Summary record of the 19th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Tuesday, 25 October 1988, New York, General Assembly, 43rd session.
FORTY-THIRD SESSION Official Records*
Tuesday, 25 October 1988
At 10 a.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 19th MEETING
Chairman: Mr. ABULHASAN (Kuwait) later: Mr. JATIVA (Ecuador)
AGENDA ITEM 89: QUESTION OF AGING
AGENDA ITEM 90: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES INVOLVING YOUTH
AGENDA ITEM 92: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD PROGRAMME OF ACTION CONCERNING DISABLED PERSONS AND THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF DISABLED PERSONS
AGENDA ITEM 93: CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
AGENDA ITEM 107: FAMILIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
AGENDA ITEM 144: RESPONSIBILITY OF STATES 10 BAN IN THEIR TERRITORY, AND TO REFRAIN FROM INSTIGATING OR SUPPORTING IN THE TERRITORY OF OTHER STATES, CHAUVINISTIC, RACIST AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS THAT MAY CAUSE DISCORD BETWEEN PEOPLES AND INVOLVEMENT OF GOVERNMENTS AND THE MASS MEDIA IN COMBATING SUCH MANIFESTATIONS AND IN EDUCATING PEOPLES AND YOUTH IN THE SPIRIT OF PEACEFUL CO-OPERATION AND INTERNATIONAL ENTENTE) AND EVALUATION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE PROMOTION AMONG YOUTH OF THE IDEALS Of PEACE, MUTUAL RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN PEOPLES
Distr. GENERAL A/C.3/43/SR.19 10 November 1988 ENGLISH ORIGINAL: FRENCH
68-56549 0656S (E)
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
AGENDA ITEM 89: QUESTION OF AGING (A/43/583)
AGENDA ITEM 90: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES INVOLVING YOUTH (A/43/601, A/C.3/43/L.13)
AGENDA ITEM 92: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD PROGRAMME OF ACTION CONCERNING DISABLED PERSONS AND THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF DISABLED PERSONS (A/43/3, A/43/634)
AGENDA ITEM 93: CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (A/43/3, A/43/354 and Corr.l, A/43/370, 572)
AGENDA ITEM 107: FAMILIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS (A/43/570)
AGENDA ITEM 144: RESPONSIBILITY OF STATES TO BAN IN THEIR TERRITORY, AND TO REFRAIN FROM INSTIGATING OR SUPPORTING IN THE TERRITORY OF OTHER STATES, CHAUVINISTIC, RACIST AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS THAT MAY CAUSE DISCORD BETWEEN PEOPLES AND INVOLVEMENT OF GOVERNMENTS AND THE MASS MEDIA IN COMBATING SUCH MANIFESTATIONS AND IN EDUCATING PEOPLES AND YOUTH IN THE SPIRIT OF PEACEFUL CO-OPERATION AND INTERNATIONAL ENTENTE; AND EVALUATION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE PROMOTION AMONG YOUTH OF THE IDEALS OF PEACE, MUTUAL RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN PEOPLES
1. ' Miss FOSTIER (Belgium), speaking on agenda item 92, concerning the
implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the
United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, said that the Year and the Decade had
played an undeniable role in the formulating of national and international
programmes aimed at enabling disabled persons to participate fully and totally in
social life and development on an equal basis. Much, however, remained to be done
in that field, and further measures should be taken by the United Nations and
Member States to give a new thrust to the Decade.
2. In addition to its traditional attachment to the cause of disabled persons and its active participation in initiatives by United Nations bodies in that area, Belgium was one of the few countries that had submitted their comments to the Secretary-General on the recommendations of the Global Meeting of Experts held at Stockholm in 1987. Belgium therefore welcomed the Secretary-General's efforts, on the basis of the fragmentary or late replies which he had received, to suggest priority activities for revitalizing the second half of the Decade, proposals which the Third Committee could find useful in setting its own global priorities in that regard.
3. Belgium attached considerable importance to the possible catalyzing role of the Secretariat in giving new impetus to the Decade, and welcomed in particular the Secretary-General's appointment of a Special Representative for the Promotion of the Decade, whose activities would be financed by voluntary contributions, in view of the precarious financial situation of the United Nations, initiatives requiring
(Miss Fostier. Belgium)
Additional resources, such as the convening of an international conference and other meetings, should be avoided, at least until their cost-effectiveness had been carefully studied. Less costly alternative solutions should be envisaged.
