UVA Law Logo Mobile

UN Human Rights Treaties

Travaux Préparatoires


Summary record of the 3rd meeting : 3rd Committee, held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 4 October 2005, General Assembly, 60th session

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

9 p.

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

Extracted Text

United Nations A/C.3/60/SR.3
General Assembly
Sixtieth session
Official Records
Distr.: General
18 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
05-53464 (E)
Third Committee
Summary record of the 3rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 4 October 2005, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Butagira. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Uganda)
later: Mr. Anshor (Vice-Chairman). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Indonesia)
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 (continued)
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons: Second
World Assembly on Ageing (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
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 (continued) (A/60/80 and A/60/111)
Agenda item 62: Social development, including
questions relating to the world social situation and to
youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family
(continued) (A/60/61-E/2005/7, A/60/117, A/60/128,
A/60/133 and Corr.1, A/60/138, A/60/155, A/60/156,
A/60/290 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
Agenda item 63: Follow-up to the International Year
of Older Persons: Second World Assembly on Ageing
(continued) (A/60/151 and A/60/377-E/2005/92)
1. Mr. Chowdhury (Bangladesh) said that his
Government remained deeply committed to advancing
social development, in line with the Copenhagen
commitments and the development goals. Bangladesh
had the highest primary school enrolment rates in the
developing world and had already achieved gender
parity in both primary and secondary schools. Poverty
rates had fallen from over 70 per cent in 1971 to less
than 42 per cent in 2004, and child mortality had been
substantially reduced. Although much had been
achieved, it was clear that society could not be fully
transformed unless the problem of impoverished
families was addressed. It was therefore urgent that the
international community should make a concerted
effort to end poverty, which affected 500 million
people in South Asia alone.
2. His delegation was pleased to note that the Ad
Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the
Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities had
made significant progress in drafting the convention.
However, it felt that the developing countries were not
technically and financially prepared to become parties
to it. For its part, Bangladesh had enacted the
Disability Welfare Act in 2001 and had taken many
pragmatic steps to improve the quality of life of the
3. Ageing remained a problem for both the
developed and the developing countries. Bearing in
mind the importance of capacity-building at the
national level and of mainstreaming the elderly into

national development agendas, the Government had
instituted several programmes to provide old-age
allowances, old-age homes, and allowances for widows
and abandoned women. According to the World Youth
Report 2005, South Asia had the largest number of
youth living in poverty. Bangladesh had developed
several programmes to improve their situation, such as
vocational training, self-employment, and youth
involvement in community development.
4. Mr. Saeed (Sudan) said that, despite all the
efforts made nationally and internationally in the ten
years since Copenhagen, the gap remained vast
between objectives and achievements in counteracting
poverty and unemployment and ensuring social
integration. The international community should do
more to support regional efforts for economic and
social development and should display the political
will to overcome all existing obstacles and to honour
any commitments given. The Sudan welcomed the
2005 World Summit’s reaffirmation of the importance
of the Millennium Development Goals and its call for
alleviation of the burden of debt on poorer countries in
order to spur their development. In promoting
development, the Sudan sought to emphasize the
importance of the individual.
5. A peace agreement to put an end to the war in the
south of the Sudan had been reached and should assist
in promoting stability and security. The country sought
regional peace and endeavoured to promote the
conditions to stabilize the situation. His Government
supported both the Madrid International Plan of Action
on Ageing, 2002, which, if implemented fully would
ensure greater social integration, and the efforts
undertaken by the meeting in Qatar to address the
problem of ageing. His Government also endorsed the
Secretary-General’s report on the measures taken since
the preceding session to follow up the Second World
Assembly for Ageing.
6. The discussions of the Third Committee should
focus on social development and reaffirm the
commitments given to end poverty and unemployment,
ensure social complementarity and define priorities at
the national and international levels.
7. Ms. Okagaki (Japan) said that her delegation
fully supported the outcome document of the
Commission for Social Development, which reaffirmed
that people must be at the centre of development
efforts. Japan believed that the United Nations needed

