Summary record of the 14th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Thursday, 22 October 1992, New York, General Assembly, 47th session.
FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION Official Records
Thursday, 22 October 1992
at 10 a.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 14th MEETING
Chairman: Mr. KRENKEL (Austria)
later: Mr. DEKANY (Hungary)
later: 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
(b) CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
10 November 1992
92-57150 6184S (E)
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The meeting was called to order at 10.05 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 (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 (A/47/379, 381, 399 and Corr.1, A/47/87, A/47/232-S/24025 and Corr.1, A/47/356-S/24367, A/47/80-S/23502, A/47/88-S/23563, A/47/312-S/24238, A/47/344 and 391)
1. Mrs. BANGOURA (Guinea) said that the social aspects of development played a decisive role in the internal and external security of nations. Unfortunately, the solutions devised by the international financial institutions, which were not matched with appropriate associated measures, had had the effect of impoverishing the peoples of Africa, which were feeling the full force of the world recession. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), while recognizing the worth of the solutions proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had argued for adjustment with a human face, which would assist the most vulnerable groups, especially the disabled and the elderly and rural dwellers, for they were the ones most affected by the austerity measures. Guinea had drawn up a social policy designed to advance and protect women, children, the elderly and the disabled by strengthening its national programmes through individual, community and cooperative projects.
2. Guinea supported the holding in 1995 of a world summit for social development, which would provide an opportunity to lay the foundations for balanced social development supported by international solidarity and co-management. The efforts made by the developing countries in the social field were in fact severely constrained by the unfair environment created by the international economic and financial system and had been impeded, particularly in Africa, by the recent democratization process, which was generating difficulties for social peace and development.
3. Her delegation endorsed the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report on the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (A/47/415). Guinea's fundamental law made it mandatory for the Government to see to the needs of disabled persons, and social tradition regarded them as full members of society. Her Government had undertaken to establish shelter, assistance and training organizations still quite insufficient to meet the needs to ensure the protection and social integration of the disabled. It was also planning to set up a national programme consisting of prevention, health education and vocational training measures, the establishment of a legal framework, income-generating activities and the creation of a national federation of disabled persons. About a dozen national non-governmental
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(Mrs. Banqoura, Guinea)
organizations were also carrying out specific activities. However, only through international solidarity could the necessary resources be found for a follow-up to the Decade. Her delegation therefore supported the establishment of a working group to set up a permanent collaboration machinery, in accordance with the recommendation made at the International Conference of Ministers responsible for the status of persons with disabilities, and with the proposal now made to continue with new terms of reference, the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons. Document A/47/339 contained alarming figures on ageing. In Guinea, however, the issue had not yet become a social development priority, for old people made up only 9.5 per cent of the total population. But urbanization, modernization and the emergence of the nuclear family were threatening the traditional family structures in which old people still enjoyed a privileged position. A protection policy had now been introduced, with the particular objective of preventing the loss of the knowledge and experience of old people.
4. Her Government was glad that 1994 had been proclaimed International Year of the Family. It had in fact established a national coordination committee for the Year. The family, which was recognized in Guinea's fundamental law as the basic unit of society but was being undermined by the weakening of Africa's traditional spirit of solidarity, had to cope all too often in the developing countries, and in Africa in particular, with poverty, illiteracy, lack of health and hygiene services, famine, and a shortage of decent housing.
5. Mrs. MBELLA NGOMBA (Cameroon) said that in order to achieve the full participation of all members of society in economic and social development, irrespective of their sex, age, race or physical and mental condition. States must give all their citizens access to the social, economic and political mechanisms which ensured sustainable development. Economic development and social progress, which had been severely affected by the current recession, depended in turn on respect for the rules of international competition, and therefore on the removal of trade barriers, and on genuine international cooperation, which was not just a guestion of charitable hand-outs.
6. Her delegation hoped that during the second decade of the implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons efforts would be made, with the assistance of the organizations concerned, to create national mechanisms to implement programmes for the disabled. The standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons, which were to be submitted to the Commission for Social Development at its thirty-third session, would play a significant role in that process. It was also to be hoped that the recent International Conference of Ministers responsible for the status of the persons with disabilities would result in a machinery for international and regional cooperation in research, training and rehabilitation, and that the Commission and the Economic and Social Council would submit suitable recommendations to the General Assembly. Her delegation agreed with the Secretary-General that the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons should be continued, as the "United Nations
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(Mrs. Mbella Nqomba, Cameroon)
Fund on Disability" (A/47/214). It was also necessary to strengthen the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna, and in particular its Disabled Persons Unit.
7. Her delegation supported the global targets on ageing for the year 2001 and thought that the best means of applying them would be to establish global planning in parallel with concrete actions at the local level. Cameroon would devote its limited resources to the second method (establishment of a pension scheme, improved access to health care, and education of young people). Her delegation also supported the Secretary-General's request that the question of ageing should be given serious consideration at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, the world summit for social development in 1995, and the fourth international women's conference in 1995. It also endorsed the Secretary-General's proposals concerning the creation of a global network of senior volunteers for peace and development and on the mixed financing (regular budget and extrabudgetary resources) of programmes for the elderly. And it welcomed the General Assembly's decision to proclaim 1999 International Year for the Elderly.
