General Assembly, 18th session, 3rd Committee : 1242nd meeting
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/SR.1242|
|Convention||International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)|
|Document Type||Summary Record|
|Subjects||Racial Discrimination, Protection of Minorities, Equality|
United Nations THIRD COMMITTEE, 1242nd
ASSEMBLY Friday, 25 October 1963,
at 10.45 a.m. EIGHTEENTH SESSION
Official Records NEW YORK
Agenda item 43:
Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination (continued) 155
Agenda item 12: Report of the Economic and Social Council (chapter IX, except section III: chapter X: and chapter XIII, section VII) (continued). . 155
Chairman: Mr. Humberto DIAZ CASANUEVA (Chile).
AGENDA ITEM 43
Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (A/5459, A/5503, chap. X, sect. ll;A/C.3/L.1126/Rev.1,A/C.3/L.1131,A/C.3/ L.1133, A/C.3/L.1137-1138, A/C.3/L.1142) (continued)
1. The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that the final text of the draft, prepared by the Rapporteur in consultation with the language services of the Secretariat and members of delegations which used the various working languages, had been circulated as document A/C.3/L.1142.
2. He pointed out, furthermore, that the ten-Power draft resolution (A/C.3/L.1126/Rev.l), concerning the publicity to be given to the declaration, gave it the title "Declaration against all forms of racial discrimination", whereas the title of the draft was "Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination". The Committee would there-fore have to choose between those two titles. Finally, it would have to vote on the text of the draft Declaration as a whole, as also on the ten-Power draft resolutionwhich was the subject of a statement concerning financial implications (A/C.3/L.1133)and the amendments proposed by Argentina and Mexico (A/ C.3/L.1138). as well as on the draft resolution which was designed to hasten the preparation of a draft convention on the elimination of racial discrimination (A/C.3/L.1137).
3. Mrs. REFSLUND THOMSEN (Denmark), Rapporteur, pointed out that the text of the draft Declaration, as adopted by the Committee article by article, had been circulated as document A/C.3/L.1131. The Committee had instructed her, with the help of the language services, to examine those texts with a view to suggesting any changes in form, not affecting the sub-stance, that might be necessary, and at the same time to ensure that the English, French, Spanish and Russian texts were in conformity with each other, in document A/C.3/L.1142 she had suggested the changes
which seemed to her to be strictly necessary. Some of them applied to the text in all the languages. That was so in the case of the third preambular paragraph, in which she thought it better to give the full title of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the eleventh preambular paragraph, in which she proposed that the word "further" should be added after the word "Convinced", since the preceding paragraph began with the words "Convinced also"; the paragraph pre-ceding the first article, where she thought it preferable to refer to "this Declaration" rather than the "following Declaration" since the preamble was an integral part of the declaration; and paragraph 2 of article 7, where it seemed more logical to mention "protection" before "remedy". In article 8, she had not suggested any change of the expression "all effective steps", which had been the subject of a vote, but she felt it her duty to point out to the Committee that the language services had voiced doubts about the precise meaning of that expression. The same applied to paragraph 3 of article 9, where she had not wanted to suggest changing the English expression "and/or", which had been the subject of delicate discussions; she would like to point out, however, that in languages other than English and Russian the words "in appropriate cases" were used as the equivalent of the term "and/or".
AGENDA ITEM 12
Report of the Economic and Social Council (A/5503, chapter IX, except section III; chapter X; and chapter XIII, section VII; A/C.3/L.1121 and Corr.1, A/C.3/ L.1132, A/C.3/L.1134-1136,A/C3/L.1139-1141, A/ C.3/L.1143) (continued)
4. Mrs. ABENG (Gabon) wished to congratulate the Economic and Social Council on its outstanding report and to give the Committee an account of the efforts made by her Government in the social field.
5. As far as education was concerned, the Government of Gabon was establishing new primary and secondary schools every year in almost all regions of the country, where the rate of enrolment, one of the highest in Africa, had now reached eighty per cent. The teaching staff was Gabon in primary education and, in secondary education, included teachers from friendly countries. On completion of their secondary education, the State sent students to universities in France and other countries, for it was in great need of qualified personnel for the country's development. Furthermore, apprenticeship centres, technical and vocational schools, teacher-training schools and cultural centres had been set up throughout Gabon.
