General Assembly, 18th session, 3rd Committee : 1249th meeting
|UN Document Symbol||A/C.3/SR.1249|
|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, 1249th
ASSEMBLY Thursday. 31 October 1963.
at 10.45 a.m. EIGHTEENTH SESSION
Official Records NEW YORK
Page Agenda item 12: Report of the Economic and Social Council (chapter DC, except section HI; chapter X; and chapter XII, section VII (continued) 191
Agenda items 12 and 43: Report of the Economic and Social Council (chapter DC, except section HI; chapter X; and chapter XII, section VII) (continued) Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (continued) Draft resolution concerning the Commission
on Human Rights (continued) Draft resolution concerning the preparation of a draft convention on the elimination of 197
all forma of racial discrimination (continued)
Chairman: Mr. Humberto DIAZ CASANUEVA (Chile).
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.113/Rev.1, A/C.3/L.1134/Rev.1, A/C.3/L.1135, A/C.3/L.1139, A/C.3/L.1141, A/C.3/L.1143/Rev.1, A/C.3/L.1146-1147, A/C.3/L.1153) (continued)
1. Mr. TINE (France) said that the Economic and Social Council rightly gave priority to questions of development, but regretted that they were often draft with exclusively from the economic point of view; he also regretted that, at the Council's thirty-sixth session, the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963 (E/CN.5/375 and Add.1 and 2) had not given rise to such a closely reasoned and conclusive debate as might have been hoped.
2. The report for the present year was very analytical, which sometimes made it impossible to draw general conclusions from it, but it contained some very interesting information, on which the Secretariat was to be congratulated. The picture it drew was on the whole pessimistic, for it showed that, although there had been some progress in terms of averages or percentages, there had also been some falling off in absolute figures, and that, as the growth of the industrialized countries tended to be more rapid than that of the less privileged countries, the gap between the two continued to widen. On the other hand, the report showed that, in general, during the decade under consideration, life expectancy had lengthened, the calorie content of food rations had risen, the death rate had dropped, health conditions had improved and school attendance had increased.
The last piece of information, more than any other, showed that it had really been a period of promise, as the training of manpower was the prerequisite for all development.
3. Although it was impossible to make generalizations on a world scale about the obvious relationship between population growth and economic expansion, it was necessary and much more useful to study in detail the factors in the situation as they appeared in different regions of the world, and hove they influenced the nature and meaning of that relationship. He hoped Member States would bear that in mind when they replied to the inquiry decided upon by the General Assembly in resolution 1838 (XVII).
4. More careful study must also be given to the idea, frequently mentioned, of a gap between the development of the industrialized countries and that of the under-developed areas. That idea included many complex phenomena, which depended on different factorssuch as the economic situation at the outset, the trend of economic policy, and population growtha combination which might entail slower progress in one group of countries than in another. However, the situation would be really alarming only if the social development of the developing countries had not yet emerged from the critical stage known as the "takeoff" stage in the language of economics. But the report indicated some significant progress and it would appear that the gap it mentioned reflected only different rates of progress in the two groups of countries, a difference which was, of course, regrettable, but not surprising. Social progress in the industrialized countries was the outcome of centuries of effort and it was being carried on only at great expense: moreover, as the report indicated, whatever their economic system, those countries had their social difficulties also, and they had to make constant efforts to deal with them; examples were the uncontrolled growth of their towns, the development of automationwhich caused difficulties even In a country with full employment, like Franceand the care of the aged and of the young in rapidly developing societies. Those factors had to be borne in mind when considering the assistance which the industrialized countries granted to the less privileged countries.
5. However, Franco was not trying to minimize the gravity of the conclusions which emerged from the report, or the responsibility of the developed countries towards the others; that was proved by the fact that France provided proportionately to the average income, per head, more assistance for development than any other country. It felt, however, that the Third Committee should give more detailed consideration to the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963, and thus emphasize the need for the competent departments of the Secretariat and such bodies as the new United Nations Research Institute for Social Development to concentrate on the study of social phenomena, and the institution of methods which
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would make those phenomena easier to understand in spite of their fluidity. The Third Committee would be able, with more precise observations at its command, to show with greater authority the place that should properly be given to social needs when development policies were drawn up. As the ultimate object of those policies was to improve the level of living of the people, such policies should have a combined economic and social approach and should promote respect for fundamental freedoms.
