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Summary record of the 13th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Monday, 31 October 1994, New York, General Assembly, 49th session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/49/SR.13
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 49th
Type Document

12 p.

Subjects Persons with Disabilities, Ageing Persons, Youth

Extracted Text

General Assembly
Official Records
13th meeting
held on
Monday, 31 October 1994
at 10 a.m.
New York
Chairman: Mr. CISSÉ (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.
7 November 1994
94-81881 (E) /...
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The meeting was called to order at 10.35 a.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 and Corr.1, A/49/294, A/49/307-S/1994/958,
A/49/381, A/49/422-S/1994/1086, A/49/434, 435, 462 and Corr.1, and 506;
1. Mr. STEFANOV (Bulgaria) said that his delegation welcomed the decision to
convene the World Summit for Social Development, to be held in Copenhagen in
March 1995, and believed that it should adopt specific goals and actions in its
final documents. Much preparatory work remained to be done and concerted
efforts by Member States were indispensable in order to complete the drafting
exercise at the third session of the Preparatory Committee. The draft
declaration and draft programme of action were interrelated: the draft
programme of action should clearly specify ways to achieve the goals laid down
in the draft declaration and should include specific international and regional
initiatives for drawing up national plans and programmes and evaluating the
overall role of the United Nations system in carrying out the actions proposed.
The draft programme of action should, in particular, set forth practical
measures to ensure that the decisions adopted at the World Summit were followed
2. The social aspects of reform in countries, like Bulgaria, which had
undertaken a radical transformation towards a free-market economy were becoming
increasingly important. While the prime responsibility for the success of the
transition lay with the Governments and peoples of the countries concerned, the
magnitude of the reform was such that significant international support was
necessary. Bulgaria was confident that the United Nations and related
organizations would continue to facilitate the access of those countries to
major markets.
3. In the past several years, his country had made considerable progress
towards establishing the legal basis for a market economy and consolidating
democratic institutions. Appropriate measures had been taken to bring the
overall functioning of the economy and trade policy into compliance with
international rules and practice. Nevertheless, those efforts were being
seriously undermined by the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which had closed
Bulgaria’s traditional route to the markets of Western Europe. His Government’s
strict implementation of the sanctions against the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia had resulted in heavy economic losses and placed severe pressure on
social spending. Despite the introduction of social safety measures, growing
unemployment had become a major issue. The deteriorating living standards of a
significant part of the population could harm economic and political reforms.
4. In the general environment of economic liberalization, his Government was
implementing a number of special-assistance programmes for vulnerable groups
such as the disabled, the elderly and unemployed youth. Long-term programmes
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had been adopted at the municipal level to prevent disabilities, promote
rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities and provide information and
education to the disabled. The role of national non-governmental organizations
was particularly important. Bulgaria had also taken special measures to provide
social protection to elderly persons and was doing its best to address their
needs and create good conditions for retired people.
5. His country was actively participating in observing the International Year
of the Family. A national coordinating committee was responsible for preparing,
monitoring and following up activities for the Year. Measures to address the
needs of young families, many of which were severely affected by housing
shortages and unemployment, were being carried out by governmental bodies and a
number of national non-governmental organizations.
6. Ms. WHITE (Canada) stressed the need to rethink the current approach to
social development. Something was amiss when conventional economic indicators
were positive but unemployment and poverty were on the rise. High levels of
poverty and unemployment increased the danger of social conflict. A
comprehensive approach was necessary in order to improve social, economic and
environmental factors in any development strategy. In order to ensure peace and
stability, investing in people must be at least as important as investing in
military hardware. That message should emerge clearly at the World Summit for
Social Development. The Summit should also recognize the dignity and potential
of people living in poverty. The draft declaration should stress that people
who lived in poverty were quite capable of finding solutions to their problems
when given the means to do so.
7. The issue of gender equality and equity must also be one of the major
messages to emerge from the World Summit. Moreover, good governance, respect
for human rights, sound monetary and fiscal management, open trading systems and
enhanced access to markets were essential for creating an environment conducive
to development.
