Plenary discussions continued yesterday 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."
GREECE: speaking on behalf of the EU, highlighted the short- and medium-term plans of the EU as contained in the European Commission's "White Paper". He stated that real political commitment to democratic systems of governance and participatory decision-making are necessary if the core issues are to be addressed successfully.
MEXICO: stated that a favorable economic climate is necessary for addressing social problems. He said that the draft declaration should reflect: government commitments to achieve better standards of living; promotion of the collective responsibility of all sectors of society; and international cooperation to facilitate national-level work.
AUSTRIA: recommended that the Summit should: contribute to international cooperation in resolving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems; provide concrete action-oriented plans and programmes that can be regularly monitored; motivate States to concentrate on sustainable social development; and make employment a central objective of investment.
UNDP: described their capacity-building initiatives and expressed hope that the Summit would not only focus on the economy but also develop more integrated and intersectorally-linked approaches. In this connection, 10 country programmes on integrated sustainable human development strategies for the future have already been targeted. UNDP is committed to fostering increased participation in the Summit process through broad representation of major social constituencies and organizations.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: said that social justice and democracy are prerequisites for social harmony and underscored the need to eliminate discrimination towards vulnerable groups, and women. He elaborated on the important role of quality education, enhanced health services, sufficient infrastructure and population policies, as the key elements for socio-economic progress.
INDONESIA: stated that majority of the poor in Asia and Africa live in the rural areas. He said that Indonesia's focus on the agricultural sector to promote food self-sufficiency in the mid-70s has systematically reduced the numbers living below the poverty line from 60 out of 100 then, to 15 out of 100 in the 90s. He said that resolving the core issues will require the strengthening of multilateral cooperation for development.
ISRAEL: outlined their experience in addressing the core issues of the Summit. She noted that besides stimulating economic activity, increasing investment and developing infrastructures, national governments should create incentives to households and employers to increase participation in market activities. She noted the value of cultural diversity and the potential of nations to learn from each other.
SWEDEN: said that the Summit should set national and international objectives that are based on a coherent and consistent understanding of social development as well as standards for measuring national progress in the promotion of social development. The Summit should also raise collective awareness among the affluent members regarding the vast differences in living standards and show the poor the extent of international support on their behalf. He said that economic growth must be accompanied by the redistribution of wealth.
GERMANY: noted that the Summit should provide a new political impetus as well as practical ideas on the core issues; however, it should also bear in mind that a number of related questions are dealt with in other conferences. Thus, efforts should be made to ensure that political actions at the national and international level are harmonized. He noted the importance of social security systems that foster social integration and promote individual capacity-building. He proposed using the ILO as a possible follow-up mechanism for the Summit.
NAMIBIA: said that the three core issues are fundamental human rights issues, and thus necessitate the education of all individuals regarding their rights. Ignorance leads to discrimination and exclusion. She stressed the need to develop measurable targets with time-frames, on the integration of women and people with special needs at all levels of social and economic life.
VENEZUELA: stated that democracy is a prerequisite for social development, and should be complemented by initiatives such as: income redistribution policies; enhanced social security systems; mechanisms to develop harmonious relations with civil society; and measures to eliminate excessive bureaucracy between local communities and government.
THE NETHERLANDS: said the Declaration should address: the need for the Summit; common principles, perspectives and goals; responsibilities of national governments and NGOs on the issues; actions, policies and institutional provisions to be pursued by the UN. He said that the plan of action provided in Working Paper No. 1 can be a basis for further consideration, but should distinguish between the national and international activities.
GUYANA: noted that social development will best thrive amid democracy and economic development. She suggested that elements of a universally accepted human development index should be developed to provide focus to the goals of the Summit.
WORLD CITIZENS: proposed a more streamlined global infrastructure that would empower national governments to deal with those problems that are outside national jurisdiction. She also stated a member of World Citizens has been working on a "World Marshall Plan" that would promote the flow of goods, services, information and technology.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON SOCIAL WELFARE: said the Summit should not be seen as an isolated event but as the beginning of a new era of discussion, action and accountability by individual States and the international community.
DAWN: proposed the following elements for inclusion in the declaration and plan of action: incorporation of gender equity principles; involvement of Southern women; links between macro-economic and political structural issues; analysis of the factors underlying the current global economic environment; reversal of resource allocations between military and social sector budgets; redressing imbalances in the access to and control of resources between social classes; mechanisms for ensuring human rights; creation of employment and opportunities for income-earning in the informal sector; alleviation of poverty; recognition of the role of NGOs and women's groups.
CROATIA: noted the extent to which Croatia's social and economic fabric has been gravely damaged by the devastation brought about by Serbian aggression. She said that the Summit should address the various forms of international assistance and bilateral consultations needed in human development, capacity-building and transition and post-war rehabilitation. She said that the success of the Summit is preconditioned on the political will and resolve of the international community to promote peace and confront acts of aggression throughout the world by strengthening UN peace-keeping and peace-making.
URUGUAY: said that social development is the substantive part of global development and helps promote international peace and security. He stressed the importance of: addressing the external debt crisis; protecting children in developing countries; achieving greater economic growth; and the need to balance social and economic efficiency.
SLOVAK REPUBLIC: said that social transformation should not be regarded as an appendage to economic growth. He noted the importance of deregulation in the field of labor relations to ensure the involvement of all actors. He called for new models for labor relations, income distribution and social security.
SIERRA LEONE: called on States to ensure justice for all through access to education and noted the difficulties faced by developing countries in implementing ambitious social programmes without financial resources. He emphasized the need to reduce rural poverty, especially among women, who face discrimination even if they are heads of households. He also said that the positive role of youth must be considered.
CANADA: recommended that the plan of action should address: concrete objectives; options for national initiatives; international and regional action; definition of the roles and responsibilities of the UN system; and monitoring. He noted the importance of partnership-building with all sectors and called for the necessary adjustments in the UN and appropriate recognition of the role of international and regional financial institutions.
NIGER: called for urgent and concrete action, especially in developing countries. She noted that 1/2 of Africa's population lives in grinding poverty. She said that the Summit should take stock of what has been done to improve social conditions and to assess what areas must be targeted for future action. She called on governments to implement the goals affirmed in the Children's Summit and Agenda 21 and to address macro-economic policies.
UNFPA: urged that the results of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights and the forthcoming International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in September, 1994 are drawn into the preparations for the WSSD. He listed the issues being addressed by the ICPD that have a direct bearing on the WSSD: population stabilization; reproductive health policies; family planning and the relationship between population pressure, poverty and environmental degradation.
SERVICE, JUSTICE AND PEACE IN LATIN AMERICA: said that governments must ensure the implementation of human development goals. The WSSD should agree on mechanisms to reverse the flow of resources from South to North. As well, the concept of the "Jubilee Year" should be considered to ensure external debt forgiveness and an international programme of reparations.
PATHWAYS TO PEACE (ON BEHALF OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD CAUCUS): asserted that the needs of States are best served by first meeting the needs of children. Ensuring the rights of the child is the first step towards the development of healthy individuals and thus to international security and world peace.
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