6. The Government was also devoting great attention to the advancement of women. Secondary and vocational education was the same for girls as for boys, and the women of Gabon, who had been completely emancipated since 1962, were taking an active part in the
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life of the country. There were three women members of Parliament, the army and the police comprised various bodies of women, and the State employed a large number of women in its administrative departments as well as many teachers and nurses. In the villages, Gabon women instructors ran the numerous welfare centres where women were taught home crafts and child car**.
7. Gabon and foreign specialists were working in close collaboration in public health, to which the State devoted a substantial part of its budget. Gabon had a main hospital and a nurses' training centre at Libreville, three secondary hospitals, thirty medical centres and hundreds of dispensaries scattered throughout the country. Special mention should be made of Dr. Schweitzer's hospital at Lambarene. The efforts made in public health had already produced fruitful results.
8. The Government also granted allowances to the aged and infirm, maternity grants, and allowances to large families.
9. The progress which she had just described was not to be found in her country alone. It was being achieved throughout Africa, and the continent should continue its efforts at the economic and social level.
10. Mrs. GBEDEY (Togo) said that she wished first of all to thank the Economic and Social Council for having made a thorough study of various social and economic problems. She welcomed the progress that was being achieved, albeit slowly, in the developing countries.
11. As far as Togo was concerned, education was one of the fundamental bases of development. Un-fortunately, there was a shortage of accommodation, and above all of teachers, for children of school age, but the entire population was willing to make great sacrifices in order to support the Government's efforts. Although the secondary schools were open to girls as well as to boys, the number of girls who took university courses was much more limited than the number of boys, because they left school at an early age and went to live in regions where illiteracy was rife. In that context adult education assumed capital importance. It was an extremely difficult problem for the developing countries for, like education proper, it required large funds, efficient organization and qualified staff. Despite all those difficulties, the education of the masses and the struggle against illiteracy were the objects of great efforts on the part of the Togolese Government, which in 1959 had set up a department of social affairs to deal with those problems. In 1961 education officers had been assigned to all the administrative districts; In addition to the practical advice which they gave, courses in Ewe and French were organized for the population.
12. In the field of public health, medical attention was free and rural dispensaries had greatly increased in number throughout the country. Unfortunately they were run by medical orderlies and the number of indigenous doctors was still very inadequate. A net-work of State pharmacies, where medicine was sold much more cheaply than at private pharmacies, was gradually extending throughout the territory. The Government was at present studying a social welfare project and draft legislation on industrial accidents. There were also other welfare innovations, such as the establishment of crèches and day nurseries.
13. She went on to comment on the problem of the status of women in general, and more particularly on the emancipation of African women. While acknowledging that woman's place was primarily in the home, she regretted that some men used that as a pretext for trying to keep women in a position of inferiority. That was a reactionary and therefore out-of-date conception; woman's place should not be confined to the home. In her opinion, since women were members of society on an equal footing with men, they should be able to enjoy the same political rights as men. Furthermore, men needed women, with their special moral qualities, in order to carry out their heavy tasks and to participate in the management of national affairs.
14. The problem of emancipation was particularly serious in the case of African women, who found themselves at the crossroads of two civilizations, traditional and western. African women should neither give up their traditions nor refuse to adapt themselves to the new world. In short, they should find their vocation. She was glad to say that the Togolese Government was doing everything in its power to facilitate the advancement of women. For instance, it had accepted the proposal by the Director of the Di-vision of Human Rights that a seminar on the status of women in family law should be held at Loma in 1964. The Togolese delegation was convinced that all the African countries which were invited would send representatives to the seminar to study a problem by which all African women were keenly interested.
15. Mr. TODOROV (Bulgaria) said that, although the economic and social aspects of development were closely related, as indicated in the conclusions of the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963 (E/CN.5/ 375 and Add.l and 2), it was nevertheless true that economic factors played a dominant role, for the social situation of a nation depended on the country's level of economic development. Several speakers had already drawn the Committee's attention to the necessity of speeding up economic development in order to provide financing for social advancement.
16. In spite of their rich material and human re-sources, most of the developing countries were facing specially acute problems as a result of their exploitation by the colonial Powers. The United Nations must therefore make every effort to help them achieve economic independence, without which there could be no real freedom.
