Summary record of the 11th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Monday, 16 October 1995, New York, General Assembly, 50th session.
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/50/SR.11|
|Convention||Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Persons with Disabilities, Ageing Persons, Youth, Family|
Monday, 16 October 1995
at 3 p.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 11th MEETING
Chairman: Mr. RATA (New Zealand)
later: Mr. TSHERING (Bhutan)
AGENDA ITEM 105: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE WORLD
SOCIAL SITUATION AND TO YOUTH, AGEING, DISABLED PERSONS AND THE FAMILY
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.
26 October 1995
95-81620 (E) /...
In the absence of Mr. Tshering (Bhutan), Mr. Rata (New Zealand),
Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.20 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 105: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE WORLD
SOCIAL SITUATION AND TO YOUTH, AGEING, DISABLED PERSONS AND THE FAMILY
(continued) (A/50/84-E/1995/12, A/50/114, A/50/156, A/50/163, A/50/181-
E/1995/65, A/50/215-S/1995/475, A/50/254-S/1995/501, A/50/370, A/50/374,
A/50/425-S/1995/787, A/50/454, A/50/473; A/CONF.166/9)
1. Ms. PRADA DE MESA (International Labour Organization (ILO)) said that,
because of its unique structure and its mandate to promote social justice, ILO
had been given a special role in the follow-up to the Copenhagen World Summit
for Social Development with respect to employment. It was already taking steps
to implement that mandate and to pursue the goal of full employment.
2. The goal of its work with the disabled was to promote equal treatment and
opportunity in training and employment through standard-setting, technical
cooperation and advisory services. So far, 51 countries had ratified the 1983
ILO Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled
Persons). In support of the principles outlined in that Convention, ILO had
implemented technical programmes, including active contribution to the public
debate on disability issues, development of research and support networks,
vocational training and income-generating programmes. Training and employment
programmes were currently under way for disabled citizens and ex-combatants in a
number of countries striving to rebuild their economies in the aftermath of
3. With regard to older persons, ILO policy included prevention of age
discrimination in employment, improved social protection, and the promotion of
appropriate standards in respect of retirement and pensions. ILO technical
programmes emphasized the need to give older people the opportunity to pursue
work, retirement, or, if desired, a combination of the two. ILO provided
assistance to Governments and other bodies in drafting the necessary legislation
and setting up appropriate structures. It was striving to meet the priorities
defined by the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World
Summit for Social Development.
4. Mr. SPETH (Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)),
recalling the importance of the objectives fixed by the World Summit, welcomed
the agreement reached by the United Nations agencies to make a concerted effort
to eliminate world poverty, the Summitâs most compelling mandate. The agencies
had agreed to strengthen their commitment to and collaboration for the goals
established at the Summit, while keeping inter-agency mechanisms light and
flexible and avoiding duplication. They had conceived four new inter-agency
task forces, each geared towards one of the main Summit objectives. UNDP had
been asked to work with each task force, providing support to the resident
coordinator system and utilizing its own programme resources to promote an
integrated focus on poverty elimination and on integrated assistance to
countries developing their anti-poverty strategies, and also to lead a working
group on sustainable livelihoods for the poor.
5. The implementation of the Copenhagen agreements would be the primary
objective of UNDP for the years ahead; there was a remarkable convergence
between its objectives and the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.
UNDP commitment to the advancement of women, the regeneration of natural
resources and the provision of sustainable livelihoods for all were being
brought increasingly within the framework of poverty elimination, the overriding
objective of UNDP. A new resource-programming framework would facilitate
greater flexibility in the allocation of UNDP resources, which were more than
ever focused on poverty. A poverty elimination fund was being created, to be
used primarily to assist countries in the preparation of national anti-poverty
strategies agreed to at the Summit.
6. Resident representatives had been instructed to ensure that UNDP programmes
focused on empowering people living in poverty, especially women, through
participation and capacity development, and to support initiatives that would
provide equitable access to productive assets and opportunities. They had been
requested to ensure high leverage for limited UNDP resources in system-wide
solutions, using the programme approach and seeking to build national capacities
for policy development and programme implementation.
7. As a result of the Summit, the United Nations system had come together in
an unprecedented way with a commitment to integrated follow-up.
