UVA Law Logo Mobile

UN Human Rights Treaties

Travaux Préparatoires


Summary record of the 8th meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 4 October 2002, General Assembly, 57th session

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/57/SR.8
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 57th
Type Document

7 p.

Subjects Poverty Mitigation, Family, Employment, Ageing, Youth, Persons with Disabilities

Extracted Text

United Nations A/C.3/57/SR.8
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
Official Records
Distr.: General
21 October 2002
Original: English
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
02-62077 (E)
Third Committee
Summary record of the 8th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 4 October 2002, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Wenaweser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Liechtenstein)
later: Mr. Morikawa (Vice-Chairperson) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Japan)
Agenda item 97: Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social
Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly*
Agenda item 98: Social development, including questions relating to the world
social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family* (continued)
Agenda item 99: Follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second
World Assembly on Ageing* (continued)
* Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
Agenda item 97: Implementation of the outcome of
the World Summit for Social Development and of the
twenty-fourth special session of the General
Assembly (continued) (A/57/115)
Agenda item 98: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(continued) (A/57/31, A/57/67-E/2002/45, A/57/139 and
Corr.1, A/57/218 and Corr.1 and 352; E/CN.5/2002/2;
Agenda item 99: Follow-up to the International Year
of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing
(continued) (A/57/93)
1. Ms. Pulido (Venezuela), speaking on behalf of
the Group of 77 and China, said that they welcomed
the integrated approach of the Secretary-General’s
report on the implementation of the outcome of the
World Summit for Social Development and of the
twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly
(A/57/115) and concurred that there was a clear and
close link between the implementation of the outcomes
of the World Summit and the special session and the
promotion of and follow-up to all the international
conferences and summits held over the past two years.
Moreover, the agreements reached at those conferences
and summits provided an additional dimension to the
social development goals elaborated during the World
Summit and the twenty-fourth special session.
2. She recalled that the head of her delegation,
speaking on the issue of social development at the
fifty-sixth session, had verbalized the longstanding
wish of the developing world when he had called for an
effective system of international cooperation for
development to support national efforts. The Monterrey
Consensus had provided a platform for such
cooperation and heralded the start of an era of
increased financing for development. The International
Conference on Financing for Development had also
successfully addressed the issue of reforming the
international financial system. Such a reform would
have a positive impact on the implementation of three
key elements of the Copenhagen Programme of Action:
improving structural-adjustment programmes,
promoting an enabling environment for social
development and strengthening frameworks for

cooperation at the international, regional and
subregional levels.
3. Turning to the World Summit on Sustainable
Development, she said that it had culminated in the
formulation of specific goals and actions in the area of
poverty eradication, which was one of the three pillars
on which the social-development goals reposed and
was indispensable to sustainable development. In that
connection, the Plan of Implementation for Agenda 21
built on the actions adopted in Copenhagen and again
at the Copenhagen+5 summit and expanded upon the
steps to be taken to promote a coordinated approach to
the consideration of environmental, economic and
social policies.
4. Social integration was another key element of the
social-development goals. The Madrid International
Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002, adopted at the Second
World Assembly on Ageing, had concentrated
specifically on the situation of older persons, who were
often at risk of becoming marginalized: its main
objective was to ensure a secure and dignified
environment for those persons and to make it possible
for them to participate fully in society as citizens with
equal rights and opportunities. For several reasons, the
Assembly on Ageing had marked a watershed for
developing countries. It had highlighted the link
between ageing and poverty eradication, which was of
particular significance given that it was estimated that
the number of older persons in those countries would
have trebled by 2050. Her delegation also believed that
among the most important achievements of the
Assembly were the forward-looking nature of the Plan
of Action and the fact that it took account of the
requirements of and challenges faced by older persons
in the developing world. The Group of 77 and China
agreed with the Secretary-General’s remarks, contained
in his report on the follow-up to the Second World
Assembly on Ageing (A/57/93), concerning the need to
strengthen the United Nations programme on ageing so
as to fulfil in an effective and timely manner its tasks
arising from the implementation of the outcome of the
5. She announced that her delegation would be
submitting a draft resolution on the follow-up to the
Second World Assembly on Ageing and hoped that the
Committee would adopt it by consensus.
6. Mr. Morikawa (Japan), Vice-Chairperson, took
the Chair.

