The Chair of the PrepCom, Ambassador Juan Somav�a, invited the Plenary to continue discussion on Agenda Items 3 and 4, "Status of the preparations for the WSSD" and "Analysis of the core issues to be addressed by the Summit and policy measures to attain its objectives."
ECLAC: Mr. Rosenthall spoke on behalf of five regional commissions (ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP and ESCWA). He said that each of the commissions had prepared documents on the desired process and output of the PrepCom. The commissions had singled out four important elements for the WSSD to consider: (1) avoid the traditional approach to economic growth, and focus on socio-political policies; (2) link all the UN thematic areas such as population, habitat, environment, women and peace; (3) deal with the national as well as international issues; and (4) develop a conceptual framework within which these elements fit.
BRAZIL: Amb. Luiz Paulo Lindenberg Sette proposed that the WSSD should adopt a comprehensive approach in tackling its mandate and should focus on both the economic roots of social problems and the necessity to direct economic efforts to a satisfaction of social needs. He said the challenge is to overcome the numerous forms of social exclusion that breed violence. Productive employment must be accompanied by access to international markets in favourable conditions, while social integration will be enhanced by implementing anti-discrimination policies.
DENMARK: Minister for Development Cooperation Helle Degn said that the end of the nuclear threat may have been replaced by the social and ecological bombs. She stated that social policy must address both the sector policies and the society's fundamental functioning principles. She stressed the need to focus on Africa through a comprehensive policy approach to trade, debt and development assistance while paying attention to the negative effects of structural adjustment. She hailed the important role of NGOs in providing new and innovative ideas.
INDIA: Amb. M. H. Ansari underscored the importance of people's participation in tackling the problems at hand. He explained that India's experience, creating people's movements in anti-poverty strategies in education, health, literacy, family planning and land improvement was indispensable. He warned against the unbridled prescription of the market economy for all societies without considering national specificities and their historical background.
COLOMBIA: Amb. Luis Fernando Jaramillo stated that the UN, Bretton Woods institutions and regional development banks should spearhead the development of national and regional strategies. He also highlighted the discriminatory trends of the GATT through the economic preferential treatment of the developed countries in creating subsidies and enforced quantity restrictions.
JAMAICA: The delegate noted that international institutions and regional development banks have a major role to play in ensuring that regional programmes are relevant to national activities. The UN family should also strengthen its relationship with the Bretton Woods institutions in order to ensure that fiscal reforms take social issues into consideration. She stated that the Summit should mobilize its political and moral authority towards demilitarization of states and channel the needed monetary resources to micro-development processes, while ensuring the participation of women, and paying attention to existing inequalities.
FAO: Jean Syrogianis Camara said that the WSSD should give attention to the rural poor, particularly in Africa. He noted that the unfavorable external economic environment and the debt burden make it impossible for developing countries to escape the poverty trap. He underscored the need to mobilize the poorer, socially marginal groups through community and other local self-help organizations, both to undertake cooperative self-help activities and to combat the dominating interests of the local elites. Such action should be supplemented by government intervention through structural reform measures which weaken the stranglehold of the elites.
PERU: Counselor Jorge Lazaro Geldres stated that the WSSD should produce a declaration of principles, equivalent to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration should be marked by ethical values that are shared by all states and groups, and should provide the guiding principles for national and international relations as well as intergovernmental activities. The Plan of Action should include the proposals provided for in the Secretary-General's report, but with specific and quantitative goals. The Plan of Action should have follow-up activities and stipulate priority action that can be linked to some of the UN agencies. He also highlighted Peru's macro-economic programme activities.
WHO: Director of International Affairs Y. Kawaguchi said that the current attitude to accept neglect and exclusion instead of inclusion and compassion was alarming. He stressed that improved health and social status are the keys to equitable and sustained socio-economic development, since health is a product of, as well as a contributor to, a better quality of life. He noted that action should emanate from all levels, and from the community in particular.
WORLD BANK: K.Y. Amoako described the two background papers that the Bank is preparing for the Summit. He noted the Bank's progress in assisting countries to implement the Bank's assistance strategy to reduce poverty. Bank lending for human resources development during the past ten years has increased five-fold, to about US$3.5 billion in 1993. Lending for the education sector grew three-fold to US$2 billion in 1993, and in the same year population lending reached US$1.5 billion. Amoako noted that in countries where job creation is needed, the cost of labor must not be artificially raised by over-regulation. He added that adjustment operations supported by the Bank always attempted to take into account the unavoidable hardships incurred by vulnerable segments of the society. He said that economic adjustments in pursuit of increased efficiency often need to be accompanied with targeted protection for poor and vulnerable groups.