6. It was frequently the social factors that impeded development; examples were lack of supervisory personnel or archaic social structures and thought patterns. Such obstacles could be overcome by teaching the young to read and write, by the spread of fundamental education, by the development of vocational training, and by the systematic training of supervisory personnel. Methods such as those used in community development could produce very good results in that area, as several delegations had already pointed out.
7. Most of the problems which arose in connexion with development could not be solved outside their social and human environment. Housing and urbanization policies, in particular, had no chance of success unless they were prepared not only by economists and financiers, but by experts in social work and public health, and sometimes even by ethnologists. Industrialization, which was undeniably an essential condition for progress, should go hand in hand with the adaptation or transformation of the social structure and ensure full utilization of human resources on a national scale; if left to the technical workers alone, industrialization plans might result in the establishment of industries which, although justified by the existence of natural resources, did not provide the countries concerned with the social benefits they they were entitled to expect. Even the organization of the market for primary products must take account of social factors, particularly forms of land tenure, if it was to improve the living standards of the primary producers. Lastly, efforts to increase incomes in a country could not really contribute to development, unless the social structures were such as to permit an equitable distribution of those incomes.
8. Social considerations must therefore be taken into account while the development plans were being pre pared, and not only after their economic targets had been defined. The growth of UNICEF indicated the right path to follow. In the view of the French delegation, its growth should remain within its terms of reference, out it was nevertheless to be congratulated on its decision to help Governments to carry out surveys of children's needs within the general scope of their development plans, and to assist in achieving aims which were important to children but were not included in the general plans.
9. Lastly, social progress would have no meaning un-less it meant also progress towards the achievement of fundamental freedoms, and in that respect, it was much to be regretted that the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. had nothing to say about the situation with regard to human rights. The promotion of those rights and freedoms must be an integral part of social development, not only because such development would be pointless unless it led to the full development of human beings, but also because it was impossible to count on combining all individual effortswithout which development could not succeed-unless human beings themselves were free. The improvement or the
status of women, on which the modernization of societies depended, was a significant illustration of that point. In human rights, more and more importance must be given to the advisory services, which should aim at encouraging respect for the freedom of the individual both as a means and as an aim of development.
10. There must be a great effort to combine social with economic development, not only on the part of the Social Commission and the Economic and Social Council, but also by the Third Committee, which through its debates and decisions, must secure the complete integration of the two and lay down guidelines. It was incumbent on the Committee to supervise the human and social trend of development policy and, if it did not succeed in carrying out that important and urgent task, it would be falling in its duty and might undermine the political results of the humanitarian work that it had already done.
11. The Third Committee must adapt its work to the imperious needs of the world of today, for the desire to seek sound principles for balanced economic and social development was motivated by the same ideal as the definition of the fundamental rights and freedoms, that was to say, the full development of the individual. France was all the more convinced of that, for that was the fundamental consideration it had taken as a guide in building its own economic and social system. By taking the path of a concerted economy, it had striven to avoid both a blind and out-of-date liberalism and collectivism, because both systems disregarded the interests and aspirations of human beings. In the view of the French delegation, the United Nations should follow the same path in seeking formulas that would enable it to achieve real success, that was to say, the success of development policies in human terms.
12. Mr. BECK (Hungary) said that he had carefully studied the report of the Economic and Social Council, and wished to congratulate its authors on the conscientious work which they had carried out. He had likewise followed the discussions in the Third Committee with great attention, and had been on particularly struck by the statements of a large number of representatives of the so-called developing countries, who had sometimes seemed to him to be speaking of his own country's situation at a time which now seemed far off, but was really scarcely twenty years ago. Before the war and before the liberation of Hungary, 30 per cent of the arable land had belonged to 0.1 per cent of the landed proprietors, whose estates had sometimes extended to 100,000 hectares. About a third of the population had consisted of landless agricultural labourers. The considerable natural riches of the country, such as petroleum and bauxite, had been in the hands of foreign monopolies, like most of the industries, some of which had been very highly developed; the result, as statistics prepared by the League of Nations at the beginning of the 1930's showed, had been that the real wages of Hungarian workers had been next to the lowest in Europe. Hungary, which had been, in principle, an independent sovereign State, had thus depended in reality on the highly-developed capitalist countries, and the aristocracy had lived largely abroad, while the people had lived in conditions close to those of the Middle Ages. Land reform had therefore been a first priority as soon as the country had been liberated, and it had been entrusted by the Jaw, not to central or local bodies, but to the agricultural workers and peasants themselves, who had the
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right to possess the land and knew better than anyone what area each proprietor should possess in each village.
