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Summary record of the 1st meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 3 October 2005, General Assembly, 60th session

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/60/SR.1
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 60th
Type Document

12 p.

Subjects Ageing Persons, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, AIDS Prevention

Extracted Text

United Nations A/C.3/60/SR.1
General Assembly
Sixtieth session
Official Records
Distr.: General
21 October 2005
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
05-53310 (E)
Third Committee
Summary record of the 1st meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 3 October 2005, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Buragira . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Uganda)
Statement by the Chairman
Programme of work
Agenda item 61: Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social
Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly*
Agenda item 62: Social development, including questions relating to the world
social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family*
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second
World Assembly on Ageing*
* Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
Statement by the Chairman
1. The Chairman said that the Committee’s agenda
for the current session was extensive and included
many important items. Dedication and diligence would
therefore be required if the Committee was to complete
its work. In addition to the allocated agenda items,
work was also required on the establishment of the
Human Rights Council and its workings and
membership. The Committee would have a particularly
valuable contribution to make in that regard. Some
time had been allotted in the programme of work for
informal interactive debates on various aspects of the
Committee’s work, including human rights, pursuant to
General Assembly resolution 58/316. The Bureau was
also exploring the possibility of holding an informal
interactive event jointly with the Second Committee.
Programme of work (A/60/250, A/C.3/60/1,
A/C.3/60/L.1/Rev.1 and L.1/Add.1/Rev.1)
2. The Chairman said that the allocation of agenda
items to the Third Committee was contained in
document A/C.3/60/1. He drew attention to chapter II
of the report of the General Committee (A/60/250),
which contained guidelines regarding the conduct of
work, relating, among other things, to punctuality,
length of statements and rights of reply, and adherence
to deadlines imposed for the submission of draft
resolutions and inclusion in the list of speakers. He
emphasized three guidelines, relating to: (a) the
number of resolutions and reports requested of the
Secretary-General, (b) the length of resolutions, and
(c) the need for delegations to allow sufficient time for
estimates of expenditures to be prepared by the
Secretariat and considered by the Advisory Committee
on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and the
Fifth Committee.
3. It was particularly important for draft resolutions,
which generally required lengthy negotiations, to be
prepared by the principal sponsors as early as possible.
Delegations initiating proposals were further requested
to advise the Secretary of the Committee accordingly.
In view of the volume of the Committee’s work, he
requested delegations to maintain discipline and
pointed out that, in accordance with the decision of the
plenary Assembly, the schedule of meetings from

31 October to 4 November would be adjusted in
observance of Ramadan.
4. Mr. Khane (Secretary of the Committee),
introducing documents A/C.3/60/L.1/Rev.1 and
L.1/Add.1/Rev.1, drew attention to developments in
connection with the agenda items allocated to the
Committee. First of all, as mentioned in document
A/C.3/60/1, the General Assembly had decided to
allocate item 116 to all the Main Committees for the
sole purpose of considering and taking action on their
respective tentative programmes of work. The
Committee would not, therefore, be holding a formal
debate on that item on Friday, 11 November, as
previously planned, and no documents would be
submitted on the item. Instead, the Committee would
take up item 116 on the last day of its work, scheduled
for 23 November. Document A/C.3/60/L.1/Rev.1
should be corrected accordingly. Second, with regard
to agenda item 68, the reference in A/C.3/60/L.1/Rev.1
and L.1/Add.1/Rev.1 to the report of the Secretary-
General on the status of the United Nations Voluntary
Fund for Indigenous Populations should be deleted,
since that document was a biennial report which would
be submitted at the next session. Lastly, with regard to
items 62 and 63, a communication had been received
from Qatar containing the Declaration of the Doha
International Conference on Ageing in View of
Present-Day Changes, to be issued under the symbol
5. Mr. Xie Bohua (China) pointed out, with
reference to agenda items 64 and 65, that the
Permanent Representative of China had submitted a
document relating to the commemoration of the tenth
anniversary of the Beijing Declaration. He expressed
the hope that it would be given due consideration by
the Committee.
6. Mr. Khane (Secretary of the Committee)
confirmed that that document was being processed and
would be issued shortly.
7. The Chairman said he took it that the
Committee wished to adopt the programme of work
contained in document A/C.3/60/L.1/Rev.1, as orally
8. It was so decided.
9. Mr. Khane (Secretary of the Committee) read out
the list of special rapporteurs and independent experts
who wished to present their reports at the current