8. Most countries, including Canada, were searching for new ways to create
jobs, reduce poverty and prevent social disintegration. The World Summit would
be a catalyst in that regard. The issue of unemployment, in particular, should
be given greater attention in the draft programme of action. The World Summit
must also make a strong plea for a global partnership. With increasing demands
for available funds, the need to pool resources and talents became even more
apparent. Other concepts such as sustainable livelihood and sustainable human
development should be further exploited.
9. During the International Year of the Family, the celebration across Canada
of the strength and value of family ties was a manifestation of a deep-rooted
public awareness of the need to ensure the well-being of families. That
attitude would last long after the official celebrations were over. Canada
placed high priority on ensuring that elderly persons had the opportunity to
live productive, independent and dignified lives and sought to ensure them
income security, access to high-quality health care and social services, and
safe and affordable housing. Following the World Summit for Children, her
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Government had implemented programmes focusing on poverty alleviation and the
promotion and protection of children’s rights. The Canadian International
Development Agency supported programmes in developing countries, spending about
$1 million per day on children.
10. The United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons had promoted considerable
progress in dealing with issues of concern to persons with disabilities in her
country. The recent Commonwealth Games in Canada had given new meaning to the
concept of equality and integration. It was important for all countries to
monitor the implementation of the Standard Rules on Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The appointment of the Special
Rapporteur for the Standard Rules demonstrated the leadership by the United
Nations in that field and should lead to new and creative approaches to dealing
with disability issues.
11. Mr. MONGBE (Benin) stressed the need to take stock of what had been
achieved and assess what remained to be done in preparing for the World Summit
for Social Development. He noted with satisfaction that the draft declaration
contained most of the elements for a consolidated text to serve as a basis for
negotiation at the next session of the Preparatory Committee.
12. His delegation welcomed the structure of the draft declaration and
programme of action, which embodied a people-centred approach to development and
a commitment to international cooperation with emphasis on Africa and the least
developed countries. To be acceptable to all, however, the draft declaration
should refer clearly to the moral duty of all States to give full attention to
the social dimension of development; and should also call for the advancement of
rural women in developing countries, particularly in Africa, the integration of
the activities of the informal sector into a structured economic framework, the
mobilization of financial resources, and international cooperation based on
partnership. With regard to the draft programme of action, the Secretariat
should prepare a detailed cost estimate by January 1995, together with reliable
data on the different types of poverty for use by States.
13. Due attention should also be given in the draft programme to institutional
matters at all levels. At the international level, for instance, the work of
the Commission for Social Development should be revitalized on the basis of the
results of the Summit. On the question of resources, implementation of the
concept of "20/20" - as discussed in the draft programme of action in document
A/CONF.166/PC/L.13, sect. V.E - under which 20 per cent of developing countries’
domestic budget and 20 per cent of donor countries’ development assistance would
be allocated to human development, would greatly increase the resources
available for social development.
14. He welcomed the adoption of the subject of poverty as one of the main
themes for the World Summit. Measures in favour of the elderly, too, were of
vital importance. African countries considered the elderly as a precious
component of society. The Summit should also take full account of the needs and
contributions of persons with disabilities. Lastly, recalling that 1994 was the
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International Year of the Family, he welcomed the activities of the United
Nations and related organizations in that celebration.
15. Mr. STOIAN (Romania) noted that, after the end of the cold war, the
international community had rediscovered the importance of social development in
the context of new socio-political realities. Peace, stability, democracy,
human rights, economic development and social progress were closely linked, and
must be taken into account in the interest of genuine international cooperation
and improvement of the standards of living of all members of society. Each
country had to find its own solutions to such problems as poverty and
unemployment through well-defined and viable policies in a context of
sustainable, people-centred development, that took account of the most
vulnerable elements of society. Social development should emphasize social
integration through measures in the fields of health, education and training.
The World Summit should define a new global social covenant and lay down
guidelines for its implementation.
16. The World Summit should give a new impetus to social policy, regardless of
each country’s level of development. Industrialized nations needed to adapt to
new realities; countries with economies in transition had to harmonize social
imperatives with the cost of economic reform; and in developing countries,
economic growth and the establishment of adequate social conditions were
indispensable for reducing poverty. The Summit should study the correlation
between social, economic and political dimensions; there could be no sustainable
development without peace, nor peace without development.