13. Next, the nationalization of industry had opened the way for the planning of the economy, the main objective of which had been not only the development of industry but also the modification of its structure, and industry now produced nearly five times as much as before the liberation of the country. Planning had made possible the rapid reconstruction of the country, which had been destroyed by the Second World War, and had made it possible to improve social conditions by modifying the system of distribution of wealth at the same time as the system of production. The calorie intake of the inhabitants of Hungary was now one of the highest in the world. Medical care was provided to all free of charge, endemic disease had disappeared, and the expectation of life was now sixty-five to seventy years instead of forty-five to fifty years before the war; in addition, the electrification of the country had just been completed and there was a highly developed road system, illiteracy had disappeared, eight-year elementary education was compulsory, and compulsory secondary education up to school-leaving certificate level was now being organized. The training of specialists was more highly developed in Hungary than in any capitalist country, and Hungary had no reason to envy any other country as far as the cultural level of its population was concerned.
14. There was nothing exceptional about the rapid development, however, and similar progress had been made by Hungary's neighbors. It was therefore regrettable that the report of the Economic and Social Council did not devote sufficient space to the situation in the socialist countries and the lessons which could be drawn from their development and did not lay sufficient emphasis on the difference, which was some-times very considerable, between the situation in the socialist countries and in other countries. The Hungarian delegation hoped that that gap would be filled in the forthcoming reports.
15. While reserving the right to return to the various questions dealt with in the report when the draft resolutions were being discussed, he wished to correct the impression which the report gave, and which was false, in his opinion, that community action and community development could make possible a radical change in the social situation in the under-developed countries. The Social Commission had stressed "the importance of programmes of community development in rural areas as a means of spreading modern scientific and technical advances and of implementing structural reforms, above all land reform" (A/5503, para. 372). There were grounds for wondering how, in rural areas populated mainly by agricultural labourers or small proprietors whose land was lost in the middle of vast estates or great plantations, the technical progress accomplished in fertilizers, insecticides, agricultural equipment and irrigation could really be out to profitable use. Community action could play an important role in the preparation and execution of land reform, as had been the case in Hungary, but it could not lead to any structural reform until land reform had been decided upon and undertaken on a national scale. One of the most essential structural reforms was that of the distribution of income, and it was difficult to imagine how such a national issue could be solved through community development, unless the action of the various communities of a whole country could be united and coordinated, which would really be equivalent to a revolution. The life of the rural population could not be greatly changed if that population was at the mercy of foreign monopolies for the equipment, industrial products and even the simple tools which it needed. The development of education, and particularly the training of teaching personnel, could no longer be carried out independently of national progress as a whole.
16. The truth was that community development could not bring about land reform, industrial development, economic independence or progress in housing, education and medical care. On the other hand, however, great social reforms carried out on a national scale could not achieve complete success unless they were helped by community action, and it was Dangerous to establish a distinction, or even a contrast, between national measures and community action, as the success of the one depended on that of the other and vice versa. The emphasis should, therefore, be placed on great structural reforms, which could be carried out by different methods according to the different areas involved and which would gradually create the conditions necessary for the enlargement of community action and its success.
17. Begum AKRAM (Pakistan) thanked the Secretariat for its Report on the World social Situation. 1963. Which contained a most valuable survey of social conditions in the different parts of the world. It was un-fortunately undeniable that the rapid growth of population was an obstacle to development, and that the progress achieved was not keeping pace with requirements. In order to achieve positive results, it was necessary not only to accelerate the pace of progress and intensify the efforts made, but also to check population growth. The delegation of Pakistan did not share the opinion that illiterate people did not under-stand the need to check population growth. Experience in Pakistan had shown that the main obstacle to family planning was the fact that the masses were ill-informed about methods of birth control and in any case could not afford the cost of putting those methods into effect. it was, therefore necessary that such peoples should be able to obtain the necessary means and advice from the government. Assistance for this purpose should be both national and international.