ICC: Abraham Katz spoke on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Organization of Employers. He said that one of the most pressing social problems facing the world today is the rise and persistence of substantial structural unemployment. In many countries, displacement of workers has resulted from structural adjustment policies aimed at rectifying past policy mistakes. He added that employment expansion must be based on an institutional and policy environment that encourages enterprises to prosper, as well as on a flexible regulatory framework that enables both employers and employees to adapt to economic change.
KENYA: Amb. Francis K. Muthaura noted the need for international support to ensure the implementation of national action programmes. He said it was necessary to recognize the regional differences regarding poverty, unemployment and marginalization of social groups. He added that 35% of the world labor force, estimated at 2.8 billion, is not productively employed and almost half of the women and one-quarter of men in the developing world are illiterate. He criticized the World Bank and the IMF for not having eased external debt. He recommended an international programme for social development for recycling excess wealth for the provision of basic social needs for the poor.
JAPAN: Amb. Shunji Maruyama stressed the importance of each country engaging in self-help efforts to overcome social problems. At the same time he noted that the international community as well as the UN has a responsibility to provide assistance to countries pursuing such efforts.
ILO: The representative from the International Labor Organization described the policy approach that the ILO would like to see adopted by the Summit. It involves more jobs, high quality jobs and social dialogue. He called for a renewed effort of international cooperation to ensure that social progress is not to be left at the mercy of uncontrolled global economic forces. He recommended the creation of international regulatory machinery to ensure that intensified global competition respects basic standards of social justice and protection with social partners as full participants.
UNICEF: Karin Sham Poo highlighted several steps that should be taken to ensure WSSD success: consolidate consensus on goals into a World Social Charter; strengthen the UN to ensure implementation; support the elaboration of country-level "development compacts"; and develop measures to help provide external resources linked to actions of social development and poverty eradication.
CONFERENCE OF AFRICAN MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: Dr.Duri Mohamed, of Ethiopia, urged the WSSD to give special attention to Africa by including supporting policies aimed at long-term human-centered development and transformation through a favorable external environment, a substantial increase in resource flows to Africa and alleviation of the continent's debt burden with a reassessment of aid policies.
UNIDO: A.O. Lacanlale spoke on behalf of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. He said that UNIDO considers the creation of an enabling economic environment crucial to promoting social integration, reducing poverty and expanding productive employment. He noted that gender equality and the empowerment of women is of singular importance to UNIDO, and the long-term solution to poverty lies in the creation and expansion of productive employment.
UNESCO: Dr. Yogesh Atal, Director and Assistant Coordinator for UNESCO, said that UNESCO firmly believes that economic growth should serve the cause of social development. Sustainable social development is possible only through human resource development. He stated that UNESCO would like to see reference in the Draft Declaration to: empowerment of girls and women; top priority to education and training; and improvement of communication through new technologies.
EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL: Robert Harris said that a section on education and information should be reflected in the Declaration and that the Plan of Action must contain a clear commitment to universal primary education. He called for reference in the Plan of Action to: women, indigenous peoples and youth, and affirmed the importance of the principle of solidarity throughout these proceedings.
UNRISD: Mr. Dharam Ghai, said that economic growth may facilitate, but not ensure, resolution of certain social problems. The UNRISD programme of work involves mobilizing the international community and bringing together policymakers, development practitioners and academics to promote study, discussion and debate on key social issues. It also involves an active programme of information dissemination to make the results of this work available to people who might not otherwise be included in the Summit process.
UNDCP: Sylvie Bryant of the United Nations Drug Control Programme, noted the multi-sectoral nature of drug abuse. She said that the need to address the problem of drugs is a crucial element in enhancing social integration. She noted that poverty and unemployment also have direct linkages with drug abuse and that it was important that the dimension of drug control be built into social and economic development policies and programmes.
WILPF: Pamela Saffer, of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, speaking on behalf of several NGOs, called for new democratic institutional mechanisms and people-centered policies with a substantial reduction in military expenditures. She said that the major challenge facing the international community is the provision of full employment.
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