session. He pointed out that the Chairperson of the
Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means
of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of
the right of peoples to self-determination would be
elected by the Working Group when it met in Geneva
from 10 to 14 October 2005.
10. The Chairman said he took it that, in accordance
with established practice, the Committee wished to
approve the list of special rapporteurs and independent
experts read out by the Secretary.
11. It was so decided.
Agenda item 61: Implementation of the outcome
of the World Summit for Social Development
and of the twenty-fourth special session of the
General Assembly (A/60/80 and 111)
Agenda item 62: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(A/60/61-E/2005/7, A/60/117/Rev.1, 128, 133 and
Corr.1, 138, 155, 156, 290 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year
of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing
(A/60/151 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
12. Mr. Sundaram (Assistant Secretary-General for
Economic Development), speaking on behalf of
Mr. Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic
and Social Affairs, introduced the Report on the World
Social Situation 2005 (A/60/117/Rev.1), which focused
on the theme of inequality. Inequality was inconsistent
with the vision set out in the Charter of the United
Nations. However, it was becoming increasingly
difficult to address and had been exacerbated by
various recent developments, particularly
globalization. Inequality confounded efforts to
eradicate poverty and thus hindered the achievement of
the Millennium Development Goals. It also reflected
the persistence of social injustice.
13. Recent trends in inequality were not encouraging.
Income inequalities in most countries had widened in
recent decades, particularly since the 1990s, and the
richest 10 per cent of the world’s population received
half of total world income. Inequality trends among
households at the global level were less clear because
of the recent rapid growth in East Asia, especially in

China and India, and the relatively slower growth seen
in parts of Europe and in Japan.
14. The single most important source of income
inequalities was the unequal distribution of wealth at
both the national and the international levels.
Inequality was also reflected in the global
unemployment situation. The number of unemployed
people across the world had risen by 31 per cent
between 1993 and 2003 to reach 186 million, and the
problem of unemployment was exacerbated by
deindustrialization, public-sector retrenchment and
“jobless growth”.
15. Historically, the informal economy had been
based on agriculture, but the non-agricultural informal
workforce had grown in all regions of the world,
particularly with the recent push for greater labourmarket
flexibility and the corresponding erosion of
labour rights. In order to improve conditions in the
informal economy, it was important to ensure decent
work for all, with the corresponding rights, protection
and voice, and to improve the quality of work
available, not merely to increase the number of jobs.
16. In recent years, there had been a significant trend
towards trade liberalization. However, developed
countries’ trade barriers continued to harm developing
countries. The ability to export helped growth, but
there was a need to distinguish between export
promotion and trade liberalization in a more general
sense. Often, temporary protection was necessary so
that new productive capabilities and capacities could
be developed. National development strategies were
also crucial. For those reasons, trade liberalization
should not be reciprocal: special and differential
treatment should be preserved, especially for
developing countries. There was also increasing
recognition that regional and other so-called free-trade
agreements tended to widen inequalities among the
countries involved.
17. During the twentieth century, the terms of trade
had changed to the detriment of developing countries.
The prices of primary commodities had declined
against the prices of manufactures, especially during
the 1980s. The prices of tropical agricultural products
had also fallen against those of temperate agricultural
products, and the prices of generic manufactures from
developing countries had declined against the prices of
manufactures associated with strong intellectual
property rights, which basically preserved

technological monopolies. Moreover, there was a risk
that natural and other resources might not be available
for future generations.
18. Because of international financial liberalization,
capital flows from capital-rich to capital-poor countries
had increased, the cost of finance had gone up and the
international system had grown both more volatile and
more vulnerable, with less scope for developmental
finance. Among the consequences of economic
liberalization, he singled out hunger and malnutrition,
noting that progress compared unfavourably with
earlier decades. Moreover, inequality was being
transmitted from one generation to the next because of
the rising generation’s inability or unwillingness to
support older persons.
19. Globalization had brought about some
homogenization of production and consumption
patterns, which available resources could not sustain.
Corporations were wielding increased influence,
consumer choices were becoming more limited and
unhealthy dietary practices were spreading, leading to
a worldwide rise in non-communicable diseases.
20. Violence and conflict were often rooted in
inequality, authoritarian regimes, poverty and
exclusion, while inequality was a contributing factor in
social disintegration and violence. It was therefore
necessary to foster democracy as a continual process.
Governments had a unique and essential role in that
regard, in particular by eliminating institutionalized
inequalities, encouraging political participation and
embracing diversity as a source of enrichment and
empowerment. They needed to improve access to
education, health care and social protection, notably by
giving higher priority to the financing of key social
services, resisting strong pressure to decrease
government spending in favour of the private sector.
Indeed, Governments not only provided less social
protection, but also applied less progressive — and
even regressive — tax systems, making once again for
greater inequality.
21. After welcoming the increased engagement of
civil society in public affairs, at both national and
international levels, he stressed the need to address
global asymmetries with a view to ensuring an
equitable distribution of the benefits of an increasingly
open world economy, while seeking to promote
democracy, the rule of law and social protection in the