4. Belgium also had reservations about the drafting of an international convention on the human rights of disabled persons. Measures which tended to isolate disabled persons as a group from the rest of the population might threaten the rights guaranteed to them on an equal basis with other persons.
5. While the United Nations was the ideal forum to give international impetus to the cause of disabled persons, it was the responsibility of Governments, in co-operation with organizations of disabled persons themselves, to take the necessary steps to facilitate the social integration of disabled persons, especially by promoting awareness of their potential contributions to the society in general and individually. In that regard, Belgium supported the Secretary-General's conclusions on the subject, especially those concerning the importance of the role of non-governmental organizations.
6. Ms. HALONEN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries in regard to item 92, said that the number of disabled persons in the world continued to grow for many reasons - such as wars, famine, malnutrition, and destruction of the balance of nature - and that whereas a number of non-governmental organizations had become actively involved in the first half of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, it was still the main responsibility of the countries themselves to improve the situation of such persons. International solidarity between prosperous and poor countries should also play a role in that regard. The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons had enhanced general knowledge and broadened comprehension of the problems of disabled persons and their role in society. They were no longer seen as isolated individuals but as functioning citizens having an input into their societies.
7. In the Nordic countries, disabled persons had access to the same social services as the rest of the population, such as housing, transportation and communication. An integrated approach had made it possible for disabled persons to have an increased influence at all levels. Such results had been possible only with the full deployment of the disabled persons' own capacities, and of the organizations representing them. In the Nordic countries, organizations of disabled persons had a long tradition of activity in that regard.
8. In the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, prevention and rehabilitation seemed to have received more attention during the first half of the Decade than the other objectives of the Decade. During the second half, special attention should therefore be paid to the equalization of opportunities. To that end, issues concerning disabled persons should naturally be included in the activities of national agencies responsible for essential social services and in national development programmes. They should also be regularly taken into account in United Nations programmes and UNDP development
(Ms. Halonen, Finland)
Projects. Similarly, the United Nations should support those projects where the recommendations of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Parsons had been taken into consideration.
9. The Nordic countries had noted with satisfaction the Secretary-General's suggestions for priority activities based on the recommendations of the Global Meeting of Experts in Stockholm, together with the emphasis that had been given on that occasion to the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and to the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons. The Nordic countries again stressed that the competence of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs as a focal point for disability activities should be strengthened. The adoption by the United Nations of a concrete plan of action would help improve the chances of financing such measures. The Secretary-General should continue to give high priority to the dissemination of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and should support the establishment of national organizations of disabled persons. He should encourage Member States to establish governmental councils on disability issues and to support existing organization of disabled persons. He should also intensify his efforts to ensure that the particular needs of disabled persons were taken into account in all United Nations organizations.
10. The Nordic countries felt it indispensable to evaluate the result of the Decade and to guarantee its further work. They therefore welcomed the proposal of the Secretary-General to initiate, in close co-operation with the representatives of organizations of disabled persons, a feasibility study of the financial and administrative implications, which would make it possible to review the global progress achieved and provide guidelines for actions needed until the year 2000 and beyond. An initial outline of alternatives should be submitted to the forthcoming session of the Commission for Social Development, and the Economic and Social Council should take up the question before the General Assembly met the following year. That would enable member States to express their views on the subject. If the study indicated a need for expert meetings on well-defined topics, the Government of Finland would be ready to host one of them.
11. Mrs. REAGAN (United States of America), speaking as a representative of the United States of America on agenda items 90, 93 and 107, spoke of the work she herself had been doing for several years in association with other eminent persons, particularly Mrs. Peres de Cuellar, in an area which had a direct impact on the family, particularly children, namely, the fight against drug abuse. In 1987, she and Mrs. Perez de Cuellar had jointly prepared a videotaped message for the first International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The 138 countries that had participated in the conference had unanimously recognized that stopping drug abuse and illicit trafficking was a universal priority. She was deeply heartened that the United Nations had nearly completed deliberations on a new anti-drug trafficking convention. International efforts against drugs were of vital importance and must be expanded.
