The following is a description of the Declaration, including the ten commitments, with emphasis on the issues that were resolved in Copenhagen.
INTRODUCTION: The introduction to the Declaration outlines the need for and goals of the Social Summit. It acknowledges that societies must respond more effectively to the "material and spiritual needs of individuals, their families and communities." It highlights the relationship between social development and social justice on one hand, and peace and security among nations on the other. The introduction also recognizes the importance of democracy and transparent and accountable governance for the realization of social and people-centered sustainable development.
PART I. A. CURRENT SOCIAL SITUATION AND REASONS FOR CONVENING THE SUMMIT: This section elaborates on the need for the Social Summit. It notes the benefits and possible threats of globalization, identifies areas of progress in social and economic development and groups that are especially affected by poverty, and calls for the reduction and elimination of sources of social distress.
Delegates removed the brackets from a sub-paragraph that referred to the social problems of countries with economies in transition, but they added a note that the problems of these countries were different than those elsewhere.
B. PRINCIPLES AND GOALS: This section outlines the necessary framework for action to promote "social progress, justice and the betterment of the human condition." It recognizes the importance of: sound broadly-based economic policies; the family as the basic unit of society; the importance of transparent and accountable governance; and the importance of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Delegates removed brackets from the reference to the right to self-determination and agreed to "ensure" the participation of women in all spheres of activity in a sub- paragraph on that topic. The reference to countries with economies in transition in a paragraph regarding international efforts to reduce inequalities was altered to state that the "radical changes" in those countries have been accompanied by a deterioration in their economic and social situation.
PART II. COMMITMENTS: This section contains ten commitments and related national and international actions. The two-paragraph introduction recognizes the need for international cooperation, but also notes the need for full respect of national sovereignty. Delegates maintained the disputed reference to respect for "territorial integrity" in the introduction.
Commitment 1: This commitment calls for the creation of an enabling environment through: a stable legal framework; strengthened civil society; a supportive external economic environment; the promotion of human rights; and the implementation of international agreements relating to trade, investment, technology, debt and ODA.
Delegates called for a stable legal framework "in accordance with our constitutions, laws and procedures, and consistent with international law and obligations," thus including both of the bracketed choices offered by PrepCom III. The call for the provision of financial resources at the international level was qualified to a call for "mobilization and/or provision" of financial resources, but delegates agreed that they should be "mobilized in a way that maximizes the availability of such resources for sustainable development, using all available funding sources and mechanisms."
Commitment 2: This commitment calls for the eradication of poverty. To achieve this goal, national actors should provide for basic needs, ensure access to productive resources, ensure adequate economic and social protection, and seek to reduce inequalities. International actors should encourage an appropriate response from international donors and multilateral development banks, and focus attention on the special needs of countries with substantial concentrations of people living in poverty. This commitment contained no brackets.
Commitment 3: This commitment identifies the goal of full employment. Action to be taken on this issue focuses special attention on the problems of structural, long-term unemployment, and underemployment of youth, women and disadvantaged groups. It calls for: investment in human resource development; improved access to land, credit, and information; equal treatment of women and men, especially with respect to pay; and protection for migrant workers. The debate over how to refer to workers" rights was resolved with a general reference to relevant ILO conventions, followed by references to specific ILO conventions on forced and child labour, freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, and non- discrimination.
Commitment 4: This commitment calls for "promoting social integration by fostering societies that are stable, safe and just." National-level actions include: promotion of pluralism and diversity; strengthening of anti-discrimination policies; protection of migrants" human rights; and respect for cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. International-level actions include implementation of international instruments and enhancement of international mechanisms to assist refugees and host countries.
Delegates deleted the bracketed reference to "respect for the sovereignty of States" in the sub-paragraph regarding ratification and implementation of declarations calling for elimination of discrimination and protection of human rights.
