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Summary record of the 3rd meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 5 October 1998, General Assembly, 53rd session

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/53/SR.3
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 53rd
Type Document

8 p.

Subjects Youth, Ageing Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Family

Extracted Text

United Nations
General Assembly Distr.: General
Fifty-third session 15 October 1998
Official Records Original: English
Third Committee
Summary record of the 3rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 5 October 1998, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Hachani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Tunisia)
Tribute to the memory of Mr. Zorig Sanjaasuren
Statement by the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Agenda item 100: 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 publication to the Chief of the Official Records
Editing Section, room DC2-750, 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.
98-81444 (E)
The meeting was called to order at 3.20 p.m. Assembly had declared that the enjoyment of civic and
Tribute to the memory of Mr. Zorig Sanjaasuren
1. The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, paid
tribute to the memory of Mr. Zorig Sanjaasuren, Mongolian
democratic leader and human rights activist.
2. At the invitation of the Chairman, the members of the
Committee observed a moment of silence.
Statement by the Under-Secretary-General for
Economic and Social Affairs
3. Mr. Desai (Under-Secretary-General for Economic and
Social Affairs) said that the Committee would be conducting
its deliberations in the context of a world situation which was
extremely uncertain. The sharp decline in growth rates had
led to a huge increase in poverty and unemployment. Social
services were under pressure, and capacities which had been
built up with great difficulty over many years were being
eroded and lost.
4. The system built up over the past 50 years was based
on an implicit social compact that if national economies were
to be opened up to global competition, so as to maximize the
possibilities for growth, Governments would accept an
obligation to protect social standards, so that there would be
an accelerated reduction of poverty and unemployment and
a greater capacity to meet basic needs and promote social
cohesion. The current crisis could not be viewed simply as
a financial crisis; it was also a social crisis which was
challenging the underlying social compact. That dimension
must be kept in mind when searching for solutions to the
crisis; policies must be developed which could revive the
prospects for development and for enhanced action on poverty
eradication and social development. The answer to the crisis
was not to retreat from the forces of globalization and
liberalization; that approach had been tried in the past and had
failed. At the same time, measures directed at maintaining or
reviving confidence in capital markets were not sufficient. It
was necessary to consider issues of production, distribution,
employment and poverty, and in that context, the Committee’s
work was central to ensuring that social issues were not
overlooked when addressing the problems of the current crisis
in the world economy.
5. It was 50 years since the adoption of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and while there had been a
tendency, in the intervening years, to see human rights issues
largely in terms of political and civil rights, the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights must also
be borne in mind. In resolution 421 (V), the General
political freedoms and of economic, social and cultural rights
were interconnected and interdependent. The Declaration on
the Right to Development also linked the two types of rights,
and the connection had been reinforced in the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action. As a result, there was
a growing interest in looking at the whole of development in
terms of a rights-based approach and an increasing tendency
to see social development in particular not as a discretionary
act of charity but as a right of individuals in society. It had
been found that when a rights-based approach was taken,
progress was faster. In the case of the rights of the child, for
example, much of the early thinking had been based on
altruism or charity, but more recently the focus had been on
programmatic actions for children in the context of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the case of the
advancement of women, a rights-based dimension and a
programmatic dimension had moved in parallel, and in the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, women’s
rights had been recognized as an integral part of human rights.
A rights-based approach had also been taken to disabled
persons and to ageing. Efforts were being made to reach a
shared agreement on the corpus of human rights and to design
programmatic interventions to reinforce those rights. The
potential of a rights-based approach was that it could bring
those two strands together, and the Committee was in a
unique position to tackle the vital issues involved.
Agenda item 100: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(A/53/3, A/53/63-S/1998/100, A/53/72-S/1998/156,
A/53/95-S/1998/311, A/53/97, A/53/294, A/53/350,
A/53/356, A/53/378, A/53/416 and A/53/425)
6. Mr. Langmore (Director, Division for Social Policy
and Development, Department of Economic and Social
Affairs) said that the extent of the economic and social
damage from recent international financial turbulence was
still growing, but it was clear that many tens of millions of
people were losing their jobs, being forced into poverty or
being excluded from school or health services. It was also
clear that the international financial system was flawed and
must be changed.
