The Plenary met yesterday morning to consider recommendations for action by the UN based on Working Paper 1 and Addendum 1. There was no afternoon session yesterday to provide time for the decision documents to be prepared for today's session.
TUNISIA: The Summit should identify supplemental financing for specific rural and urban programmes, particularly in Africa. The action plan should pay particular attention to Africa as part of a new international agenda. As mentioned in the African document, financial mechanisms similar to the GEF for the environment should be established for follow-up.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Concrete political will by the international community is critical for the success of the Summit. The role of the UN should be to foster international cooperation. It should also strengthen its social sector through the reallocation of resources with a specific budget for the social sector. Implementation of the Summit's outcomes is the responsibility of individual countries. Nevertheless, international mechanisms for implementation and follow-up should be established.
GREECE, on behalf of the EU, said that it is premature to make concrete proposals regarding the role of the UN. Better use should be made of existing institutions dealing with social issues, rather than creating new ones. This will require better coordination, integration and coherence within the UN. The Bretton Woods institutions should work closely with the UN, while the ILO can be useful in follow-up.
INDIA: Agencies such as UNICEF have made decisive contributions in the advocacy field and had provided some financial support for projects. At a UNDP-sponsored conference in December 1993, India and Pakistan called on UNDP to adopt the theme of "mobilization of the poor" as the central focus of its charter just as UNICEF has focused on the child in its charter. The World Bank cannot divorce the micro needs of the poor from the macro needs of the economy. Priorities for the Bank and donors are: rural employment schemes; self-employment schemes, focusing on women, with training to upgrade their skills; prioritization in the delivery of social programmes, starting with the remotest areas; and support of innovative institutions.
THE NETHERLANDS: The 50th Anniversary of the UN in 1995 provides an opportunity for thorough self-investigation and reconsideration of structural and operational adjustments. Further integration between political and human security may necessitate a change in the Charter. ECOSOC could be the body to further develop the concept of human security.
SWEDEN: Based on the report of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Social Development held in Bratislava in June-July 1993, he proposed a multilateral European forum at the political level to deal with social development.
SWITZERLAND: The PrepCom should draw more from the Rio instruments and Agenda 21 than is mentioned in paras 25 and 26 of Document A/AC.166/PC/6. The UN agencies should play a major role in WSSD follow-up. The Bretton Woods institutions should provide advice and assistance in follow-up. ILO, UNESCO, UNRISD, UNDP and other UN agencies have expertise and experience on the core issues and should play a role in the analysis and synthesis of the issues, as well as in the re-orientation and re-allocation of funds. The Secretariat should provide a report during the next session of the outcome of the discussion to be carried out by ECOSOC on the agenda for human development. The possibility of merging ECOSOC with the UN Security Council could be considered.
URUGUAY: Social issues cannot be resolved without international cooperation. The most important role of the UN is to catalyze discussion on the core issues, particularly at the national level. The UN agencies can mobilize seed funds and technical assistance for country development projects as UNDP did in Uruguay.
ALGERIA, on behalf of the G-77 and China, noted two important factors of the role of the UN: (1) there is a need for greater coordination and linkage among the social and economic organs in the UN, and between the UN and other international and financial institutions; and (2) the allocation of considerable resources for peace-keeping activities should be reviewed.
C"TE D'IVOIRE: The key to success for the WSSD is to be found in the political will of donors to commit themselves to a social contract to prevent social disintegration and to ensure full employment. Decisions from the African common position should be adopted such as: 20% of official development assistance should be spent on social measures; official debt should be written off and the resources applied toward social development; and UNICEF, UNFPA, UNIFEM, and UNDP resources should be increased. Organs dealing with economic and social questions should be strengthened with sufficient human and financial resources. Structural adjustment must have a human face. International and regional banks should support local and rural banks close to the people to provide short-term loans to women and youth.
UGANDA: Capacity building at the national level must be integral to follow-up. A major difficulty with economic reforms is that inadequate attention is paid to the social costs of economic development. Resources from development programmes must not be reallocated to the social fields. To achieve the goals of the WSSD, new and additional resources are needed. UN agencies should play an advocacy role at the grassroots level. An Economic and Social Security Council would have to be democratic and have no veto power.
AUSTRALIA: The machinery for the advancement of all people has five parts: the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Security Council, the specialized agencies, and the Bretton Woods institutions. While the Security Council's main charge is to watch over international peace and security, the definition of security is not simply military in nature. At the Earth Summit, the meeting of Heads of State adopted a definition of security incorporating economic and social factors. Above all, what is needed in the machinery are policies that serve as goals for social development and coherence of action. Four things must be done to ensure that the WSSD reshapes the machinery and policies: all parts of the UN system must be people-centered; new priorities should be designed in the programme of action; the UN cannot be adequately described by Blue Helmets only; and the Bretton Woods institutions should be encouraged to join in redefining the priorities of the UN system in people-centered social development.
TURKEY: More emphasis should be placed on the economic and social issues of the UN in light of the emerging concepts of peace and security. The close relationship between ECOSOC and the Security Council, as suggested by the Netherlands, should be reviewed.
CHINA: The UN should: (1) undertake social development as a central role; (2) strengthen and coordinate its organs in social development activities and link its efforts with all the relevant national departments in the promotion and realization of social development policies and goals; (3) ensure that the Bretton Woods institutions and regional banks emphasize social development; and (4) emphasize social development in its work and assist research projects in the developing countries.
CANADA: The UN institutions must operate in an integrated manner to monitor implementation and follow-up. The role of ECOSOC, particularly in follow-up and monitoring should be strengthened. Regional development banks and international financial institutions should be associated with other UN institutions for better implementation. Other bilateral agencies should review their allocation of resources. The implementation and the role of NGOs in combatting poverty should be enhanced by developing partnerships with civil society to ensure that action plans are implemented. The Secretariat document should be seen as a working tool that could be used after the Summit to help those entrusted with the implementation of the output.
NORWAY: The UN system is too fragmented and uncoordinated. A more efficient use of combined resources in a more coordinated UN system would be beneficial. A division of labor based on comparative advantages rather than competition is needed. Coordination between Summits and Conferences is necessary.
PERU: The efforts made by UN agencies working in the social field should be acknowledged and strengthened. There is a need for greater cooperation among the agencies to address the three core issues. Regional social bodies should be revitalized with ties to the World Bank and regional development banks strengthened.
US: The discussion in this PrepCom shows the need to empower individuals to make decisions about their own lives. Empowerment is in the hands of individuals and NGOs, and governments have a role to play since better social development requires effective policies and laws.
NIGERIA: The UN and other international institutions should address the coordination of available financial resources to ensure cost-effectiveness. There is need for international cooperation between governments and NGOs and the private and public sectors. Restructuring should be people-centred.
AUSTRIA: There is a need to enhance networking between NGOs and government and to stimulate the sharing of relevant data, while paying attention to developing and less developed countries.
GHANA: Financial institutions should write off external debt and allocate resources to women and youth and disabled persons to take them off the streets. Scarce resources often have to be shared with refugees.
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