SPAIN: Arturo Laclaustra, on behalf of the EU, Romania and Bulgaria, said that the implementation of the Social Summit's Programme of Action rested primarily at the national level. He added that the EU attaches special importance to the involvement of civil society in the implementation and follow-up of the outcome of the Summit. He welcomed the Norwegian plans to host a meeting in 1996 to explore the 20:20 initiative. He called on the Secretary-General to consider holding joint meetings with the Heads of the Bretton Woods Institutions, the ILO and UN funds and programmes to discuss mobilization of resources. He supported establishing a multi-year programme of work for the Commission for Social Development, an improved UN reporting system, and the involvement of all relevant organs and bodies of the UN system in Social Summit follow-up.
DENMARK: Poul Nielson, Minister for Development Cooperation, said that the follow-up process must be innovative and concrete, and must lead to practical results. To provide a firm structure for this process, one approach would be to establish an Independent Forum on Social Development. To serve its purpose, the Forum would need consensus in terms of political backing as well as broad support in terms of financing its activities. From the consultations the Danes have had, he drew the conclusion that these preconditions will not be met. As a consequence, he did not consider it appropriate to pursue the idea as originally developed. Instead Denmark is considering alternative approaches, including a research project on the possibilities of international statistical follow-up to the Programme of Action. The Danes will also convene international high-quality seminars on selected social development issues.
MEXICO: Amb. Manuel Tello said that to fulfill the commitments of the Social Summit, Member States must adopt a global approach that links social and economic questions, sees social development questions from a political and cultural perspective and recognizes the direct relationship between promoting equal opportunity, economic growth and the international economic situation. The participation of civil society is indispensable in the implementation of any social development policy. The UN must provide support to countries' efforts to convert the results of the Social Summit into concrete national programmes.
CHILE: Amb. Juan Somavía said the message of the Social Summit was simple stability requires equality and respect for the environment. He said the policies of structural adjustment must place the costs on the strongest elements of society, not the weakest. The world has more than enough resources. All that is lacking is a mechanism to channel those resources to fulfilling the recommendations of the Summit. To those who wish to eliminate world conferences, he said, there is no other process for achieving such a high-level consensus. The major conferences represent a creative, intellectual exercise that results in the formulation of policy in a very cost-effective manner. The Summit cost only US$2.5 million out of the regular budget, equivalent to the cost of half a day of peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia.
CANADA: Amb. Robert Fowler said that coherent and coordinated implementation of the conclusions of the major UN international conferences should be the principal vocation of the UN system in the economic and social fields. Given the inevitable overlap of issues among conferences, a thematic approach to follow-up is the only practical way forward. The work programme of the Commission for Social Development should recognize the important interrelationships between the core themes of the Summit and adapt its mandate in order to ensure an integrated approach to social development and seek creative ways to involve independent experts and representatives of civil society.
PERU: Amb. Fernando Guillén said he attached great importance to Denmark's idea to establish an independent forum for social development. To implement the outcome of the Social Summit, Peru is undertaking a programme of structural adjustment and social support with its own resources. Peru's major challenge is to overcome poverty. At the beginning of 1995, at least 40% of Peru's national budget was devoted to social expenditures (200% more than the level agreed upon in Copenhagen).
INDONESIA: Amb. Nugroho Wisnumurti said that the implementation of the Programme of Action requires mustering the necessary financial resources and revitalizing institutional structures. Institutions with cross-cutting mandates are needed and ECOSOC's role should be strengthened. Close coordination among ECOSOC's functional commissions will have a positive impact on the activities of the UN system's funds and programmes. He emphasized the need to strengthen the UN's operational activities for development.
INDIA: MP John Fernandes said that the empowerment of people must be the central strategy in social and economic development to sustain human progress. International cooperation is essential to facilitate and accelerate national economic and social development. Countries have to commit the resources required to realize the rights of the poor by infrastructure-building, institution-building and formulation of policies. He supported a three-tiered structure for follow-up involving the Commission for Social Development, ECOSOC and the General Assembly.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: Djénébou Kaba said African countries are working to create an enabling environment by implementing development strategies and structural adjustment programmes. However, a genuine partnership has not come about. Donors must be mobilized and encouraged to act to combat poverty, hunger and destitution. The Commission for Social Development must be strengthened and a fund for social development should be created.