7. As the political heart of the international system, the
United Nations had the responsibility of articulating shared
international socio-economic goals, priorities and policies.
The ultimate goals set by the World Summit for Social
Development were the eradication of absolute poverty, the
achievement of full employment, and the fostering of secure,
stable and just societies. A new strategy was required which
recognized that the constant and complete integration of the meeting the goals and expectations of youth, sound and
social dimension of policywith the economic dimension was pragmatic macroeconomic policies must be championed.
needed; that international financial stabilization was
imperative for social development; that prioritymust be given
to social programmes, such as basic education and health and
social protection; that more countries should consider the
establishment or renewal of a national social contract, with
clear, consensual aims and comprehensive policies for their
achievement; and that in order to encourage private sector
growth, Governments must ensure that credit was readily
accessible, at manageable interest rates.
8. The principal subject for the Committee’s consideration that there would be tangible results which could be applied
at the current session was preparations for the International in policy-making and programme formulation and in
Year of Older Persons, which had been launched on 1 evaluation. That would require support for additional research
October 1998 at United Nations Headquarters. Worldwide on the implications of ageing societies, policies that dealt with
preparations for the Year were outlined in the report of the the dual concepts of active ageing and appropriate caregiving,
Secretary-General (A/53/294), which included and the establishment of guidelines to support individual
recommendations for the exploration of principles and/or lifelong development. Quality of life was no less important
practical strategies towards “a society for all ages”, through than longevity. The special session of the General Assembly
consultation with national committees for the Year. to be held in 1999 could make a valuable contribution to
9. Mr. Donokusumo (Indonesia) said that the global
decline in mortality and birth rates was leading to an 12. Mr. Mahubani (Singapore) said that, although the
increased ageing of society. The transition was occurring future was unpredictable, the number of babies born in the
faster in developing countries, which had weaker social safety past few decades who would survive and become old people
nets and safeguards, than in developed countries. One concept had inevitable demographic consequences. By the year 2150,
which was present in all United Nations initiatives on the one third of the world’s population would be over the age of
issues of youth and ageing was that of individual lifelong 60. In meeting the needs of its ageing population, Singapore
development and the implicit recognition that health and well- followed a set of key principles. The first principle was
being in later life were inextricably linked to opportunities personal responsibility, namely, that every citizen must
and healthy development during the formative years. His assume responsibility for planning for his or her old age.
delegation welcomed the adoption of the Lisbon Declaration Workers were required to contribute 20 per cent of their
on Youth Policies and Programmes and was committed to income to the Central Provident Fund and that contribution
implementing it effectively, while anticipating its contribution was matched by employers. The money went into a private
to a long-term strategy on older persons. account and was intended only for individual use; Singapore
10. There was an urgent need to create employment
opportunities for youth, as a central factor in alleviating
poverty and marginalization. His delegation was deeply
concerned that, despite the goals set at the World Summit for
Social Development, approximately 30 per cent of the
world’s workforce was either unemployed or underemployed.
No significant effort had been made to promote full
employment in the developing countries, at a beneficial wage
rate; in fact, for some developing countries, contractionary
policies in pursuit of economic stability had led to a further
increase in unemployment. There was a need to promote
young people’s access to land, credit, technologies and
information. The agreed conclusions adopted by the
Commission for Social Development had laid out various
means of generating employment opportunities for youth and
vulnerable groups in society. In order to make progress in
11. The implications of the ageing of society for labour
policy, health care, patterns of production, consumption,
savings and investment, and for the family, and society at
large, were considerable and unprecedented. The
International Year of Older Persons should increase
awareness of the demographic changes that were occurring
and of the need to adopt policies that would facilitate the
programmes of the future.While activities for the Year would
be initiated primarily at the national level, it was to be hoped
determining long-term strategies on ageing.
did not believe that workers should contribute to a common
pool, as that diminished the incentive to save. The second
principle was that the family, not the State, should take
primary responsibility for its aged members. The Chinese
saying that “having an old person in the family is like owning
a treasure” summed up the traditional Asian attitude towards
older persons. Believing that such values, which had served
East Asian society well through 4,000 years of history, should
be sustained, Singapore had enacted legislation to ensure that
the family remained the primary caregiver for older persons.
The third principle was that the Government could enhance
the ability of individuals to look after themselves in old age.