to encourage national ownership, based on a humancentred
approach, in partnerships between developing
countries and the international community. Her
Government attached great importance to the
implementation of the Madrid International Plan of
Action on Ageing and had taken several socioeconomic
measures to tackle the problems of its
rapidly ageing society, including continuous
employment for persons up to the age of 65, reemployment
of the elderly, reform of the pension and
medical-care systems, and grants for educational and
social activities.
8. With regard to persons with disabilities, her
delegation had been participating actively in the
negotiations of the Ad Hoc Committee concerned with
the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
and had promoted cooperation with non-governmental
organizations. In 2004, the Government had amended
its disability law to include articles on the prohibition
of discrimination against persons with disabilities and
to allow the latter to participate more fully in
policymaking. With respect to the World Programme of
Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, the
World Youth Report 2005 had identified several new
issues which needed to be addressed. Japan hoped that
the upcoming plenary meeting would provide an
opportunity to focus on those issues. Lastly, Japan
wished to reaffirm its commitment to creating a secure
society where all people would be protected and
9. Mr. Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), expressed regret
that the goal of creating a just social system for all had
not yet been realized. Sub-Saharan Africa, where
poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, underemployment
and conflict had led to a significant
shortfall in health and educational services, continued
to present the world with the most formidable and
daunting development challenges. It did, however,
seem that Africa was at a turning point: stronger
leadership was emerging, African countries were
assuming ownership of their development programmes,
and economic and social performance was improving.
10. His Government had adopted measures aimed at
accelerating growth, poverty reduction and human
development and strengthening governance, respect for
human rights and the rule of law. In addition, it was
pursuing policies to stimulate economic growth by
strengthening the private sector, expanding nontraditional
exports, investing in infrastructure, making

agriculture more productive and improving access to
education, health and economic opportunity for the
poor and disadvantaged, including women and the
11. The Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy was
aimed at implementing a comprehensive set of
programmes to support growth and poverty reduction
between 2003 and 2005. In 2004 his Government had
increased spending in the social sector and
strengthened basic services for the poor with a view to
meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
At the end of December 2004, 30 per cent of total
Government expenditure was linked to direct actions
for the poor, focusing on basic human development
services and employment-generating activities.
12. In the educational sector, the free, compulsory
and universal basic education policy ensured that
primary education was widely accessible and free
schooling had been extended to cover kindergarten
beginning in the 2006/07 academic year. Primary
school enrolment had increased to 86 per cent in the
2003/04 academic year although some gender disparity
still existed, with enrolment rates for girls and boys
being 83 per cent and 89 per cent respectively in 2003-
2004. Government efforts to reduce the financial
burden on poor parents, including grants, and provision
of uniforms and rations, appeared to be working since
the basic education completion rate had risen to 78 per
cent in 2003-2004.
13. In the health sector, the previous fee for services
system, which had denied many people access to
medical care, had been replaced by a national health
insurance scheme in order to meet the basic health-care
needs of Ghanaians. In order to support youth, his
Government had established the National Youth Fund
aimed at encouraging young people to start their own
small enterprises. The current focus was on
advancement of the President’s vision of human
resources development through employment, income
generation and poverty reduction. He hoped that the
10-year review of the World Programme of Action for
Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond would highlight
measures to guarantee the well-being of youth, the
world’s future leaders.
14. After expressing renewed support for the Madrid
International Plan of Action on Ageing and the African
Union’s Regional Plan of Action on Ageing, he noted
that despite recent efforts by the United Nations system