18. In developing countries, where a high percentage of the population was illiterate, it was essential to make a great effort to educate the population without waiting to build schools, as education could and should be imparted in places of worship and in the open air; ail those who knew how to read and write should devote a little of their time each day to the task of educating the illiterate, and international organizations should help to train literate persons to create a personal interest in education among the illiterate and to encourage them to send their children to school. In addition, national and international organizations should provide persons, who had received a certain amount of education, with reading material so that they could continue to learn and could use their knowledge for community development purposes. As national development could only take place if every citizen took an interest in the development programmes, voluntary organizations should set up mobile services whose pest *** would go out into the villages to inform the masses about the development project and obtain their help and support.
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19. Under the "basic democracy scheme", which had been introduced In 1959 and which had achieved great success, Pakistan had been divided into constituencies, each of 1,000 persons, who elected a representative to represent them in a "union council*, consisting of fifteen such constituencies. The "union councils" drew up development plans and carried them out with the aid of Government grants; in addition, they submitted larger schemes to district-level councils and tried. to improve social conditions in their own areas. Many other government and private social welfare projects had been brought into being with the help of voluntary social welfare workers, but there was a lack of funds and technical knowledge. She thought that the United Nations and the specialized agencies could do a great deal to help.
20. In Pakistan, women played an important role in social development. The delegation of Pakistan, there-fore, wished to stress that, if women were to fulfill their duties as mothers successfully, they must be able to impart to their children the knowledge which would make them good citizens. It was therefore essential to give priority to education for women.
21. Land reform was of capital importance in the under-developed countries where the population was very large and the entire economy was based on agriculture. But it must be carried out under conditions such that the holdings were economically viable. In West Pakistan, since the land reform of 1958-1959, no one could own more than 500 acres of irrigated land or less than a certain minimum. Owners of large estates had had to give up a large part of their land, which had been distributed to their tenants. The land reform had had a stimulating effect on both the old and the new owners. In East Pakistan, on the other hand, the reforms introduced in the early 1950's had not been very effective, because no minimum area had been fixed for holdings. That experience showed that land reform should be planned scientifically, taking into account the conditions peculiar to each country, in Pakistan, the tenant farmer could not be thrown out arbitrarily by the owner, which gave him a feeling of security and encouraged him to work harder.
22. As far as financial assistance to the developing countries was concerned, she considered , that the Division of Human Rights should be able to award more than ten fellowships a year. She noted with satisfaction, on the other hand, that the President of IBRD had recently stressed the need to establish the necessary means for spreading education, which was not only a benefit in itself but also an essential condition for development, since it led to a supply of, among others, medium-level cadres and specialists in administration, agriculture and so on. The President of IBRD, after recalling that IDA had helped to finance school building in Tunisia and was contemplating similar measures in other countries, had pointed out that the institution could also grant loans for school projects with might economic priority. Her delegation took note of that offer with satisfaction and drew the Committee's attention to paragraph 378 of the Council's report. It would extend a favorable welcome to any proposal for aiding the under-developed countries to train the qualified personnel they so badly needed.
23. She paid a tribute to UNICEF for the work it was doing in Pakistan and elsewhere. She was pleased that the Executive Director intended to make still greater efforts to ensure that welfare work on behalf of children and young people occupied a more prominent place in national plans, and that the Executive Board was to hold its January 1964 session at Bangkok and would concentrate on the needs of children in Asia. It was also important that close co-operation should be established between UNICEF, the specialized agencies, the Bureau of Social Affairs and the rest of the United Nations Secretariat.
