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Summary record of the 11th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Thursday, 20 October 1994, New York, General Assembly, 49th session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/49/SR.11
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 49th
Type Document

7 p.

Subjects Persons with Disabilities, Youth

Extracted Text

General Assembly
Official Records
11th meeting
held on
Thursday, 20 October 1994
at 3 p.m.
New York
Chairman: Mr. CISSE (Senegal)
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the
delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records
Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.
27 October 1994
94-81752 (E) /...
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The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.
(continued) (A/49/24 and Add.1, A/49/204-E/1994/90, A/49/205-E/1994/91,
A/49/213, A/49/287-S/1994/894, A/49/294, A/49/307-S/1994/958, A/49/381,
A/49/422, A/49/434, A/49/435, A/49/462 and Corr.1; A/C.3/49/4)
1. Mr. RAHIM (Bangladesh) said that social issues were based on the
recognition of the centrality of the individual, the acceptance of human
equality and the worth and dignity of the human person. Yet social development
was predicated on progress in economic development and together with environment
and population formed the logic of comprehensive sustainable development; they
formed an integral whole. The main motor of development would remain
accelerated economic growth, fuelled by additional resource inputs.
2. Despite considerable economic progress, social development had largely been
unsuccessful in most developing countries. There was an increasing feeling that
social development required a comprehensive approach on the part of national
Governments and the international community. The economic and trade policies of
the developed countries, as well as international and domestic political issues,
clearly influenced social problems in the developing countries.
3. Any approach to social development needed to focus on a whole range of
chronic social problems. Developing countries were addressing those areas, but
many of the problems involved global factors beyond the control of individual
States, and were compounded by difficulty in bringing about sustainable economic
development. That caused falling standards of living, mass poverty, and health,
nutrition and housing problems, compounded by natural and man-made disasters in
many developing States.
4. Bangladesh, however, had made considerable progress in social development;
human development was considered most important for long-term poverty
alleviation and sustained economic growth. Empowerment of women and education
for development received the greatest priority; an important aspect of that was
a major new programme of free tuition for female students.
5. In the fields of health and population, considerable progress had also been
achieved. His country’s immunization programme currently covered over
80 per cent of children, population growth had fallen to around 1.8 per cent
annually, and poverty-alleviation efforts were well under way. Women were
receiving training, and being motivated to participate in all aspects of
society. His Government was also seeking to address poverty alleviation through
regional cooperation.
6. Having intensified national and regional efforts for social development,
Bangladesh now sought a wider, collective approach. At the 1995 World Summit
for Social Development, an urgent global and comprehensive approach was needed
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to social development, which was the concern of both rich and poor. The final
declaration should identify the objectives of social development and set
achievable goals, matched by adequate resource commitments. His delegation
welcomed the suggestion that the Summit should produce an international strategy
for social development, which would provide the basis for social progress,
development and peace in the coming years.
7. Mr. Kwang Jae LEE (Republic of Korea) said that, despite prevailing
feelings of uncertainty and insecurity in the current era of transition, a new
vision had been found which might lead to genuine world peace. The
international community had acknowledged the inextricable relationship between
development and peace, highlighting the importance of human-centred development
and addressing the root causes of social, economic and political problems. One
of the greatest challenges was the achievement of social development, without
which neither sustainable economic development nor political stability could be
achieved. Concrete actions should be taken to improve the human condition,
eradicate poverty and secure fundamental human rights.
8. His delegation welcomed the Secretary-General’s report entitled "An Agenda
for Development". The various conferences being held on social issues
demonstrated the resolve of the United Nations to further enhance social
development and the will of the world community to take steps towards addressing
current social ills. He hoped that a feeling of solidarity among people would
be created at all levels, which would profoundly effect international security
and the welfare of future generations.
9. Social development required the participation and cooperation of
non-governmental organizations, the private sector, mass media and
intergovernmental agencies. There should be further efforts towards promoting
the participation of vulnerable groups in planning and decision-making. The
empowerment of all actors in society was essential for social progress.