(Mrs. Reagan, United States)
12. It must be recognized, first of all, that the United States alone bore responsibility for its own drug problem and must stop shifting that responsibility to other countries. While most of the illegal drugs were imported, the drug users were home grown. If one really wished to put an end to the drug problem, it had to be attacked at its source, namely, at the level of the user. It was easier to condemn the Peruvian compesino who cultivated coca or the drug traffickers who operated abroad than to put an end to the activities of the small-time crack peddlers in the streets of American cities or to arrest the Wall Street backer who took his daily dose of cocaine. Of course one must break the back of the drug cartels, burn the coca fields and interdict narcotics in transit. But one could not ask the Governments of other countries to do more in that area than America's own authorities. It was the drug user who made the cartel possible and who was its accomplice. If the United States lacked the will to ensure respect for its own laws and to arrest and punish users, how could it hope to prevent traffickers from meeting the demand? If, on the other hand, supply and demand could be reduced in the United States, international narcotics rings could be defeated.
13. It was out of the question for the United States to legalize drugs. Notwithstanding a few voices on the fringes, the American people as a whole was more determined than ever that drugs must remain illegal at every step in the chain. If it was illegal to grow coca in Peru, to process it into cocaine in Colombia and to ship it to the United States through the Caribbean, then it must be illegal to buy or use it in the United States.
14. Drugs had devastating effects on families and their destructiveness extended to nations themselves. Drugs undermined the foundations of democracy and threatened national sovereignty. Drug traffickers currently constituted a threat to peace throughout the world. Many countries were waging a heroic struggle to escape the grip of drug traffickers in their territory and to preserve their freedom and independence. That was particularly the case in Colombia, which had witnessed the successive assassinations of its Attorney General, its Minister of Justice and most members of its Supreme Court, not to mention hundreds of persons who had been killed in the relentless war which the traffickers were waging against the State. Those countries that thought they could keep their hands clean while growing rich through the production or trafficking of drugs made the same mistake as those who thought they could use drugs without becoming addicted. It Old not take long for the drug-producing countries to become drug-consuming countries, for their political institutions to become corrupted by drug money and for the drug gangsters to impose their own laws.
15. During her travels and through her contacts with the representatives of many countries, she had found that a powerful and unified international resistance to Illegal drugs was developing, a true international conspiracy of compassion. In fact it was only by fighting together that the countries of the world could solve the drug problem. In each country the new generation must be taught to say no to drugs, while the fight continued against the production, processing, financing,
(Mrs. Reagan, united States)
Importation, sale and use of drugs. Co-operation must also be strengthened at the international level and pressure must be kept up on States incapable of curbing drug production and trafficking in their own territory.
16. On behalf of the children of the United States and of the entire world, who must be spared the nightmare of drugs, she invited the members of the Third Committee to tell the truth about the effects of drugs on individuals and Governments and to be firm and realistic in their recommendations in that area.
17. Mr. FRIEDRICH (Federal Republic of Germany), speaking on agenda items 89, 90, 92, 93 and 107, welcomed the designation of the United Nations Office at Vienna as the focal point for social welfare policy, thereby making United Nations efforts in that field more effective, as well as the measures taken by the Director-General to streamline the functioning of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs.
18. His country was particularly interested in the social situation of the elderly, whose number would increase sharply. Those persons had contributed to building and developing their societies and advantage should be taken of their knowledge and experience. In his country the elderly were being encouraged to be active in society and to maintain their independence in a domestic environment for as long as possible. His country had accelerated the development of out-patient services for that purpose.
19. The second review and appraisal of the implementation of the International Plan of Action on Aging to be made in March 1989 by the Commission on Social Development was of great importance. His Government also fully supported the work of the United Nations Trust Fund for Aging, to which it had contributed approximately $US 50,000 in 1987 in order to help elderly refugees in Uganda.
20. The problems of youth also deserved attention. At a time of rapid economic and technical change, education played a decisive role. His Government was trying to establish an integrated national policy intended to develop solidarity among young people, promote better understanding between generations and develop the sense of social responsibility. It welcomed in that connection the intensified inter-agency co-operation in the field of research on youth as a follow-up to the International Youth Year because a better understanding of the situation of youth could only facilitate the task of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
21. Four years prior to the completion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, even though a great variety of initiatives had been taken in the field in question, much more remained to be done in order to improve the conditions under which the disabled lived. The target must be to integrate the disabled and their families and to give them a chance to use their capacities and skills. The Federal Republic of Germany had made much progress in the field: an increasing number of public buildings had been made accessible to wheel-chair users; since 1987 space had been set aside for disabled passengers in each inter-city train; the number of
(Mr. Friedrich. Federal Republic
integrated kindergartens where disabled and other children were educated had grown; and there were now 479 workshops providing over 90,000 jobs for disabled persons unable to find employment on the labor market.