to support national and regional initiatives, the lack of
capacity-building, implementation strategies and
technical cooperation was hampering implementation
and renewed support for action on ageing was required.
He stressed the need to safeguard the family and
support international initiatives aimed at improving the
situation of families and expressed support for the
work of the Ad Hoc Committee responsible for
drafting a convention on the rights of persons with
15. In recognition of the fact that significant national
poverty reduction could not be achieved without
accelerated economic growth, his Government aimed
to increase the productive capacity of the poor and
vulnerable and had allocated approximately 32 per cent
of total Government expenditure for poverty-related
programmes. It had adopted a people-oriented social
development policy aimed at expanding employment,
reducing poverty, eliminating inequality and promoting
access to health care and education.
16. Success in building social safety networks and
promoting social development depended on sustainable
external support in the form of an improved external
economic environment or increased capital flows. His
delegation therefore fully supported the effective
integration of economic and social policies into
macroeconomic policies at the national and
international levels in order to strengthen social
development. It stressed the need for the international
community to further the achievement of social
development goals through the provision of technical
and financial resources and the elimination of the debt
burden, thereby allowing developing countries to
redirect resources to social goals. Lastly, he called for
speedy implementation of the measures aimed at
meeting the special needs of Africa, as advocated in
the 2005 World Summit Outcome, which would
facilitate equitable economic and social development
in a globalized world.
17. Mr. Chernenko (Russian Federation) said that,
development was threatened not only by the challenges
posed by globalization but also by poverty, natural
disasters and pandemics. Any one of those problems
could escalate into conflict, thereby threatening life
and security. The Russian Federation agreed that
security, human rights and development were
interdependent and hoped that the decisions taken at
the forty-third session of the Commission for Social

Development would give a new impetus to
international cooperation in the social sphere.
18. The development of effective social policies was
a key element of the Russian Federation’s economic
reform. The market-oriented reform of social
entitlements had been completed and new reforms had
been planned in the areas of health, education and
housing. Other priorities of the Government included
reducing poverty and increasing wages for the public
sector. With respect to demographic policy, one of the
main objectives was to strengthen the role of the family
and provide support for young families in particular.
19. The Russian Federation was pleased that
substantial progress had been made in the negotiations
with respect to the proposed convention on the rights
of persons with disabilities. It also supported the
drafting of an optional protocol to the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
which was of a particularly urgent nature, given that
conflict situations often arose from a failure to respect
those vital rights.
20. Mr. Baali (Algeria) said that universal awareness
of the relevance of social issues and the threat they
could pose to international security had made social
development a universal concern and had induced the
international community to adopt the Programme of
Action in favour of the most vulnerable social sectors
and population groups at the World Summit for Social
Development in 1995. The goals of the Copenhagen
Programme of Action, consistent with the Millennium
Development Goals, aimed to eradicate extreme
poverty, achieve full employment, promote social
integration, guarantee equality between men and
women and afford access to quality education and
primary health care through national efforts and
international cooperation.
21. The recent 10-year review of the Copenhagen
Programme of Action by the Commission for Social
Development had shown that the imbalances among
and within regions and countries, far from being
redressed, had been exacerbated, with some countries
posting considerable economic growth and others
seeing their social conditions deteriorate. Those
imbalances had been underscored in the Report on the
World Social Situation, 2005, which had placed much
of the blame on globalization.
22. In truth, only a handful of countries had enjoyed
the benefits and sources of wealth created by

globalization, while the majority had felt its negative
effects on areas such as employment and wages and,
consequently, on their citizens’ social situation. The
integration of a social dimension into their national
macroeconomic policies had not produced the expected
results, precisely because of the restructuring policies
and unfair competition occasioned by globalization.
Clearly, what was now required, in addition to a grasp
of the impact of globalization so as better to curb its
negative effects, was support for States’ national efforts
through equitable cooperation that would redress the
balance of globalization and distribute its benefits
more fairly and evenly.
23. Those imbalances were most profound between
developed countries and Africa, which lagged far
behind in terms of development and growth and where
social conditions were least favourable. The spread of
poverty, persistent unemployment and underemployment
and inadequate health and education
services were the realities described by the Executive
Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa. The
New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),
in its efforts to fill the gap between Africa and the
developed countries, had, in consultation with the
heads of State of the African Union countries,
identified practical actions for integrating Africa into
the global economy and attaining its social objectives.
However, even with the financial resources of NEPAD
the African countries’ collective and individual
resources were too meagre to implement those actions;
and he therefore called for international solidarity in
support of Africa’s progress. Concessions that the
developed countries could make to Africa included
meeting their official development assistance (ODA)
commitments, debt cancellation and the conversion of
debt into equity investments.
24. Algeria, for its part, was determined to meet its
Copenhagen commitments and had integrated the
social dimension into its macroeconomic policy. It had
thus gradually improved its citizens’ living conditions.
It had reduced poverty by identifying the poorest
population groups and safeguarding and promoting
social solidarity. Innovative measures had succeeded in
reducing unemployment while education — free and
compulsory — was guaranteed for everyone. In its
efforts to improve the social situation of its citizens,
Algeria not only ensured equality between men and
women, but also catered to all vulnerable groups
through specific intersectoral programmes for