17. Social development was influenced also by the distribution of the national income between the different population groups in a country. The Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. noted that in most countries income was not evenly distributed, but un-fortunately it failed to say anything about the reasons for that situation. He could not agree with the view expressed in the report that trends in income distribution were difficult to detect; it was clear from studies made many years earlier that Income distribution could be related to the ownership of the means of production or based on the amount of work done, and those two types of income distribution formed the basis of different systems. A change-over from the former system to the latter, a trend which was be-coming increasingly apparent at the present time, necessitated reforms such as land reform, and the nationalization of large industries. As was stated in the report, the equitable distribution of income had been hindered by rigidities in the social-economic system. The redistribution of income by such means as the construction of housing or tax reform could have an influence on progress which should be studied.
1242nd meeting 25 October 1963
It was regrettable that the report did not devote sufficient attention to the situation in the socialist countries and in North America. If, instead of the differences between the two big social systems in the world being ignored, they were given more careful study, it might be possible to determine the influence of different factors on social development and to reach positive conclusions which would be extremely useful to the developing countries.
18. He did not think that population growth had a determining influence on levels 3f living for, as the report indicated, depending on the rate of economic growth, the level of technology and the availability of resources of a given country, the rate of population growth might either aggravate its problemsas was the case in many of the developing countriesor promote development through the growth of the labour force. International assistance should not therefore be mainly concentrated on what was known as family planning but should aim at achieving a more equitable distribution of income.
19. Nor was the growth of the per caput national income a decisive factor in social progress for, as was stated in the introduction to the report, some countries with a high per caput income were still faced with serious social problems, such as unemployment and juvenile delinquency. The report went on to say that those problems did not exist in the same form or degree in the countries of eastern Europe and in the USSR, where full employment had been maintained and the coverage of public services had continued to expand. In its next report on the world social situation, the Secretariat should make available to the developing countries all the data it had collected on the socialist countries, which were much more advanced socially than the others. Thanks to its economic revival, Bulgaria, for instance, had succeeded in eliminating unemployment and illiteracy, in developing education considerably at all levels, in extending its social and health servicesmedical care was free for everyone and in Bulgaria there was a doctor for every 652 inhabitantsand in providing everyone with housing at rents which did not exceed one tenth of the tenant's salary.
20. The developing countries needed the help of the United Nations and the specialized agencies in solving their social problems, which were tremendous. He welcomed the fact that the General Assembly laid in-creasing stress every year on assistance for social development, which was intended to supplement that already provided by several of the specialized agencies. Economic and Social Council resolution 975 C (XXXVI), which emphasized the role of the regional economic commissions in the social field, was most satisfactory in that respect. The various United Nations bodies, however, had not yet directed their efforts towards the solution of the major problems which played a decisive role in the social situation. The measures envisaged in the work programme of the Social Commission (E/3769, annex 1) for instance, were not broad enough in scope to meet the requirements brought out in the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. The same was true of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, which was to be set up thanks to the generosity of the Netherlands Government. The work proposed for it (see A/5503, para. 383) seemed to be administrative in character and designed to help the Secretariat more than Member States. The Institute should assist the latter to solve the fundamental problems facing
them and to provide them with sociologists specialized in various fields; its programme of work should be determined by the principal aim to be achieved: the speeding up of economic development and the solution of the social problems of the developing countries.
21. To achieve that aim, special attention should be devoted to land reform in the countries with large holdings, to industrial development, to a study of the role of the public sector in development, to the planning of economic and social developmentand advantage should be taken of the experience acquired by the countries known as the "countries with planned economies'to intensive methods of training supervisory personnel, and to an examination of the role of capital investment in the development of the developing countries; lastly, it was necessary to draw up a programme for the rational utilization of the resources which would be released if a disarmament agreement was signed.
22. In conclusion, he expressed the hope that the de-bate in the Third Committee would help to give a useful impetus to the work of the United Nations and the specialized agencies in the social field.