22. However, his Government was not confining its efforts in the area in question to the Federal Republic of Germany itself but was also endeavoring to improve the situation of the disabled in developing countries within the framework of its bilateral co-operation. He wished to stress the need to employ disabled persons at the Secretariat and noted with satisfaction that in 1989 the Staff-Management Co-ordination Committee would consider a draft comprehensive plan to improve the recruitment of disabled persons.
23. With regard to the following Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, which would take place in 1990, both the discussion and delegations' efforts must be focused on a few items and the agenda of the Congress must be streamlined.
24. At the current: session, the Third Committee would have to decide on a draft resolution proposing the proclamation of an international year of the family. It was to be hoped that that initiative would lead to the strengthening of the role of the family throughout the world, at the local, regional and national levels, because the family played an irreplaceable role in the field of social welfare, particularly with respect to the elderly and the disabled - for whom many countries were unable to provide care. Furthermore, since the characteristics of the family differed considerably from one country to the next, each country should determine on a national basis which family model should be used for its activities for the international Year.
25. Lastly, he wished to underline the fact that only a world based on solidarity could be a just and peaceful world.
26. Mr. JAYASINGE (Sri Lanka), speaking under agenda item 90 on youth, said that young people could be categorized as a high-risk group, with unemployment and underemployment owing to a lack of adequate training. In that connection, he wished to recall General Assembly resolution 42/55, which stressed the importance of channels of communication between the United Nations and youth, and youth organizations. He was pleased to note that, despite resource constraints, the United Nations Office at Vienna, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs had continued to play an essential role in the integration of youth into development.
27. Sri Lanka, one third of whose population was from 15 to 30 years of age, encouraged the involvement of young people in national life. In 1967 Act No. 11 on voluntary national services had made provision for participation by young people in rural-community development. In 1978 the Ministry for Youth Affairs and Employment had been established, which - through the National Youth Services Council -co-ordinate the activities of 3,500 youth clubs, whose membership of over 200,000
(Mr. Jayasinghe. Sri Lanka)
Thus had an opportunity to participate to a greater extent in policy-making. The annual youth festival, which enabled about 15,000 youth volunteers to participate in various development and recreation programmes, provided proof of young Sri Lankans, strong commitment to the cause of development, peace and prosperity for their country.
28. His delegation recognized the success of the efforts undertaken by United Nations bodies and organizations for the benefit of youth, particularly the role played by UNESCO as a clearing-house for information and research in the field in question. Non-governmental organizations had also made a considerable contribution to the dissemination of information on the situation of youth in the world.
29. Unfortunately, those positive developments had been overshadowed by the shortage of human and financial resources, which had made it impossible to meet all requirements adequately. The demand for assistance from the United Nations Youth Fund had been high, whereas contributions had unfortunately been declining. Sri Lanka supported the proposal to strengthen the Fund through its inclusion on an annual basis among the programmes for which funds were pledged at the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities. Furthermore, the role of the non-governmental organizations must be strengthened both through the augmentation of the membership of governmental organizations and United Nations agencies by means of non-governmental organizations and through the establishment, in accordance with the wish expressed by other delegations, of t consultative forum of non-governmental organizations that would regularly define modalities for the programming of youth policies.
30. The Sri Lankan delegation appealed to the United Nations system, particularly the International Labor Organization, to take the necessary steps to put an end to youth unemployment, which contributed to poverty - especially in the developing countries. Speedy action must also be taken in order to ensure participation by disabled young people in society. Lastly, concerted efforts should be made at the national, regional and international levels with a view to providing coming generations with a world where peace, progress and prosperity prevail.
31. Mr. MIKUCHAUSKAS (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) said that, in an interdependent world, social issues could no longer be dealt with within the narrow framework of national policy. Conventional approaches must be abandoned so that the international community could make a concerted effort to combat the terrible scourges of mankind.