17. The entire United Nations system should redefine its social development
role through its institutions. Closer cooperation between the United Nations,
the specialized agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions was essential. The
International Labour Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the
United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Population Fund
should all contribute to both the preparation of the Summit and the
implementation of its decisions.
18. The current free-market reforms in Central European States had seriously
affected the most vulnerable sections of the population, and had given rise to
soaring unemployment. That posed a serious danger to social stability and
economic reforms and called for urgent measures. The World Summit should give
clear guidance to those countries.
19. Romania considered that the family, as the fundamental social unit, was
central to social policy. The celebration of the International Year of the
Family had had considerable positive effects, and had led to successful actions
in his country. Romania also attached great importance to the integration of
young people. The celebration in 1995 of the fiftieth anniversary of the United
Nations and of the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year would
certainly produce new priorities regarding the place of young people in the
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20. The elderly, who could make a positive contribution to social development,
also deserved particular consideration. The proclamation of the International
Year of Older Persons in 1999 would serve as a useful reminder of the problems
arising from demographic changes such as population ageing. Regarding the
disabled, despite some progress in recent years, there were still obstacles to
their full and equal participation in social development. His Government’s
policy was oriented towards the prevention of incapacity and the readaptation
and social integration of the disabled. The implementation of the Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities would
tend to eliminate social and physical obstacles to their participation in social
and economic life.
21. Mr. BEN AMOR (Tunisia) said that globalization of the many social problems
besetting the world constituted a new challenge to the entire international
community; only solidarity between developed and developing countries could lead
to a solution. He hoped that the United Nations system would provide increased
support for new and effective social policies. The World Summit should be seen
as a unique opportunity to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to
people-centred development and international cooperation. Strengthening social
integration, alleviating poverty and promoting productive employment constituted
the basis of any collective undertaking to that end.
22. Tunisia, which shared other nations’ attachment to social advancement,
relied on the creative genius, political maturity and sense of responsibility of
its men and women to fight against those factors which undermined development.
Such reliance had made it possible for his country, despite limited resources,
to achieve considerable social progress, with particular focus on the vulnerable
members of society.
23. Tunisia was prepared to make its contribution to the construction of an
international community united for peace and progress, and was fully aware of
the need for solidarity among nations and of the possibilities for complementary
action through innovative forms of cooperation such as co-development. There
could be no common destiny among peoples without a common approach to planetwide
social problems.
24. Mr. ANSARI (India) said that the Declaration which should emerge from the
World Summit should be a forceful statement of current social problems and
challenges. It should outline a shared vision for the future, describing
clearly the interrelationship between the three core issues - poverty,
unemployment and social integration.
25. Greater equality was needed within societies, though not at the expense of
natural resources, the conservation of which would ensure equality for future
generations. Equality between societies was also necessary, particularly in
access to resources and technology. The draft declaration and programme of
action prepared for the Summit rightly referred to those needs. They also
correctly stated that measures to enhance social development were primarily
matters for individual nations. At the international level, what was vital to
developing countries was the adoption of measures with respect to trade, foreign
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investment, technology flows, debt and official development assistance to enable
them to tackle the problems of social development.
26. Social development needed to be placed within the context of
constitutionally defined rights, such as the right to equality and freedom of
speech, and development-oriented rights such as the right to food and shelter.
Both types of rights had been guaranteed or promoted by his Government.
27. Poverty eradication was feasible, and he estimated that by the year 2000
poverty levels in India would have been reduced to 5 per cent of the population,
which would probably comprise very vulnerable groups who should be covered by
social welfare measures as opposed to development action. His Government aimed
for realistic planning based on estimates of individuals’ food and non-food
requirements and taking account of State provision for minimum needs, while at
the same time setting definite targets. India stood for the eradication of
poverty and the reduction of the relative inequalities that also existed in
28. He regretted that the final documents for the Summit emphasized
reallocating resources for official development assistance rather than
supplementing them. He called for a comprehensive solution to the problem of
external debt, incorporating innovative measures targeting not only those
countries which had accrued arrears, but also those which had continued to meet
their obligations at considerable cost.