23. Mrs. BULENGO (Tanganyika) congratulated the Economic and Social Council on its very full report and noted with satisfaction the efforts, clearly set out in the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. which had been made to bridge the gap between the developed and the developing countries. The latter were faced with special problems, because they were passing through a transitional stage when the forces of traditional society were working side by side with those of the industrialized countries, both in the economic field and in that of education and culture. They could not achieve a happier life for their people, unless intensive research was carried out, so that the best of their traditional values would be preserved and only the best of the outside world borrowed. They were in a particularly difficult position owing to their lack of resources, and they consequently looked to the United Nations and the developed countries to undertake research to help them to strengthen and develop their potential. The Tanganyika delegation therefore welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Re-search Institute for Social Development; it also congratulated the ad hoc Group of Experts on Community Development, on which a Tanganyika expert had served, on its report (E/CN.5/379 and Corr.1), which rightly stressed the need for research. The Social Commission had been wise to lay emphasis on the important part played by community development in spreading modem techniques and in instituting land reform, both of which would help to increase agri-cultural productivity. Steps must be taken, however, to make it possible for the developing countries, which now had to export their primary products and buy them back at high prices in the form of finished goods, to process their primary products themselves, and thus to stabilize the cost of living and raise the level of living of their people; the Tanganyika delegation hoped that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development would take up that question.
24. In the sphere of housing, her delegation was glad to note the measures proposed in Council resolution 976 C (XXXVI), which would undoubtedly go a long way towards solving the problems caused by heavy migration from the rural areas. The Tanganyika Government, which was of the opinion that decent housing was a prerequisite for raising the level of living, had
General Assembly Eighteenth Session Third Committee
created a special fund from which loans for house-building were granted, and a national housing corporation, which had started a tenant-purchaser scheme. She was glad to note the theme of the next report on the world social situation for, as her country knew from experience, it was possible to achieve a great deal at little cost by harnessing the enthusiasm and energy of the people.
25. She expressed the hope that the fifteenth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would give fresh impetus to the struggle against discrimination wherever it was to be found. With regard to the status of women, she noted with satisfaction that the majority of States had now granted the same political and social rights to women as to men; in Tanganyika, where the women had played a decisive role in liberating the country from colonial rule, the equality of all citizens without distinction of sex was guaranteed and the principle of equal pay for equal work had been established. She welcomed the action taken in that direction by the specialized agencies, particularly the ILO, and looked forward to the publication of the new version of the pamphlet entitled Political Education of Women. In conclusion, she paid a tribute to UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, WHO and the ILO, and said that she would vote in favour of the Peruvian draft resolution (A/C.3/L.1121 and Corr.1).
26. Mr. KHALIL (United Arab Republic) noted with satisfaction that account had been taken of the few observations his delegation had thought it necessary to make, at the fifteenth session of the Social Commission, concerning the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. a document whose usefulness it had otherwise emphasized. He stressed that the ideas and suggestions put forward by the various delegations which had preceded him would make it possible to outline an effective and generally acceptable approach to the solution of social problems. Since the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963 contained numerous references to the achievements of the United Arab Republic in the social field, he would confine himself to giving the Committee some complementary information only.
27. The United Arab Republic Government bad made a particular effort to promote education, especially in remote areas, and the number of pupils had increased considerably, both at the primary level (now compulsory and free) and at the other levels; particular attention had likewise been devoted to technical education. In the field of labour, since 1961 workers had enjoyed the right of representation, by election, on the boards of directors of State-owned concerns, and were thus enabled to participate in management; they also had a right to a percentage of the profits. Tremendous strides had also been made in social insurance, general health services and hospital care. In the field of housing, a problem which was intensified by rapid urbanization, many low-rent houses had been built with Government assistance and 167 co-operative building societies had been established in 1962. In that connexion he wished to commend the work of the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning.
28. Despite its vigorous drive for industrialization, the United Arab Republic Government had never lost sight of the role of agriculture in a balanced and healthy economy: the agrarian reform which it had undertaken had been described in the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. and other countries with similar backgrounds had drawn upon his country's experience in that field; the agricultural programmes which dealt with the promotion of soil fertility, the selection and distribution of seeds, pest control and the dissemination of agricultural information, were giving encouraging results, for there was a progressive Increase in the output per acre.
29. All those efforts were aimed at building a socialist, democratic and co-operative society with the collaboration of the whole people, and bridging the gulf of economic and social under-development.