24. With regard to the report of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/3749), she noted that Governments had been invited to submit information on the application of the Convention on the Political Rights of Women. Pakistan women enjoyed complete political equality with men and a certain number of seats in the legislative bodies were specially reserved for them. There were women ministers, ambassadors and members of Parliament, not to mention doctors and lawyers. They played an active part in voluntary social work and did a great deal for education, but there must be more educational institutions, particularly in rural areas, and technical and vocational training must be expanded before they could take their rightful place in the political, social and economic life of the nation. That was why the Pakistan delegation was a sponsor of the draft resolution on the participation of women in national, social and economic development (A/C.3/ L.1135), which should receive a favorable welcome from all those who recognized the importance of women's role in the community. Mr. Ghorbal (United Arab Republic), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
25. Miss KAMAL (Iraq) said that she would deal with only some of the questions examined in the report of the Economic and Social Council, not because she was unaware of the importance of the others, but because she thought it would be difficult to make an exhaustive analysis of the chapters on human rights and social development without trying the patience of the Committee. Much had already been done in those two fields, and she wished to pay tribute to the specialized agencies and UNICEF, and to the Bureau of Social Affairs, which was always ready to heed delegations' suggestions for changes and modifications in its plans. The different organs of the United Nations and the specialized agencies had expanded their activities and revised their methods following the achievement of Independence by many peoples. Those peoples were impatient to achieve a satisfactory level of economic and social development, and their efforts were based on the idea of the equality of men and women, whatever their colour, and of nations both great and small. The apparent absence of progress during the initial phase of the United Nations Development Decade was admittedly a cause of concern to the Iraqi delegation, but it was encouraging to note that the interdependence of economic development and social development was now generally recognized; too often in the past the United Nations and Governments had stressed economic progress to the detriment of social programmes. It was now obvious, as the Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. clearly showed, that progress in education, public health and rural community development was not only desirable in itself but also essential to economic progress.
26. The report also drew attention to another important factor, namely, population growth. All programmes designed to improve conditions and standards of living lost much in effectiveness because of the high
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rate of population growth. She drew attention to the figures recently given to the Committee by the Director-General of FAO (1232nd meeting). In view of the growing importance of that matter, she hoped that the international community would take the necessary measures to safeguard the right of everyone to adequate nutrition and she looked forward to the forth-coming World Population Conference in Yugoslavia.
27. The start of industrialization in developing countries led to a massive rural exodus, which in turn created social difficulties of every kind. The Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. rightly stressed that in order to deal with that socio-economic situation, one of the gravest of the day, economic and social conditions in rural areas mu6t be improved. Land reform was of capital importance in that connexion. The Iraqi Government, for its part, had set itself to eliminate the old feudal system, to distribute land to the farmers and to carry out various programmes, such as co-operatives, social services and literacy campaigns. Such reforms entailed a real social revolution, in which each citizen must feel that he was part of the community and was contributing to the general effort. Iraq had carried through such a revolution, but it lacked the necessary qualified personnel to co-ordinate and supervise social programmes in urban and rural areas.
28. At the fifteenth session of the Social Commission, the Iraqi delegation had congratulated the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning on its report (E/3719/Rev.1). It wished to stress once more the urgency, importance and gravity of the housing situation in the developing countries, which had to make a still greater effort, since industrialization led to the appearance of new communities; they must take note of the experience of the industrialized countries experience in order to avoid repeating past errors. Housing and planning programmes should occupy a central place in all national development plans; the Iraqi Government had paid particular attention to that branch of development and had taken various effective measures. The Committee on Housing Building and Planning should continue its work; and her delegation supported the resolutions adopted by the Economic and Social Council. It hoped, however, that in future the Committee would lay greater stress on the social aspects of housing and planning.
29. With regard to the report of the Commission on the Status of Women, she noted with particular satisfaction that, by June 1962, there had been ninety-six countries in which women had the vote and were eligible as candidates on equal terms with men. The Iraqi Constitution guaranteed the equality of men and women and she hoped that a growing number of countries would follow that example. Political rights, however, were not enough; women must also enjoy economic rights and the right to education; they must be protected from prejudice and exploitation; they must have the opportunity to work with equal pay; and they must have access to instruction and to the occupations which they wished to follow. Their role as wives and mothers must find a place within a range of other interestssocial, political and internationalsince otherwise they would be deprived not only of their fundamental rights but also of the opportunity to contribute usefully to the progress of mankind. Her delegation had therefore taken note with satisfaction of UNESCO's efforts with regard to women's education, particularly in the developing countries, and welcomed
the importance given by the ILO to studying the status of working women.
