision to publish a well-documented annual paper on the social situation throughout the world.
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(Mr. Lazaro, Peru)
24. The social question had to be tackled with efficiency and realism, a task of enormous complexity but one that was by no means impossible to accomplish given the necessary creativity and flexibility on the part of the international community.
25. Mr. MAIER (Austria) said that the Austrian Government, desirous of putting into practice the lessons of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, had prepared a strategy for disabled persons with the object of achieving their full integration in social life, taking into consideration the social dimension of their disabilities. The strategy was based on a number of principles, the first being that measures should be taken to avoid disability. Disabled persons should be guaranteed a maximum of integration in social life, should enjoy greater autonomy and should be able to participate in decisions concerning them. They should also, whatever the causes of the disability, be guaranteed readily accessible and coordinated assistance adapted to their needs. All possibilities of rehabilitation should be tried, preference being given to out-patient treatment and small treatment units. Austria had participated in the work of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Working Group to Elaborate Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Disabled Persons and had made an additional voluntary financial contribution on the occasion of the Group's third session, held in Vienna from 28 September to
2 October 1992.
26. People suffering from hearing impairment accounted for more than 10 per cent of the world's population. Their disability, which was not visible, often caused considerable isolation. The partly deaf, who formed one of the world's largest groups of handicapped people, often acted as a bridge between the sign-language minority and the hearing population. Many hard-of-hearing people, especially in the developing countries, could not afford hearing aids although aids could be supplied at relatively low cost.
27. The difficulties were not, however, insurmountable. Thus, an Austrian project entitled "RABBIT" to assist hearing-impaired persons in Slovenia had been successfully carried out. The Danish "DANIDA" foundation was doing efficient work in developing countries. The example could be quoted of the Austrian Hard of Hearing Association which had provided special training in hearing acoustics for a young woman from India. He wished to recommend that low-price hearing aids should, as a matter of urgency, be distributed to developing countries by a team, whose efforts he personally would be pleased to coordinate, composed of representatives of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the International Federation of the Hard of Hearing. In that connection it might be useful if the International Federation of the Hard of Hearing were granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
28. Mr. HUAN Yoncran (China) said that a country's failure to solve its social problems not only threatened its own stability and progress but also undermined world peace and development. The international community should
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(Mr. Huan Yonqan, China)
therefore address the issues of social development from the perspective of maintaining world peace and promoting the progress of mankind and should make social development one of the priorities of the United Nations.
29. The turbulent international environment and the widening gap between the North and the South caused by the irrational economic order had seriously hindered the economic and social development of the developing countries. It was therefore extremely important to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, establish a new international economic order that was just, eguitable and mutually beneficial, narrow the gap between the North and the South and create a sound developmental environment for all countries and, in particular, the developing countries.
30. The importance of social development issues and the urgency of tackling them had not been fully appreciated by the international community. China had always believed that the United Nations should not only endeavour to solve political problems but should also render more practical services aimed at ensuring economic and social development and improving the living conditions of people in all countries, especially developing ones. Progress achieved by the United Nations in the social development field was at present very slow. His delegation hoped that the relevant United Nations bodies would enhance their coordination and efficiency in order to meet the demands of the changing situation.
31. His Government supported the convening of a world summit on social development and thought that the summit should attach importance to issues facing all developing countries in the fields of population control, education, health care and social security. Equitable distribution of resources, decent living conditions for all members of society, protection of the interests of disadvantaged social groups and, still more, the problems of disabled and ageing persons should be placed high on the summit's agenda. International cooperation in the social development field should be based upon principles of pragmatism, equal exchanges, mutual benefit and respect for the right of peoples to choose the path to political, economic, social and cultural development best suited to their respective national conditions. Imparting a political or ideological content to the question of social development or, worse still, interfering in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of cooperation for social development could only delay the solution of social problems.
32. The special plenary meetings which the General Assembly had devoted at the present session to the problems of disabled persons and of ageing were ample proof of the international community's interest in and attention to those matters. His delegation believed that the proclamation of the International Day of Disabled Persons and the Proclamation on Ageing adopted at the plenary meetings would give an impetus to the advancement of the causes of the world's disabled and ageing populations. While the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was drawing to a close, the Economic and Social
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(Mr. Huan Yonaan, China)
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at its forty-eighth session held in Beijing earlier in the year had proclaimed the Asia-Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons for the period 1993-2002. His delegation endorsed the proposal of the Secretary-General that consideration should be given to the proclamation of similar regional decades of disabled persons.
33. His Government was extremely attentive to the problems of youth, women, children, the disabled and the aged and had adopted numerous legal acts to guarantee their rights. China was ready to exchange experience with other countries and in that way to participate in all endeavours in the field of social development.