32. No State or society could solve international international social problems by itself. The Soviet Union had become aware of that and - as a result of a revolutionary process of restructuring, transparency and democratization that had brought about the new political thinking - its approach to social issues had changed radically. Leaving behind authoritarian management methods that dated from the 1930s, the restructuring process focused on the individual as being of fundamental value. Social justice, improved living conditions and observance of human rights were the main themes of the policy in question. The aim was to
(Mr. MIKUCHAUSKAS, USSR)
Organize socialist society along rational lines by releasing each individual's creative potential and initiative and by creating democratic machinery and structures with a view to achieving the best solutions to economic and social development problems. Rapid development of self-employment was being promoted with a view to enabling farmers to become the true masters of the land. Economic restructuring would give rise to a certain amount of unemployment, but it should be possible to reabsorb the unemployed through the expansion of commerce, services, co-operatives and self-employment, and the right to work would be maintained.
33. Particular attention was being devoted to improving the social situation of young people, the elderly and the disabled. Legislation on young people had been drawn up, a reform of the educational system was under way and steps were being taken to improve pensions and medical services. The activities of voluntary social organizations were encouraged.
34. The United Nations was one of the main forums where major international social problems were considered and ways of solving such problems were worked out. The Soviet delegation noted with keen interest the documents on social issues before the Third Committee. It welcomed the action taken by the United Nations to strengthen international co-operation in the field in question.
35. The role of the Commission for Social Development was to consider problems arising from the world social situation, as well as measures taken at the international, regional and national levels with a view to solving those problems. The Soviet Union was in favor of strengthening the Commission's co-ordination role. As stressed by many delegations, in the preparation of the following development strategy, which had just begun, social issues should be given a prominent place and be considered in all their aspects.
36. The United Nations must take an interest in the fundamental role played by the family in society and contribute to the strengthening of that institution through the establishment of a world programme of action. The Soviet Union supported the proposal that an international year of the family should be proclaimed.
37. His delegation was pleased with the work of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna and endorsed its goals, which were to give social policy priority in international, regional and national strategies.
38. He hoped that all the draft resolutions on social questions submitted to the Third Committee would be adopted unanimously, demonstrating the will of its members to solve social problems collectively at the international level.
39. Mr. BEN HAMIDA (Tunisia), referring to agenda item 90, stressed, in the words of the President of the Republic of Tunisia, the need to be receptive to young people and listen to them. That article of faith, which was rooted in a statistical reality and a political will, was intended to ensure better integration of young people into active life and was reflected in the adoption of specific
(Mr. Ben Hamida. Tunisia)
measures: proclamation of the International Youth Year in 1987; a desire to help young people, within the limits of available resources, to develop, express their concerns and aspirations and participate in the country's political, economic, social and cultural life; specific programmes in education, sports, culture and employment; and renewal of infrastructures and equipment to prepare young people to assume a dynamic role.
40. Of course long-term programming for young people depended upon a stable internal and international economic situation. While responsibility for solving the problems of youth in most countries (literacy, health, employment, unemployment) fell primarily to Governments, the interdependence and COMPLEMENTRY of the world's economies required financial and technical co-operation among countries and international economic stability. He pointed in that connection to the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (1980-1990), which gave priority to the development of human resources and deserved adequate financial and technical assistance and follow-up so that young Africans could, get the most out of economic adjustment programmes.
41. His delegation noted with great interest the efforts and diverse activities of the United Nations Youth Fund in the area of training, research and development, activities designed to facilitate the integration of young people. It felt, however, that the 40 per cent figure, which was the share of resources allocated to those activities, should be increased in order to develop the spirit of initiative in young people and thereby enable them to take part in social and economic life. His delegation was also concerned about the financial situation of the Fund. It therefore shared the Secretary-General's deep concern and pleaded for co-ordinated efforts to mobilize resources.
42. His delegation would like more detailed information on the activities of the United Nations system, particularly the role of the regional commissions, in order to evaluate the impact of their activities on young people. It would also welcome information on the technical assistance provided to various non-governmental organizations by some United Nations bodies, so as to determine the scope and impact of their work and to avoid duplication.
43. Mr. COTTAFAVI (Italy), speaking on agenda item 93, said that the United Nations programme in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice should have one of the highest priorities in the social agenda of the United Nations. In an increasingly interdependent world, modern criminality could no longer be treated as a national problem because crime prevention and the administration of justice required effective international co-operation.