7. Ms. Joseph (Saint Lucia), speaking on behalf of
the member States of the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM), welcomed the statement made by
Venezuela on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. As
stated in the Report on the World Social Situation
2001, world income inequality had increased in the
1990s despite unprecedented economic growth. The
world social situation had worsened, with the
Johannesburg Summit 2002 having highlighted poverty
as a main impediment to sustainable human
development. The Declaration of Margarita adopted on
Margarita Island, Venezuela, in December 2001 by the
Heads of State or Government of the Association of
Caribbean States, had reflected those concerns, calling
for a coordinated response.
8. CARICOM supported several other regional
initiatives, including the Nadi Declaration on African,
Caribbean and Pacific Solidarity in a Globalized World
and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development . It
also endorsed the proposal to establish a world
solidarity fund for poverty eradication. In view of the
recent disturbing findings by the Secretary-General that
the world was falling short in meeting the Millennium
development goals, CARICOM welcomed the
Secretary-General’s proposed Millennium Campaign to
make those commitments better known and to ensure
that they were the focus of global action.
9. The mandates contained in the Millennium
Declaration, the Durban Declaration, the Monterrey
Consensus and the Johannesburg Declaration should be
fulfilled as a matter of priority and as essential
components of the Copenhagen Consensus. In that
connection, CARICOM commended the Division for
Social Policy and Development of the Department of
Economic and Social Affairs for organizing regional
workshops for capacity-building and networking,
including in the Caribbean.
10. CARICOM was grateful to the Government of the
Netherlands for helping to fund preparation by the
Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean (ECLAC) of a Compendium of selected
social statistics of five Caribbean countries (1995-
2001). It also welcomed the progress achieved
regarding the Second Regional Cooperation
Framework for Latin America and the Caribbean
(2001-2005) of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA). Her delegation was pleased that UNDP
planned to deepen its work in partnership with regional

development banks, ECLAC, national think-tanks and
academic institutions.
11. Concerning youth, it should be noted that some
60 per cent of the world’s population was below the
age of 25, with 85 per cent of young people living in
developing countries. The dangers of a growing
population of disaffected youth were becoming
increasingly clear, since what society did to young
people, young people did to society. Potentially the
most productive workers in a developing economy,
young people must be integrated in a meaningful and
sustainable way.
12. Society’s youth also suffered the effects of trauma
and violence, sexual abuse and neglect, with global
youth-homicide rates having more than doubled since
1985. The almost unfathomable plight of the child
soldier was also relevant to the agenda item under
13. CARICOM had approved a Regional Strategy for
Youth Development to facilitate the development and
reprogramming of youth initiatives at the national
level. Targeted activities up to 2006 included the
creation of youth-information and social-statistics
databases, training and education initiatives and the
creation of youth umbrella organizations. Strategy also
sought to give young people a voice by promoting their
participation in decision-making. Moreover,
CARICOM countries had launched intersectoral
community-based projects promoting economic
participation, poverty reduction, sustainable
livelihoods and health, as well as projects to raise
awareness, change behaviour and empower young
people to educate and counsel their peers.
14. CARICOM endorsed the coordinating role to be
played by the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under the United
Nations Literacy Decade. CARICOM countries had
been active in the education-for-all initiative. In May
2002, an inter-agency meeting on youth had been
convened in Barbados to explore mechanisms for
increasing collaboration and coordination among key
15. CARICOM attached importance to United
Nations initiatives in favour of persons with
disabilities, noting that some 10 per cent of the world’s
population had disabilities, two thirds of whom lived in
developing countries. CARICOM also wished to
reiterate the importance of actions taken by the