interests of greater inclusion, equity and social
22. Mr. Schölvinck (Director, Division for Social
Policy and Development) introduced the report of the
Secretary-General on the implementation of the
outcome of the World Summit on Social Development
and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General
Assembly (A/60/80). It reflected the deliberations at
the high-level segment of the Commission for Social
Development and centred on three core issues:
eradicating poverty, promoting full employment and
fostering social integration.
23. The report noted that progress in achieving the
Copenhagen goals had been largely uneven and that
far-reaching efforts were still needed, in particular to
mitigate the negative effects of globalization and
address unfavourable trade relationships between
developed and developing countries. He referred in that
connection to the Declaration on the Tenth Anniversary
of the World Summit for Social Development
(E/CN.5/2005/L.2) which was significant in that it
recognized that the implementation of the Copenhagen
Commitments and the attainment of the Millennium
Development Goals were mutually reinforcing.
24. Turning to the Report on the World Social
Situation 2005 (A/60/117/Rev.1), already discussed by
the previous speaker, he stressed that addressing the
inequality predicament required a broad-based
approach that should be part of any comprehensive
development strategy and go beyond approaches
centred on economic growth.
25. As for the first report of the Secretary-General on
the World Youth Report 2005 (A/60/61-E/2005/7), it
provided an overview of the situation of young people
around the world under three rubrics: youth in the
global economy; youth in civil society; and youth at
risk. It highlighted the ever-more complex challenges
facing the young and called on Governments to
evaluate their youth policies continuously, with the
involvement of young people, so as to ensure they
remained relevant. To that end, it recommended the
development of a set of verifiable indicators and
improved synergies among relevant United Nations
system activities.
26. The Committee also had before it the Secretary-
General’s report entitled “Making commitments matter:
young people’s inputs to the 10-year review of the
World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year

2000 and Beyond” (A/60/156). One frequently noted
observation that it contained related to the fulfilment of
basic human rights as a key means of improving the
situation of young people. Another was a call for crosssectoral
national youth policies, developed in
collaboration with young people.
27. The third report on youth before the Committee
(A/60/133), summarizing the findings of a longer
report on youth employment by the International
Labour Organization, found that no single policy could
be applied across the board to all countries and that
there was too much concern with supply-side policies
and not enough being done to stimulate demand for
jobs. Youth employment should not be treated as a
target group issue but should be promoted as part of
efforts to improve the situation of all age groups within
the labour market. He noted the importance of
elements beyond national borders that were governed
by international practices and policies and referred in
that connection to the Youth Employment Network,
which had become a forum for building consensus
around economic and social policies and for dialogue
between young people and policymakers. Serious
consideration and support should also be given to the
proposal of the High-level Panel on Threats,
Challenges and Change for a major new policy and
action-oriented initiative on the links between youth
employment and collective security.
28. The Secretary-General’s report on cooperatives in
social development (A/60/138) focused on the role of
cooperatives in poverty eradication, arguing that their
social responsibility and concern for the community
made them a useful model for promoting the
empowerment of the poor and their participation in
poverty-reduction strategies. It emphasized, however,
that cooperatives needed to adapt to the new realities
of the global market place.
29. The tenth anniversary of the International Year of
the Family was the subject of another report of the
Secretary-General (A/60/155), on which it offered
several suggestions, including national mechanisms to
coordinate policies and practices and the integration of
a family perspective into United Nations system
activities, including the establishment of focal points.
30. The Secretary-General’s report on the World
Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons
(A/60/290), dealt successively with the international
policy framework on disability; progress towards the