8. International Youth Year had not produced the expected results, and the Cameroon delegation therefore supported the Secretary-General's proposals concerning inter-agency consultations, advisory services, involvement of regional commissions, exchange of information and international cooperation in the promotion of youth programmes. Cameroon would participate actively in the work of the ad hoc working group to review the Secretary-General's report on policies and programmes involving youth (A/47/349) and in the review of the progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the effort to attain the objectives of International Youth Year at the thirty-third session of the Commission for Social Development, which moreover was required to draw up a global youth programme of action towards the year 2000 (A/RES/45/103). The Commission might also use that occasion to prepare for the International Year of the Family in 1994, and her delegation recalled that the Secretariat wanted coordination machinery to be established at the national level. In view of its heavy workload, it would be desirable to review the Commission's schedule of meetings in order to allow time for effective discussion of the items on its agenda and for the formulation of appropriate recommendations.
9. In its capacity as Chairman of the Commission for Social Development, her delegation wished to recommend that the length of the Commission's sessions should be extended from 11 to 20 days every two years or that annual sessions of 11 days should be reinstituted to allow the Commission to function effectively. Now that the cold war was over, the Commission's recommendations should have greater bearing on General Assembly decisions. The financial problems of the Social Development Division of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs should also be resolved. Finally, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) should increase
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(Mrs. Mbella Ngomba, Cameroon)
their participation in the implementation of United Nations social programmes, in coordination with the Centre.
10. Mr. Dekany (Hungary). Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
11. Mr. Dal Ho CHUNG (Republic of Korea), speaking on agenda item 93 (a), said that the East-West divide had been bridged, and it was finally possible to focus more attention and resources on social development, with a view to achieving social justice for all. In that light, the United Nations must make important decisions regarding the world summit for social development in 1995, which would be on par with the Earth Summit in terms of its importance to humanity. The Secretary-General had provided direction as to the approach to be taken by the United Nations by asserting that all efforts should be oriented towards a concept of people-centred, equitable and sustainable development. The Republic of Korea would participate actively in the preparatory process for the summit, whether in the Commission for Social Development, regional forums or the preparatory committee that was to be established.
12. While his delegation was convinced that only global efforts would ensure future progress, it also believed that domestic policies focusing on the needs of society's most vulnerable group, including the disabled, the elderly and youth, must be adopted first. The Republic of Korea had done so during the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons. In 1988, the President's Committee for the Welfare of Disabled Persons had been established, and laws on the welfare and vocational promotion of persons with disabilities had been adopted in the early 1980s. The long-term strategy of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and the draft standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons offered a promising basis on which to coordinate the efforts of individual Governments, while the continuation of the Voluntary Fund for the Decade under its new name the Voluntary Fund on Disability, could finance technical cooperation activities and help to ensure the success of global action.
13. The United Nations Principles for Older Persons, adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session, and the global targets on ageing for the year 2001 constituted an encouraging framework within which to prepare for the "age of global ageing". Desiring to integrate ageing into its overall development strategy, the Republic of Korea had established the Welfare Policy Committee for the Aged, and its seventh five-year plan for economic and social development included measures for the elderly. One of its goals was to have all Korean citizens covered by a national pension plan by the year 2000.
14. On a global level, the momentum generated by the special plenary sessions of the General Assembly must continue into 1993, when the implementation of the Plan of Action would be reviewed by the Commission for Social Development at its thirty-third session. The global targets could also be reached through greater cooperation between the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian
(Mr. Dal Ho Chung, Republic of Korea)
Affairs and other government and non-governmental organizations. The tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year in 1995 would provide a timely opportunity for the Organization to find ways of improving the situation of youth in many countries where poverty, lack of education, drug abuse and delinquency were barriers to the realization of their potential. The preparatory work done by the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs was encouraging in that regard, and strengthening the coordination of United Nations system activities should also afford greater protection to needy youth. Convinced that planning for youth must be undertaken in an integrated, multisectoral and coordinated manner, the Republic of Korea had designated 1993 as the "Year of Youth" and had established a Council for Youth Affairs under the auspices of the Prime Minister. The Republic of Korea, where filial piety and the family were cherished, looked forward to participating in the International Year of the Family in 1994 and welcomed the progress in Year preparations at the regional and international levels.
15. Turning to agenda item 93 (b), he welcomed the establishment of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to which his delegation, as a member of the Commission, would give its full support.
16. With regard to the Commission's work, his delegation hoped that the Statement of Principles would develop into an operational directive focusing on transnational crime. It had taken note with satisfaction of the priority themes adopted: transnational crime, organized crime, economic crime, including money laundering, and the role of criminal law in the protection of the social environment.