34. Mrs. SWIFT PARRINO (United States of America) stressed the need for the United Nations to increase coordination, eliminate duplication and set priorities, so that the most important tasks and the needs of the most vulnerable received the highest priority. In that regard, her delegation commended the Secretary-General's report on global targets on ageing for the year 2001 (A/47/339), which was a step in that direction. Moreover, the World Summit for Social Development which the current General Assembly was preparing to convene, presented a unique opportunity to coordinate and focus social development activities throughout the United Nations system. The summit would achieve significant results only if it was well planned, held to a narrow focus and had adequate follow-up. Rather than underlining adversarial positions, attention must be focused on working to solve common problems. Her delegation complimented Ambassador Somavia on his efforts regarding the Summit and fully endorsed his proposals to incorporate already scheduled meetings into the preparatory process, not only for obvious physical reasons, but also because it would involve the entire Organization in the examination of social development issues.
35. Mr. SAHRAOUI (Algeria) said that the most acute problems confronting mankind today were above all social problems, and that in the countries of the South, in particular, the worsening of social conditions had become uncontrollable. In many instances, it was no longer even a question of survival. In the case of Africa, where the poverty of the world seemed to be concentrated, the situation was particularly tragic.
36. It was no longer necessary to prove the intrinsic relationship between economic growth and social development. It was well known that the disastrous economic, and therefore social, situation in which the majority of the countries of the South found themselves was largely determined by macroeconomic factors. Those factors were well known: price increases for imported manufactured goods, protectionism, artificial price cuts for raw materials, the ever-growing burden of the foreign debt and the fact that the countries of the North had stopped investing in the countries of the South.
To that must be added the policies of structural adjustment that the majority of developing countries had adopted in order to adapt their countries to the laws of the free market, which had given rise to unemployment, and in turn led
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(Mr. Sahraoui, Algeria)
to crime/ juvenile delinquency, the disintegration of social welfare and other socio-political problems. The social price of economic transition was therefore enormous.
37. Without denying the importance of national policies in promoting
development and improving social conditions, the significance of action at the
international level should not be minimized. Efforts to combat the
impoverishment of three quarters of the world's population should rank among
the first priorities of a new world order, along with the maintenance of
peace, the promotion of democracy and the protection of the environment. In
that respect, Algeria welcomed the fact that, in the draft for the 1993 report
on the world social situation, the Secretary-General had adopted an approach
integrating those three factors that stressed their independence and
38. It was vital to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss those problems together, frankly and realistically. The forthcoming World Summit for Social Development would offer such an opportunity. The Summit should not be a North-South confrontation but should tackle, as a priority, the most pressing problems confronting the populations of the southern hemisphere. In that regard, his delegation fully supported the Secretary-General's suggestions in document E/1992/80 regarding the topics that should be included in the agenda for the Summit, namely alleviation and reduction of poverty and the enhancement of the role of the United Nations in social development. Furthermore, it was time that the financial institutions of the United Nations system rethought the entire philosophy behind their economic reform programmes, so as to reduce to the greatest extent possible their negative social consequences on the developing countries: the cure should not kill the patient.
39. Mrs. SYAHRUDDIN (Indonesia) recalled that at the Tenth Summit Meeting, the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement had rightly considered that in the post-cold war era, development and eradication of poverty had become the top priorities of the international community. The situation was particularly urgent in Africa. The Jakarta message of the Non-Aligned Movement recalled in fact that today, peace and stability were dependent on socio-economic as much as on political and military factors. That assessment was reiterated by President Soeharto in his address to the plenary meeting of the forty-seventh General Assembly and was recognized by the Secretary-General in "An Agenda for Peace".
40. Indonesia welcomed the report of the Secretary-General on the Status and role of cooperatives in the light of new economic and social trends (A/47/216). Indonesia, which had taken steps to improve cooperatives by providing education and training and made efforts to expand their business opportunities, had learned by experience of the contribution that cooperatives could make to national social and economic progress.
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(Mrs. Syahruddin. Indonesia)
41. As to the question of disabled persons, her delegation welcomed the proclaiming of 3 December as International Day of Disabled Persons, an initiative that demonstrated the new awareness of the needs of those individuals on the part of the international community. She noted none the less, that if long-term sustainable results were to be attained for disabled people in developing countries, then the social and economic development needs of those countries had to be resolved. In the interim period, each country should resolve to improve the situation of their disabled persons within their limited capacity.
42. During the past 10 years, Indonesia had launched activities and programmes on behalf of disabled persons, particularly in such areas as employment, services and social security. Much remained to be done, however, and as Indonesia was aware of the need to ensure the equal participation of disabled persons in society, it would support the proclamation of a second United Rations decade of disabled persons. In that connection, her delegation would make available an appraisal of her country's achievements in the context of the Decade (1983-1992), which was ending.