equalization of opportunities for persons with
disabilities; initiatives aimed at promoting a disability
perspective in development; and actions to improve
accessibility at the United Nations.
31. Under item 63, on the follow-up to the
International Year of Older Persons, the Secretary-
General’s report (A/60/151) contained recommendations
to promote implementation of the Madrid International
Plan of Action, including a call for an advocacy
campaign, which the Committee might wish to consider
in order to underline the situation of older persons in
ongoing efforts to achieve the internationally agreed
development goals.
32. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the
General Committee would not disconnect social issues
and policies from the economic realm when allocating
agenda items among the various Committees.
33. Mr. Leigh (United Nations Volunteers, United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP)) recalled
General Assembly resolution 57/106, which recognized
the importance of volunteerism in enhancing social and
economic development.
34. The Secretary-General’s report (A/60/128)
considered progress made in the areas highlighted in
that resolution from the perspective of the four goals of
the 2001 International Year of Volunteers, namely,
recognition, promotion, networking and facilitation of
volunteerism. He noted increased momentum in those
directions, and important steps had been taken to have
the economic contribution of volunteerism better
understood and brought to the attention of
35. There were, however, notable variations between
countries and regions and within the United Nations
system. Areas where further effort was required
included awareness-raising among policymakers in
developing countries and in donor countries and more
promotional work, especially in linking up with the
Millennium Development Goals, as well as supportive
legislative and fiscal frameworks and expanded
private-sector involvement. He also emphasized the
value of broad-based participation, which entailed
access to opportunities to volunteer for all segments of
the population.
36. Mr. Ndimeni (South Africa) said that natural
disasters often had a devastating effect on communities
and required massive intervention to assist the

population. He wondered whether there had been any
attempt to develop a collective approach to mitigating
the effects of natural disasters.
37. Mr. Schölvinck (Director, Division for Social
Policy and Development) replied that natural disasters
were difficult to predict and it was therefore difficult to
develop mechanisms to prevent them. From an
operational point of view, the provision of assistance
and relief following a natural disaster was the
responsibility of the United Nations system as a whole,
not that of his Division. The tsunami in Asia had
affected mostly low-lying tourist destinations; the
effects of the disaster on the social inequalities that
could be related a tourism-based economy, however,
could of course be looked into.
38. Mr. Leigh (United Nations Volunteers, UNDP)
noted that often volunteers were the first responders in
the case of a natural disaster but stressed the need for
their efforts to be properly organized and supported.
The World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in
Kobe had stressed the need to promote the use of
volunteers from local populations in responding to
natural disasters.
39. Mr. Sundaram (Assistant Secretary-General for
Economic Development) stressed that the Office for
the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) was
the lead agency in responding to natural disasters. His
department had, however, provided advice to OCHA
following the tsunami in 2004 and had provided
specific advice for disaster preparedness in the period
leading up to hurricane Katrina. He also cited the
example of Bangladesh, which despite being a poor
country, had developed a sophisticated system for
disaster preparedness which offered many lessons for
the international community.
40. The Chairman invited the Committee to begin
its general discussion of agenda items 61, 62 and 63.
41. Mr. Wood (United Kingdom), speaking on behalf
of the European Union, said that Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, the Republic
of Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine
aligned themselves with his statement.
42. He said the European Union welcomed the
commitment shown by the Commission for Social
Development, which, on the tenth anniversary of the
Copenhagen Summit, had focused on the

implementation of the latter’s outcomes and reiterated
the importance of a comprehensive approach to social
development at the international and national levels
based on international cooperation, national action and
a global dialogue on social issues.
43. Employment and the promotion of decent work
should be fundamental components of poverty
reduction and development strategies. Decent work
could be a key route out of poverty and an important
factor in social inclusion and integration. The
conclusions of the high-level segment had stressed the
need for employment policies to promote decent work
under conditions of equity, security and dignity and the
need to incorporate job creation into macroeconomic
policy. In March 2000, at the Lisbon meeting of the
European Council, European leaders had committed
themselves to a 10-year programme of economic
reform designed to make the European Union the most
competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in
the world.
44. The high-level panel on employment of the
Commission for Social Development had noted that
regrettably the link between employment and poverty
reduction had not been highlighted in international
policy discussions. The international community must
recognize that link during international and national
policy discussions; full and productive employment
and decent work should be a central policy objective
for all Member States and an integral part of povertyreduction
strategies aimed at achieving the Millennium
Development Goals and supporting fair globalization.
45. The Millennium Development Goal for poverty
reduction would not be achieved by 2015. More and
better aid was needed, delivered through real
partnerships between donor and developing countries,
along with fairer trade and a focus on the special needs
of Africa, in order to empower the poor. Special
attention must also be given to child- and maternalhealth
goals, where little progress had been made. A
target and indicators for reproductive health would
help the international community monitor progress
towards many of the Millennium Development Goals.
He welcomed the reaffirmation by the millennium
review summit of the importance of attaining the goal
of universal access to sexual and reproductive health,
as set out in the Cairo Programme of Action.
46. Each developing country must take primary
responsibility for its own developments and prepare an