44. It was very regrettable to learn from the Secretary-General's report in document A/43/572 that the number of Governments that had implemented the Milan Plan of Action and the nature of reforms in criminal law and improvements in the administration of criminal justice were not known. In his delegation's view, many Member States would not be able to implement the Plan of Action fully without the technical assistance of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch. The
(Mr. Cottafavi, Italy)
report showed that the Branch had long been faced with broader mandates and decreasing resources, Given that situation, and in the light of the statement of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, his delegation felt that at the moment only an expansion of extra budgetary resources would make it possible to increase the volume of services tendered to Member States by the Branch. As in the past, his Government would support United Nations activities in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice at the forthcoming Pledging Conference.
45. His delegation felt that the preparation of the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders should be accorded high priority. It invited Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to continue to provide the United Nations with effective support and co-operation in the preparation of the Congress.
46. Mrs. SYLLA-LINGAYA (Madagascar), speaking on agenda items 90 and 107, said that her delegation was pleased with the Secretary-General's report in document A/43/601 on follow-up activities to the International Youth Year. Her Government wholeheartedly supported those activities and pursued a youth policy geared to training personnel at the local and national levels, education at all levels and training and better integration of young people in the development process. Efforts were being made through many advance and leadership training agencies that dealt with youth to ensure closer co-ordination between training and jobs and to prepare young people for involvement in productive social and economic activities.
47. As in most developing countries, the activities undertaken in Madagascar for young people were hampered by difficulties at the national and international levels. Economic adjustment and austerity measures greatly reduced the resources devoted to education, training, health care and other social services. The international institutions, for their part, did not have sufficient financial and human resources to meet the Government's demands for assistance for youth programmes. That was why her delegation endorsed the idea expressed by the Secretary-General in his report that follow-up activities to the International Youth Year must be renewed through a more active and persistent mobilization campaign at all levels.
48. Turning to agenda item 107, she noted that the international community was unanimous in stressing the vital role played by the family in ensuring the welfare of its members and as beneficiary and agent of development. Madagascar recognized that the family was the natural and fundamental unit of society and must be assisted and protected. For that purpose a family welfare service had been established within the Government and a family code was being prepared. Malagasy families faced a number of problems: difficulty in reactivating food production, Inadequate health infrastructure, unemployment and extremely precarious housing conditions. That was why the priority objective of the Government was to satisfy the basic needs of the family in those areas. It was trying to do so under the five-year plan for the period 1986-1990, by executing programmes to improve the economic and social situation of the family. Unfortunately, those efforts had to contend with insufficient financial resources.
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(Mrs. Sylla-Lingaya, Madagascar)
49. Madagascar favored the proclamation of an international year of the family. However, it was concerned about the financial implications of such an event, in light of the difficulties being experienced by many countries and by the United Nations. If the General Assembly decided to begin preparations for that event, her adequate time should be provided for consultation among the countries involved. In-depth consultations would be necessary for any constructive discussion and concerted action relating to the complex problems posed by ensuring the security and well-being of the family.
50. Mrs. MBELLA NGOMBA (Cameroon) said that her country belonged to the developing world where, as indicated in the Secretary-General's report (A/43/583), the largest segment of the elderly population was to be found. As noted in that same report, the social costs of caring for the elderly could only increase, so that it was absolutely indispensable to establish priorities in accomplishing that task. For that reason, her country also supported the Secretary-General's recommendations aimed at providing mechanisms for identifying aspects of the International Plan of Action on Aging which could be modified in the light of changing circumstances; ensure full participation of the elderly in development; evaluate changing social support structures; and determine the magnitude of social expenditure related to aging in developing countries.
51. Her delegation supported the idea of the formation of an African society of gerontology, which would facilitate the solution of problems relating to the integration of the elderly into social and political life. It also welcomed the opening of the International Institute on Aging in Malta. Her country supported all initiatives promoting technical co-operation in the field of aging, as called for in General Assembly resolution 42/51, and favored the mobilization of resources for the United Nations Trust Fund for Aging.
