UN to Focus on Social Impact of Alcohol Abuse

Article excerpt

Experts from all over the world may gather under UN auspices in Norway in 1990 to discuss the negative social and health aspects of alcohol abuse. Member States may also be asked to prepare national reports on the subject.

This was among the 13 recommendations made by the 32member Commission for Social Development at its thirty-first session (13-22 March, Vienna).

The basis for much of its work was the 260-page Report on the World Social Situation, a comprehensive review of topics affecting all levels of society throughout the world, which is issued once every four years.

The current report, the twelfth in a series begun in 1952, reviews 10 main areas, including the changing structure of the family and the social impact of new technologies, international co-operation against drug abuse, international terrorism, acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS), migrants and refugees.

Sixty-two statistical charts and tables on such issues as wages of females as a percentage of wages of males and capital flight from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and a special section on the critical social situation in Africa are included.

The Commission recommended that the Economic and Social Council appeal for increased international assistance to African countries, particularly to improve their infrastructure. The SecretaryGeneral would be asked to report on the critical social situation in Africa, paying special attention to the impact of structural adjustment policies.

During debate, African representatives told the Commission that 50 to 75 per cent of that continent's people were today living in poverty, 40 million were facing famine, commodity prices were declining and external debt was mounting. …