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PROGRAMME OF ACTION

The Main Committee was also mandated to reach agreement on outstanding issues in the Programme of Action, and, as noted above, used several contact groups to negotiate various parts of the text. The following is a description of the Programme of Action, with emphasis on the issues that were resolved in Copenhagen.

INTRODUCTION: The Programme of Action outlines policies, actions and measures to implement the principles and fulfill the commitments enunciated in the Declaration. All the recommended actions are linked. The Programme of Action combines many different actions for poverty eradication, employment creation and social integration in coherent national and international strategies.

CHAPTER I. AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: This chapter is based on the recognition that social development is inseparable from the economic, political, ecological and cultural environment in which it takes place.

A. A Favourable National and International Economic Environment: This section identifies the actions required to promote mutually reinforcing, broad-based sustained economic growth and sustainable development. This section addresses food production and access to food, but delegates deleted text calling for reorientation of agricultural policies and adoption of appropriate forms of agricultural support in accordance with the Final Act of the Uruguay Round. Delegates agreed to language that equitably distributed benefits of global economic growth are essential, removing the bracketed qualifier "more."

The text on debt relief calls for efforts to alleviate the burden of debt, compared to the original bracketed "reduce and/or alleviate," but adds "where appropriate, addressing the full stock of debt of the poorest and most indebted developing countries." The new text repeats the language on debt that was agreed to in the Declaration. The text regarding ODA combined three bracketed alternatives, and qualified the commitment to increase ODA to 0.7% of GNP as "consistent with countries" economic circumstances and capacity to assist." The sub-paragraph includes specific numerical targets "as soon as possible" rather than setting a specific date. The paragraph on measures to reduce inefficiencies and inequities in accumulation of wealth removed references to illegitimate/excessive accumulation of wealth by speculative or windfall gains. It now includes the use of appropriate taxation at the national level and the objective to improve stability in financial markets.

B. A Favourable National and International Political and Legal Environment: This section contains paragraphs that encourage decentralization of public institutions, transparent processes, educational programmes, and the development of attitudes and values that promote responsibility and solidarity.

Delegates noted that actions in this section are "essential" rather than the bracketed "required." Delegates agreed to establish conditions for social partners to organize "freely and responsibly," but the right to collectively bargain is to take "due account of national laws and regulations." A parallel sub-paragraph recommends similar conditions for professional workers and independent workers" organizations.

Language dealing with the creation of conditions for the voluntary return of refugees to their places of origin was retained with a reference to internally displaced persons, but the list of the causes for displacement, including terrorist intervention, social strife and natural disasters, was removed. Several sub-paragraphs dealing with the right to development were adopted with softened commitments. States agree to take measures to ensure economic social, cultural and political development, whereas the draft text referred to the right to development as an inalienable human right. In the text on the right to development, States commit to "promoting" rather than "ensuring" the right to development. Delegates added "strengthening democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms" as the means to implement the commitment. Language on national sovereignty in promoting a favourable political and legal environment was removed from the final text after prolonged negotiations. Delegates agreed to ensure that "human persons are at the centre of social development."

CHAPTER II. ERADICATION OF POVERTY: The basis for action for this chapter refers to the one billion people in the world living under unacceptable conditions of poverty. This section notes that poverty has various manifestations and origins and can only be eradicated through universal access to economic opportunities and basic social services and empowerment.

Delegates agreed to remove the brackets from a sub-paragraph regarding the juvenilization and feminization of poverty. The reference to the origins of poverty now only notes that poverty has many causes, including structural ones. In the text describing expanded opportunities for people living in poverty, delegates replaced the reference to enhanced capacities "in a sustainable manner" with a reference to "managing resources sustainable." The revised text calls for policies that sustain family stability in accordance with the Social Summit Declaration and that of the International Conference on Population and Development.

A. The Formulation of Integrated Strategies: This section addresses the ways in which governments should focus public efforts towards the eradication of poverty and redesign public investment policies. The bracketed language describing civil rights and access to public services now refers to "relevant human rights instruments" and the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, in addition to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Delegates agreed to assess the impact of policies on "family well-being and conditions" rather than on "family stability," and used "family conditions" in another reference to indicators of family stability.

B. Improved Access to Productive Resources and Infrastructure: This section calls for improved financial and technical assistance for community-based development and self-help programmes. In a sub-paragraph regarding land rights and management, delegates changed protection of "traditional" rights to land and resources to "protecting, within the national context, the traditional rights..." to land and resources.

C. Meeting the Basic Human Needs of All: This section calls for governments, in partnership with all other development actors, to cooperate to meet the basic human needs of all, including: implementing commitments that have been made to meet these needs and improving access to social services for people living in poverty and other vulnerable groups.