8. Ms. ARYSTANBEKOVA (Kazakstan) said that her delegation, which had actively
participated in the Copenhagen World Summit, supported the decision to hold a
plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the implementation of the outcome of
the World Summit during the anniversary session.
9. Her delegation supported the International Plan of Action on Ageing and the
observance of the International Year of Older Persons in 1999, which was the
next important stage in the evolution of the United Nations programme on ageing.
Kazakstan also supported United Nations activities to implement the World
Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons. In spite of the difficult
transition to a market economy, her country was taking all measures to deal with
the acute social problems that had arisen, including those affecting Kazakstanâs
three million older persons and disabled, and was establishing modern diagnostic
and rehabilitation centres for the latter.
10. Her delegation fully supported the principles and goals of the Copenhagen
Declaration, particularly in recognizing the family as the basic unit of society
and acknowledging that it played a key role in social development and as such
should be strengthened. Her Government was continuing to carry out far-reaching
measures to provide social support to families with children and attached
particular importance to assisting families and other groups living in
ecologically damaged areas.
11. Kazakstan was currently drawing up a national programme to provide support
to socially vulnerable population groups with the assistance of international
organizations, which were providing invaluable aid in the social and economic
sphere. UNDP had provided assistance in drawing up the first draft of the
national report on the human dimension, which would be used to carry out social
programmes aimed at raising living standards and utilizing human potential.
12. In May 1995 the World Bank had approved Kazakstanâs social-protection
project, which would strengthen the capacity of the employment service in
registering unemployed persons and providing unemployment benefits and training.
That was the first such project of the World Bank in a member country of the
Commonwealth of Independent States. In November 1994, her Government had signed
an agreement on cooperation with the United Nations Childrenâs Fund (UNICEF) in
order to find effective approaches to assisting children, mothers and other
socially vulnerable groups.
13. Mr. AL-MAHMOUD (Qatar) said that the family was the basic building block of
society. It was noticeable that crime, deviancy and social ills were less
apparent in societies which had traditional family values than in those where
the family system had disintegrated. The Islamic Shariah and the Qurâan
provided important guidance in that respect. Families in Qatar were given every
assistance, provided with social and health care and educational services in
order to make its people fit for their responsibilities. Particular attention
was paid to improving womenâs qualifications and increasing their participation
in raising the standard of living of families. That was done through training
centres and providing employment facilities and access to markets for womenâs
14. The 1994 International Year of the Family had given prominence to the
national priorities which lay at the heart of family requirements. Foremost
among those was achieving a balance between work and the responsibilities of
family life. The family provided security and affection, taught children
spiritual and moral values, linked the generations, passed on what was important
and protected children from drug abuse and other ills.
15. That must be borne in mind when working to support the family, as must the
fact that women had a vital role to play in social development. Qatar believed
that social development was a goal which could safeguard human dignity, and that
providing support for the family was the primary route for achieving that goal.
16. Mrs. GITTENS-JOSEPH (Trinidad and Tobago), speaking on behalf of the
thirteen States members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which were Members
of the United Nations, said that the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of
Action represented a momentous step forward. The heads of Government of CARICOM
had urged member States to examine the commitments and conclusions of the Summit
with a view to implementation.
17. One of the social institutions which had been increasingly affected by the
changing world environment was the family; that was particularly disturbing
because the family represented the primary unit of society. It must be an
integral part of development efforts, because it served as an agent of change.
Recent widespread discussion of and action on family issues had sensitized the
international community to the complex challenges facing families all over the
world. In the Caribbean, as elsewhere, the family structure was not immune from
economic and social pressures, or problems such as poverty, drug abuse and
domestic violence. For historical and sociological reasons, female-headed
households were a common feature; that problem was compounded by the high
incidence of unemployment and poverty among women in many Caribbean countries.
Many programmes had been established in CARICOM countries to support the family
18. Young people were also severely affected by world-wide political, social
and economic developments, leading at times to feelings of frustration and
alienation which in turn led to behaviour problems. The tenth anniversary of
the International Youth Year provided an invaluable opportunity to reflect on
the situation of young people. Youth unemployment was a major concern for many
CARICOM States. In some countries as much as 70 per cent of the unemployed were
under 30 years old. The plight of young men, who were increasingly endangered
by the spread of AIDS, drug abuse and rising crime rates, and affected by
educational and illiteracy problems, was a preoccupation in many countries.