30. His delegation was convinced of the necessity of seeking a generally acceptable approach to world social problems and, in that connexion, deeply appreciated the results achieved through bilateral and multilateral assistance, especially that given through the specialized agencies, the Special Fund, the regular programme and the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and UNICEF: the Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of Less Developed Areas had also opened up very promising prospects for the developing countries. But there was still an enormous amount to be done and, if the hopes of mankind were to be realized, the United National must formulate a clearly defined framework within which the problems to be solved, the assets available and the obstacles to be overcome could be assessed.
31. His delegation therefore supported the draft resolutions now before the Committee, but felt that it was necessary to go a step further and to think seriously whether the Committee should not explore the possibility of drawing up a programme of social development aimed at solving the social problems of the developing countries. If such a programme was to be successfully applied, it must take proper account of the capabilities, human and otherwise, of the develop-ing countries themselves. The scientists, technicians and universities of the developed countries would necessarily have an active role to play in the preparation of such a programme. Along the same lines, the Committee might also explore the possibility of establishing national and regional institutions in the developing countries, with the assistance of the developed countries and the United Nations family of organizations; the prospects opened up by the Conference on the Application of Science and Technology .or the Benefit of Less Developed Areas should likewise be taken into consideration. His delegation was considering submitting a draft resolution to the Second Committee based on the ideas he had Just put forward; he hoped that the Third Committee would be informed in due course of the outcome of any discussion on that question in the Second Committee.
32. Introducing the draft resolution sponsored by his delegation and that of Chile (A/C.3/L.1140). he stressed that the problem of housing, with which the General Assembly had been concerned since its first session, was rendered particularly acute in many of the developing countries by rapid urbanization, and was further aggravated by the scarcity of resources. Urgent measures were therefore called for, and he accordingly hoped that the draft resolution would be unanimously approved.
33. Mr. UNG MUNG (Cambodia) stressed the importance of the report under discussion, which pro-perly called attention to the problems to be solved and indicated the lines along which the Organization in-tended to direct its social activities. His delegation was glad to note, inter alia, that the United Nations
1242nd meeting 25 October 1963
Research Institute for Social Development, established thanks to the generosity of the Netherlands Government, was shortly to begin its work.
34. Under the enlightened guidance of Prince Boredom Sihanouk, Cambodia had rejected the old bureaucratic method)" of colonial administration and embarked upon a bold and ballistic policy of national socialism. Within the framework of that policy, economic and social development programmes had been drawn up to fill the many gaps left by the colonial regime and to provide for the reconstruction of the country as it emerged from a period of disturbance and insecurity. The two-year plan established in 1956 had marked a first step in that direction: it had dealt essentially with the infrastructure and, in particular, had made it possible to build a port and to lay out Prom-Penh airport in 1960, Cambodia had embarked on a five-year plan, which was aimed at raising the gross per caput annual national income by three per cent and which provided for major industrial projects, the extension and modernization of education, improvement of the public health services, rural housing and urbanization and the development of stock breeding and agriculture.
35. In the sphere of education, the principles of free schooling and non-discrimination had been adopted, and curricula had been drawn up to meet the requirements of the modern world. Since 1946, the number of schools and pupils had tripled, nay quadrupled. As far as higher education was concerned, in addition to numerous university departments, there were various vocational training schools, such as the National School of the Arts, the National School of Commerce, the School of Cambodian Arts, the Royal School of Public Administration and the Centre for Legal Studies.
36. In the field of public health, the State had built hospitals, rural clinics and pre- and post-natal consultation centers. Hostels had been set up and a children's welfare society established for orphans and other needy children; there was also a centre for the re-education of young delinquents, and the Cambodian Red Cross was contributing to the improvement of public health conditions.
37. As far as rural housing and development were concerned, the backward villages of yesterday had been replaced by attractive and easily accessible housing centers. Dwellings meeting modern standards of hygiene had been built within the framework of com-munity development programmes, and teams of basic educators went out to the most remote regions of the country. Urban development plans had also been care-fully drawn up.
38. Furthermore, considerable efforts had been made to improve and develop stock breeding and agriculture; new methods had been introduced in the cultivation of rice, rubber-plants, cotton, oil-bearing plants and coffee. Various measures, such as agricultural ex-tension and the development of co-operatives, had been taken to help the Khmer peasants, and the Government was working to develop stock breeding and irrigate vast agricultural areas. The Royal Co-operation Office, set up in 1956, played an effective role in the dissemination of new agricultural techniques.