17. Although organized crime was not a severe problem in Korea, no nation was immune to that international problem, which was not limited to drug trafficking and money laundering. In that regard the recommendations adopted by the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Strategies to Deal with Transnational Crime, held at Bratislava in May 1991, and the measures formulated by the International Seminar on Organized Crime, held at Suzdal in October 1991, could serve as guidelines for international efforts to confront organized crime. However, the prompt implementation of the Statement of Principles and Programme of Action of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme remained crucial. Economic and Social Council resolution 1992/22, which addressed the allocation of the necessary human and financial resources, should also be fully implemented so that the promising initiatives launched the previous year might bear fruit. The possibility of increasing the percentage of resources allocated to the Commission from the regular budget, currently 0.15 per cent, should be studied.
18. Mr. CHIARADIA (Argentina), speaking on behalf of the States members of the Rio Group, said it was imperative that members of the international community should unite and coordinate their efforts to raise living standards substantially in all countries, particularly in the developing countries. The world summit for social development, which the Economic and Social Council had
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(Mr. Chiaradia, Argentina)
recommended that the General Assembly should convene at its forty-seventh session, should not serve as an opportunity for debate on subjects falling within the competence of States, nor should it confine itself to creating new mechanisms for the transfer of resources. Its purpose should be to reach a political consensus on social issues, to promote the concept that development should be an ongoing goal for individual countries and for the international community, to study financial mechanisms which could promote social development at the national and international levels, and to consider the possibility of additional financing. It should also analyse the relationship between social and economic problems the proposals which the Secretary-General had submitted to the Economic and Social Council in document E/1991/80 were extremely useful in that regard and study social development problems of each region. National territory should be taken as the frame of reference for social development and for development in general, for it was within that context that the people participated effectively in improving their standard of living and consequently, strengthened national economic development.
19. As indicated in Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/27, the General Assembly should draw up the agenda for the summit at its current session. The States members of the Rio Group were of the opinion that the issues examined should be addressed within the framework of international cooperation for development, and that alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment and strengthening social cohesion should be at the centre of its work. They also supported the Secretary-General's recommendation that the preparatory committee for the summit should include special representatives of heads of State or Government so that the latter could participate in the organization of the summit from its earliest stages.
20. In conclusion, the States members of the Rio Group reaffirmed that they would spare no effort in ensuring the success of the world summit for social development.
21. Mr. WOTAVA (Austria), speaking on agenda item 93 (b), said that the alarming dimensions of organized crime and transnational crime (drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trading and terrorism) had led the United Nations to reorganize the Secretariat unit dealing with crime prevention and criminal justice. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/152, the Economic and Social Council had replaced the Committee on Crime Prevention and Control with the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. A Statement of Principles and Programme of Action had been adopted at the November 1991 Ministerial Meeting held in Paris to draft a United Nations programme for crime prevention and criminal justice, which had been adopted by the General Assembly.
22. At its first session, held at Vienna from 21 to 30 April 1992, the new Commission had defined the role of the United Nations as the focal point for international cooperation. For the period 1992-1996, it would give priority
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(Mr. Wotava. Austria)
to national and transnational crime, organized crime, economic crime, including money laundering, and the role of criminal law in the protection of the environment. Austria supported those priorities and believed that the new programme could benefit from close cooperation with other United Nations organs, such as the human rights advisory services in relation to administration of justice and the United Nations international Drug Control Programme for matters relating to organized and transnational crime. At the thirty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Austria had co-sponsored the proposal introduced by Italy to strengthen cooperation between the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Such cooperation would be fruitful not only because both bodies were based at the Vienna International Centre, but because the Executive Director of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, in his capacity as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and head of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, also had overall responsibility for the new United Nations programme on crime prevention and criminal justice.
23. Unfortunately, the new programme lacked staff and financial resources, which greatly limited its activities. As the Commission had noted at its first session, programme resources amounted to only 0.15 per cent of the overall United Nations budget and the programme had only 12 Professional staff members. The possibility of upgrading the Programme to division status should be considered, as recommended in General Assembly resolution 46/152.
24. It must be recognized, however, that the primary responsibility for combating all forms of organized and transnational crime lay with national Governments and authorities. The Austrian Government was attempting to strike those types of crime at the most vulnerable point, the financial element (money laundering). The expanded Declaration of Principles of Special Care issued by the Austrian banking system would continue to support efforts in that direction.
25. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice had recently circulated a draft law against money laundering, which prescribed punishment for concealing or disguising of the true nature of such money transactions, converting or transferring property or profiting from the proceeds from crime. In preparing that new legislation, Austria would consider carefully the practical experience gained in implementing the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. By early 1993, it expected to be in a position to put into force the sanctions envisaged against money laundering and, with their entry into force, should be able to ratify the 1988 Convention.
26. Mr. SLABY (Czechoslovakia) said that he would devote his remarks to the problems of the family, which his Government considered the basic social unit. The Government of Czechoslovakia attached major importance to the preparations for and observance of the International Year of the Family which
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(Mr. Slaby, Czechoslovakia)
would promote awareness among Governments, policy makers and the public and would stimulate local, national and international action.
27. During the past few years of profound political change, family policy had undergone a basic review and various legislative measures and programmes had been or were about to be adopted to provide protection and support to families, particularly the most vulnerable among them. The State's monopoly on assistance to families and the needy had ended in 1990 with the amendment of the social security law. A growing number of governmental and non-governmental organizations, including religious and charitable organizations, were currently providing a variety of social services, a new phenomenon in Czechoslovak society. In a number of cases, however, the State continued to provide subsidies.