Another recent phenomenon was the emergence of street children, especially in
urban areas. Faced with those problems, many countries had instituted
innovative programmes for young people, working towards a society where young
men and women would be empowered to develop their potential, creativity and
19. To invest in youth was to invest in the future. It was significant that
the United Nations would shortly be considering the adoption of the world
programme of action for youth towards the year 2000 and beyond. In so doing,
the international community would affirm its support and hope for youth, and
consequently help to create a better world.
20. In many countries, older persons were experiencing isolation due to a lack
of family support, diminished income and mobility and health problems. As their
numbers increased, there was a greater demand for geriatric and health-care
services, and a growing need to ensure their financial security. It was
incumbent upon society to ensure that senior citizens enjoyed a dignified and
meaningful life. Policies had been adopted in a number of CARICOM countries to
improve the provision of pensions, health care and social assistance.
21. Issues pertaining to persons with disabilities were receiving increased
attention in CARICOM member States, and steps were being taken to promote
equality of opportunities for that important sector of the population. Those
included special education and training facilities, efforts to improve mobility,
and attempts to remove discriminatory employment practices. However, much more
needed to be done to eliminate prejudice and facilitate full participation.
22. The complexity of social issues necessitated a holistic approach. At the
national level it was important to encourage the involvement of the various
interest groups, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. At the
international level, it was imperative to provide sufficient resources for
programmes in the field of social development. Member States of CARICOM were
committed to supporting efforts to enhance social development throughout the
world, which would result in improved human well-being and also enhance peace
and stability. The goal of an improved world social situation should be a major
priority of the international community.
23. Ms. KOVALSKA (Ukraine) said that poverty, unemployment and social
disintegration were currently the most urgent social problems, especially in
countries undergoing radical economic transformations. Having inherited from
the Soviet Union a structurally deformed economy, Ukraine had a complicated task
in establishing its statehood. In 1994 her Government had adopted new social
reforms and an economic strategy aimed at the construction of a new economic
system. The most important task was to establish efficient social protection
for vulnerable categories of the population. Her Government was planning to set
up a State committee to coordinate and reform the social-security and socialinsurance
24. The social situation in Ukraine was further complicated by a sharp
reduction in the birth rate, an increase in the death rate and the rapid ageing
of the population. Her delegation supported the observance of the International
Year of Older Persons in 1999 and hoped that the measures taken within the
framework of preparations for the Year would lead to common approaches to
25. Caring for disabled persons was an important issue in her country. The
adoption by the General Assembly of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities had been a major achievement. The
main principles of the Rules were the basis for Ukraineâs programmes for
disabled persons. Her delegation supported the appointment of the Special
Rapporteur on Disability to monitor implementation of the Rules.
26. Ukraine attached great importance to the development and adoption of the
world programme of action concerning youth to the year 2000 and beyond, which
would serve as a universal strategy to solve problems affecting young people.
The United Nations system could make a valuable contribution to social
development by supporting and coordinating national efforts. Her delegation
strongly endorsed the proposal for the urgent adoption of a global United
Nations programme to promote social transformation in countries with economies
in transition. Vigorous international support was needed to set up effective
social-protection systems in order to maintain stability in those countries.
27. Ms. SANTIPITAKS (Thailand) said that her country was deeply committed to
achieving "a society for all" that included groups which had once been
marginalized, particularly youth, older persons and persons with disabilities.
Accordingly, Thailand supported the observance of the International Year of
Older Persons in 1999 and had already initiated a number of long-term measures
to improve the health and well-being of older persons and enhance respect for
them. A national committee of representatives from the public and private
sectors made policy recommendations. The contribution by older persons to
economic and social development should be recognized; Governments, international
and non-governmental organizations should consider ways to provide them with
occupational therapy, in addition to meeting their basic needs. Accordingly,
Thailand supported the target laid down in the report of the Secretary-General
(A/50/114) of establishing a global network of senior volunteers for social and
28. Her country also paid special attention to disabled persons by providing
social services, educational programmes, health care, vocational centres and
employment. The Government sought cooperation from the private sector to
increase the hiring of the disabled by granting special tax incentives.