ambitious national poverty-reduction strategy taking
into account the human-rights dimension of poverty,
promote good governance and ensure accountability
and transparency in public- and private-sector
management. Those efforts should be supported by
more resources and better development opportunities,
including: allocation by donor countries of 0.7 per cent
of gross national income for development assistance;
innovative financing mechanisms; increased debt relief
where necessary; and support for the Doha
Development Agenda.
47. In the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the
European Union had committed itself to making its aid
more effective including by supporting developing
countries’ own priorities and systems whenever
possible. The European Union in May 2005 had agreed
to double its aid by 2010, with 15 members committed
to reaching the 0.7 per cent target by 2015. Significant
steps had also been taken to reduce the debt burden of
the most heavily indebted poor countries. That vision
and energy for poverty elimination should be carried
forward to assist in the successful completion of the
Doha Round in December.
48. The European Union attached great weight to
social cohesion as well as to economic growth and
improving labour markets, that had been made clear in
the Lisbon goals. Its vision for Europe was of a Union
where everyone could make the most of his or her
abilities and where no one was held back by poverty or
social exclusion. That would require effective action,
while respecting national traditions and social systems,
to tackle inequality and in particular to ensure better
access to employment.
49. While employment was at the heart of the
European Union’s social inclusion strategies, many
other policies and services were needed to ensure
social cohesion. All organizations which could assist in
the task of ensuring that social protection, health and
education systems supported those who were at risk of
social exclusion must be mobilized. Using commonly
agreed indicators would increase understanding of the
causes of social exclusion and help identify and share
good practices with the goal of having a decisive
impact on poverty by 2010. He supported the
Commission for Social Development’s call for
universal and equitable access to quality education, the
highest possible standard of mental and physical health
and access for all to primary health care as part of the

effort to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive
employment and foster social integration.
50. He welcomed the progress made by the Ad Hoc
Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral
International Convention on the Protection and
Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with
Disabilities. The European Union looked forward to a
fruitful continuation of those negotiations and stressed
the need for the continued participation of NGOs in
those negotiations in order to formulate a strong and
effective convention.
51. The issue of demographic change was of great
interest to the European Union. The world was facing
an unprecedented demographic transition with the
greatest and most rapid increase taking place in the
developing countries, with potentially massive
implications for all societies. The European Union
therefore fully supported the Madrid International Plan
of Action on Ageing and was combating age
discrimination in employment through a European
directive on equal treatment which required Member
States to introduce legislation prohibiting
discrimination in employment on the grounds of age,
sexual orientation, religion and belief, and disability.
52. The European Union also welcomed the
Secretary-General’s report on follow-up to the
implementation of the International Year of Volunteers
(A/60/128), in particular his reassurances that the
momentum built up in 2001 continued to foster a
vibrant volunteer movement. That momentum was
reflected across the European Union in initiatives taken
by Member States in partnership with community
organizations. The European Union noted, however,
the Secretary-General’s assessment that there were
wide variations at the country and regional levels and
agreed that further effort was needed to sustain and
extend progress so that the potential of volunteerism
was fully realized in all countries.
53. He expressed support for the forthcoming plenary
Assembly discussions on youth, specifically the event
celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World
Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and
Beyond. The European Union looked forward to
participating actively in those discussions. Youth
policy was gaining increasing prominence in the
European Union, and the European Youth Pact had
been adopted at the spring 2005 session of the
European Council, as part of the revised Lisbon