43. Likewise, her delegation welcomed the adoption, in plenary meeting, of the Proclamation on Ageing. As the Secretary-General had indicated in his report (A/47/369), an ageing society had many implications and would require a number of adjustments in such areas as employment, health care, nutrition and social security. The draft framework for the 1993 Report on the World Social Situation had already drawn attention to the new challenges which social security systems would face. Her delegation supported efforts to enable the elderly to lead an active and productive life under secure circumstances. The strengthening of international collaboration in that area was encouraging, as shown by the decision to launch a global information campaign on ageing for 1992 and beyond, to be carried out by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs and the Department of Public Information. Likewise, her delegation welcomed the document concerning global targets on ageing for the year 2001 (A/47/339), which represented a practical strategy.
44. The Indonesian population consisted mostly of young people. Each year, nearly 2.4 million young people entered the workforce, and it was estimated that by the end of 1994, the Indonesian labour-market would comprise some 83.6 million people. The need to provide employment for those young people was one of the country's major concerns.
45. As the Secretary-General had stated in his report (A/47/349), the problem of youth unemployment and underemployment had worsened in recent years, largely as a result of economic stagnation in the developing countries, population growth, the debt burden and a generally poor global economy. The Secretary-General had also pointed to the lack of programmes for youth at the national level as a fundamental negative factor. Accordingly, it was necessary to prepare guidelines to assist Governments in formulating a
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(Mrs. Syahruddin, Indonesia)
programme of action for youth at the national and local levels. Her delegation noted with satisfaction that the Secretariat would focus on that question during the period 1993-1994.
46. With regard to the question of crime, her delegation was encouraged by the emphasis which the General Assembly had placed on technical cooperation, assistance and coordination in that area. Criminal activities, particularly illicit drug trafficking and the illicit arms trade, posed a serious threat to all societies, but especially to emerging democracies and developing countries, which had limited resources. There was an urgent need for effective coordination of activities within the international community and for increased technical assistance to developing countries.
47. Her delegation was convinced that if democratic principles were to triumph, then people's basic needs must be satisfied. Narrowing the scope of social development would only increase ethnic and racial tensions and political instability. The world summit for social development would offer an opportunity to chart a course which would bring social justice and improved conditions for all.
AGENDA ITEM 91: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued) (A/C.3/47/L.2, L.3, L.6, L.8, L.9 and L.10)
Draft decision A/C.3/47/L.2 and draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.3
48. Mr. OULD MOHAMED LEMINE (Mauritania) introduced draft decision A/C.3/47/L.2 and draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.3 on behalf of the Group of African States. With regard to draft decision A/C.3/47/L.2, he said that the single preambular paragraph recalled the relevant General Assembly resolutions and took note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/20. In the operative paragraphs of the draft decision, the General Assembly expressed its thanks to all persons and entities which had enabled the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to make a considerable contribution to the cause of eliminating the policy of apartheid. The sponsors hoped that the draft decision would be adopted by consensus.
49. Turning to draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.3, he noted that it declared once again that all forms of racism and racial discrimination were among the most serious violations of human rights in the contemporary world and must be combated by all available means. The international community should continue to give the highest priority to programmes for combating racism, racial discrimination and apartheid and should intensify its efforts, during the latter part of the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, to provide assistance and relief to the victims of those evils, especially in South Africa and in occupied territories and territories under alien domination. Moreover, all the parts of the Programme of Action for the Second Decade should be given equal attention in order to attain the objectives of
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(Mr. Quid Mohamed Lemine, Mauritania)
the Second Decade. The international community should provide the Secretary-General with appropriate financial resources to allow for the implementation of the activities scheduled for the period 1992-1993 which had not yet been carried out. Governments should encourage further positive change in South Africa/ based on the guidelines set out in the Declaration on Apartheid and its Destructive Consequences in Southern Africa. With regard to the Trust Fund for the Programme of Action for the Second Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, the draft resolution appealed to all Governments, organizations and individuals in a position to do so to contribute generously to the Trust Fund. The Secretary-General was requested to prepare a draft programme of action for the third decade and to submit it to the General Assembly at its forty-eighth session. The Commission on Human Rights was invited, at its forty-ninth session, to recommend activities to be undertaken during the third decade. Lastly, all Governments were urged to take all necessary measures to combat new forms of racism and discrimination based on culture, nationality, religion or language.