Non-governmental organizations also played an important role by providing
information and through fund-raising. Her country, which also attached great
importance to the family as the basic unit of society, had established a
subcommittee to follow up the 1994 International Year of the Family and enable
families to care for children, older persons and the disabled.
29. Mr. KHAN (Pakistan) said that social development must be based on sustained
economic growth and sustainable development. The foremost task was to make the
economies of developing countries viable so that they could feed and clothe
their people and provide them with health care and education. At the same time,
the promotion and protection of human rights was necessary to ensure
opportunities for the full development of the individual and society. Vigorous
international support for national efforts was essential for development and
peace. The current environmental crisis was mainly due to the unsustainable
pattern of production and wasteful consumption.
30. The recommendations of the Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development
must be translated into concrete policies at both the national and international
level. The support of the developed countries was essential, and a global
policy for the eradication of poverty must be adopted. People living in
situations of civil and ethnic strife were the most directly affected by social
disintegration. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kashmir and
many other parts of the world, the lives of millions of people have been
disrupted. National and international mechanisms were needed to provide them
with humanitarian assistance. Where conflicts had been resolved, the
international community should promote peace through reconciliation,
rehabilitation and reconstruction. The process of disarmament and the transfer
of resources from defence-oriented security to social security must be
accelerated. The United Nations should play a more assertive role in defusing
conflicts through mediation, arbitration, preventive diplomacy and peacemaking.
31. The developed countries must, without further delay, meet their commitment
to allocate 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for official
development assistance. That would be a great step towards solving social and
economic problems in the developing countries. In addition to reallocating
existing resources, additional resources for social development must be made
available as agreed at the Copenhagen Summit. There was an urgent need to
reduce the debt of low-income countries, decrease the multilateral debt burden
of other developing countries and cancel the public debt of African countries
and the least developed countries. The close involvement of the Bretton Woods
institutions in the follow-up to the world conferences on population, social
development and women would make structural-adjustment programmes socially
sensitive and responsible. The link between poverty and unfavourable terms of
trade was well established. Close international cooperation was required to
improve market access for the developing countries and discourage protectionism.
The United Nations should explore new ways to influence and regulate economic
32. With support from various United Nations entities, the Asian Development
Bank and many donor countries, and through larger budgetary allocations made
possible by its economic reforms, Pakistan had launched a social action
programme, at a cost of $8 billion, to address urgent needs in education,
health, nutrition, water supply and sanitation. The main objectives were to
eradicate poverty, redress gender inequities, promote rural development and
protect the environment. In addition, the Government had identified the
vulnerable groups that should benefit from social welfare and rehabilitation
programmes. It was paying greater attention to the rights of women, children,
religions and ethnic minorities and the poor.
33. Pakistan considered that the Commission for Social Development should be
strengthened so that it could help implement the Copenhagen Declaration and
Programme of Action, and that UNDP and ILO should support social development
programmes in their respective areas of competence.
34. Mr. ARDA (Turkey) said that his country sought to eradicate poverty,
illiteracy, exclusion and inequalities by instituting compulsory primary
education, ensuring equal educational opportunities for both sexes and trying to
provide primary health services to all, which were free of charge for those in
35. Turkey would be pleased to share its experience, gained through United
Nations assistance programmes, in the field of social development. In fact, it
already made substantial contributions to bilateral, regional and international
initiatives by building hospitals and schools, providing technical assistance
for economic activities, awarding scholarships and making cash donations to
36. The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action were valuable
instruments for the realization of common goals. Social solidarity was,
however, already a tradition in Turkey. For example, gender discrimination in
education had been banned since the 1920s, and women were encouraged to
participate in all spheres of social life. Turkey intended to use the world
programme of action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond (E/1995/24) as a guide
for national measures to benefit youth. It had actively observed the
International Year of the Family and had contributed to the Voluntary Fund for
the Year, and it planned to be equally active in observing the International
Year of Older Persons. In that regard, it supported the draft resolution
contained in document A/C.3/50/L.2.