expediting their integration and participation in society
on the same footing as other citizens.
25. The heads of State attending the 2005 World
Summit had renewed their trust in the Organization’s
pursuit of the purposes and principles enshrined in its
Charter, among them the guarantee of economic and
social development, as well as their commitment to
enhance international solidarity and cooperation in that
area. So, too, had the Commission for Social
Development in its conclusions, as reflected in
document A/60/80. Algeria fully supported those
conclusions and hoped that action would give practical
effect to the commitments made at the World Summit
and meet the expectations of peoples.
26. Mr. Anshor (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman, took the
27. Mr. Alday (Mexico) said that his Government
had developed a social policy that viewed poverty as
an integral, multidimensional phenomenon embracing
people’s entire life span. Recent efforts had focused on
improving social and poverty indicators through an
innovative and efficient social policy based on a
strategy that effectively targeted the causes of poverty,
put people at the centre of development and enhanced
their capacity to live life to the full. It had thus made
significant progress in meeting the main Millennium
Development Goals of reducing poverty and hunger,
providing universal primary education and reducing the
gender gap in education, and reducing the incidence of
malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
28. Mexico had actively participated in the regional
and international events to celebrate the tenth
anniversary of the International Year of the Family and
had exchanged experiences on current challenges,
including poverty and domestic violence, faced by
families belonging to different regions and cultures.
His Government assigned priority to framing public
policies with a family and community perspective, but
imposed no single family model. To that end, it had
been preparing a Mexican Family Diagnosis as a tool
for analysis and policy design and implementation on
the basis of specific information. It also set great store
by the validity of and respect for the international
commitments undertaken with regard to the family.
29. On the subject of persons with disabilities, his
delegation would continue to give momentum to the
negotiation of the international convention so that it
could soon see the light of day as a result of an

inclusive process. Mexico supported the proposal
contained in document A/60/290 to identify ways of
promoting a disability perspective in the
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals
and United Nations development activities. While
concurring on the need for synergy in monitoring the
implementation of the United Nations disabilityspecific
instruments, his delegation did not think that
the proposal to review all mandates older than five
years to see whether they were still genuinely needed
was in itself the best way of achieving it. Rather, the
report (A/60/290) should have provided a more indepth
analysis that could help States with their
decisions and policies for implementing the World
Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and
contribute to progress in respect of the rights and
equality of opportunities of such persons.
30. Regarding young people, Mexico supported the
comprehensive approach of the World Youth Report
2005 (A/60/61) and concurred with its proposals. The
Government, mindful of the strategic role of young
people in the country’s development, was taking action
to improve their living conditions in accordance with
the World Programme of Action for Youth. Mexico had
now joined those countries that included young people
in their delegation to the General Assembly so as better
to give voice to the views of that important sector of
society in a multilateral external policy forum.
31. Turning to the subject of older persons, he said
his Government was generating favourable conditions
for improving their quality of life, with the focus on
job creation so that they could be productively
employed as long they wished, thus fulfilling the
commitments of the World Assembly on Ageing. Also,
in accordance with the Madrid International Plan of
Action on Ageing, 2002, Mexico encouraged the
integral human development of its older persons,
promoting activity among the elderly without
discrimination, establishing instruments and
mechanisms for their well-being, acknowledging and
using their skills, consolidating their autonomy and
independence and enhancing their social worth. The
National Institute on Ageing had been coordinating the
various institutions devoted to care of the elderly,
applying cross-cutting principles of joint responsibility,
with the participation of civil society and even of
persons over 60 years of age.
32. Mr. Gzual (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that the
objectives of the Copenhagen Summit had not been