strategy focusing on growth and jobs in recognition of
the importance of improving the education, training,
mobility and vocational integration and social
inclusion of young Europeans.
54. The European Union welcomed the Commission
for Social Development’s work on the implementation
of the Copenhagen Summit and its commitment to
pursuing follow-up to the Summit. The Commission
provided a key forum for taking forward the
international social development agenda in the United
Nations system, and the European Union was
committed to ensuring that the Commission fulfilled its
role effectively and strengthened its voice as an
authoritative, relevant and respected United Nations
body. It would continue to play a full and active role in
further discussions on reform of the Commission in
February 2006.
55. Mr. Neil (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the
Group of 77 and China, recalled that implementation of
international social-development commitments
remained a priority for the developing world. The 10-
year review of the Copenhagen Summit by the
Commission for Social Development had provided an
opportunity to assess the level of implementation. The
relevant report of the Secretary-General (A/60/80),
noted the mutually reinforcing nature of the
Copenhagen Declaration and the Millennium
Declaration, especially in relation to the three core
priorities of the Copenhagen agenda: the eradication of
poverty, the promotion of social integration and the
attainment of full employment.
56. The results of poverty reduction efforts had been
mixed, but he was convinced that the Millennium
Development Goal of reducing poverty by half by 2015
remained achievable. That possibility justified the
focus of international support on Africa, in particular
the sub-Saharan region.
57. The obstacles to achieving the Copenhagen goals
were rooted in the lack of an enabling environment for
social development. The main obstacles were: natural
disasters; the spread of infectious diseases including
HIV/AIDS and malaria; security concerns, including
armed conflict, occupation, terrorism, and unilateral
coercive measures; the unequal opportunities created
by globalization; and continuing inequities in the
global economic system. He noted, however, that
except for natural disasters, none of those obstacles

was beyond the international community’s ability to
58. Social-development goals nevertheless could not
be achieved without adequate resources and he stressed
that realization of the commitment of 0.7 per cent of
GDP for official development assistance could make a
significant difference. Domestic resource mobilization
for investment in social infrastructure must, however,
complement official development assistance;
mechanisms such as cooperatives could play an
important role in promoting the eradication of poverty,
fostering social integration and creating employment.
He therefore welcomed the report of the Secretary-
General on cooperatives and social development
(A/60/138) and the recommendations contained
59. Employment levels globally had fallen short of
expectations. The Report on the World Social Situation
2005 indicated that between 1993 and 2003 the number
of unemployed had risen. Youth unemployment
constituted a particular challenge and should be a focus
of the 10-year review of the World Programme of
Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond.
60. The review of the Copenhagen outcome in
February 2005 had provided a welcome opportunity to
interact with representatives of the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund and the International
Labour Organization on the issue of social
development. Such opportunities for dialogue between
the various stakeholders in social development could
lead to tangible outcomes.
61. He welcomed the Secretary-General’s report on
follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing
(A/60/151) and efforts at the national level to
implement the Madrid Plan of Action. However, the
report also noted the tendency to address the situation
of older persons from a “humanitarian” perspective,
while ignoring their potential to contribute to national
objectives. He stressed the need for national
commitment and international cooperation to
implement the Madrid Plan of Action, particularly with
regard to national capacity-building. To that end,
Member States should support the United Nations Trust
Fund for Ageing in order to meet the needs of
particular States.
62. Two points were particularly important for the
Group of 77 and China. First, poverty-reduction
policies must address the root causes of poverty and

global policies should promote international and
bilateral cooperation, including the transfer of
technology and the sharing of experiences and good
practices taking into account the gender and age
dimensions of poverty. Secondly, efforts must be
intensified to help countries achieve socialdevelopment
goals by providing technical and financial
resources and to reduce their debt burden in order to
free up resources for social programmes.
63. Ms. Rahantabololo (Madagascar), speaking on
behalf of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), expressed concern that the
international community was still far behind schedule
in realizing the goals of the Copenhagen Summit.
Poverty had continued to increase, and the ranks of the
unemployed and underemployed continued to grow,
especially in the developing countries, while progress
towards social integration remained painfully slow and
uneven. The technology and resources nevertheless
existed to make the right to development a reality and
to free the human race from want. That could only be
achieved, however, through concerted efforts to
promote poverty eradication and the goals of full
employment and social integration.
64. In March 2004, SADC had launched a Regional
Indicative Strategic Development Plan which
prioritized social development as a core concern;
operational frameworks over 5- and 15-year periods
had been developed. The three major intervention areas
were: developing and sustaining human capabilities;
developing positive cultural values, attitudes and
practices; and utilization of human capabilities.
Furthermore, in 2004, SADC had established a
Ministerial Forum to better coordinate socialdevelopment
efforts, in keeping with the social
dimension of the New Partnership for Africa’s
65. Those efforts had led to increased human
development, with some Member States achieving
annual growth rates of 7 and 8 per cent of GDP, which
would contribute greatly to meeting the target of
halving poverty by 2015. In some countries, primaryeducation
enrolment and adult literacy had increased
markedly. That demonstrated that SADC member
States, in spite of limited resources, were committed to
social development.
66. Daunting human development challenges
nevertheless remained. Against a background of low