28. Activities undertaken in Czechoslovakia for the International Year of the Family included improving the quality of life of the elderly and preparation of a report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it had ratified. The status of children in society and respect for their rights was one of the highest priorities of the Czechoslovak Government. It was clear that the most vulnerable groups in society would suffer the most from economic change caused by the transition from a planned economy to a market economy. Thus, it was necessary to restructure the entire system of health care, social protection, social insurance and social security, to change the tax system and to create bodies dealing with unemployment issues. It could not be denied that domestic political developments and concerns about the country's future constitutional organization had slowed the successful implementation of the those tasks. He had been authorized to declare, however, that if the country was divided into two States, both new entities would consider themselves bound by the international obligations assumed by Czechoslovakia in all fields, including the social field.
29. In 1990, Czechoslovakia had informed the Secretary-General that it could make available facilities in Bratislava for United Nations meetings in the social field, including family issues, and that offer had been favourably received. Bratislava had the advantage of being situated only 60 km from the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs at Vienna. Several United Nations expert meetings had since been or would be held in Bratislava, including a conference of European ministers responsible for social affairs scheduled for June 1993.
30. The Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of Slovakia had stated recently in the plenary Assembly that the country had decided to seek affiliation of the International Centre for Family Studies in Bratislava with the United Nations, thus following the practice adopted for the regional institutes in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and the International Institute on Ageing in Malta. The Centre would become an international, non-governmental, non-profit and tax-exempt organization. It
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(Mr. Slaby, Czechoslovakia)
would be financed through voluntary contributions and would be part of a sustained long-term effort initiated by the International Year of the Family. Its functions would include conducting research on the family and family-related issues, providing an extensive training programme, providing a setting for interdisciplinary thought, research and action programmes, collecting and disseminating knowledge and information on existing family programmes, acting as a clearing-house for information and research, synthesizing that information and finally, offering advisory services to Governments. The Government of Czechoslovakia would submit a formal proposal at the next session of the Commission on Social Development, the preparatory body for the International Year of the Family, and hoped that it would be favourably received.
31. Convinced that mutual consultation on the social situation must be encouraged not only at the regional level but also on a worldwide scale, his delegation had supported and become a co-sponsor of Economic and Social Council resolution 1992/27 on the convening of a world summit for social development. Before convening the summit, however, consensus must be reached on its agenda, and duplication must be avoided. The summit should concentrate on identifying priorities and improving the capacity of the United Nations to deliver its social programmes.
32. Mr. JENSEN (Denmark), speaking on the subject of young people, read one of the 1,200 open letters addressed by Danish schoolchildren to the world, and stressed the importance of letting young people make their opinions known, since children always suffered the most in crises. That was true not only of the world's poorest countries, since, even in industrialized countries, children were often left behind in the competition for education and jobs. In the big cities, many abandoned children lived in the streets and were only removed from sight during major events like the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the 1992 Olympic Games. Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in addition to their fundamental human rights, all children enjoyed the rights appropriate to their condition.
33. Environmental protection was one of the major problems of the current age, necessitating local, regional and global efforts and cooperation. It was not enough to adopt new agreements and conventions; the world must radically change its habits and consumption patterns, which could only be done through cooperation, economic compensation, debt remission and the exchange of technologies between rich and poor countries in order to ensure sound development.
34. Youth organizations all over the world had put the environment at the top of their agenda and the rising generation was willing to cut back on consumption in order to improve the environment. Sixty per cent of the world's population was under 30, yet young people had virtually no say at the Rio Conference. They had had great hopes of the Conference, but its results had fallen far short of their expectations. Both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity had
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(Mr. Jensen, Denmark)
been hobbled by the short-term economic interests of certain countries. Furthermore, no firm commitment had been given to provide the necessary funding. The Conference had resulted in promises of a mere $2-2.5 billion, an amount which would do nothing to change the imbalance between rich and poor countries and was very far from the $125 billion a year required for the financing of Agenda 21. Without financial resources, sustainability and the preservation of nature would be an illusion. It was therefore vital that the follow-up to the Conference, a process in which young people were eager to participate, should receive the necessary financial support.
35. In the United Nations, young people saw a force capable of ensuring peace, equality among rich and poor countries and solutions to the world's environmental problems. The support and attention received worldwide by the Organization must be put to good use, making it stronger and more dynamic. It must ensure that its decision-making process was based on broader and more active participation, an essential prerequisite of democracy and development. It should therefore involve public organizations more widely in its work and reassess its ties with non-governmental organizations, which currently were performing no real function. At the same time, it should ensure that children throughout the world, from primary school onwards, were taught the importance of global cooperation.
36. As a youth delegate, he regretted that so few countries had included young people in their delegations participating in the work of the United Nations and that no one sought the views and suggestions of young people, although they had both the courage and the necessary ability to make an active contribution to world development.