achieved, as was evident from document A/60/80. A
blatant imbalance existed in international social and
economic policies, which the international community
must redress, since otherwise international instability
would threaten future peace and security. Growing
populations, climactic change and natural disasters had
profoundly affected agricultural productivity. The
problems of food and hunger were likely to continue,
with developing countries most severely affected
because they were least able to overcome them.
Because of increased travel, there had been an
unprecedented growth in the incidence of infectious
diseases, including AIDS, SARS and avian influenza,
which had had a negative impact on social and
economic development in developing countries.
33. Developing countries were concerned at the lack
of enthusiasm shown by their developed partners in
facilitating technology transfers for development
purposes, which left them marginalized and unable to
make social and economic progress. They required
access to markets to help them achieve development
objectives. Domestically, they should focus on
education and health, giving due attention to the gender
perspective; establish a culture of peace, tolerance and
dialogue to prevent civil and ethnic conflicts, and resist
monopolies imposed in the name of globalization.
34. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya stood by the
commitments it had made at the Copenhagen World
Summit and had adopted measures and policies
designed to implement them. By deploying human
resources in an appropriate way, the Government had
prioritized educational and training programmes and
the provision of free health-care services, social
security for widows, the disabled, the elderly and those
without a provider.
35. Mr. Mercado (Philippines) said that, since
genuine development was people-centred, in
accordance with the Millennium Development Goals,
his country would continue to pursue policies
consistent with the overarching social development
objectives embodied in the major United Nations
documents. In addition to the President’s 10-point
development agenda for the coming six years to fight
poverty and build prosperity for most Filipinos, the
Government was also intensifying its implementation
of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for
the period 2004-2010 with more focused action
strategies that provided a blueprint for sustainable

socio-economic development and embodied the
country’s anti-poverty and overall framework.
36. Despite the Government’s significant
achievements, there was an urgent need for support for
efforts to build an enabling environment for social
development in order to achieve the three core
priorities of the Copenhagen agenda and a need to
integrate social policy into economic policy in order to
foster overall development. He therefore called on the
relevant actors to ensure that macroeconomic strategies
matched the social dimensions of development. Serious
efforts must be made to help countries achieve social
development through the provision of both technical
and financial resources. It was crucial that the
developed countries should meet their ODA
commitment of 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product
(GDP) for reducing poverty in the developing
37. However, other ways of funding social
development must be sought since ODA alone could
not be the main source. In that regard, he urged
developed and international financial institutions to
give serious consideration to the proposal made by his
country at the recent high-level segment of the
Commission for Social Development that they should
convert 50 per cent of an agreed portion of indebted
countries’ debt-service payments into equity
investments in recipient countries to be channelled
towards social development and other programmes to
achieve the Millennium Development Goals, thus
directly creating and supporting social programmes as
well as eliminating the debilitating debt burden and
freeing up national funds for investment in such
programmes. Such a plan would hasten achievement of
the Millennium Development Goals, primarily by
halving the number of people living in extreme poverty
by 2015.
38. Recognizing the rights of different sectors of
society, especially vulnerable sectors, the Philippines
continued to pursue policies aimed at a “society for
all” and to seek ways of enabling those sectors to
participate actively and productively in society. The
various plans and programmes adopted a strategic
approach to ensure respect for the rights of all people
and their equal participation in the development
process. Genuine and equitable growth could be
achieved by ensuring that the benefits of development
programmes reached even marginalized sectors,