economic growth, humanitarian crises, HIV/AIDS and
limited resources, the human-development index for
the region had dropped, especially with regard to per
capita income and life expectancy. Severe drought also
threatened the lives of nearly 10 million people. While
thanking the United Nations system and other donors
for the invaluable assistance provided for drought
relief, she stressed the urgent need for greater
67. SADC recognized that young people were a force
for development, peace and democracy, yet millions of
young people lived in poverty, were illiterate,
unemployed or living with HIV/AIDS. The
international community’s commitment to realizing the
goals of the World Programme of Action for Youth
must therefore be strengthened and implemented, with
the participation of youth.
68. Guided by the African Union Policy on Ageing of
2002, SADC was committed to protecting the health
and well-being of older persons and guaranteeing them
an enabling environment. Lack of basic health care and
nutrition remained a pressing problem and the elderly
were often overwhelmed by the extra burden of
orphaned grandchildren and home care for family
members largely because of HIV/AIDS, poverty and
conflicts. Despite a lack of resources and capacity,
however, the Community remained committed to
successful implementation of the Plan of Action on
Ageing, in cooperation with the United Nations.
69. She expressed support for the speedy conclusion
of an international instrument to promote and protect
the rights and dignity of people with disabilities, which
was long overdue. She also underscored the need to
better integrate economic and social policies in order to
promote social development and root out poverty.
70. Mr. Mayoral (Argentina), speaking on behalf of
the Rio Group, said that political and development
strategies should focus on youth, family, the elderly
and persons living with disabilities. With respect to
youth, the Rio Group hoped that the forthcoming tenyear
review of the World Programme of Action for
Youth would inspire a considerable number of young
delegates to participate in the plenary meetings of the
General Assembly as part of the national delegations.
With regard to the family, the Rio Group would
continue its efforts to enhance the well-being of the
family in its multisectoral and coordinated public
policies. The Rio Group fully supported the Secretary

General’s recommendation that it should broaden its
cooperation with the United Nations system in order to
strengthen national capabilities and integrate the family
perspective into the activities of the system.
71. The Rio Group reiterated its commitment to the
involvement of the elderly in society and to the
dissemination and implementation of the Madrid
International Plan of Action on Ageing, and agreed
with the Secretary-General that the situation of the
elderly should be taken into account in future
72. The Rio Group supported the drafting of an
international convention to promote and protect the
rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, which
was currently in the final stages of negotiation. The
convention would be the first human-rights instrument
of the twenty-first century and required special
creativity on the part of the United Nations,
particularly in the areas of monitoring and cooperation.
The Rio Group also supported in general the
conclusions in the Secretary-General’s report on the
implementation of the World Programme of Action
concerning Disabled Persons, and deemed it imperative
to incorporate the perspective of disabilities in all
development and cooperation programmes.
73. The Rio Group considered that the 2005 World
Summit Outcome provided a base from which the
United Nations must continue to work, and committed
itself to participating in the development and
implementation of the mandates contained therein.
74. Ms. Che Ying (China) said that the achievement
of the development goals in areas such as the
elimination of poverty and the promotion of economic
and social development required broad cooperation at
the global level. Although encouraging progress had
been made since the adoption of the 1995 Copenhagen
Declaration and Programme of Action, disease, poverty
and unemployment still hindered the development of
many developing countries. Developed countries
should do more to assist the developing countries by
reducing and eliminating debt, expediting the transfer
of technology and abandoning trade protectionism.
75. The United Nations had made important progress
in the field of social development, particularly with
regard to vulnerable groups. The Madrid International
Plan of Action on Ageing adopted at the Second World
Assembly on Ageing in 2002 had been extremely
useful in that it served as a model for the international

community in dealing with the situation of older
persons and the question of ageing.
76. The Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and
Integral International Convention on the Protection and
Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with
Disabilities had made substantial progress and had
attracted the universal attention of Governments and
non-governmental organizations. The Chinese
Government believed that the Convention would
provide an effective legal guarantee of the rights and
interests of persons with disabilities and hoped that all
parties would work for an early conclusion of the
77. Mr. Chaudhry (Pakistan) said that progress in
achieving the core objectives of the Copenhagen
Summit had been uneven. Countries needed to increase
their efforts to eradicate poverty, boost employment
and achieve social integration. Other challenges
included eliminating the asymmetries of globalization,
creating new financial resources through increased
official development assistance, resolving armed
conflicts and increasing investments in the social
78. In Pakistan, poverty reduction remained the
primary objective of the Government’s reform agenda,
incorporating a more focused human-development
strategy and a central role for provincial and local
79. Although the macroeconomic reform agenda had
yielded unprecedented growth of 8 per cent of GDP
during 2004-2005, there was a need for social
integration of vulnerable segments of society. With that
in mind, the Government had promoted the distribution
of State land to landless tenants, easy availability of
credit, and relief to drought-affected areas.
80. On the international level, development remained
the highest priority for a large majority of Member
States. It was therefore necessary to build upon the
recommendations of the 2005 World Summit regarding
ODA targets, debt relief, increased aid and the special
needs of Africa.
81. Mr. Afifi (Egypt) said that the 1986 Declaration
on the Right to Development had played a key role in
promoting the issue of social development. Since the
Copenhagen Summit, the right to development had
come to be accepted as a basic human right and the
link between social and economic development had