50. The sponsors proposed inserting paragraph 19 of the resolution adopted
the previous year (General Assembly resolution 46/85) after paragraph 5, which
would become new paragraph 6, and renumbering the following paragraphs
accordingly. The paragraph would read as follows:
"Requests the Secretary-General to continue to accord special attention to the situation of migrant workers and members of their families and to include regularly in his reports all information on such workers;"
51. The sponsors also proposed adding the phrase "once again" after the word
"Considers" in paragraph 10. They hoped that the draft resolution would be
adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.6
52. Mrs. FOSTIER (Belgium), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.6, said
that Botswana, Rwanda and Senegal had joined the sponsors. Racism and racial
discrimination were on the increase, sometimes in very extreme forms, just
about everywhere in the world. By acceding to the International Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, countries underscored
the importance that they attached to its objectives. The States which had not
yet become parties to the Convention were requested to ratify it or accede to
it. The sponsors hoped that, as in the past, the draft resolution would be
adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.8
53. Mr. TURK (Slovenia) introduced draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.8, which, in
addition to the 26 countries already listed as sponsors, was also sponsored by
Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Pakistan. The format of the draft text was
A/C.3/47/SR.13 English Page 15
(Mr. Turk. Slovenia)
identical to that of previous resolutions on the same item, such as General Assembly resolution 46/83. Nevertheless, the text contained several new elements, particularly with regard to the financing of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The sponsors hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted without a vote.
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.9
54. Mr. RAVEN (United Kingdom), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.9, said that Afghanistan, Colombia, Estonia, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania and Poland had joined the sponsors. Through the draft resolution, which dealt with "ethnic cleansing", a term which should appear in quotation marks in the title and the body of the text, the international community was demonstrating its repulsion for everything related to discrimination and hate based on ethnic origin. Since the notion of racism and racial discrimination was very broad, the sponsors felt that the draft resolution under consideration, which did not refer to any situation in particular, would be a document which the Third Committee could usefully adopt. The members of the Committee would be informed of the results of the ongoing consultations aimed at improving the text, which the sponsors hoped would be adopted by consensus.
55. The CHAIRMAN said that the introduction of draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.10 was postponed to a subsequent meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 92: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued) (A/C.3/47/L.4, L.5 and L.7)
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.4
56. Mr. OULD MOHAMED LEMINE (Mauritania), introducing draft resolution
A/C.3/47/L.4 on behalf of the Group of African States, said that the draft
text under consideration reaffirmed the importance of the implementation of
the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and
Peoples and the main resolutions of the United Nations regarding the exercise
of the right to self-determination by peoples under colonial and foreign
domination. While welcoming Security Council resolutions 765 (1992) and
772 (1992), which provided the basis for the intervention of the Secretary-General in South Africa, the sponsors were deeply concerned about the current wave of violence in South Africa resulting from the continued existence of apartheid structures. The draft resolution demanded that the South African Government should repeal the security legislation in force and requested the Secretary-General to act speedily to implement Security Council resolution 772 (1992) in its entirety. In addition, the international community was urged to support the efforts to improve the situation in Angola, Mozambique, Western Sahara and the Comoros. The sponsors, who had demonstrated flexibility by replacing the expressions "Pretoria regime" and "apartheid regime" with the expression "South African Government" in order to take account of the changes that had occurred in South Africa, hoped that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
A/C.3/47/SE.13 English Page 16
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.5
57. Mr. ANSARI (Pakistan), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.5, said
that Djibouti and Mauritania had joined the sponsors. The draft text under
consideration deliberately reproduced the format of General Assembly
resolution 46/88, adopted the previous year by consensus. It reaffirmed the
importance of the observance of human rights, particularly, of the universal
realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and expressed deep
concern at the consequences of foreign military intervention and occupation
that suppressed the right to self-determination of an increasing number of
peoples. As a consequence of the continuation of such actions, millions of
people were being uprooted from their homes as refugees and displaced
persons. The States responsible for those actions were called upon to cease
immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries
and territories and all acts of repression, discrimination and exploitation
against the peoples concerned. The sponsors hoped that the draft resolution
would be adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.7
58. Mr. FERNANDEZ PALACIOS (Cuba), pointed out that Angola, Uganda and Zambia had joined the sponsors of draft resolution A/C.3/47/L.7. As stressed in the eighth preambular paragraph, the use of mercenaries caused deep concern for all States because the activities of mercenaries were contrary to the fundamental principles of international law, such as non-interference in the internal affairs of States, territorial integrity and independence, and impeded the process of self-determination of peoples struggling against colonialism, racism and apartheid and all forms of foreign domination. Contrary to what one might have thought, the end of the cold war had not brought a halt to that practice. It appeared even to be linked today to other unlawful activities that were transnational in nature, such as terrorism and arms and drug trafficking.
59. The sponsors proposed the deletion of the phrase "and for the destabilization of the Governments of southern African States" from paragraph 4. They hoped that the draft text, which furthermore reproduced the provisions of previously adopted texts on the item, could be adopted without a vote.
The meeting rose at 12.20 p.m.