52. The Republic of Cameroon, where young people constituted 50 per cent of the population, had demonstrated clearly its commitment to integrate youth into the process of national development through a well-defined educational policy. Her delegation hoped that the interest in youth shown by her country at the national level would be refloated at the regional and international levels. In 1087, her delegation had supported the Secretary-General's request (A/42/595) for an exchange of information among young people at the regional level and for the strengthening of United Nations technical co-operation activities in the field of youth. Her delegation had also supported the resolution calling for the establishment of better channels of communication between the United Nations and youth organizations and had highlighted the Austrian Government's HOPE (Hundreds of Original Projects for Employment) initiative, which was specifically for developing countries. While there was much to applaud in the large number of studies, programmes of action, meetings, seminars and conferences undertaken within the framework of the International Youth Year, as indicated by the Secretary-General in his 1988 report, it was discouraging to note that the promotion of youth activities by the United Nations system had been hampered by the lack of financial and human resources. Her delegation supported the Secretary-General's proposal to strengthen the United Nations Youth Fund by including it among the programmes to be considered by the United Nations Pledging Conference.
(Mrs. Mbella Haombtti Cameroon)
53. Her delegation found it deplorable that the national initiatives taken in the areas of disability and the mobilization of resources for the disabled were still in the formative stages. Cameroon endorsed the launching of an information campaign designed to portray disabled people as full members of society. That campaign should be part of the activities to be undertaken during the rest of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
54. Her delegation attached fundamental importance to the issue of crime prevention and criminal justice. She was particularly pleased that the questions
o the prevention of juvenile delinquency/ the treatment of juvenile offenders and the promotion of juvenile justice were on the agenda of the preparatory meetings for the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders* scheduled for 1990. She called upon the international community to take appropriate action by contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for Social Defense. Only the mobilization of adequate resources would prove that countries, far from resting on their good intentions, had the political will to take concrete crime prevention action.
55. Mr. KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic) said that the younger generation had an important role to play in the creation of a more secure and just world, in a number of countries, the participation of youth in public affairs was seen as an important contribution to shaping the future of humanity. The General Assembly had paved the way in 1965 by adopting the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples and by proclaiming 1985 the International Youth Year with the motto: participation, development, peace. Yet, if young people were to be enabled to play their rightful role, due consideration had to be given to their economic and social conditions. In many countries, admittedly, young people were deprived of their fundamental rights, in particular the right to education and the right to work. In that connection, the Lao delegation welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of resolutions repeatedly reaffirming those two essential rights and it called upon the international community to take effective measures to resolve the problem of youth unemployment.
56. In Laos, youth was considered as an essential and dynamic; component of the new socialist society, as demonstrated by the holding of the second Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Youth Organization on 13 July 1988. That political event, attended by 315 delegates representing Lao youth and by delegates from socialist and friendly countries, had been a great success. Encouraged by new ways of living and thinking, Lao youth were actively participating in the country's social, economic, cultural and political activities. In the agricultural field, young people had participated in the construction of irrigation canals, schools, roads, and bridges; in the educational field, they had taken part in a campaign against illiteracy.
57. The Lao delegation noted with appreciation the steps taken by the United Nations system to monitor the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons. Much remained to be done in that area and his
(Mrs. Kittikhoun, Lao Peoples
Delegation considered that the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, whoso resources had boon significantly reduced, deserved the full support of the international community.
58. Mr. Jativa (Ecuador) took the Chair.
59. Miss OMEHULU (Zaire), referring to the position of the family in the development process, said that family issues were of such importance that they deserved special attention at the international level and it was therefore not without reason that the General Assembly, at its forty-second session, had invited all Member States, in resolution 42/134, to consider the proclamation of an international year of the family.
60. In Zaire, the Secretariat of State for Womens Affairs comprised a division specifically entrusted with questions concerning the family which had set itself the aim of encouraging Zairian families to take an active part in the country's development. That division had organized several seminars on the planning of primary health care and had taken steps to popularize a new family code containing provisions specifically concerning women. Unfortunately, as in many African countries, most Zairian families lived in difficult conditions characterized by poverty, illiteracy, a lack of decent housing and even famine. To those difficulties must be added the fact that urbanization had reduced the size of the family compared with the ancestral family, with the result that the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid which had always been the hallmark of the traditional family in Africa was dying out.
61. Integrated development programmes were needed, so designed as to enable families to apply them as fully-fledged participants in and beneficiaries of development. Finally, special attention should be paid to programmes concerning the family at the international level. Exchanges of experience among countries and regions were needed to that effect.
62. Mrs. SHERMAN-PETER (Bahamas), referring to item 90, said that the United Nations had played a constructive role before, during and after International Youth Year in promoting the objectives of participation, development and peace. Her delegation was particularly appreciative of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, which served as a focal point for youth matters within the United Nations system and had given impetus to national efforts in behalf of young people. She hoped that the activities of the Centre would not be hampered by the limited resources at its disposal.