Efforts were being made to extend retirement age and
generate appropriate employment opportunities for elderly
persons. At the same time, special incentives, such as tax
relief and housing incentives were being given to families to and recreation facilities; reduced transportation fares for older
assist them in taking care of their older members. persons; exemption from income tax; and concessional
13. His Government’s goals for the International Year of
Older Persons were to enhance the public awareness of the 18. Although the world was ageing, there were more young
challenges and implications of an ageing society, to promote people than ever before. A nurturing environment for young
the concept of “productive ageing” and to foster people would not only help them to fulfil their potential but
intergenerational ties. It had already formed a committee to also make the future more secure. Her delegation therefore
study the critical issue of how to balance the competing commended the Government of Portugal for having hosted
demands of the young and the old as society aged. theWorld Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in
14. The world was moving into uncharted territory. Never
before had so many societies had such large proportions of
elderly people. The implications were not only political and
economic but also psychological and spiritual.Member States
would have to pool their experience and draw on the wisdom
that came with age to find both the right questions and the
right answers.
15. Ms. Ferdaus (Bangladesh) said that as the world
community looked forward to the year 2000, it should review
the goals and objectives set at the World Summit for Social
Development in 1995. Social disintegration, endemic poverty,
unemployment, crime, drug abuse and an unstable global
economy continued to impair social development efforts. The
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) were facing grave
difficulties, and older persons, the unemployed, women and
children were the most seriously affected. To ensure social
development for all, a renewed commitment was necessary
at both the national and the international level. 20. Member States should work with the United Nations
16. It was a common perception that older people required
higher levels of welfare and were a drain on society. Their
ability to contribute to social development through their
wisdom, values and knowledge was often overlooked. Her
delegation believed that the International Year of Older
Persons would help to change negative perceptions about
ageing. Her Government welcomed the Secretary-General’s
report on preparations for the International Year (A/53/294)
and agreed that policies were needed which would both
strengthen individual lifelong development, focusing on selfhelp
and independence, and create an enabling environment
of families, communities and social institutions. 21. On a more positive note, 77-year-old Senator John
17. Her Government remained committed to the
International Plan of Action on Ageing and had made
elaborate plans for the commemoration of the International
Year. In the coming months, it would approve a national plan
for meeting the welfare and health care needs of older persons
and would propose a South Asian Regional Plan of Action on
Ageing covering the following areas: family integration;
public awareness of the welfare needs of older persons;
special medical and health care services; poverty alleviation;
a social security system for older persons; housing; reading
electricity, gas and water rates.
August 1998, and supported the measures proposed in the
Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and Programmes. It
also welcomed the recommendations of the Third World
Youth Forum of the United Nations System, which were
designed to promote youth participation for human
development. Social development was the bedrock upon
which peace, progress and prosperity were built. Sustained
efforts must therefore be made to achieve it.
19. Mr. Pell (United States of America) said that ageing
was a serious issue which deserved national and international
attention. Older persons should enjoy freedom, independence
and the free exercise of individual initiative in managing their
own lives. They should also be given employment
opportunities, protection against abuse, neglect and
exploitation, and the opportunity to participate in and
contribute to a wide range of meaningful civic, cultural,
educational and recreational activities.
system and non-governmental organizations to promote
solidarity among generations and to bring about “a society for
all ages”. His delegation encouragedMember States to inform
and educate the general public about ageing; to recognize the
contribution of older persons to society; to engage in scientific
research and planning for longevity to meet the individual and
social needs of older persons; and to incorporate a gender
perspective into preparations for the International Year of
Older Persons. Whether sufficient resources existed to care
for older persons and how those resources should be managed
were also questions which must be addressed.
Glenn, who had been the first man to orbit the Earth 36 years
previously, was about to travel into space again, aboard the
Space Shuttle. His flight was highly symbolic and should help
to create a positive image of ageing. Moreover, it would
contribute to scientific research on the ageing process. The
International Year ofOlder Persons was a fitting occasion to
honour older persons around the globe for their many
contributions to their communities and to the world as
parents, grandparents, workers, volunteers and role models.