37. Mr. MISSINHOUN (Benin) said that the idea of development should be reviewed and expanded, since development involved not only the qualitative and lasting improvement of an economy and its operation, but also the establishment of decent living conditions, guaranteeing social justice, respect for human rights and the satisfaction of fundamental human needs. Consequently, development also necessitated the coordinated activities of all the public figures concerned and the actions of governmental and non-governmental organizations and of the United Nations system should all be geared towards development.
38. The idea of convening a world summit for social development had won considerable support, demonstrating the willingness of the international community to accept its responsibilities in the social sphere during the current, post-cold war period, which was so full of possibilities. It was therefore an appropriate time to take stock of the constituent elements of those development plans and national budgets already considered as priorities and to submit them for the consideration of Heads of State and Government, who should make a political declaration undertaking to ensure their implementation. The aims of the summit should be to reaffirm the obligation of the international community under the Charter of the United Nations,
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(Mr. Missinhoun, Benin)
namely, "to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom"; to uphold the notion of the right to development which still had not been universally recognized but which had been clearly articulated in the historic Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; to promote the idea that the strengthening of peace and security was only possible if social needs were satisfactorily met; to encourage public and private initiatives in the social sphere, and to defend the idea that development and international cooperation must be human-centred.
39. With regard to the agenda for the summit, his delegation believed that it should cover a limited number of issues which most countries considered as priorities, namely, the situation of the least developed countries, the situation of the most disadvantaged sectors and the most vulnerable population groups and the strengthening of the role of the United Nations system in the field of social development. The summit should, in addition, result in the drafting of an integrated plan of action aimed specifically at guiding and coordinating the social projects and programmes under way at the national and international levels.
40. With regard to disabled persons, Benin had participated in the implementation of the World Programme of Action within the framework of the United Nations Decade for Disabled Persons by organizing two seminars on heightening public awareness of the problems of the disabled; by establishing a centre for the blind and visually impaired; and by opening two special schools one for deaf children and one for the mentally retarded. In addition, a community-based rehabilitation programme was shortly to be launched; one of its main objectives was to promote a network of integrated and intersectoral programmes designed to ensure basic education and vocational training and to provide health care for disabled persons. His delegation would welcome attention by the world summit for social development to problems concerning the disabled and the ageing of the world's population.
41. Mr. Krenkel (Austria) resumed the Chair.
42. Mrs. SHERMAN-PETER (Bahamas), speaking on behalf of the States members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which were Members of the United Nations, said that the Organization was more determined than ever to discharge its obligations under the Charter, in particular "to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom". In the field of social development, the Organization was primarily concerned with fostering conditions conducive to the integration of different social groups in the development process. The large number of States which had participated in the plenary meetings marking the end of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons and the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the International Plan of Action on Ageing demonstrated the positive impact which those initiatives had had on attitudes to the social groups concerned.
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(Mrs. Sherman-Peter, Bahamas)
43. The participation of the CARICOM countries in the plenary meetings to mark the end of the Decade and in the International Conference of Ministers Responsible for the Status of Persons with Disabilities, held at Montreal on 8 and 9 October 1992, demonstrated their commitment to the need to provide disabled persons with the means of participating in development. The efforts made by those countries with a view to preventing disability and ensuring rehabilitation and equal opportunities for the disabled had borne fruit. They were ready to take practical measures towards achieving "a society for all by the year 2010" and to take into account the framework in which the United Nations Fund on Disability would be established by the end of 1993, namely, the World Programme of Action, the long-term strategy and the standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for disabled persons. The Caribbean Community similarly supported the proclamation of an International Day of Disabled Persons and was in favour of maintaining, under a new name and with a new mandate, the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
44. Although the population of the CARICOM countries remained young, the developing countries still needed to plan for the inevitable ageing of that population. The CARICOM States welcomed the considerable advances made possible by the United Nations initiatives in that field, including the proclamation of the International Day for the Elderly in October each year.
In formulating and implementing their policies on ageing, they would study the progress of the global information campaign for the action programme on ageing for 1992 and beyond, which the General Assembly had decided to launch to improve the implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing for a second decade (1992-2001).
45. In his report on policies and programmes involving youth (A/47/349), the
Secretary-General had noted that, since 1985, which had been proclaimed
International Youth Year, the situation of youth had failed to improve
sufficiently and that development plans did not yet take adequately into
account the needs and aspirations of a group which nevertheless comprised a
significant majority of the population in most developing countries, including
the Caribbean Community. While recognizing the considerable socio-economic
obstacles which prevented them from attaining the objectives of the
International Youth Year, the States members of CARICOM were endeavouring to
increase the efficacy of their youth programmes, implementation of which was
coordinated by ministries having specific responsibility in that area. The
aim was to involve young people in planning and decision-making on all issues
that affected them. Thus, Caribbean youth were participating actively in the
Commonwealth Youth Programme, coordinated by the Caribbean Centre in Guyana,
which had made it possible to identify issues of major concern to youth,
including job creation, health, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy,
crime, the environment, literacy and the integration of young people in
development. Caribbean youth had also participated in organizing exchange and
study tours, such as the gathering of young people from 17 countries to
celebrate Caribbean Youth Day on 30 September, during which they had
(Mrs. Sherman-Peter, Bahamas)
established a Youth Forum and participated in a Caribbean regional drug conference.