international community to strengthen the family,
including work carried out by the Department of
Economic and Social Affairs.
16. Ms. Enkhtsetseg (Mongolia) said that, despite
progress made in improving the world social situation,
many challenges and obstacles remained. It had
become increasingly evident that along with greater
opportunities, globalization had created situations of
heightened insecurity, particularly for poor nations.
Despite several decades of development efforts, the
number of the world’s poor remained unacceptably
17. Her delegation agreed with the Secretary-General
that insufficient progress had been made in
implementing the Millennium Declaration. The world
could not afford to spend yet another decade failing to
deliver on its commitments, which was why all
stakeholders must redouble their efforts towards
practical delivery.
18. The Government was committed to the
implementation of social-development goals. It
attached particular importance to the integration of
social and economic policies, the promotion of a more
participatory and people-centred policy-making
process, the establishment and enhancement of socialsecurity
systems and enhanced access to basic social
services. Priorities for action included the creation of
an equitable social environment, improvement of the
quality of education and health assistance, the
reduction of poverty and unemployment and raised
standards of living. The national human-security
strategy encompassed the economic, social,
environmental, political and legal aspects of
19. Mongolia had also been actively cooperating with
other States at the regional and international levels. A
United Nations expert group meeting on creating a
supportive environment for cooperatives, held in
Mongolia in May 2002, had reaffirmed the importance
of cooperatives in attaining those goals.
20. Her Government looked forward to cooperating
with other Member States towards implementation of
the Madrid Plan of Action in order to address the
challenges faced by older people.
21. Ms. Bakalem (Algeria) said that, despite
concerted international efforts, world poverty had
increased, especially in Africa. The situation was

further exacerbated by human immunodeficiency
virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(HIV/AIDS), the spread of armed conflict and
environmental degradation. Global action for poverty
eradication was thus all the more urgent.
22. At the national level, her Government’s povertyeradication
measures included school-attendance
support for children from poor families, assistance for
families in need and housing assistance. The
Government also saw employment as crucial to poverty
eradication and sought to provide young people with
micro-credit and training facilities.
23. Recognizing that the family was a tool for social
cohesion and national solidarity, her Government
welcomed the follow-up to the preparations for the
tenth anniversary of the International Year of the
Family in 2004.
24. The situation of older persons and their wellbeing
and participation in development should remain a
priority for Governments. A national programme
modelled on the International Plan of Action on
Ageing, which had the support of civil society, had led
to the development of a national social-policy strategy
that empowered older people.
25. Her delegation also supported the idea of
elaborating a convention to promote and protect the
rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Under a
recently promulgated law in favour of disabled
persons’ rights, a special fund was being established in
Algeria for that purpose.
26. Archbishop Martino (Observer for the Holy
See) said that he welcomed the references to socialdevelopment
issues that had appeared in the outcome
documents of major conferences: the Copenhagen
Declaration on Social Development, in drawing
attention to the significance of social development and
human well-being for all, had stressed the need to
address the structural causes of social problems,
especially poverty, unemployment and social
exclusion, and their distressing consequences. That
theme was echoed in the Johannesburg Political
Declaration, in which States made a commitment to
promote human development, achieve universal
prosperity and peace and ensure that their collective
hope for sustainable development was realized.
Furthermore, his delegation agreed with the Secretary-
General’s assertion that all those issues were
interrelated and concerned all countries, regardless of