39. Lastly, there had been a drive towards Industrialization: alongside the four existing industrial enterprisesa paper mill, a cement factory, a textiles factory and a plywood factoryhydroelectric dams
had been built with the assistance of friendly countries, under the auspices of the Committee for Co-ordination of Investigations of the Lower Mekong Basin.
40. In addition to economic and social measures, legal and humanitarian measures had been taken, particularly in the field of narcotics control; strict legislation had been enacted some ten years earlier to suppress the opium traffic and to prohibit use of the drug; formerly a customs offence, opium traffic was now a criminal offence and subject to rigorous judicial and administrative penalties. Regarding the status of women, he recalled that women enjoyed the same political rights as men in his country, and that Cambodian women had access on equal terms with men to education and to State employment in education. the judiciary, medicine and public administration. All that showed that, thanks to its personal efforts and the establishment of a rational programme, the Cambodian population had succeeded in surmounting the multiple difficulties encountered by many develop-ing countries, especially in the social sphere. Since it enjoyed complete peace and had no demographic problems, Cambodia had never suffered from hunger, but it recognized the importance of that problem and was therefore ready to support any initiative aimed at protecting mankind from hunger, as well as any measure aimed at eliminating or reducing social inequality.
41. In conclusion, he stressed that social development was in part dependent on political development; in that connexion he pointed out that the National Congress, established in his country upon the initiative of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, gave Cambodians from all social levels an opportunity to meet twice a year to examine questions of national interest and express their wishes; alongside that institution, which was a symbol of direct and living democracy and had the purpose of ensuring close co-operation between people and Government, there were the popular audiences through which the people could keep abreast of events and freely express their grievances. Those institutions, characteristic of Cambodia's political regime, which was based on close co-operation between governors and governed, effectively guaranteed the people's freedoms.
42. Mr. 1SHDORJ (Mongolia) said that his delegation had attentively studied the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. prepared by the Secretariat in co-operation with the specialized agencies. While he realized that the report was devoted primarily to the developing countries which, because of the long rule of colonialism, had had to deal with such social problems as hunger, malnutrition, disease. Illiteracy, un-employment and others, he nevertheless regretted that It did not contain enough information on the social condition of industrially advanced countries of western Europe and North America. To be complete, the report should have included a chapter on the social experience and achievements of the socialist countries, both as a whole and Individually.
43. Perusal of the report revealed that, while many countries of the world had made certain advances in the matter of education and public health, the situation with regard to housing, employment, distribution of national incense, consumption and some other aspects of social problems, remained critical. In order to end that alarming state of affairs, the United Nations and the specialized agencies must take practical measures and tackle the major social problems facing
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them, such as the carrying out of agrarian reform, the fair distribution of national income, the industrialization of developing countries and the raising of standards of living, instead of concentrating, as had been pointed out by the USSR representative among others, on such less understandable questions as com-munity development.
44. Then he discussed some aspects of the development of Mongolia and said that, before the revolution of 1921, which had liberated it from feudalism, Mongolia had been a backward country economically and socially. The bulk of the population had lived in serfdom, deprived of the most elementary rights. The country's economy, mainly consisting of extensive animal husbandry, had been dependent on foreign capital. Most of the population had been nomads and a small privileged class had owned half the livestock. With the support of the masses, the People's Government had, in its very earliest days, implemented sweeping reforms designed to eliminate serfdom, to place all wealth in the hands of the people, to nationalize enterprises and lands and to do away with control by foreign capital. Since 1941, the development of Mongolia had been secured through annual national plans and, since 1948, through long-range plans implemented by the Government, with the result that, in a short time, Mongolia, whose economy had previously been based primarily on cattle-breeding, had become a modern State whose industrialization was advancing rapidly.
45. At present the industrial production of Mongolia represented more than forty per cent of national production, and the Government was striving to make the country an industrial and agrarian one in the next fifteen or twenty years and to raise its economy to the level of the industrially developed socialist countries. The Mongolian Government had been assisted in that task by the Governments of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and other industrially developed socialist countries, on the basis of equal rights and mutual respect for national sovereignty, without the imposition of any political conditions. The Mongolian people and Government faced the future with confidence.