promoting decent and productive employment and
making for a truly inclusive society.
39. Increased cross-border movements signalled the
need for effective international cooperation for
managing that aspect of globalization and for broader
understanding of the linkage among globalization,
development and migration as it related to migrants’
increased exposure to risks of all sorts in a foreign
country. The global phenomenon of migration required
greater attention and measures to promote and protect
the human rights of migrants. With reference to the
statement contained in the executive summary of the
Report on the World Social Situation, 2005, to the
effect that higher migration streams engendered and
exacerbated migration, while poverty and economic
factors remained a major driving force of global
migration, he urged the utmost caution regarding
claims that migration per se caused inequality. The
report, however, had gone on to indicate a positive
statistical correlation between migrants’ remittances
and poverty reduction, thus underscoring the
contribution of migration to addressing inequality,
especially in developing countries.
40. Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his
Government accorded due importance to achieving the
objectives of Copenhagen and Copenhagen +5 and
fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. It
welcomed the Secretary-General’s report in document
A/60/80 but wondered why it overlooked the
catastrophic effects of foreign occupation and armed
conflict on social development.
41. His country had recently introduced compulsory
education, health services and vaccination campaigns
across the entire country, resulting in marked decreases
in infant and maternal mortality and an increase in life
expectancy to 72 years. The National Plan for 2001-
2005 had, as one of its goals, the activation of women’s
role in family and society. The Syrian Authority for
Family Affairs had been established to accelerate
improvements in the Syrian family and to promote the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women.
42. To achieve development and provide
employment, especially for the young, steps had been
taken to revive investment and reform the educational
system. Legislation had been introduced with the aim
of creating job opportunities and establishing a public
body to combat unemployment. Legislation had also

been introduced to protect the rights of the elderly. A
national plan for their health care had been established
and Syria sought to implement the objectives of the
Second World Assembly for Ageing. Disability was
accorded special importance. The first regional
conference on the Special Olympics for those with
mental disabilities had been convened recently in
Syria, concluding with a series of recommendations for
a strategy to deal with such disabilities.
43. The next development plan, 2006-2010, would
concentrate on human development and achieving the
Millennium Development Goals. However, the
continued occupation by Israel of the Golan and the
resulting drain on Syrian human and financial
resources made social development difficult because of
the deterioration of economic, humanitarian, and social
conditions in the Arab occupied territories.
44. Mr. Kim Il-Suk (Republic of Korea) said that
social development was not only a social, political and
economic goal but also an ethical imperative. Social
development did not mean merely increased wages or
employment; all three pillars of social development —
poverty eradication, full and productive employment
and social integration — must be pursued. Although
significant progress had been achieved since the World
Summit for Social Development, much more needed to
be done.
45. He expressed support for the Declaration on the
tenth anniversary of the World Summit for Social
Development adopted by the Commission for Social
Development at its forty-third session and stressed that
true social development was people-centred, which
implied empowering people and generations so that
they could lead better, healthier, more productive and
more satisfying lives; that in turn would help create a
more just, equitable and inclusive society.
46. He expressed concern, however, that while
poverty eradication had, quite rightly, been treated with
urgency, the two pillars of employment and social
integration had to some extent taken a back seat. In
trying to increase employment opportunities and access
to resources, it was imperative that the unfair
distribution of assets, services and opportunities
likewise be addressed. His Government, for example,
concerned at the growing youth unemployment rate,
was implementing programmes to provide high-quality
jobs to help young people develop skills and acquire
experiences that would benefit others. Furthermore, in

both the private and public sectors, women had taken
on greater responsibilities and policies to promote
women’s employment and participation would continue
to be implemented.
47. Varying degrees of economic progress within and
among nations and regions had exacerbated social
exclusion and put strains on families, societies and
institutions. Armed conflict had also had a debilitating
effect on social integration. Those factors made it more
difficult to put people at the centre of social
development, and groups with special needs, such as
women with disabilities, became increasingly
marginalized. Their rights must be protected, and he
therefore called for the inclusion of a separate article
on women with disabilities in the proposed
international convention on the rights of persons with
48. Another social group which required attention
was the elderly. His Government had enacted a law
regarding the care of the elderly living at home and
was implementing plans not only to provide adequate
care for senior citizens but also to harness their vast
experience and knowledge for the benefit of society as
a whole in order to help the elderly lead more
satisfying and productive lives. The Ministry of Health
and Welfare had been reorganized to better coordinate
policies regarding the ageing population and a
presidential commission on ageing and the future was
devising long-term policies to take into account various
social and economic needs and changing global trends
and developments. Continuous efforts to incorporate
and mainstream social integration issues involving the
elderly and children in particular, were of the utmost
49. Archbishop Migliore (Holy See) said that
increased longevity called for a rethinking of the role
of the elderly in society and in the development
process. It would be politic to create a wide range of
opportunities that used the potential, experiences and
expertise of older persons so that they could remain
connected to society and continue to make their mark
in the world either through voluntary or remunerated
work. Perhaps, the chief factor in preventing their
stigmatization and exclusion was the continued
appreciation of their presence by their own families.
50. In many societies care for dependent or sick
persons was provided by older people; in that context,
it was important that their own access to primary health