their level of development. It was vital to place human
beings at the centre of sustainable-development
strategies, since real progress could be achieved only
by recognizing the essential role of individuals as
agents for their own development.
27. The Holy See had established the Pontifical
Council for the Family, charged with the promotion of
the family as the basic unit of society and the
protection of the basic functions of the family, and
would continue to resist any attempts to define the
family that challenged Article 16 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
28. Regarding persons with disabilities, the Holy See
had taken part in the Ad Hoc Committee on a
Comprehensive and Integral International Convention
on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity
of Persons with Disabilities, and looked forward to the
possibility of drafting that Convention. Since the
adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled
Persons in 1975, there had been significant scientific
and technical advances and a deeper understanding of
the situation of persons with disabilities, and in that
connection the Pope had recently expressed the hope
that the dignity of such persons would be effectively
recognized and protected.
29. He assured the Committee that the Holy See
would continue to work towards a better future by
recognizing each individual’s human dignity.
30. Mr. Zheglov (Russian Federation) said that the
Russian Federation continued to support a priority
focus on social development within the United Nations
system. It particularly welcomed the work being
conducted by the International Labour Organization
(ILO) on the social impact of globalization, which had
promoted broad public debate on the issue.
31. Concerning implementation of the Madrid Plan of
Action, the regional strategy of action recently adopted
in Berlin would be incorporated at the federal level.
His delegation welcomed the proposal to elaborate an
international convention to promote and protect the
rights and dignity of disabled persons. It also favoured
improving the Standard Rules on the Equalization of
Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (General
Assembly resolution 48/96, annex), which had long
guided national efforts.
32. The Government continued to devote more funds
to the social field. Indeed, the social budget for 2003

would top the current allocation by 30 per cent,
allowing new programmes to be launched, including a
programme in support of young families. Salary
reforms were also envisaged, with a view to increasing
per capita income. The reform of pensions, studentmaintenance
grants, child benefits and other forms of
social assistance was also under way. The social thrust
of budgetary policy was aimed at furthering
implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and the
Millennium Declaration, with a focus on poverty
eradication and social integration.
33. Mr. Gallegos (Ecuador) said that his Government
regarded social development as an inalienable right and
had consequently established the Social Front, an interministerial
body responsible for social policy. Twentyfive
per cent of the national budget was currently being
allocated to that area, the primary objective being
poverty reduction.
34. In addition to the social programmes introduced
as part of the emergency and medium-term social
plans, the Government was seeking to implement a
proactive social-development policy focusing on
education and job creation for traditionally
marginalized groups. In that connection, he highlighted
the creation of a scholarship scheme to enable child
workers to return to school and the implementation of a
bilingual education programme for the indigenous
35. Ecuador particularly appreciated the support of
the United Nations specialized agencies, which had
become essential allies of the Government in the
formulation and implementation of the emergency and
medium-term social plans.
36. However, much remained to be done if Ecuador
was to achieve the social development goals drawn up
at the various United Nations conferences and summits.
Many of the country’s problems were due to global
inequalities in the social and economic fields: poverty
and other social ills were exacerbated by developing
countries’ protectionist economic policies and the
enormous burden of external debt. It had become clear
that the current economic order represented an obstacle
to the political, economic and social development of
developing countries, and therefore he called for the
design of a new international financial infrastructure
which would strike a balance between ethics and
solidarity and the distribution of wealth. He urged
developed countries to reflect on the situation of