46. The Caribbean States should follow that example in order to identify obstacles to positive action in the field of youth and should make a political commitment to promoting strategies at the national, regional and international levels to enhance the implementation of the guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up in the field of youth. The States members of CARICOM intended to use the period leading up to the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year to follow closely, such activities as the drafting of a world youth programme of action towards the year 2000 and beyond.
47. With regard to the International Year of the Family, the CARICOM countries would take into account the appeal by the coordinator of Year activities for the establishment of national coordinating committees and the formulation of national plans for those activities, pending consideration of the matter by the General Assembly in 1993. Those States looked forward to the holding of a regional conference for Latin America and the Caribbean which the Government of Colombia had offered to host, that should lead to the setting of regional priorities for the International Year.
48. Although crime affected both developed and developing countries, it aggravated the crisis many developing countries were experiencing, since it constituted a serious impediment to development. The United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme should therefore assist member States in setting guidelines for combating crime at the national, regional and international levels and help them to enhance the effectiveness of their criminal justice systems. In that connection, the CARICOM countries welcomed the Statement of Principles and Programme of Action adopted at the Ministerial Meeting on the Creation of an Effective United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, held at Versailles in November 1991.
49. At its first session, in April 1992, the newly created Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the chief United Nations body in that field, had identified key aspects of the crime problem on which the United Nations programme should focus, based on the Statement of Principles and Programme of Action adopted at Versailles. The CARICOM countries agreed with the priority given to operational activities, particularly training, information collection and dissemination, including the publication of operational manuals, and joint strategies by countries to deal with crime problems of mutual concern. They shared the Commission's view that a new subprogramme on operational activities should be added to the medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997. They were also pleased that crime in urban areas and juvenile criminality were among the Commission's priorities for the period 1992-1996. The multidisciplinary nature of the fight against crime demanded cooperation with other United Nations bodies, in particular the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. Like the ministers who had met at Versailles, the CARICOM countries recognized
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(Mrs. Sherman-Peter, Bahamas)
the importance of the United Nations quinquennial congresses on the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders, which, as consultative bodies for the United Nations programme, were an integral part of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice system. The United Nations institutes for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders also had an important role to play in training, research and information clearing-house activities. However, resource difficulties were hampering their activities in the developing countries. In particular, they had prevented the Latin American institute from participating in the first session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Consequently, the contributions that the institutes could make to policy development and implementation should be better integrated into the overall crime prevention programme in the developing world.
50. The Commission sought to respond to the menace which organized crime
posed to the internal and external security of States by giving priority to
the development and maintenance of criminal justice systems capable of
dismantling organized crime networks operating across national borders. As
small island developing States, the CARICOM countries could ill afford to let
organized crime interfere in the attainment of their national priorities; they
therefore supported the development of new sanctions against business
enterprises that worked for organized crime as well as measures to increase
public awareness and encourage victims to prosecute the representatives of
those organizations. They had taken steps to counteract money laundering by
organizations which had infiltrated the international banking system. In the
absence of an international criminal jurisdiction, it was necessary to resort
to the criminal justice systems of Member States to counteract the operations
of organized crime at the international level. CARICOM did not regard the
principle of national sovereignty as incompatible with the need to foster
international cooperation in the fight against organized crime. The CARICOM
States also felt that the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice
programme would be able to set international rules and standards to counter
organized crime only if it was proactive rather than reactive. In that
regard, due consideration should be given to the recommendation to upgrade the
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Centre for Social
Development and Humanitarian Affairs to a division and provide it with the
necessary resources to carry out its mandate.
51. The States members of CARICOM supported the decision to convene a world
summit for social development at the level of heads of State or Government in
early 1995 because they believed that it would help to improve the lives of
millions of people who had to pay the intolerable social costs associated with
poverty, debt and structural adjustment. Unless the rising expectations
brought by the end of the cold war were realized, those ills could generate
social unrest, political instability, internal and even international
conflict. The summit could therefore afford an opportunity for ensuring that
dramatic developments in the field of political security were matched by
progress in the field of social development. The Summit should also make it
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(Mrs. Sherman-Peter, Bahamas)
possible to abandon the notion that social expenditure was "consumption" which diverted resources from economic growth, when it was in fact part of the total development process. The summit agenda should be concise and practical and based on the three areas identified by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General: poverty, employment and social cohesion. The summit should not merely be a forum for discussing particular social sectors or making them subsidiary to economic development plans but should focus on them in the context of creating total development systems and proposing realistic means by which social development objectives could be accomplished. The summit's goals should also be guiding principles that could be adapted to the specific circumstances of States at radically different levels of development.
52. With regard to the strategies for sustainable development which the developing countries were invited to devise, the CARICOM States considered that the United Nations should focus on the potential role of cooperatives in that context. The development of credit cooperatives, for example, held out good prospects for furthering national and international efforts for the advancement of women. The organization of cooperatives had made an important contribution to individual and societal development in the Caribbean Community. The United Nations could support the efforts of those countries to draw attention to the role of cooperatives by supporting the International Day of Cooperatives currently being observed by the global cooperative movement under the auspices of the International Cooperative Alliance.