22. Although discussions such as the present one were action strategies and policies for those population groups was
valuable, theymust not be seen as the ultimate goal. Member inconceivable. Indeed, one of Cuba’s fundamental
States must focus on and produce results. They must take the achievements of the past three decades had been to guarantee
ideas put forward in the United Nations system and adapt social equity and equal opportunities for all members of
them to their own conditions. His Government remained society. Cuba had been working to implement the World
committed to working with the United Nations, other Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and
international organizations and non-governmental Beyond, both nationally and internationally, and welcomed
organizations to create a society which was truly for all ages. the results of the recent World Conference of Ministers
23. Ms. Nishitateno (Japan) said that Japan’s rapid
population ageing was making it difficult for families to take
care of their older members. The Government, therefore, was
taking systematic, comprehensive measures to provide all the
services required by older people. It had enacted legislation 28. Cuba welcomed the proclamation of the International
covering such areas as work and income, health and welfare, Year of Older Persons and pledged to contribute to its
learning, social involvement and the living environment. It success. In that connection, an event entitled
was also engaged in various preparations for the International GERONTOVIDA 99 was to be held in Havana from 27
Year of Older Persons, which it hoped would contribute to September to 1 October 1999 and would include both the
the realization of a true “society for all ages”. third Latin American Congress of the International
24. Today’s young people would be instrumental in
achieving that goal. It was therefore increasingly important
to devote greater attention to youth-related issues. In that
connection, the recent first World Conference of Ministers
Responsible for Youth had been a timely and significant
event. International cooperation was essential for making
inroads against the problems confronting contemporary youth,
especially drug abuse and organized crime. The active
participation of young people in all fields of endeavour, and
especially in solving their own problems, was also essential,
as was mutual understanding and friendship among young 29. His delegation reiterated its proposal for the drafting
people of different countries, to which end Japan was active of an international bill of human rights for the new millennium
in promoting international youth exchange programmes. whichwould emphasize the promotion and protection of the
25. Awareness of the issue of disabled persons had been
enhanced in Japan by the United Nations Decade of Disabled
Persons and by the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled
Persons, which was due to end in 2002. Japan had launched
its own action plan for persons with disabilities in 1995 and
was a contributor to the United Nations Voluntary Fund on
Disability. It would also continue to support the international
mine-clearance and victim assistance effort.
26. Lastly, Member States must continue their efforts to
prepare for the overall review and appraisal of the
implementation of the outcome of the 1995 World Summit
for Social Development. She expressed gratitude to the
Government of Switzerland for its generous offer to host the
special session to be devoted to that review in the year 2000.
27. Mr. Reyes Rodriguez (Cuba) said that his Government
was particularly interested in the welfare of young people,
older persons, disabled persons and families. A social
development programme which did not include affirmative
Responsible for Youth. His delegation hoped that the
commitments made at the Conference would be endorsed by
the General Assembly and incorporated as guidelines for
policy-making on youth empowerment.
Association of Gerontology and the second Ibero-American
Meeting of Older Adults. Cuba’s policies with regard to older
persons involved both the creation of opportunities for their
active participation in society and the provision of assistance
to those who needed it. Older persons were guaranteed
universal medical and hospital coverage and social security
benefits. Cuba also supported associations of disabled
persons and implemented programmes for such persons in the
areas of health, education, employment, artistic and cultural
activities and sports.
rights of the main social groups requiring special attention.
Despite economic hardships exacerbated by the illegal
economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the
United States of America, Cuba’s Government continued to
devote a significant and growing proportion of its budget to
social protection programmes. In 1997, 35.03 per cent of the
total budget had been allocated to social security, public
health and education. That contrasted with the trend in most
developing countries, where social spending had declined as
a result of the application of neo-liberal policies, the
reduction in States’ economic capacity and resource
availability, and the rapid decrease in official development
assistance (ODA). Cuba’s people would never abandon the
essential humanism that had guided its social agenda for the
past three decades.