been strengthened. However, if the Copenhagen
objectives of eliminating poverty, disease and
unemployment were to be achieved, it would be
necessary to mobilize political will and strengthen
international cooperation. Egypt was pleased that the
international community had renewed its commitments
at the World Summit and hoped that they would be
translated into policies and programmes.
Unfortunately, little progress had been made in the
areas of debt mitigation for middle-income countries,
climate change and the transfer of technology.
82. With respect to the occupied Palestinian
territories, Israel’s policy of closure and blockade had
undermined social development, particularly regarding
the rights of women, children and the family, and had
aggravated socio-economic conditions in Palestinian
83. At home, Egypt was striving to create a social,
economic and political climate that would facilitate the
implementation of an integrated strategy based on
partnership between government bodies, civil society
and the private sector. Health and education services
had been upgraded; life expectancy had risen; and the
number of women in the workforce had doubled.
Egyptians were permitted greater freedom of
expression, and the Constitution had been amended to
allow citizens to elect a president by popular vote and
choose from a variety of candidates. Egypt was still
seeking, within that strategy, to combat poverty by
focusing on reduction of unemployment, support for
small and medium enterprises, youth programmes and
support for older persons and the disabled.
84. Mr. Cumberbatch Miguén (Cuba) said that
economic and social development had suffered an
outright setback during the previous year and that the
United Nations had failed to reaffirm the outcome of
its latest summits and conferences. Poverty continued
to be a chronic problem; external debt had not been
decreased; the HIV/AIDS pandemic had not been
checked; millions of children died every year from
preventable diseases; and the trade barriers that
prevented developing countries from accessing
important resources for their domestic social agendas
had not been removed.
85. The Cuban Government remained fully
committed to protecting its workers and guaranteeing
the pensions of retired persons and the disabled, and
had allocated two thirds of the 2005 State budget to

upgrading education, health services, social assistance
and scientific and technical research. The Government
had achieved much in the field of social development,
despite the continuing economic, commercial and
financial blockade imposed by the United States. In
fact, the United States policy regarding Cuba
constituted the main obstacle to the achievement of
Cuba’s social-development goals.
86. The Cuban Government was of the opinion that
international cooperation on social development should
be adapted to the programmes and priorities of the
recipient nations and to the local culture. Cuba itself
was actively assisting rural populations in Africa, Asia
and Latin America by providing health-care
professionals, scholarships, literacy consultants and
other services, without exerting political pressure or
demanding economic privileges.
87. In conclusion, Cuba called upon the Member
States to reaffirm the objective of achieving equitable
development and to make every effort to change the
current international order wherein the wealth of the
world was owned by a privileged few.
88. Ms. Erard (Switzerland), speaking on item 61,
said that, although her Government welcomed the
progress made since the Copenhagen Summit and the
twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly,
greater efforts were needed to ensure that the
objectives were fully attained. One of the priorities, as
outlined at the 2005 World Summit, was full and
productive employment and decent work for all,
including women and young people. In order to attain
that objective, education and training must be
accessible to all persons, young women in particular.
Rights at the workplace, social protection and social
dialogue should likewise be guaranteed. Another
priority was the social integration of vulnerable
groups; Switzerland hoped that Governments would
strive to develop policies guaranteeing them basic
services, employment and health services.
89. With respect to the fight against poverty, it was
important to take into account each country’s level of
development, intensify international cooperation and
adopt monetary and budgetary policies that offset the
negative effects of globalization on social
development. Switzerland strongly favoured an
approach integrating economic, social and
environmental policies, at both national and
international levels.

90. Finally, it was vital that various entities such as
the World Bank and the International Labour
Organization, regional commissions, civil society, the
private sector and Governments continued their
cooperation to attain the objectives of social
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.