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SOCIALLY RESPONSIVE SAPS:

The Social Summit texts are the first UN documents ever to address the adverse social consequences of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) and the need for socially responsive and responsible structural adjustment. While some NGOs had hoped for stronger language on the need to redesign SAPs, developed countries have agreed for the first time that social effects must be addressed in the implementation of SAPs. Several other outcomes of the SAPs debate reinforce the positive step forward on this issue: the acknowledgement that increased coordination is needed between the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions; the recognition that the involvement of both NGOs and the UN system in SAP design is essential; and the acknowledgement that social safety nets are not enough and that social services should be protected from "across the board budget cuts." However, despite the agreement that SAPs should not undermine social services, there is still no definition of what actually constitutes social spending, and thus it is unclear how these services are to be protected.