30. Ms. Castro de Barish (Costa Rica), speaking on behalf
of the Central American States, welcomed the statement made
by the Under-Secretary-General to the human dimension for
Economic and Social Affairs. As indicated in the SecretaryA/
General’s report (A/53/294), the observance of the in accordance with the principles of Islamic law, were among
International Year of Older Persons was based on the the primary concerns of his country’s Government. All
concepts and strategies emanating fromtheWorld Conference persons were encouraged and helped to overcome any
on Ageing, held in Vienna in 1982. The Division for Social physical, psychological, mental, social or economic
Policy and Development had made substantial headway since difficulties which they might face in becoming full and
then in promoting those concepts and strategies, in productive participants in the life of society. Appropriate
cooperation with Governments, United Nations agencies and institutions provided vocational and professional training,
members of civil society. The fact that the launching of the families were encouraged to provide care for children in need,
International Year of Older Persons had coincided with the services for disabled persons were available, and financial,
fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human technical and administrative assistance was provided where
Rights was a timely reminder that older persons had human required. Voluntary organizations and the private sector were
rights too. major factors in that connection, working alongside official
31. The action taken by the Central American countries
with regard to older persons was based on the policies
pursued by the Regional Social Commission and the Central
American Integration System. In preparation for the
International Year, her own country had established a national
committee to coordinate events and activities. A plan of action
for older persons was also being developed. However, there
were already many health and social services available to
older persons in Costa Rica. Echoing the theme “A society
for all ages”, young people receiving Government
scholarships were expected to work with the elderly. The aim 36. Social development in Saudi Arabia had proceeded in
was to teach young people how to relate to older persons, for accordance with the Declaration and Programme of Action
the benefit of both groups. adopted at the World Summit for Social Development, held
32. The Government of El Salvador saw the International
Year as an opportunity to help young people learn more about
the valuable role of older persons. Activities to mark the year
included publicizing the United Nations Principles for Older
Persons, the human rights of older persons under the Family
Code and the International Plan of Action on Ageing.
Commemorative postage stamps were to be issued in 1999.
Older persons would also be encouraged to take part in 37. Ms. Li Sangu (China) said that the International Year
voluntary activities. of Older Persons would play a key role in drawing attention
33. The Government of Nicaragua was conducting an
exhaustive analysis of the progress made in meeting the needs
of older persons in that country. Such persons enjoyed
comprehensive medical care, were exempt from taxes on
property and unearned income, paid reduced rates for water
and telephone service and received pensions and family
allowances. Cultural, recreational and other programmes were
helping older persons to make the transition to an active and
healthy later life.
34. The Central American countries saw the International
Year of Older Persons as a starting point for launching a longterm
policy for the new millennium which recognized the
potential and contributions of older persons.
35. Mr. Al-Sudairy (Saudi Arabia) said that social
development and the well-being and dignity of all citizens,
government agencies. There too, the Islamic religion
encouraged private benevolence and social solidarity, and the
Government sought to foster such actions by providing
subsidies. Disabled children, in particular, had benefited and
continued to benefit from both governmental and private
assistance. Indeed, disabled persons of all ages were provided
with vocational and other training, enabling them to become
productive members of society. Both private sector
enterprises and government agencies were given incentives
to employ such persons, to the benefit of all concerned.
in Copenhagen in 1995. There had been substantial
accomplishments in all areas of social development, while
Islamic religious and moral values had been respected. The
main objective was to help all citizens assume their
responsibility of becoming integrated, productive members
of society, in a context of all-round development providing
dignity and an adequate level of well-being for all.
to the issues of ageing and the need to provide services for
older persons, both of which would create significant social,
economic and cultural problems in the twenty-first century
and would also have an impact on global peace and
development. In the case of China, a developing country with
an underdeveloped economy, the current rapid increase in the
older population would pose a serious challenge. Her
Government therefore attached great importance to its
activities in the field of ageing and had achieved remarkable
results. For instance, it had established a system-wide
network of institutions working in that field, as well as a
social security system in which the State, society, the family
and the individual all endeavoured to promote the welfare of
older persons. In that context, the special needs of older
persons were gradually being met and their quality of life was
improving constantly. Government policies and guidelines
on ageing were also publicized regularly, helping to raise tremendous number of people had been disabled by the
public awareness of ageing and of the need to respect and care explosion of landmines planted throughout Kuwaiti territory
for older persons. by the Iraqi forces. It was also implementing policies and
38. Numerous celebrations and preparatory activities would
be launched in connection with the International Year of
Older Persons. China had that day signed the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and stood ready to
increase its exchanges and cooperation with the international
community and the United Nations system in the field of
ageing with a view to establishing “a society for all ages”.