29. Follow-up action should take the form of strengthening existing
institutions rather than creating new structures, since effective follow-up
depended more on the political will to cooperate than on the structure of
interaction. He said that monitoring of the implementation of the programme of
action could be done only at the national level, through Governments accountable
to the electorate. At the regional and international levels, what was important
was the exchange of information. Lastly, he recommended that, in the period
leading up to the Summit, work should concentrate on specific commitment and
action rather than unproductive redefinition of terminology.
30. Miss AL-HAMAMI (Yemen) said that her delegation believed that poverty
alleviation, productive employment and social integration - the three core
issues of the World Summit for Social Development - must be tackled in a radical
manner and not merely embodied in a declaration and programme of action that
would be difficult to implement. Social development must be placed within an
objective framework that took account of the characteristics of each society,
and must be linked with economic development, human rights and peace and
security. There was also a need to raise the political level at which social
questions were discussed at the national and international levels.
31. Her delegation hoped that the declaration and programme of action to be
adopted by the Summit would reflect the fundamental issues presented by the
delegation of Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77. Their consideration by
heads of State and Government would create a unique opportunity to focus the
attention of the latter on the principal objectives and strategies involved.
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32. Coordination between States and the United Nations concerning the necessary
commitments would ensure support for national efforts, particularly in the least
developed countries. Such support would help to create economic conditions
enabling developing societies to provide the opportunity to all sectors of
society to participate in social development, thereby promoting the integration,
through participation in production, of marginalized groups that would otherwise
constitute a burden on society.
33. The Summit would not solve the core problems merely by adopting a
declaration and programme of action. It must be able to generate political
momentum and clarify perceptions if it was to stimulate national action and
international cooperation through a new commitment to the achievement of a
better life for all peoples.
34. Mr. ANDREASSEN (Norway), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said
that they considered the forthcoming World Summit for Social Development to be a
milestone in international cooperation on social issues, focusing as it did on
the need to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger
freedom, a fundamental objective of the United Nations, and providing an
opportunity to take wide-ranging policy decisions at the highest political
level. The Summit would complement the work of the most recent conferences on
human rights and on population and development and the Fourth World Conference
on Women, to be held in Beijing, and, taken together, they would define the
global agenda for social development. The next challenge would be to follow up
that work, strengthening the United Nations role in development while avoiding
compartmentalization into numerous functional commissions with parallel
reporting arrangements.
35. Disabled people constituted the largest disadvantaged minority in the
world. The adoption by the General Assembly of the Standard Rules for the
Equalization of Opportunities for Disabled People had been an important step
towards enabling such people to participate fully in society. The Nordic
countries urged all Member States to commit themselves to the implementation of
the Standard Rules, both at the international level by helping to fund the
Special Rapporteur and the panel of experts and at the national level by
elaborating plans of action for the implementation of the Standard Rules in
cooperation with organizations for disabled persons. Such national disability
plans should include the three themes of equal opportunities, rehabilitation and
the prevention of disabilities, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report on
Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons
(A/49/435). He noted that, while the main responsibility for implementation lay
with national and local government, the United Nations system also had an
obligation to implement the Standard Rules.
36. There had been a vast increase in the proportion of old people since the
beginning of the century. Although it was accurate to speak of elderly people
as vulnerable when discussing their care requirements, they were also valuable
repositories of knowledge and experience. Social policy should therefore not
only attempt to enhance and prolong their lives but also encourage their full
participation in society, as happened in the Nordic countries, where the support
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and advice given to the elderly enabled them to make their own decisions, even
when they were in institutions. Elderly people should have their own homes
throughout their lives, and care services and existing institutions should be
reorganized to make that possible.
37. The goals of the International Youth Year in 1985 were still valid - to
enhance the participation of youth in society and to encourage their
contribution to peace and development. Attempting to provide young people with
education, employment, a healthy environment and the enjoyment of rights and
freedoms would show them that society was willing to listen to them. Increasing
the influence of young people over decisions affecting them would help to avoid
future social problems, and he suggested that Member States could perhaps send
youth representatives to the fiftieth session of the General Assembly. It was
also important to involve young people in further work on the draft world youth
programme of action.