53. The social development sector continued to be plagued by the question of resources, and contributions to the relevant voluntary funds must be increased if existing programmes were to improve the situation of the disabled, youth and the elderly in the developing countries. Above all, efforts must be made to ensure that the policies could be implemented by providing the United Nations central body in that field, the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, with the human and financial resources needed to discharge its ever-expanding mandates.
54. Mr. SERGIWA (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that the work done by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1992 bore witness to the deterioration of social conditions in the developing countries and in the African and least developed countries in particular. The explanation for that deterioration lay essentially in those countries' inability to gain access to modern technology and industrialized country markets, their external debt burden, the worsening of their terms of trade, the inadequacy of the official development assistance granted to them and the fact that they channelled more resources to the developed countries than they received from them. The consequences of that deterioration, particularly damaging to social development in the developing countries, were reflected, inter alia, in a considerable increase in the number of the poor and the unemployed, a reduction in the resources allocated for education and health, and the declining living conditions of the population as a whole, and of children, women and the elderly in particular. It was therefore essential for the
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(Mr. Serqiwa, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)
members of the international community to work more closely together to promote growth and development in all countries and especially in the developing countries.
55. His delegation favoured the convening of a world summit for social
development on the grounds that it would promote efforts in the social field
at the national, regional and international levels. The summit must be well
prepared so that efforts to eliminate poverty, improve living conditions and
education and reduce drug abuse could be strengthened. His delegation
supported the Secretary-General's proposal in document E/1992/80 that the
summit's agenda should be precisely and concisely formulated and paid a
tribute to the work of the Secretary-General's Special Representative,
Mr. Juan Somavia, who was to hold consultations with representatives of Member States on summit preparations.
56. With regard to the International Year of the Family, to be celebrated in 1994, his delegation commended the efforts of the Social Committee of the Economic and Social Council, which was responsible for preparations for the Year, but believed that additional planning and coordinating machinery should be established. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had set up a national committee for preparations for the Year, under the People's Committee for Social Welfare, consisting of representatives of all the social sectors concerned. That body had drawn up a general programme of preparations for the Year which called for cultural and information programmes, the organization of conferences and meetings and the promulgation of new family legislation. The Committee also planned to submit a proposal for convening a conference on the family in 1997 with a view to the adoption of an international charter on the rights of the family.
57. With regard to youth, his delegation considered that the tenth anniversary of International Youth Year in 1995 would provide an opportunity for considering the problems of youth and guaranteeing their right to education, health and participation in development.
58. The adoption of the International Plan of Action on Ageing, of which the tenth anniversary was being celebrated in 1992, testified to the international community's growing interest in the elderly and the effort that was being made to give them greater autonomy in managing their affairs. His delegation believed that the implementation of the Plan of Action should be extended to the year 2002 to promote more active participation by the elderly in social development. In his country, traditional religious and social values of respect for the elderly meant that most older people encountered no special problems. Nevertheless, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had established institutions that looked after elderly persons who had no family or could not receive adequate care within their families.
59. On the basis of its humanitarian principles, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was doing everything in its power to improve living conditions for youth, the
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(Mr. Sergiwa, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)
disabled and the elderly. However, its efforts were handicapped by the unfair sanctions imposed on it under Security Council resolution 748 (1992). The result of those sanctions had been to reduce the resources allocated for social services, seriously affecting the most vulnerable groups: youth, the disabled and the elderly. The United Nations, whose mandate included helping those social groups, should take the necessary steps to remedy that situation. His delegation wished to point out that the elderly and disabled persons who were to have participated in the work of the General Assembly on the International Plan of Action on Ageing during the previous week had been unable to travel to New York because of the embargo which, by forcing them to fly from Tunisia or Egypt, caused them undue fatigue.
60. In conclusion, his delegation looked forward to the Secretary-General's report on the world social situation and believed that he should pay special attention to analysing the deterioration of the social situation in the developing and least developed countries.
61. MR. MOTOC (Romania), speaking on agenda item 93 (b), said that the establishment of a new world order based on genuine peace and security was unthinkable without a solid means of countering the threat that new criminal activities posed to domestic and international stability while at the same time fully respecting human rights and democratic principles. In that regard, it was entirely logical to deal with problems linked to crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of social development, since crime could not be separated from its social origins. Moreover, studying those matters at the international level was wholly justified at a time when crime was growing more multifaceted and widespread throughout the world. In his report on strengthening international cooperation in combating organized crime (A/47/381), the Secretary-General had accurately grasped the extent of the problem when he said that, recently, the downfall of one-party systems in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union had opened up extensive possibilities to both domestic and "imported" organized crime. Organized criminality had been quick to take advantage of the hiatus between the dismantling of pre-existing structures and their replacement with effective structures reflecting the new political, social and economic realities.
62. His delegation believed that the Ministerial Meeting held at Versailles in 1991 on the creation of an effective crime prevention programme and the rationalization of the quinquennial Congresses had made it possible, through its Statement of Principles and Programme of Action, to strengthen the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, as well as the intergovernmental commission established recently to address transboundary crime in particular.
