Magazine article UN Chronicle

Summit Follow-Up Deemed a Commission Priority

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Summit Follow-Up Deemed a Commission Priority

Article excerpt

Follow-up to the 1995 World Summit for Social Development was the priority subject of the Commission for Social Development at its thirty-fourth session (10-20 April, New York) - the first since the Summit was held in Copenhagen in March 1995 and also the first at Headquarters in 16 years. Previous sessions were held in Vienna.

During its nine-day session, the 32-member Commission also continued preparations for the observance of the tenth anniversary of the 1985 International Youth Year and, in 1999, the International Year of Older Persons. Other action was taken on the 1994 International Year of the Family and the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly.

In focusing attention on arrangements for implementing the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action, the Commission addressed such issues as the causes of poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, and the need for coordinated action by the international community and the UN system.

Some delegates felt the Economic and Social Council should review the Commission's mandate, agenda and composition, in light of the results of the Summit, as well as of other recent UN conferences that addressed social and economic development issues.

As a functional body of the Council, the Commission declared it should "have a central role in the follow-up", and its mandate should be adapted to "ensure an integrated approach to social development".

In discussion, Chile stressed that without a system-wide contribution, Council debate would lead nowhere. Speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the Philippines said there was a need to be bold and innovative in addressing social development issues.

The Commission also reviewed the world social situation, with discussions calling attention to recent UN conferences highlighting the interdependence between economic and social development and conditions of peace, as well as the necessity for policies to be in the best interest of the public at large. …

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