38. The recent increase in drug abuse, including alcohol abuse, had resulted in
tremendous suffering both in human terms, through family disruption, and in
social terms, through the economic costs of lost manpower, crime and public
health expenditure on treatment and rehabilitation. Only effective
international cooperation could solve such problems, with the United Nations
playing a more active role in the fight against narcotics, in collaboration with
the United Nations International Drug Control Programme as part of the Decade
against Drug Abuse.
39. Lastly he called for innovative approaches to counteract the social
disintegration and exclusion which were mainly the result of unequal development
and distribution of wealth, poverty, unemployment and the violation of human
rights, in order to mobilize people to take part in decisions about their own
40. Mr. AL-MARRI (Qatar) said that economic development and social development
went hand in hand and complemented each other. While economic development had
received greater attention in the past, the international community was
beginning to accord increased attention to social questions.
41. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 47/85, questions relating to
youth had been given a prominent place in ongoing United Nations activities for
indigenous peoples, human rights, the family and population and in the
preparations for the forthcoming conferences on social development and on women.
In the final document adopted by the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Ministers had urged the specialized
agencies of the United Nations to intensify their efforts to formulate actionoriented
programmes for the development of youth and had called for a United
Nations world programme of action for youth towards the year 2000 and beyond to
be adopted by the General Assembly on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of
the International Youth Year in 1995.
42. In Qatar, the Youth and Sports Authority established in 1990 had been
assigned the tasks of formulating general policy for youth welfare, training
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leaders, supervising projects, establishing clubs and awarding prizes. The
National Olympic Committee, established in 1979, was the chief sponsor of
sporting activities in the country.
43. Qatar provided educational and health services to all free of charge and
was endeavouring to expand its adult literacy programmes and to establish
special classes for the disabled. As a Muslim society, the country accorded a
special place to the family and did everything possible to strengthen it and to
increase its cohesion.
44. Mr. BORJAL (Philippines) said that his Government had recently implemented
two plans for social reform and national economic recovery to be achieved in
consultation with various sectors of society. The plans focused on vulnerable
social groups and poor geographical areas, addressing minimum basic needs with
the aim of improving the quality of life and expanding the base of the
decision-making process.
45. With respect to disabled persons, his Government had enacted legislation
making it mandatory for public establishments and transport to provide better
access, and more recently legislation to facilitate the integration of people
with disabilities into the mainstream of society. That legislation was already
having an impact on the disabled in the Philippines, most of whom lived in rural
areas. There was growing awareness of the potential and rights of persons with
disabilities. His delegation planned to introduce a draft resolution on the
implementation of the Standard Rules and of the Long-term Strategy for the
Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons.
46. The social plight of children living in especially difficult
circumstances - on the streets, in areas of armed conflict, in refugee camps or
in regions ravaged by disaster - required urgent action. It was necessary to
ensure that they received medical care, food, shelter and education. It was
also necessary to formulate a draft convention on issues related to the sale of
children, child prostitution and child pornography. He welcomed the report of
the Secretary-General on policies and programmes involving youth (A/49/434) and
was heartened by the final draft of the United Nations world youth programme of
47. His country, where children constituted 46 per cent of the population, had
ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and had launched a national
plan of action for children based on it. One eighth of its human-resource
budget was earmarked for education and health care. With respect to the
elderly, it adhered to the principles of independence, participation, care,
self-fulfilment and dignity, and its medium-term development plan encouraged
their active participation in social development.
48. Mr. GUNASEKERA (Sri Lanka) said that, with the end of the cold war, it was
time for the international community to tackle the root causes of conflict:
poverty, unemployment and the absence of social cohesion. To that end, a
comprehensive, internationally shared vision of development was required.
Social instability in one part of the world could have adverse effects on
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stability and prosperity elsewhere. Thus all countries stood to gain from
development in the poorer countries. He called, therefore, for the pragmatic
and broad-minded participation in development of the countries that controlled
the world’s resources.