63. His delegation welcomed efforts by the United Nations to develop instruments, guidelines, rules, codes of conduct and model treaties with a view to helping countries improve their own systems of criminal justice. Those measures constituted a sound means of strengthening international
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(Mr. Motoc, Romania)
cooperation and harmonizing the different regulations and practices in that area. The Organization should be supported in its endeavours to accelerate the implementation of internationally agreed standards.
64. After the collapse of the Communist regime, Romania, like the other Member States from Central and Eastern Europe, had experienced an upsurge in domestic crime and was forced to cope with the activities of transfrontier criminal networks and new forms of crime. There was, for example, a flourishing trade in stolen vehicles, a proliferation of thefts of national cultural treasures and the illicit storing and disposal of toxic wastes.
65. In the current improved conditions it was in fact easier to combat those disturbing phenomena. For its part, Romania had undertaken major legislative reforms to harmonize its constitutional, penal and penitentiary norms with the most advanced international, regional and national practices. The primary aim had been to guarantee the fundamental human rights of victims and of persons suspected of criminal conduct. Romania had concluded a series of regional and bilateral agreements on assistance in various areas of crime prevention. It was determined to abide scrupulously by the commitments under the Helsinki Declaration, reaffirmed at the latest meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The problems which Romania encountered in elaborating effective strategies against organized crime, while consolidating human rights safeguards in the administration of justice, understandably strengthened its support for an expanded role of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme. It was interesting to note that the first of the five seminars planned by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, focusing on the link between law enforcement and respect for human rights, had been organized at Bucharest, where it had begun on 19 October.
The involvement of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the United Nations, UNICEF and UNDP, as well as leading experts from several Western European countries, and the range of the issues which it addressed augured well for the success of the seminar. Romania aimed to speed up its accession to the European criminal justice instruments. It was also participating in the Council of Europe programmes for juridical cooperation, both on a bilateral basis and in the framework of joint activities with other Central and Eastern European countries. Accordingly, numerous seminars and meetings had been held at Bucharest on such diverse issues as the organization of the judicial system, criminal legislation and juvenile deliquency.
66. Mrs. WADIBIA-ANYANWU (Nigeria), speaking on agenda item 93 (a), said that, as the world hailed the end of the cold war, it was understandable that greater attention than ever before was being focused on the emerging democracies. Her delegation looked forward to a time when the international community would succeed in reducing the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the societies of the third world. The world social situation was an issue of great importance, particularly since economic progress and development could not be built on weak social foundations. The 1995 world summit for social development, with regard to which her delegation had already
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(Mrs. Wadibia-Anyanwu, Nigeria)
conveyed its views to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, would only succeed if the developed and developing countries not only addressed the underlying causes of social tension in the developing world but made genuine and realistic commitments that could be monitored in the context of the recommendations contained in the United Nations agenda for the development of Africa in the 1990s. Her delegation also hoped that the summit would encourage the developed countries to make genuine concerted efforts to help alleviate the natural and man-made constraints to the development of the societies of the third world.
67. The celebration in 1994 of the International Year of the Family would only be meaningful if the scourge of poverty, disease and illiteracy was eliminated. In that regard, tribute must be paid to the Executive Director of UNICEF, who continued to stress the linkage between child-related concerns, sustainable development and the environment. Her delegation urged him to intensify the primary environmental care initiatives. Nigeria had formed a national committee for the International Year of the Family, which would enable all Nigerians, including the disabled, to participate in the implementation of the relevant programmes. The preservation of family values had particular importance in Nigeria's multi-ethnic society, where elders were considered to be custodians of the cultural heritage. The Nigerian Government was therefore concerned to formulate policies designed to meet their needs.
68. As a follow-up to the 1990 World Summit for Children, the Organization of African Unity had proclaimed 16 June the Day of the African Child. In addition, an international conference on assistance to African children was to be held at Dakar, Senegal, from 25 to 27 November 1992. She hoped that the resulting programme of action would lead to the attainment of the primary objectives for the survival, protection and development of the African child, which were among her Government's main concerns.
69. With regard to the three reports submitted by the Secretary-General on crime prevention and the combating of delinquency (A/47/379, A/47/381 and A/47/399), organized transnational crime, which formed their main topic, could only be fought at the international level. In that respect, the decision taken by the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session to fund the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders from the regular budget would enhance the Institute's crime prevention role at the regional level. As the Secretary-General noted in his report (A/47/379), the Institute had conducted a series of training seminars for professionals from various justice-related sectors.
70. The CHAIRMAN said that, following the first meeting of the fund-raising committee for Somalia, held the previous day, he wished to inform Committee members of the countries which had agreed to serve as regional fund-raising coordinators, namely: Indonesia and Pakistan, for the group of Asian States; The Bahamas, for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; Spain and the United Kingdom, for the European Community; Algeria, Cameroon, Lesotho,
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Nigeria and Sierra Leone, for the Group of African States; Sweden, for the Nordic countries; and Bulgaria, Hungary and the Russian Federation, for the Group of Eastern European States.
The meeting rose at 12.50 p.m.