developing countries, stressing that underdevelopment
was a threat not only to democracy but also to the
future of the planet as a whole. Only coordinated
efforts leading to the conclusion of a new international
social agreement would remove that threat.
37. Turning to the issue of persons with disabilities,
he said that Ecuador had been the proud recipient of
the 2002 Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability
Award. Many public and private institutions had been
working to promote the rights of persons with
disabilities for over 20 years and were committed to
continuing the fight. As Chair of the Ad Hoc
Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral
International Convention on Protection and Promotion
of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities,
Ecuador was currently preparing for a regional
conference of experts to be held in Quito in 2003.
38. Ms. Kang Kyung-wha (Republic of Korea) said
that, at the major conferences and summits held over
the past year, the United Nations had rightly asserted
the central place in its work of social development and
human well-being and had re-dedicated itself to the
goal of the Copenhagen Programme of Action, namely
the creation of a society for all ages. The Government
of the Republic of Korea had taken an active part in
those conferences and summits and remained firmly
committed to promoting all aspects of social
39. She wished to emphasize the role of families in
addressing the multifaceted issue of social
development. The Government had participated in
discussions on families and family-related issues
within the framework of the United Nations and would
have welcomed a broader consideration of the family
perspective in the latest Report on the World Social
Situation, prepared by the Department of Economic
and Social Affairs.
40. Since the family was the basic unit of society and
the primary agent of socialization for individuals, any
measures to achieve social-development goals should
take account of it as both a source of and a solution to
problems. In that connection, the Republic of Korea
welcomed the importance placed on families in the
outcome documents of the United Nations Special
Session on Children and the Second World Assembly
on Ageing, and maintained that families should be
supported in nurturing and caring for the most
vulnerable members of society.

41. However, a new definition of the family was
needed in order to respond to the changing shape of its
structure. In Korea, the 2000 population census had
illustrated that changing structure, showing an increase
in one-parent families and a decrease in families
comprising several different generations. Consequently,
the Government had been endeavouring to identify the
different needs of different types of families and to
refine its policies accordingly. Particular efforts were
being made to promote social welfare policies to ease
the burden on families, the traditional caregivers.
Although the Ministry of Health and Welfare was
primarily responsible for family policies, it carried out
some work in conjunction with other government
agencies. Such interconnectedness was important in
policy-making, since social-development policies
encompassed many cross-cutting issues.
42. She expressed her delegation’s high expectations
regarding the forthcoming United Nations Literacy
Decade and emphasized that, in the age of the
information society, it was crucial to conceive of
literacy as a much broader set of skills than simple
reading, writing and understanding. The Republic of
Korea had first-hand experience that the greatest
resource for socio-economic development was the
knowledge and skills of citizens, since the agents of
change in the country had been its highly literate and
motivated people.
43. She reiterated her delegation’s commitment to
cooperate fully with the United Nations to help
societies all over the world achieve higher levels of
dignity and well-being.
44. Ms. Lewis (International Labour Organization
(ILO)) said that the gradual ageing of populations
marked a radical change in the human fabric of
societies. It had been estimated that, by 2050, 1.96
billion people would be aged sixty or over and that 80
per cent of those people would be living in developing
countries. Older people were consistently among the
poorest in all societies and suffered significantly
higher-than-average exclusion rates, the repercussions
of which were felt by the families and communities in
which they lived. Moreover, the ageing of populations
had important socio-economic implications: States
were expressing concerns about the viability of their
pension systems and their public sector budgets and
about the impact on their health-care systems.

45. ILO believed that full employment in decent
conditions was a viable and productive way of meeting
the ageing challenge. Greater emphasis should be
placed on policies promoting economic growth,
sustainable development and job creation, especially in
developing countries, where conventional socialsecurity
systems applied to less than 20 per cent of the
labour force and where few older people were able to
afford the luxury of retirement.
46. The Madrid Plan of Action recognized that
ageing raised important gender concerns. Women were
continuing to live longer than men, but were worse off
financially than their male counterparts once they
reached retirement. This was due in part to their
receiving lower salaries, but also to that fact that they
were more often engaged in non-remunerated activities
such as caring for relatives.
47. As part of the follow-up to its Declaration on
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, ILO would
issue a report on the elimination of discrimination in
employment and occupation and would address
preconceptions and stereotypes about older people.
48. She believed that it was essential to mainstream
ageing in the global development agenda, and stressed
that ILO was working towards fulfilling the common
commitment to aspire for an active and inclusive
society for all ages. Lastly, ILO strongly advocated
abolishing the subjective stigma attached to the term
“retired”, which associated the right to a pension with
final exclusion from economic and social life.
The meeting rose at 11.40 a.m.