BRAZIL: Amb. Celso L. N. Amorim said that none of the Conferences should be seen as isolated events they must be seen as integral parts of a concerted effort to upgrade the treatment of the issue of development within the UN system. Brazil has recently created the Solidarity Community Programme, which seeks to coordinate efforts between the government and civil society for the eradication of absolute poverty. He stressed the importance of ensuring consistency of approach among the multisectoral strategies being pursued by the World Bank, IMF, UNDP and other organizations.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Amb. Park Soo Gil supported the decision to hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall review and appraisal of the outcome of the Summit. Implementation should comprise a number of elements of economic development and social progress, while respecting the diversity of social, traditional and cultural conditions of the respective country. In this regard, the UN must play a coordinating role. Greater attention should be given to the contributions of civil society.
KAZAKSTAN: Amb. Akmaral Kh. Arystanbekova said that the results of the Social Summit have provided the basis for the social policy in Kazakstan. National legislation has established forms of social assistance for the poorer sections of the population. More than 5 million people are covered by social services, and the President of Kazakstan has established regional charitable funds to improve the social-welfare services targeting needy and disabled citizens.
MALAYSIA: Amb. V. Yoogalingam agreed with the emerging consensus on the three themes in addressing poverty eradication: the formulation of an integrated strategy; meeting the basic human needs of all; and the promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives. The primary responsibility of implementing the Social Summit's goals falls on individual Member States, which must be facilitated by a conducive external economic environment. The move by ECOSOC to review cross-cutting themes common to the major international conferences is both timely and necessary. The proposal to convene a meeting of high-level representatives in 1997 may again divert human and financial resources towards its preparation rather than focusing on implementation.
AUSTRALIA: Amb. Richard Butler said the effective follow-up and implementation of the results of the major international conferences must contribute to an integrated framework of a global partnership for development. At the intergovernmental level, this means harmonizing the agendas and work programmes of the functional commissions that will follow-up on the conferences. At the operational level, this means enhancing inter-agency coordination, involving the active participation of NGOs and civil society. The strengthening of ECOSOC's role in overseeing system-wide coordination remains of paramount importance.
COLOMBIA: Arturo Infante said that Colombia has proposed a new social development model. Next January, a national meeting will take place to coordinate application of the commitments of the Heads of State at the Summit and the plan of action. The United Nations has a crucial role to play in the follow-up. The Commission for Social Development should consider convening a meeting of high-level delegates in 1997 to deal with the follow-up to the Summit. The Bretton Woods institutions should also take up the implementation of the commitments at the Summit.
KENYA: Amb. Francis K. Muthaura said poverty continues to be the root cause of many problems of society. Primary responsibility for poverty eradication rests with national governments and their ability to mobilize grassroots involvement in income-generating programmes. While national action programmes are fundamental, the implementation of the Summit's commitments will not achieve the desired result without international support.
CHINA: Amb. Wang Xuexian said that the following should be emphasized in the follow-up to the Summit: creation of a favorable environment of peace; promotion of economic development and social progress; respect for the national conditions of each country; expansion of international cooperation; promotion of social development on a global scale, for which the developed countries should undertake greater responsibilities; and enabling the UN system to play a greater role in promoting the effective implementation of the follow-up.
PHILIPPINES: Amb. Felipe Mabilangan, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that international cooperation is imperative to the easing of poverty. The mobilization of new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable is also needed in order to implement the commitments made in Copenhagen toward the eradication of poverty. He called on governments to fulfill the agreed target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA and 0.15% to the least developed countries as soon as possible, and to increase the share of funding for social development programmes. He called on States to fulfill the Copenhagen commitments, and he welcomed the adoption of a 1996 substantive theme of the Commission for Social Development that hinges on the eradication of poverty.