39. Ms. Alvarez (Dominican Republic) said that her
country had taken a number of steps to promote and observe
the International Year of Older Persons. It was, however,
important to realize that the Year was not an end in itself, but
must serve to focus continuing attention on older persons. In
that connection, the Secretary-General’s report on
preparations for the International Year (A/53/294) reflected
society’s changing attitude towards older persons. It was no
longer just a question of what society could do for older
persons, but of what they could contribute to society. The
Year could thus be the beginning of steady progress towards
“a society for all ages”.
40. In most developing countries, the traditional familybased
support system for older persons was being undermined
by urbanization, industrialization and migration. In planning
for worldwide population ageing, it was essential to take that
situation into account. If a demographic catastrophe was to
be averted, older persons must be brought into the
mainstream and included in policies and programmes across
the board. The task was a daunting one, but it could not be
avoided. The power and influence of the media could be used
to eliminate stereotypes and create a new image of older
persons that was more in keeping with contemporary realities.
The International Year could serve as a starting point for the
necessary change in perceptions that must precede policymaking,
by casting ageing in a far more positive light.
41. Ms. Al-Awadhi (Kuwait) said that the provision of care
for disabled persons was an essential part of the social
security system in Kuwait and extended beyond financial
support to include rehabilitation, health, education and sport.
International support was also received in the form of
information exchanges and means of improving the welfare
of disabled persons. In that connection, the recent enactment
of legislation covering a wide range of disability-related
issues was an important achievement, signalling the State’s
growing attention to that area.
42. Her Government was endeavouring to alleviate the
severe impact of the Iraqi occupation, which had led to an
increase in the number of disabled persons. In particular, a
measures aimed at protecting disabled persons from the
psychological and social effects of disability and at enhancing
their enjoyment of all rights, with a view to eliminating the
obstacles to their full social integration. In that connection,
her Government was guided by the statement on the various
needs of disabled persons contained in the programmes and
platforms for action of the World Conference on Human
Rights, the International Conference on Population and
Development, the World Summit for Social Development,
and the FourthWorld Conference onWomen. It also took into
account the proposals contained in the Long-term Strategy to
Implement the World Programme of Action concerning
Disabled Persons to the Year 2000 and Beyond.
43. Ms. Sibal (United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO)) said that the concern at
the social exclusion of older persons which had led to the
launching of the International Year was directly relevant to
the mandate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), whose commitment to the
empowerment of older generations had become intertwined
with a new approach to education that went far beyond simply
providing literacy courses and education for all throughout
life.Men and women were now being asked how they thought
they could improve their own lives. Opportunities for
economic self-sufficiency should be available to everyone.
The International Year offered an opportunity to discuss what
was meant by “a society for all ages”.
44. UNESCO had just entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding with the American Association of Retired
Persons (AARP), the largest organization in the world
dedicated to the issues of an ageing society, which focused
on adult learning and the role of older volunteers in promoting
a culture of peace.
45. Turning to the current state of basic education, which
was relevant to all the items under discussion, she said that
increased investment in education had recently been
recognized as one of the priorities for meeting the challenge
of globalization. Since international loans for providing
education were undesirable, education for all must be
financed by a reshaping of countries’ priorities. She hoped
that the recent initiative adopted by African ministers of
education, aimed at finding local solutions to educational
problems, would inspire other education ministers around the
46. She welcomed United Nations efforts to coordinate
youth policies. UNESCO had recently coordinated an
international campaign in which young people would mobilize
their peers for a twenty-first century free of drugs. A youth
charter, based on contributions from young people the world
over, had been drafted as the main instrument of the
international campaign. In the context of making education
a tool for youth empowerment and eliciting the views of young
people on educational reform, UNESCO was organizing
several major events and had participated actively in the Third
World Youth Forum of the United Nations System. It had also
been involved in the first World Conference of Ministers
Responsible for Youth, held in Lisbon in August 1998, which
had adopted the Lisbon Declaration on Youth Policies and
Programmes, to which UNESCO had made an important
contribution, particularly under the segments on education
and peace, and had called for active youth participation during
the celebration of the International Year for the Culture of
Peace. It was through such activities that UNESCO was
seeking to conceptualize social development and to develop
and implement policies and action strategies.
The meeting rose at 5.35 p.m.