Delegates retained a reformulated reference to parents" rights and responsibilities in a sub-paragraph on access to social services. The call for the "assistance of the international community" in the paragraph on implementing commitments to meet basic needs now calls for such assistance "consistent with Chapter V" of the Programme of Action. A sub-paragraph calling for accessible primary health care now calls for action, taking into account the need for parental guidance. In the sub- paragraph on access to primary health care services for people living in poverty, the reference to access to "preventive health care" and the listing of what that term includes was dropped, but the sub-paragraph retains the call for primary health care, "free of charge or at affordable rates." A sub-paragraph calling for cooperation between relevant actors to develop a national strategy to improve reproductive and child health care now specifies a number of services to be provided, "consistent with the International Conference on Population and Development."

D. Enhanced Social Protection and Reduced Vulnerability: This section deals with strengthened and expanded social protection systems. These systems should be based on legislation, in order to protect from poverty people who cannot work due to sickness, disability, old age, HIV/AIDS, or who have lost their livelihoods due to natural disaster.

Delegates deleted "language barriers" from the list of reasons for being unable to find work. States agreed to "ensure" a social safety net under structural adjustment programmes, rather than stating that they would "work to ensure" one. The reference to families "in their various forms" was deleted from the sub-paragraph on family stability. The sub-paragraph regarding the rights of children now calls for family reunification "consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child."

CHAPTER III. THE EXPANSION OF PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT: The basis for action in this chapter refers to productive work not only as a means of economic livelihood, but as a defining element of human identity. As such, high levels of unemployment and underemployment require that the State, the private sector and other actors and institutions cooperate to create the conditions, knowledge and skills necessary for people to work productively.

The bracketed reference to reflecting the value of unremunerated work in satellite accounts of the GNP was replaced with a reference to developing methods for "reflecting its value in quantitative terms for possible reflection in accounts" separate from national accounts. In all cases in this chapter where delegates had to choose between a bracketed "requires" or a less imperative term such as "can be achieved by," delegates agreed to "require" action.

A. The Centrality of Employment in Policy Formulation: This section identifies actions to place the expansion of productive employment at the center of sustainable development strategies and economic and social policies. It also highlights the need to minimize the negative impact on jobs of measures for macroeconomic stability.

B. Education, Training and Labour Policies: This section deals with access to productive employment in a rapidly changing global environment and development of better quality jobs. These goals are to be accomplished by establishing well-defined educational priorities and investing effectively in education and training systems.

C. Enhanced Quality of Work and Employment: This section calls on governments to enhance the quality of work and employment by observing and fully implementing the human rights obligations that they have assumed and by abolishing child labor.

In the sub-paragraph on basic workers" rights, delegates called for equal remuneration for men and women for equal work, and included the bracketed reference to full implementation of the ILO conventions by parties to the conventions or taking them into account if they are not a party. In the subsequent sub-paragraph on ratification of ILO conventions, delegates promised to "strongly" consider ratification and implementation of the conventions.

D. Enhanced Employment Opportunities for Groups with Specific Needs: This section highlights the need for programmes that are equitable, non-discriminatory, efficient and effective, and which involve groups in the planning, design, management, monitoring and evaluatation of these programmes.

E. A Broader Recognition and Understanding of Work and Employment: This section notes that a broader recognition of work requires a more comprehensive knowledge of work and employment through, inter alia, efforts to measure and better understand the type, extent and distribution of unremunerated work, and promotion of socially useful volunteer work. The reference in this section to measuring unremunerated work was also replaced with a reference to developing methods for "reflecting its value in quantitative terms for possible reflection in accounts" separate from national accounts.

CHAPTER IV. SOCIAL INTEGRATION: The basis for action in this chapter notes that the main aim of social integration must be to enable different groups in society to live together in productive and cooperative diversity. This section identifies an urgent need for action on twelve fronts, three of which were agreed on in Copenhagen. Delegates recognized a role for civil society in "decisions determining the functioning and well-being of their societies" rather than in "public policies." Special attention is given to the "enjoyment" of health, but not as a fundamental right. Finally, "legitimate national defence needs" are now recognized before the call for action on arms trade, excessive military expenditures and excessive investment for arms production.

A. Responsive Government and Full Participation in Society: This section calls on governments to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.

The bracketed sub-paragraph regarding the participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups now notes that such groups will participate, "on a consultative basis," in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of social development policies.

B. Non-Discrimination, Tolerance and Mutual Respect for and Value of Diversity: This section notes that elimination of discrimination and promotion of tolerance and mutual respect can be accomplished by enacting and implementing laws and other regulations against racism, racial discrimination, religious intolerance and xenophobia.

C. Equality and Social Justice: This section calls on governments to promote equality and social justice by: ensuring that all people are equal before the law; regularly reviewing health and education policies and public spending from a social and gender equality and equity perspective; and promoting their positive contribution to equalizing opportunities.

The bracketed sub-paragraph on structural adjustment programmes now calls on actors to "ensure" that SAPs are designed to minimize their negative impacts, and to "ensure" their positive impact rather than simply "improve" their impact.