30. Mr. PONCE CARBO (Ecuador) congratulated the Economic and Social Council on its work between August 1962 and August 1963, both in the social field and in the field of human rights, and stressed the value of the report under discussion. With regard to human rights, he welcomed the decisions on the celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and hoped that that occasion would arouse renewed Interest in the Universal Declaration and promote respect for human rights throughout the world. His Government hoped that the Commission on Human Rights would be able to continue its study of the right of everyone to be free from arbitrary arrest, detention and exile, and of the right of arrested persons to communicate with those whom it was necessary for them to consult in order to ensure their defense or to protect their essential interests.
31. As to the fight against discrimination, he thought that the Commission on Human Rights should take up, at Its 1964 session, the important and urgent question of non-discrimination in the matter of religious rights and practices and adopt on that subject a declaration which would become the counterpart of the draft United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which the Third Committee had just finished drawing up. He regretted that the Council had included the Commission on Human Rights among the bodies which would not hold a session in 1964, whereas the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, among others, would be able to meet normally. His delegation also considered that it was urgent to complete the study on discrimination against persons born out of wedlock. Moreover, it believed that the Com-mission on Human Rights and the Third Committee should undertake a detailed study of the right of everyone to change his nationalitya right which was recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but seriously impaired by the laws of many Statesand draw up a convention safeguarding the right to change one's nationality freely and acquire another.
32. Because of its concern that human rights should be universally respected, his delegation felt strongly that the Third Committee should devote the necessary time to considering the draft International Covenants on Human Rights; in that respect, it supported the proposal which had been made by the Director-General of FAO (1232nd meeting). It was gratified by the Council's decisions regarding the status of women and by the results achieved and future plans in the field of advisory services.
33. In the social field, consideration should be given to the reports of the Social Commission and of the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning and to the Report on the World Social Situation, 1963. The last-mentioned document was a mine of information and, despite the criticisms which had been made, his delegation was happy to recognize its great significance for the understanding and solution of social problems. Some representatives had expressed the opinion that radical changes in the social structure, such as land reform and tax reform, were an essential prerequisite for development. Such changes certainly were necessary, but he warned the countries con-
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cerned against the temptation, in carrying out the needed reforms, to follow ready-made schemes and stereotyped techniques because the failure to take into account the conditions peculiar to each country was apt to thwart such reforms. In the case of rural development and land reform in particular, national characteristics must be taken into account, and there was no universal solution. In that respect, community development represented a flexible approach, and his delegation was happy to be able to support the relevant draft resolution on community action submitted by the Peruvian delegation (A/C.3/L.1121 and Corr.1).
34. With regard to the population problem and the repercussions of population growth on levels of living, he believed, as was pointed out in the Council's report (A/5503, paras. 406-407), that care should be exercised in interpreting the available figures, and that it was difficult to reach general conclusions until the link between population growth and levels of living had been studied in greater detail. Care should also be taken to avoid exaggerating the importance of the population problemin Central America, for instance, the population had increased less rapidly than had been foreseenor ignoring the prospects afforded by in-creased agricultural and industrial production. For those reasons, his delegation thought that each Government should be free to adopt the solution best suited to its particular situation. The inquiry into problems resulting from the reciprocal action of economic development and population changes, which had been called for in General Assembly resolution 1838 (XVII), should be carried out in a scientific and objective manner, and in that respect he drew attention to paragraph 405 of the Council's report. As to the question of capital punishment, which had been studied by a specialist at the request of the Council and the General Assembly and by the ad hoc Advisory Committee of Experts on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, his delegation, together with other delegations, had submitted a draft resolution (A/C.3/L.1143/Rev.1), in which it proposed that the study of the problem should be continued. In conclusion, he recognized that the social situation left much to be desired, but he liked to think that the first part of the United Nations Development Decade had enabled the foundations of social progress to be laid and that in future years the fruits of the efforts made would be harvested.