63. It should not be forgotten, however, that it was for Governments themselves to respond to the challenges in that field and, in particular, to secure greater participation by young people in the decisions that affected their lives. The guidelines for follow-up to International Youth Year provided a useful framework for Governments. In the Bahamas, those guidelines had proved invaluable in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes to counter the effects on
(Mrs. Sherman-Peter, Bahamas)
Youth of various social problems, such as drug abuse and illicit trafficking, criminality and alcoholism. In the Bahamas, where young people between the ages of 15 and 25 accounted for some 60 per cent of the population, such policies and programmes were of crucial importance. Another essential factor was that, in the Bahamas, young people themselves were called upon to determine the key areas around which planning should revolve. That approach had yielded excellent results.
64. The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Affairs* which was directly responsible for promoting youth activities throughout the Bahamas* had various initiatives to its credit which had proved highly successful* including a young people's summer programme, a youth social service programme to enable young people to perform community service; a teenage drop-in centre, where teenagers could meet and discuss the issues directly affecting them; a programme designed to help young people to set up and manage their own companies with the assistance of the business community; and finally a programme to provide high school students with jobs in firms. Recently, a delegation from the Bahamas had visited Sister Commonwealth countries in Asia to acquaint themselves with those countries' youth programmes with a view to improving the Bahamian programme on the basis of experience gained.
65. The Government of the Bahamas maintained extensive relations with the Bahamian non-governmental organizations concerned with youth and supported non-governmental organizations carrying out similar activities at the international level. Generally speaking* the Government of the Bahamas kept abreast of United Nations youth activities and the National Youth Advisory Council* which had been specially set up to co-ordinate International Youth Year programmes* continued to be apprised of United Nations activities in that field.
66. Mrs. NIKOLIC (Yugoslavia) commended the United Nations Office at Vienna for its work and fully supported the requests made by the Director-General of the Office that would enable it to fulfill its mandate.
67. Her delegation could not be satisfied with the present situation concerning the implementation of the International Plan of Action on Aging. In that respect* she supported the recommendations in the Secretary-General's report (A/43/583).
She also supported the important work done by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in broadening international co-operation, particularly technical co-operation, in that area, as well as providing assistance to developing countries. She welcomed the efforts made to strengthen the role of the Aging Unit. The financial situation of the United Nations Trust Fund for Aging gave cause for concern and her delegation supported the Secretary-General's recommendation that $US 2 million should be mobilized by 1992.
68. Yugoslavia had launched numerous activities as part of the Plan of Action.
The activities were increasingly becoming an integral part of its development
policy. The Yugoslav Government was endeavoring in particular to protect the
living standards of aging persons. A number of Yugoslav institutions had signed an
agreement with a view to setting up a Research and Training Centre on aging at the
Institute for Social Policy in Belgrade. The Yugoslav Government had requested a
(Mrs. Nikolic, Yugoslavia)
Feasibility study on the establishment of a United Nations-affiliated institute on aging in Belgrade. That initiative would in no way detract from the activities of the International Institute on Aging set up in Malta.
69. Her delegation noted with appreciation the specific suggestions concerning follow-up to International Youth Year contained in paragraph 17 of the Secretary-General's report (A/43/601). It was also wholly satisfied with the activities carried out by UNESCO in that field.
70. With regard to item 92, her delegation favored intensifying the implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons. It considered that the needs and interests of developing countries should be accorded priority. It also considered that the list of priority activities resulting from the mid-Decade review and contained in paragraphs 8 to 13 of the report of the Secretary-General (A/43/634) represented a very good basis for the Third Committee's deliberations.
71. Numerous Yugoslav organizations and committees had continued to carry out the activities in behalf of disabled persons in co-operation with the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna.
72. The Secretary-General's report (A/43/572) on crime prevention and criminal justice was a very comprehensive one. It provided useful information on the state of preparation of the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. Her delegation fully supported the recommendations of the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control, which had served as a preparatory body for the Congress. It hoped that the necessary resources would be provided to ensure the success of the Eighth Congress.
73. It emerged from the Secretary-General's report (A/43/570) that a great number of countries supported the proclamation of an international year of the family. Her delegation considered that family issues were very important and should therefore receive appropriate attention at the international level.
The meeting rose at 12.35 p.m.