46. Thanks to the successful implementation of radical social reforms, great advances had been made in the fields of such social problems as urban and rural construction, education, health, social security and others. The building of community facilities and cultural centers had been greatly increased. Every adult today knew how to read and write. Primary education was universal and secondary education was being carried out in the cities.
47. There were hundreds of primary and secondary schools, and dozens of technical schools, several high schools and an academy of science in Mongolia. As a result, Mongolia had its own cadres of highly specialized staff. Whereas in feudal Mongolia the mortality rate had been one of the highest in the Far East, in 1960 it had declined to more than 30 per thousand. A network of medical facilities was now serving the entire country; in 1960 there was one doctor and 9.7 hospital beds for every thousand inhabitants, 16 per cent of the national budget was allocated to health pur-poses. Furthermore, the constitution of the Republic guaranteed the right to work and to rest; there was an old age pension scheme, and medical services, like education, were free. Women enjoyed the same rights as men and received equal pay for equal work. They
were also entitled to three months' maternity leave with pay. Maternity homes and hospitals, nurseries and kindergartens were becoming more numerous.
48. He concluded his account of economic and social conditions in Mongolia by asserting that every developing country could overcome its backwardness provided that it carried out the major social reforms and utilized its resources to the full, in that context the State had a vital role to play.
49. The United Nations, for its part, must make efficient use of all the resources at its disposal, to promote the economic and social development of the developing countries. In particular, it must undertake the working out of a programme of practical measures, through which the funds that would be released by general and complete disarmament could be utilized.
50. Mrs. GHERARDESCA (Italy) considered it un-necessary to intervene at length in the discussion, since her delegation was participating directly in the shaping of United Nations social policy as a member of the Economic and Social Council and of the Social Commission. She would therefore only comment very bratty on certain aspects of the Council's report.
51. The Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. had presented for the first time a review of trends in levels of living, in many regions of the world and in several sectors, over a ten-year period. In order to understand those trends, the members of the Third Committee had had to take account of a number of economic matters; it was to be hoped that, when the Second Committee in its turn came to consider subjects such as land reform and illiteracy, it would take the social aspect of those problems into consideration.
52. Her delegation considered the report a useful document and approved of its technique of dealing with social conditions and social programmes together. The report remained incomplete, however, because some information could not be obtained from certain countries and because there were no criteria for a comparison of the available information. Statistical methods varied considerably from one country to another. It was regrettable, for example, that one could not know how many workers might have participated in strikes in those countries where the right to strike was denied to workers by law or by force. She hoped that in the future more complete information would be available for evaluating social progress in certain countries.
53. The section of the report dealing with population growth contained new and useful information. It was interesting, in particular, to read that the wide variations in birth rates in the economically less developed areas argued against the common belief that the populations of those countries reproduced themselves to the biological limits. With regard to birth control, she believed that the United Nations should not intervene in a problem which was morally, scientifically and even economically so controversial. Moreover, forecasts of population growth had often been proved wrong in the past by unexpected popular reaction to new economic and social factors. Her delegation subscribed to the view that no universal generalization could be laid down regarding the effect of population growth upon economic growth (see E/CN.5/375, chap. I).
54. In her view, the analysis of the world social situation justified a degree of optimism. While the actual number of hungry, illiterate and diseased people had grown, the resources and resourcefulness of mankind
1242nd meeting - 25 October 1963
had grown as well. The gulf between the developing and the developed countries had widened, but so had the means for bridging that gulf. There was today a growing understanding of needs in the matter of train-ing and education, a more scientific approach to social problems and a growing awareness of the ever-closer interrelationship between peoples. Indisputable advances were being made in social security, housing and social services, although more slowly than in the fields of health and education, to which Governments generally devoted more attention.
55. The problem of the time, as the representative of Mexico had said so well, was to help human beings adapt themselves to a changing world. Ideological revolutions were not enough; in that connexion, she
thought it strange to hear some delegations trying to press the United Nations to apply certain systems which had failed to solve the problems facing the developing countries.
56. Her delegation approved of Economic and Social Council resolutions 975 D (XXXVI) and 975 E (XXXVI), which emphasized the interdependence of land reform and social development in general, and the need for combining land reform programmes with adequate measures of community development. It would examine all resolutions on that subject with due attention.
57. She would comment later on other aspects of the Council's report when the Committee took up the relevant draft resolutions.
The meeting rose at 1.5 p.m.