10. Despite varying national priorities, attention should not be diverted from
securing fundamental human rights and considering universal standards. It was
also necessary to create an environment that would facilitate social
development, with attention to the different development needs of developing
countries. The 1995 World Summit for Social Development would be a milestone,
providing an opportunity for redefining sustainable development - with
appropriate balance between economic efficiency and social justice - and for
integrating the needs of socially marginalized groups into development
programmes. His Government was ready to share its development experience and
contribute fully to efforts for global social development. He also hoped that
the Manila Declaration on social development adopted at the recent conference of
the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), would make
a valuable contribution to the World Summit.
11. One of the main priorities in social development was to address the vast
inequalities currently existing in the world. Greater emphasis should be placed
on gender equality, particularly in the division of labour. The needs and
aspirations of youth should be reviewed, with firm commitment to strengthening
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youth-related activities in order to develop the full potential of youth. On
the issue of ageing, he welcomed recent United Nations efforts, and called for
additional measures to raise public awareness of the elderly as a valuable part
of society.
12. The general public’s conception of disability was also a challenge to be
faced. It was crucial to raise awareness and to eliminate socially determined
barriers through development activities and legislation. He welcomed the
adoption of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons
with Disabilities.
13. The role of the family was increasingly important; it provided the basic
foundation for social stability. Relevant international, national and grassroots
action should continue beyond the International Year of the Family, with
special attention to improving the living conditions of low-income and singleparent
14. The Korean people hoped that the international community would reconcile
its differences and create a greater feeling of solidarity. The goal should be
to achieve social development in accordance with the ideals of sustainable
development. In that respect, a human-centred approach would have a more
lasting effect in achieving stability and prosperity. His delegation wished to
emphasize the importance of the democratic participation of all actors in
society, the protection of fundamental human rights and the promotion of social
welfare and equality.
15. Mr. SISWOYO (Indonesia) said that the World Summit for Social Development
would provide the opportunity to assess social progress and the effectiveness of
international machinery aimed at the economic and social advancement of all
peoples. In the context of youth affairs, the Ministers of the Conference of
the Non-Aligned Movement, meeting at Cairo in June 1994, had called on the
United Nations General Assembly to devote special plenary meetings in 1995 to
commemorating the tenth anniversary of International Youth Year in conjunction
with the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations and adopting the draft world
youth programme of action for youth towards the year 2000 and beyond, as well as
a youth statement of intent. Stressing the importance of international
cooperation and national action with regard to youth affairs, he said that the
expansion of employment opportunities in line with education levels was
particularly significant for young people. In Indonesia, where the educated
urban youth in particular were hit by unemployment, measures were being taken to
expand those opportunities, improve vocational training programmes and follow a
market-oriented school curriculum. A related issue that should also be
discussed at the Summit was better access to financial support during and after
periods of study.
16. Progress had been made in raising social awareness with a view to
addressing the problems faced by the disabled. His delegation continued to
regard the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992) as a means of
implementing the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, while
the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with
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Disabilities provided a further framework for the participation of disabled
persons in social and development activities. He also shared the view that the
Long-Term Strategy to Implement the World Programme of Action concerning
Disabled Persons should form an integral part of the goals and programmes of
society at large.
17. His delegation agreed with the conclusion reached in the Secretary-
General’s report on the status and role of cooperatives in the light of new
economic and social trends (A/49/213) that cooperative enterprises were a means
of creating productive employment, overcoming poverty and achieving social
integration, which were the main themes of the Summit. In that connection,
measures were already under way in Indonesia to enhance the functioning and
overall resources of cooperatives, underscoring the view that their role in
involving people in national development and improving their situation should be
18. His country was committed to ensuring that the World Summit for Social
Development was a resounding success that would lead to tangible and sustainable
social progress. The non-aligned countries attached great importance to
international cooperation for social development and had emphasized at the
aforementioned Cairo Conference that the Summit’s core issues should place
people and their social needs at the heart of international endeavours, the aim
being to adopt an action-oriented plan with clear objectives, means of
implementation and appropriate follow-up. Although preparatory endeavours for
the Summit had been slower than anticipated, he was confident that an acceptable
draft declaration and draft programme of action would soon be forthcoming as a
vehicle for the advancement of social development into the next century.
Finally, he underlined the importance of a holistic approach to the multifaceted
issues of social development and his conviction that higher standards of living
in larger freedom could be achieved only through international cooperation and
19. Ms. FERTEKLIGIL (Turkey) said the 1995 World Summit for Social Development
would be of the greatest importance for the future of humanity, and would
demonstrate the determination of the international community to deal with the
world’s endemic social problems. It was of overriding importance for the world
community to cooperate in fostering social development, which in turn would help
to maintain peace and stability. Her Government welcomed the emerging consensus
on the historic importance of that Summit.