care, centred on their medical needs and adequate
nutrition, should be integrated into the wider
development process and include a safety net to cope
with inadequate social schemes. Conceding that
Governments and private institutions were mainly
responsible for social protection of the elderly, the
Holy See — while itself supporting older persons
through various programmes run by Catholic agencies
in thousands of facilities in the developing countries —
reaffirmed the importance of the family for their
overall security and their mental, physical and spiritual
51. Compassion, love, respect, appreciation and
affection were also important for older persons; he
therefore urged that those values should be taught in
schools, practised in the home and promoted in the
media. Also, a basic social pension and the protection
of pension rights could provide support for the elderly,
especially in low-income countries, where their
nutritional status was threatened by poverty, onerous
family responsibilities and age-related disabilities.
52. With the transition from a high-fertility regime to
one of low population growth in developed and
developing countries alike, the numbers of the elderly
were expected to treble by 2050 and one third of them
to be living in developing countries by 2030. The
lessons to be drawn were that every country must
become or remain a “society for all ages” and that
extra caution was needed when fiscal and international
policies entered the realm of human engineering.
53. Mr. Dall’oglio (International Organization for
Migration (IOM)) recalled that the Copenhagen
Programme of Action had recognized the special
situation of international migrants. A wide range of
social integration issues requiring action had been
highlighted, and he welcomed the attention devoted to
migrants in the 2005 World Summit Outcome. The
high-level dialogue on migration and development to
be held in September 2006 would provide an
opportunity to pursue concerted efforts to maximize
the benefits of international migration while addressing
its challenges.
54. The comprehensive and integrated approach to
development adopted by the United Nations system,
which ensured that social and economic issues were
tackled coherently and social objectives were
mainstreamed into economic policymaking, was
particularly crucial with regard to migrants, who were

at times considered to be mere factors of production.
Since the integration process was first and foremost a
personal one, for social partnerships played an
important role. The private sector, employers’
associations and social actors must address
discrimination against migrants and ensure their
productive participation in workplaces and local
55. The successful integration of migrants, on a
temporary or permanent basis, provided opportunities
and challenges for the receiving countries and fostered
diversity, creativity, growth and economic
development. If the integration experience was not
successfully managed, however, it could lead to social
and cultural conflict and affect social cohesion. The
impact of migration depended on factors such as
society’s acceptance of cultural diversity, the level of
interaction between migrants and the local population,
the extent and pace at which foreigners settled into
their new environment and the degree of adjustment
required by host communities in the process of mutual
adaptation. Since no model was applicable to all
countries, although core issues could be similar, his
Organization had developed initiatives to facilitate the
exchange of information in order to increase
understanding of integration issues.
56. The integration of migrants was a source of
debate in both traditional and new countries of
immigration, particularly in view of recent security
concerns and the growth of migration in recent years.
New initiatives had therefore emerged to promote
cooperation and exchange good practices both centrally
and locally. At the international level, they included:
the Berne initiative, an intergovernmental process to
develop a policy framework for the management of
migration; the International Labour Organization
proposed plan of action on migrant workers; his own
organization’s international dialogue on migration; and
the concrete measures to further global migration
governance of the Global Commission on International
Migration (GCIM) which would present its
recommendations the following day.
The meeting rose at 11.45 a.m.