35. Miss AHY (Iran) said that the report of the Economic and Social Council covered an impressive range of activities. The Report on the World Social Situation, 1963, was undoubtedly an extremely instructive document, and a source of both anxiety and inspiration. The problems raised by malnutrition and population growth, particularly in the developing countries, could only be solved if radical measures on a very large scale were undertaken. Fortunately, the report of the Economic and Social Council and the annual report of FAO to the Council (E/3767) showed that very considerable attention was now being paid to the developing countries. The pessimism which a reading of those documents might induce was to some extent tempered by the fact that enormous efforts and resources were being directed towards solving the burning problems of the day. While the achievements of the list ten years might not have lived up to expectations, he United Nations Development Decade was giving rise to great hopes today.
36. The reports before the Committee Indicated that social objectives were not adequately defined in the development programmes. More effective planning must therefore be ensured to meet the social needs of each country and yet harmonize at the world level. It was with that object in mind that her delegation had taken part in drawing up the draft resolution on the world social situation (A.3.3/L.1132/Rev.). An analysis of development In the industrialized countries, whether socialist or not, would also be desirable. Fortunately, the number and efficiency of the bodies of the United Nations and specialized agencies was constantly growing; in that respect, the establishment of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, which had been made possible by the generous offer of the Netherlands Government, deserved special mention.
37. She also hoped that total disarmament would tries, whether socialist or not, would also be devoted to destructive purposes would be directed to the millions of starving and homeless people. Only then would the fundamental freedoms really be respected and the peoples come to know a better life.
38. She described to the Third Committee the broad measures recently adopted by the Iranian Government. The development of Iran had long been hampered by an antiquated economic and social system which did not correspond to the needs of the modern world. Realizing the need to change the political, social and economic structure of the country, the Government had begun by undertaking reforms of a conventional type which had had no real success. In fact, all attempts to spur development in the agricultural sector without. medical changes in the system of land tenure had only resulted in making the rich richer, and had failed to arouse any interest among the agricultural workers who accounted for more than half the population of Iran.
39. Consequently, in January 1963, the Shah had launched a vast revolutionary six-point programme which had beer, approved by a national referendum. The new land reform act had given to many millions of Iranians the ownership of the land on which they had laboured for generations as virtual serfs. The number of co-operatives had multiplied; their function, and that of the credit institutions, was to help the peasants and small land-owners to assume their responsibilities. Further measures had been taken in the field of hygiene and medical care. The Government nevertheless realized that, as long as eighty per cent of the population remained illiterate, all those reforms would be of no avail. That belief had led to the establishment of the "army of knowledge", the members of which were young secondary-school graduates who, instead of doing military service, were sent to isolated villages after attending four months of accelerated courses under the supervision of the Ministries of Agriculture and Education, in order to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to children and adults and, in addition, give them elementary instruction in hygiene and agriculture. It was estimated that 600 recruits would be trained each year. It should be stressed that that measure was in full accord with the appeal for universal, free and compulsory primary education made by the Director-General of UNESCO before the Second Committee (899th meeting). The results had thus far been very satisfactory.
40. Electoral reform and the granting of the franchise to women completed that series of revolutionary measures. Iranian women had in any event long been participating in various economic, social and scientific activities. They were now determined to make use of
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the new opportunities that were afforded them for enhancing the prosperity of the coming generations. She hoped that women in all countries would soon be in enjoyment of their full rights. It was in that spirit that her delegation had participated in drawing up draft resolution A/C.3/L.1141, calling for a draft declaration on the elimination of discrimination against women, and draft resolution A/C.3/L.1135, on the participation of women in national social and economic development. She hoped that those draft resolutions would be adopted unanimously.
41. In the same general connexion, she wished to express her deep appreciation to UNESCO and the ILO, which consistently strove to promote the rights of women. She very much regretted that the Commission on the Status of Women would not be able to meet in 1964, and hoped that it would be able to do so regularly in the future.
42. In closing, she pointed out that the reforms introduced in Iran conformed to the general pattern of thought of the United Nations and the specialized agencies. She said that the Iranian people and Government were determined to continue to make the necessary efforts for their national development and hoped that further measures taken in that respect would also be in harmony with those of the United Nations organs dedicated to the economic and social welfare of the developing countries.