20. Turkish society was experiencing rapid social and economic changes, leading
to increased urbanization. The Government was pursuing its efforts to enhance
the quality of life and to promote equal opportunities in employment, education
and health. It was mobilizing the country’s resources for sustainable economic,
social and environmental development. High priority was being given to social
integration, especially the needs and potential contribution of families, young
people, the elderly, women and the disabled.
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21. The Government’s fifth five-year plan included measures of high priority
designed to help the young, with particular emphasis on preventing delinquency
and drug abuse and protecting young people from disease, especially AIDS.
22. Measures in favour of the disabled had long been embodied in Turkey’s
legislation and programmes, with emphasis on the practical aspects of
integrating the disabled into society. The numbers of disabled people world
wide were actually growing; armed conflicts continued to exacerbate that
23. In most countries, especially developed countries, the numbers of elderly
people were increasing rapidly owing to falling mortality and improved health
care. Accordingly, it was essential to enable the elderly to participate fully
in society, and society would in turn benefit from their wealth of creativity
and experience. The International Day for the Elderly provided an excellent
opportunity for showing due consideration to elderly persons; in Turkish
society, they were traditionally treated with particular respect.
24. The International Year of the Family had emphasized the role of the family
in society not only as a source of stability and well-being, but also as a major
force in social transformation and solidarity. She particularly wished to
underline the importance of the family in that respect.
25. Programmes for the eradication of poverty had not so far succeeded in
making a major difference to the world situation; additional efforts would
doubtless be required for any success to be achieved.
26. The various United Nations activities in the field of social development
would provide guidance for the world community’s efforts in the remaining years
of the twentieth century. The success of those activities would require
undiminished solidarity with all social groups in need of help.
27. Mr. SARDENBERG (Brazil), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group of Central and
South American States, reiterated the Group’s firm commitment to the forthcoming
World Summit for Social Development and to constructive participation in the
preparatory process. In the past 30 years, the gap between rich and poor had
doubled; endemic social problems posed daunting tasks. The first of three basic
assumptions to emerge from recent discussions was that development should not
only incorporate such concepts as sustainable or social development but should
also integrate the interests of the diverse parties concerned. The common goal
of development must be to meet the basic needs of both poor and affluent
societies. Secondly, development issues were of mutual interest and hence of
mutual responsibility. Consensus on the social aspects of development required
a willingness to recognize the global nature of the social crisis, an ability to
avoid rhetoric and a real commitment to concrete action. Thirdly, income
distribution, protection of the environment and the promotion of peace and
democracy were severely limited without sustainable economic growth, which was
both the engine of development and the necessary means of redressing social
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28. The three core issues of the Summit, namely poverty alleviation, productive
employment and social integration, should therefore be addressed from that
perspective. Poverty alleviation demanded a proper balance between relief and
structural policies. Although Governments were primarily responsible for
devising and implementing such policies, success depended on an international
economic environment that promoted global development based on fairness and
mutual benefit among countries. The promotion of macroeconomic stability and an
open international trade system were central to global sustainable economic
development. Furthermore, since even prosperous societies were threatened by
high unemployment, the creation of more productive employment should form a
basic objective with a view to overcoming poverty and achieving social
integration. The highest priority should be devoted to unemployment reduction,
particularly among the young; support to small and medium-sized enterprises;
strengthening and expansion of training programmes; implementation of basic
agreements on labour relations; and evaluation of the role of technology in
job creation, since access to technology was critical to overcoming
underdevelopment, and did not necessarily threaten employment.
29. Social integration would be improved by participation in the productive
process and an equitable distribution of income and other economic benefits,
requiring the provision of equal work opportunities, for which equal access to
education, knowledge and information was vital. Democratic Governments were
also instrumental in bringing vulnerable or marginalized segments into the
mainstream of society.
30. In conclusion, he reaffirmed the Rio Group’s profound belief in the unity
of the agreed objectives of the Summit. International cooperation on social
development issues would mutually benefit States and universally benefit people,
who were the centre of development.
The meeting rose at 4.15 p.m.