Commitment 5: This commitment pledges States to achieve equality and equity between women and men, and to promote leadership roles of women in all levels of society. National-level actions include: full access by women to education and training; measures to combat discrimination or exploitation of women; and support services to facilitate women"s participation in paid work. International-level actions include ratification of international instruments and recognition of the extent of women"s contributions to the national economy.
The bracketed reference to the "widest range" of health-care services was replaced with a call for the widest range of health-care services, "consistent with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development."
Commitment 6: This commitment calls on States to promote and attain universal and equitable access to quality education and health. The G-77 proposed this commitment at Prepcom III, but the text was entirely negotiated by the Working Group of the Main Committee in Copenhagen. Delegates expanded the preamble, strengthening the language on health from "basic health services" to "the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health" and specifying access of all to primary health care. The preamble"s text on culture was also expanded to "respecting and promoting our common and particular cultures; striving to strengthen the role of culture in development." Delegates added emphasis to gender issues and the priority of women and girls in sub-paragraphs regarding lifelong learning, completing school, access to education and health education. References to the disabled were also strengthened. Delegates called for children's access to education, adequate nutrition and health care, consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. New sub- paragraphs in the national commitments section focus on indigenous people, links between the labour market and education policies, learning acquisition and outcome, maternal and child health objectives, HIV/AIDS education, and environmental awareness. The sub-paragraph regarding institutional involvement was broadened, and now includes references to partnerships among governments, NGOs, the private sector, local communities, religious groups and families.
Delegates added three sub-paragraphs to the section on international-level action, thus adding references to: coordinated actions against major diseases; promotion of technology transfer related to education, training and health programmes and policies; and support for programmes to protect all women and children against exploitation, trafficking, child prostitution, female genital mutilation and child marriages.
Commitment 7: This commitment calls for accelerated economic, social and human resource development in Africa and the least developed countries. To this end, structural adjustment policies should include social development goals, support should be given to economic reforms and food security programmes, and the debt problem should be addressed. Governments are also called on to support reform efforts and programmes chosen by the African and least developed countries.
The sub-paragraph on the debt problem was reworked, and now calls for immediate implementation of the terms on debt forgiveness agreed to by the Paris Club in December 1994, and invites international financial institutions to examine innovative approaches to assist low-income countries.
Commitment 8: This commitment calls on States to ensure that structural adjustment programmes include social development goals. States agree to: promote basic social programmes; develop policies to reduce the negative social impacts of structural adjustment programmes; and ensure that women do not bear disproportionate burdens from such programmes. International actors are to enlist the support of regional and international organizations, especially the Bretton Woods institutions, to implement social development goals. The text for this commitment contained no brackets following PrepCom III.
Commitment 9: This commitment calls on States to increase and/or use more efficiently the resources that are allocated to social development. National-level actions include: economic policies to attract external resources; innovative funding sources; reliable statistics to develop social policies; fair, progressive taxation systems; and reduction in military expenditures. International-level actions include: mobilization of new resources; facilitation of the flow of international finance, technology and human skills; fulfillment of ODA targets; implementation of existing debt-relief agreements; and monitoring of the impact of trade liberalization on developing countries" efforts to meet basic human needs.
As with other references to financial resources, the sub-paragraph on this issue now calls for financial resources that are "adequate and predictable." The sub-paragraph on debt relief again refers to the agreement reached by the Paris Club in December 1994, and invites the international financial institutions to examine innovative approaches to assist low-income countries. Rather than "striving" to increase UN financing, delegates agreed to increase resources on a "predictable, continuous and assured basis."
Commitment 10: This commitment calls for States to improve the framework for international, regional, and subregional cooperation for social development. Actors at all levels are called on to implement and monitor the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development. ECOSOC is called on to review and assess progress made on the Summit outcome, and the General Assembly is called on to convene a special session in the year 2000 to review and appraise implementation.
The bracketed sub-paragraph calling for States to abstain from implementing coercive, unilateral measures that create obstacles to economic and social development was replaced with a call to "refrain from unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter."
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