49. The world community must take advantage of the opportunity for decisive
action provided by the forthcoming World Summit for Social Development. It must
do so by moving beyond a "replay" of known positions and the traditional
approach of building a consensus around the lowest common denominator. His
country would continue to participate in the ongoing negotiations under the able
leadership of the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee.
50. His delegation thanked the Secretary-General for his report on policies and
programmes involving youth (A/49/434) and looked forward to the tenth
anniversary of the International Youth Year in 1995. Youth issues were
intertwined with the issues of social development and peace and security. Young
people constituted the majority of the world’s population and could be a force
for stability and prosperity or a vehicle for instability and violence,
depending on how society treated them. His country therefore supported the
priority given once again to youth issues and the participation of youth in
national and international decision-making processes by the Eleventh Ministerial
Conference of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. Similarly, it supported
the draft resolution recently submitted by the Non-Aligned Movement to focus
attention on youth during the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the
United Nations. It expected the Commission for Social Development to finalize
the world youth programme of action and to submit it through the Economic and
Social Council to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session. It was pleased
to note that the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) had
already formulated their own youth programmes to coincide with the launching of
the world youth programme in 1995, and that the African region was pursuing
efforts to that end.
51. With regard to the United Nations programme on disabled persons, his
delegation wished to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for its efforts
to promote the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. It noted with satisfaction the
appointment of a Special Rapporteur for the Standard Rules and hoped that the
necessary contributions would be made to support his activities. Implementation
of the Rules was of particular concern to countries faced with an unexpected
increase in the number of disabled persons.
52. His delegation also wished to thank the Secretary-General for the draft
plan of action to implement the Long-Term Strategy to Further Implementation of
the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and was pleased to
note that it contained an array of national, regional and global measures
drawing on the experience gained during the Decade of Disabled Persons. It
hoped that the Committee would be able to reach a consensus decision to
recommend adoption of the Long-Term Strategy.
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53. Mrs. BANGOURA (Guinea) welcomed the international community’s new awareness
of social problems and reiterated her Government’s support and great
expectations for the World Summit for Social Development. Its three core
issues - social integration, poverty and employment - were decisive for the
internal and external security of nations. Yet, in a context of international
upheaval and recession, economic and social inequalities continued to grow both
within and among nations, with disastrous social consequences. Any strategy for
sustainable development must be based on an integrated approach that addressed
the social, economic, cultural, political and environmental aspects of
54. Her country shared the views expressed by the Group of 77 and China
regarding the declaration and plan of action to be adopted at the World Summit.
Furthermore, those documents should call for specific, realistic measures that
would encourage an economic and political environment favourable to social
development, address the concerns of all regions and encourage the participation
of all development actors. National and international strategies were needed.
At the national level, Governments should increase budget allocations to the
social sector. At the international level, the developed countries should
facilitate the transfer of technologies, institute appropriate trade policies
and provide training assistance to the least developed countries. As for the
question of follow-up to the Summit, the declaration and plan of action should
underscore the need for the Bretton Woods institutions to take social costs into
consideration in designing their programmes. Lastly, she stressed that it was
important for the international community to work together to make the Social
Summit a success.
55. Despite its economic problems, her country was striving to improve its
people’s social conditions. Many associations for young people, women and the
elderly had been organized for that purpose. Under its human development
programme, significant progress had been made in providing primary health care,
basic education and drinking water.
56. Her delegation welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on the status and
role of cooperatives (A/49/213). Faced with increased unemployment and
deepening poverty as a result of structural adjustment programmes, developing
countries were becoming more alert to the possibilities offered by cooperative
business enterprises. Her Government’s efforts had led to the formation of a
great number of cooperatives. However, owing to a lack of resources, it was
impossible for existing cooperatives to operate normally and equally impossible
to create new ones. Assistance from the international community was therefore
imperative. Her delegation supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations
with respect to cooperatives, especially the idea of instituting an annual
international day of cooperatives, which would help to inform both people and
Governments of the possibilities offered by cooperative enterprises.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.