43. Mr. FARHANG (Afghanistan) congratulated and thanked the Economic and Social Council for having prepared a most valuable report. His delegation had studied that document closely, as it was keenly interested in the progress of economic and social conditions in the developing countries.
44. The Report on the World Social Situation. 1963. made it clear that the imbalance between economic development and social advancement was a phenomenon common to all developing countries. As. however, the causes of that imbalance varied, according to social and economic conditions and population behavior, generalizations should be avoided. In Afghanistan, for example, the problem of population growth was less serious than the slowness of the population to adapt itself to modern living and working conditions. That was due to the fact that the great majority of the inhabitants worked on the land and that the fight against colonialism and foreign interference had prevented them from taking an interest in the improvement of everyday living conditions. In that context, economic planning in agriculture and the improvement of social conditions in rural areas were of great importance. In the economic field, the Afghan Government had concentrated mainly on the building of dams, canals and housing, and, in the social field, on implementing community development and literacy programmes. In that connexion, he stressed his Government's interest in the work of the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning. Furthermore, the industrialization of the country had not been neglected, and some worth-while results were already being achieved, especially in the cement and textile industries. No effort was being spared to train the qualified senior personnel who were indispensable for economic and social development. Some progress was also being made on community development. In that respect, he shared the view of the for Under-Secretary Economic and Social Affairs that economic progress could not be achieved without an enlightened attitude and a radical change in existing social structures.
45. He wished to thank the specialized agencies and UNICEF for the invaluable assistance that they were giving Afghanistan. Through the help of UNICEF and WHO, malaria had been almost totally eradicated: be-cause of FAO, the methods of cultivation had been improved; and thanks to UNICEF and UNESCO, the literacy campaign was proving successful. The latter two agencies had agreed to help Afghanistan establish a vocational training institute.
46. His delegation was concerned at the lack of interest displayed in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961. He recalled that Afghanistan had been one of the first countries to ratify the Convention, and he hoped that all Member States would follow suit.
47. Turning to the question of human rights, he pointed out that his delegation was a co-sponsor of draft resolution A/C.3/L.1136 and Add.1 and 2. His delegation attached great importance to the work of the Commission on Human Rights and hoped that the principle of annual meetings of the Commission would be approved. The whole world was impatiently waiting for all fundamental eights to be proclaimed in declarations and guaranteed in international conventions. Moreover, ii should not be forgotten that the work of the Commission on Human Rights served as a basis for the discussions and deliberations of the Third Committee. For similar reasons, his delegation also supported draft resolution A/C.3/L.1137 and Add.1 and 2 and would vote in favor of it.
48. With regard to the status of women, his delegation was happy to be able to say that considerable progress was being accomplished in Afghanistan. Afghan women could obtain employment in all private or public undertakings and had access to education at all levels. His country was ready to do everything In its power to speed up progress in that field.
49. In conclusion, he stated that Afghanistan considered the work of the Third Committee to be of vital importance and regarded every resolution that was adopted as a further step forward towards the solution of social problems and the strengthening of peace.
AGENDA ITEMS 12 AND 43
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-1136 and Add.1 and 2, A/C.3/L.1144. A/C.3/L.1149) (continued)
Draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (A/C.3/L.1137 and Add.1 and 2, A/C.3/L.1145, A/C.3/L.1150) (continued)
DRAFT RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE COM-MISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (continued)
DRAFT RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE PREPARA TION OF A DRAFT CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued)
50. Mr. YAPOU (Israel) and Mr. SHERVANI (India) wished to know the outcome of the talks that had taken place between the sponsors of draft resolution A/C.3/ L.1136 and Add.1 and 2 and the sponsors of the amendments to that draft with a view to drawing up a compromise text.
51. Mr. CUEVAS CANC1NO (Mexico) said that some minor drafting changes had been made to draft resolution
General Assembly Eighteenth Session Third Committee
A/C.3/L.1136 and Add.1 and 2 but that the sub-stance of the text had not been altered. The United States delegation had withdrawn the amendments it had submitted (A/C.3/L.1149), and the delegation of the United Arab Republic had pointed out that its suggestions (1248th meeting) had not been made formally. The amended text would be circulated to the members of the Committee at the 1250th meeting.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.