Magazine article UN Chronicle , Vol. 24
Commission for Social Development adopts 16 texts; homeless, family, youth among its concerns
THE Commission for Social Developmentat its thirtieth session (Vienna, 23 February--4 March) recommended that Governments and concerned institutions--both national and international--be called upon to adopt decisive steps to achieve the objectives and goals of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (1987).
The 32-member Commission, whichmeets every two years, adopted 16 draft resolutions on subjects ranging from the critical social situation in Africa to youth, the family, co-operatives and the social aspects of rural development. Fourteen of the texts called for action by the Economic and Social Council at its first regular 1987 session, to be held from 4 May to 20 June in New York.
In the text on the Homeless Year,the Economic and Social Council would also express its deep concern that millions of people did not have adequate shelter, that their basic human rights have been violated, that human lives have been wrecked and that other social problems, such as increasing crime rate, drug abuse and broken families have been aggravated. The Secretary-General would be asked to report on the social aspects of the results of the Year, and to sumbmit it to the Commission in 1989.
The text on the critical social situationin Africa would have the Council appeal to the international community, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to increase their co-operation and assistance to establish or improve the infrastructure necessary for sustained social development in Africa.
The Secretary-General, in reportingon the subject in 1989, would pay particular attention to obstacles to attaining the objectives contained in the 1969 Declaration on Social Progress and Development. He would also bring into focus implementation of the social aspects of the 1986 United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (1986-1990).
In another draft, Governmentswould be called upon to give special attention to social aspects in their rural development policies and programmes, and regional commissions would be invited to give particular attention to the same topic. The impact of structural adjustment, including debt, on the social development of developing countries would also be analysed in the next report on the world social situation.
Margaret J. Anstee, Director-Generalof the United Nations Office at Vienna and Head of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, told the Commission that the United Nations should concentrate on those social issues with which it was best equipped to deal. Priority issues to be examined at the policy level included: social effects of economic adjustment and policies needed to deal with them; social consequences of new technologies; and a social policy for the aging.
In a text on protection of and assistanceto the family, proposed by Poland, the Economic and Social Council would recommend that the General Assembly invite States to express their views on the possible proclamation of an International Year of the Family.
The Secretary-General, by anotherdraft, would undertake discussions on the family-related activities of other United Nations organizations, within available resources.
Regional commissions and specializedagencies concerned, under another text, would be asked to make further efforts to promote the co-operative movement as an effective instrument for improving the well-being of all peoples. The Secretary-General would report on national experience in promoting the co-operative movement, paying special attention, among other things, to participation of peasants, including landless peasants and nomadic populations, in co-operatives; the role of co-operatives and organizations similar to co-operatives in promoting development in urban areas; and the participation of all people, including women, yourth, disabled persons and the aging, in co-operatives. …