37. Particularly in view of the increase in the number of disabled persons as a
result of armed conflicts, Turkey attached great importance to the Standard
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. It
supported the work of the Special Rapporteur on Disability, and had answered the
latterâs questionnaire. As a country that took a people-centred approach to
development, Turkey was honoured to be the host of the Second United Nations
Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), which would take place in Istanbul
38. Ms. MIRBAHA (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that unfair international
economic relations, widening economic disparities and international indifference
to deprivation in developing countries were jeopardizing not only social
development, but also international peace and security. In the process of
enhancing social well-being, special attention must be paid to vulnerable
39. As a country with a young population, Iran strove to promote young peopleâs
moral, educational, intellectual and physical development, and believed that the
adoption of the world programme of action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond
would focus more attention on youth problems. Likewise, Iranians felt that they
had a religious, moral and social duty to care for the elderly, and the
Government planned to include welfare programmes for the elderly in the
countryâs second five-year development programme.
40. The Government had also made generous budgetary allocations to support
vulnerable sectors of society and had adopted comprehensive measures to assist
disabled persons, such as establishing vocational services and a vocational
rehabilitation centre within the Ministry of Labour, holding workshops for
disabled persons and setting aside 13 per cent of government administrative
posts for disabled persons.
41. Since the economic situation of Iranian families had tended to deteriorate
as a result of structural-adjustment programmes and external factors such as the
war imposed on the country, the Government had taken steps to assist low-income
families and planned to implement more measures under the second five-year
programme. She hoped that all countries would work to promote family stability
in order to safeguard human development and the future of mankind.
42. Mrs. NXUMALO (Swaziland) said that social development began with family
development, since the family was the basic unit of society. The capacities and
responsibilities of families must be used to address the problems of young,
older and disabled persons.
43. Her country emphasized the provision of opportunities for young people to
acquire skills that enabled them to engage in income-generating activities. The
Government provided modest annual grants to various youth organizations through
the Swaziland National Youth Council, whose officers were elected by the youth
44. Swaziland was currently considering draft legislation on the training and
employment of disabled persons and the establishment of a revolving-loan scheme
for the disabled. People with disabilities who could not work received
financial assistance, while those who could work received training at the
countryâs vocational rehabilitation centre.
45. Her country welcomed the designation of 1999 as the International Year of
Older Persons and supported the United Nations Principles for Older Persons
(A/50/114). While institutions for the elderly were unacceptable in Swaziland,
whose culture emphasized the role of older persons as decision-makers within the
family, needy persons aged 65 and over could receive financial assistance from
the Government. In addition, public-awareness campaigns promoted respect for
and assistance to the elderly at the family, neighbourhood and community levels.
46. Mr. WI Sok Yon (Democratic Peopleâs Republic of Korea) said that the World
Summit for Social Development had highlighted the many economic and social
problems stemming inter alia from inequitable international economic relations
and armed conflicts. Social development policies should harness the capacities
of the beneficiaries themselves. Moreover, since the social well-being of
developed countries was closely linked to that of developing countries, the
former should provide assistance to the latter for social development programmes
and should fully honour their financial obligations under the various programmes
of action adopted by the United Nations. Developing countries needed adequate
financial and material resources, inter alia from international financial
institutions, in order to implement international consensus agreements on social
47. Because of their vital role in promoting social development, young people
received special attention in his Governmentâs social programmes. His country
also actively sought to safeguard the rights of disabled persons and to improve
48. All countries should implement the agreements reached at the World Summit
for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the United
Nations system should help developing countries to secure technical assistance
and financing for social development. His country was fully committed to those
49. Mr. Tshering (Bhutan) took the Chair.
50. Mr. KILO-ABI (Zaire) recalled that the participants in the World Summit for
Social Development had pledged to promote a number of high ideals, such as
social justice, tolerance, non-violence, non-discrimination and fairer income
distribution. For the moment, however, the world suffered from a long list of
ills, that threatened to undo the progress made in the area of social
51. Bipolarity in international relations and values had given way to economic
globalization, under which a small Ã©lite enjoyed prosperity and many others
pursued the race to acquire wealth, while the majority were condemned to a
deadly cycle of inflation, rampant disease, runaway population growth and
stringent structural-adjustment programmes.