D. Responses to Special Social Needs: This section calls on governments to identify the means to encourage institutions to adapt to the special needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. A new sub-paragraph was added to this section to ensure access to work and social services. In the sub-paragraph on opportunities for the disadvantaged and vulnerable, delegates agreed to "improve" the opportunities for such groups rather than to "promote" the groups to seek public offices.

E. Responses to Specific Social Needs of Refugees, Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers, Documented Migrants and Undocumented Migrants: This section states that in order to address the special needs of refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers, governments should address the root causes that lead to the movements of refugees and displaced persons. Delegates retained the reference to integration of documented migrant workers and members of their families.

F. Violence, Crime, the Problem of Illicit Drugs and Substance Abuse: This section notes that solutions to the problems created by violence, crime, substance abuse and production, use and trafficking of illicit drugs, and the rehabilitation of addicts can be achieved by introducing and implementing specific policies and public health and social service programmes to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence in society.

G. Social Integration and Family Responsibilities: This section promotes the role of the family in social integration. The entire section remained bracketed after PrepCom III. The new text states that States agree to: note that the family is "entitled to receive comprehensive protection and support;" encourage policies designed to meet the needs of families; ensure opportunities for family members to understand their social responsibilities; promote mutual respect within the family; and promote equal partnership between women and men in the family.

CHAPTER V. IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP: The basis for action in this chapter highlights several essential requirements for implementation: protection of human rights; new partnerships; recognition of the world"s diversity; empowerment; mobilization of new and additional resources; and recognition of the moral imperative of mutual respect among individuals, communities and nations.

Delegates removed brackets from the reference to "new and additional" resources in the section on mobilization of funding sources, but the reference to "available" funding sources was replaced with "adequate and predictable and mobilized in a way that maximizes the availability of such resources."

A. National Strategies: This section enumerates the elements to be addressed in an integrated approach to national-level implementation of the Programme of Action. These include: review of economic policies and their impact on social development; national and international coordination; measures to eradicate poverty and increase employment and social integration; integration of social development goals into national development plans; and definition of goals and targets for poverty reduction. Actions to be taken in bilateral and multilateral agencies include: assisting countries to develop social development strategies; coordinating agency assistance; and developing new social development indicators. Delegates agreed to "eradicating" poverty as a goal. They also agreed to a new sub-paragraph urging the General Assembly to declare a decade for eradication of poverty.

B. Involvement of Civil Society: This section outlines the actions required to strengthen civil society, which include: supporting the creation and involvement of community organizations; supporting capacity-building programmes; and providing resources. The section also highlights the actions needed to enhance the contribution of civil society to social development, which include: facilitating partnerships with government; stimulating private investment in social development; and encouraging the participation of trade unions, farmers and cooperatives. The text was bracket-free coming into the Summit.

C. Mobilization of Financial Resources: This section identifies the actions needed to augment the availability of resources for social development at the national and international levels. No brackets remained in the paragraph on national-level actions, which include: socially-responsible economic policies; military expenditure reductions; high priority to social development spending; an increase in the effective and transparent use of resources; and innovative sources of funding. Language that proposed creating an International Fund for Social Development was deleted. Delegates agreed to replace the many alternatives on the 20:20 commitment with a call for "interested developed and developing partners" to allocate 20% of ODA and 20% of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes. The sub-paragraph limiting overhead costs of development projects and programmes was deleted. Delegates also deleted text on reducing the negative social impacts of defense industry conversion from the sub-paragraph dealing with assistance for implementing macroeconomic stabilization programmes. Sub-paragraphs calling for eliminating the bilateral debt of Africa and the least developed countries and for reducing debt of other developing countries were replaced with a call to "substantially reduce the bilateral debts of the least developed countries" particularly in Africa, and to explore "innovative approaches to manage and alleviate" debt burdens of other developing countries. A specific target date for debt reduction was removed from the new sub- paragraph. Text mobilizing the IDA Debt Reduction Facility to help eligible developing countries reduce commercial debt was included without language allowing application of its principles to other developing countries. Delegates included text inviting continued initiatives to address commercial debt problems of creditor countries, private banks, and multilateral financial institution for least developed, low and middle-income developing countries.

D. The Role of the United Nations System: This section describes: the role of the General Assembly and ECOSOC in social development; the scope of UN assistance needed for developing countries and countries with economies in transition; the coordination required within the UN system; and the strengthening of UNDP. In the reference to ECOSOC"s role, delegates deleted a section assigning ECOSOC the responsibility of evaluating responses to economic and social crises. ECOSOC is now directed only to consider holding joint meetings with the Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF. Delegates deleted reference to an ECOSOC expert study of national tax systems, but called on the Secretary-General to ensure effective coordination of implementation without assigning responsibility to the UN Secretariat. Delegates agreed that the development of UN capacity to gather and analyze social development information should take into account the work carried out by different countries and strengthen UN capacity to provide policy and technical support and advice.

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