BENIN: Amb. René Valéry Mongbé said that a new form of international cooperation is required to tackle poverty, to provide employment and to eliminate unemployment and underemployment. However, investment in social development is costly and many developing nations require assistance, including debt reduction, transfer of technology, and promotion of education. Within the United Nations system, ECOSOC must be strengthened so that increased priority can be given to social development. It would be a pity if all the decisions taken at Copenhagen were to flounder in interminable debate in meetings.
ZIMBABWE: Ngoni Francis Sengwe said success for the Copenhagen commitments requires the joint effort of governments and grassroots and non-governmental organizations. At the national level, Zimbabwe has been expanding social services, particularly healthcare and educational facilities. The mandate of the Commission for Social Development should be strengthened to monitor the implementation of the Summit's Programme of Action. The implementation of the 20:20 initiative is crucial to the success of the Programme of Action.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Ivan V. Khryskov said the main task now is to ensure the practical implementation of the Social Summit proposals. Solutions to social and economic problems remain the responsibility of States, but international cooperation in the area of resources is also necessary. The Commission for Social Development should play a significant role in the implementation of the Programme of Action and should also be given additional resources to carry out its work.
JAPAN: Amb. Shunji Maruyama said that in the follow-up to the Social Summit, ECOSOC should ensure that the agendas and work programmes of the functional commissions are harmonized and coordinated. Follow-up requires close coordination among relevant organizations of the UN system and with the Bretton Woods institutions. The Commission for Social Development must revitalize its activities under its current mandate, establish more effective working methods and formulate more focused agendas. The General Assembly should formulate policy and guide implementation of the outcome of the Summit, and perhaps these tasks should be allocated to a joint meeting of the Second and Third Committees. He also stressed the important roles of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) and NGOs.
ZAMBIA: Amb. Peter L. Kasanda said that at the national level, implementation of the outcome of the Social Summit is the primary responsibility of governments after determining their own national priorities. At the international level, the UN must play a key role in consolidating the commitments entered into by Member States and the international community in Copenhagen. A revitalized ECOSOC has a major role to play. The mandate of the Commission for Social Development must be reviewed and strengthened. A high-level segment should be given serious consideration. It might be beneficial to designate UNDP as the lead agency in terms of implementation of the outcome of the Social Summit.
COSTA RICA: Amb. Fernando Berrocal Soto welcomed the ACC's decision to establish three task forces to analyze the implementation of the Copenhagen agreements. He emphasized the fact that the World Bank has agreed to lead the work of one of these task forces. Since 1996 is the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, Member States should establish a target year in which absolute poverty will be eradicated.
TANZANIA: Radhia Msuya said one of the major commitments made in Copenhagen was the commitment to poverty eradication. The imperative, therefore, for most developing countries is to expand productive employment, which is the basis for improved living standards. One of the central challenges is to give practical meaning to people-centered development. Civil society should be empowered to participate in economic and social decision-making. While it is the primary responsibility of States to attain the Summit's goals, those goals have to be achieved in broad partnership with the international community through the United Nations.
ANDORRA: Juli Minoves-Triquell wished to see a debate and programme of action aimed at youth unemployment. More than "kind words" is required to implement the Copenhagen Declaration.
NAMIBIA: Amb. Tunguru Huaraka described the Namibia National Committee for the implementation and monitoring of the outcome of the Social Summit and Namibia's First National Development Plan, in which its poverty reduction efforts have been integrated. He supported convening a special session in the year 2000 for the review and appraisal of the outcome of the Social Summit. The Commission for Social Development should be provided with sufficient resources to ensure effective follow-up to the Summit.
SOUTH AFRICA: Frederick Bergh said his Government has embarked on a fundamental reform of its welfare system, in line with its Reconstruction and Development Programme and the Constitution. The policy included restructuring of social welfare services, development programmes and social security. Through that policy, the Government is committed to creating a people-centered social welfare system that facilitates the development of human capacity, self-reliance and promotion of social well-being.
SWAZILAND: Amb. Moses M. Dlamini said that the Summit provided a landmark for a people-centered strategy for sustainable development. The role of NGOs in the spheres of education, health, poverty, social integration and other areas is important. Gender issues need to be addressed as development issues and as human rights concerns. Youth must also participate in the development process.
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