52. A strategy should be worked out to deal with the emergence of global
technological "apartheid", and the existence of isolated islands of opulence as
well as regions of misery and deprivation, in order to make the economy serve
society rather than the inverse.
53. His delegation welcomed the initiatives taken by the international
community in order to increase life expectancy. In view of the large proportion
of the world population which was ageing, it would be wise to emulate the
encouraging initiatives being taken by older persons in some parts of the world,
as well as to pay attention to those cultures which treated their ageing persons
with respect. His delegation also welcomed the various other United Nations
initiatives and recommendations relating to the item.
54. Ms. PHAM THI THANH VAN (Viet Nam) said that her Government had developed a
comprehensive policy to deal with the devastation wrought by 30 years of war.
The three main elements were: to change to a market economy, democratize social
life and promote amicable relations with all other States. Her country
recognized the interdependence of economic and social progress and the
importance of social and political stability for economic growth. Although many
had benefited from the new market economy, cuts in the provision of traditional
social services had further marginalized women, children, the ageing, disabled
persons and the poor. Despite financial constraints, her Government had
therefore allocated a quarter of its annual budget for social development.
55. Her country recognized the importance of young people in building the
country: they represented its future. To care for, educate and train them was
therefore long-term government strategy, as was the provision of favourable
conditions for their advancement.
56. Ageing persons were still largely supported and cared for by their
children. Government policy in that regard was therefore principally concerned
with health and social provision and increasing retirement pensions.
57. The war had left Viet Nam with nearly five million disabled persons. The
difficulty of integrating them into society had been exacerbated by the market
economy. The Government had set targets in order to improve their quality of
life, which included protection of their right to work, education and training,
and also hoped to generate charitable assistance for them.
58. Her Government considered the family to be the basic unit of society and a
strategic factor in development. Their hope of achieving a modern, affluent and
happy Vietnamese family would need to be supported by firm population and
59. Recognizing that social development, although primarily the responsibility
of each individual nation, was also a global problem requiring close
international cooperation, her delegation firmly believed that donor countries
should reserve at least 0.7 per cent of GDP for official development assistance,
of which a certain proportion should be allocated for basic social services; and
that recipient countries should guarantee the allocation of a corresponding
share of their national budget to the same end.
60. Ms. WAHBI (Sudan) said that her country believed the family to be the
nucleus of society. Since it also believed marriage to be the most appropriate
framework for the family, Sudan supported and facilitated marriage. Her country
had celebrated the 1994 International Year of the Family by establishing a
national council for social planning and had run an extremely productive
workshop on the economic and humanitarian characteristics of the Sudanese
family. Since it believed that the productive family was a solution to the
problem of poverty throughout the world, her country had taken many steps to
encourage such families.
61. A committee had been established to devise policies and provide support for
the orphaned and widowed. A comprehensive plan guaranteed children all their
rights, including health care. It was hoped to immunize every child by the year
2000; more than 85 per cent had already been immunized. By the year 2000, basic
education, already compulsory, would be available to every child. Her country
had also developed a national housing policy in order to provide suitable
accommodation for all, and distributed clothing to all those in need.
62. Women were of central importance to the family and to society, and had been
given special attention by her country. In the Sudan, women constituted more
than 50 per cent of civil service employees and 60 per cent of students in
higher education, and also held important administrative and judicial posts.
63. Young people were considered central to the development effort, and their
educational opportunities had been greatly increased by the opening of new
regional universities and the provision of vocational training centres. Youth
employment was supported and opportunities had increased. Vigorous efforts were
being made to eradicate illiteracy.
64. Disabled persons were to be integrated as fully as possible into society.
In the Sudan, they enjoyed all their rights without discrimination. As far as
possible, given the constraints, the Government provided education and training
in order to make them independent, and had established a centre for artificial
limbs. Furthermore ageing persons were not a problem in the Sudan, since they
were accorded special respect and were well looked after by their families.
65. Social development could not be achieved unless poverty were eradicated,
moral values were upheld and social injustices and distinctions based on
religion, race or culture were removed.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.