Press Releases

    Round-up of Session

    SOC/4569
    26 February 2001

    COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CONCLUDES
    THIRTY-NINTH SESSION

    NEW YORK, 23 February (UN Headquarters) -- The Commission for Social Development concluded its thirty-ninth session this afternoon, approving two draft proposals on the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development; a draft resolution on its multi-year programme of work for 2002-2006; its provisional agenda for the fortieth session of the Commission; and its report for the current session.

    In addressing its priority theme of the session -- enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world -- it approved a draft decision in which it recognized a need for further analyses, research and sharing of views on social protection. It decided to consider ways of examining the theme further at a future session. That decision was taken without a vote

    It also approved a draft resolution on observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family without a vote. By the terms of that draft, which was introduced this morning by the representative of Benin, the General Assembly would urge governments to aim to identify and elaborate issues of direct concern to families by 2004. Governments would also be urged to set up and strengthen mechanisms to coordinate activities of government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Member States would be invited to consider activities in preparation for a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family at the national level.

    A draft resolution on the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for 2002-2006, submitted by the representative of Bangladesh and again approved without a vote, was recommended to the Economic and Socail Council (ECOSOC) for adoption. By its terms, ECOSOC would decide the Commission Programme of work for 2002 to 2006 would have the following priority themes: 2002 –- Integration of social and economic policy; 2003 –- National and international cooperation for social development; 2004 –- Improving public sector effectiveness; 2005 –- Review of further implementation of the Social Summit and the outcome of the twenty-fourth special session of the Assembly; and 2006 –- Review of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

    The Committee also took note of the Report of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, a note by the Secretary-General on nomination of members of the Board of that Institute and a note by the Secretariat on the draft programme of work of the Division for Social Policy and Development for the biennium 2002-2003.

    In her closing remarks, the Chair of the Commission, Faith Innerarity (Jamaica) said that social protection issues were of paramount importance. Where consensus had not been achieved, the Commission looked forward to further discourse and developments. The perception of a setback could be a door opening to progress, she noted.

    Statements were also made by the representative of Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated countries), Iran (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China) and Costa Rica (on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean group.

    Round-up of Session

    During its thirty-ninth session, the Commission for Social Development held 12 meetings and a number of informal consultations.

    The first theme discussed at the two-week session, held at Headquarters from 13 to 23 February, was the priority theme: "Enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world". The Commission also considered the sub-theme "The role of volunteerism in the promotion of social development" and reviewed relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups.

    Another matter under consideration was the Commission's multi-year programme of work for 2002-2003. The Commission also considered programme performance and implementation; the proposed programme of work for the biennium 2002-2003; and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. It also adopted the provisional agenda for its fortieth session and the report on the just-concluded thirty-ninth session.

    The Commission held two expert panel discussions, the first on enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world, and the second on the role of volunteerism in the promotion of social development. It also held a NGO dialogue segment.

    Faith Innerarity (Jamaica) was elected Chair of the session by acclamation. The Commission also elected four Vice-Chairs: Henrik Hahn (Denmark), Nicole Elisha (Benin), Muhammed Enayet Mowla (Bangladesh) and Anzhela Korneliouk (Belarus). It decided that Ms. Korneliouk would act as Rapporteur.

    Besides its 46 members who attended the session, observers from other Member States and from non-member States, representatives of specialized agencies and representatives from non-governmental organizations also participated in the session.

    Background

    The Commission for Social Development met this afternoon to take action on outstanding items and conclude its thirty-ninth session.

    Under its agenda item on follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen 1995), the Commission will conclude its review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups; and its priority theme of the current session – Enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world. The Commission is also expected to take action on its multi-year programme of work for 2002-2006, programme performance and other matters and its provisional agenda for its fortieth session. It is also expected to adopt its report for the current session.

    Since the convening of the Summit, the Commission has been the key United Nations body in charge of the follow-up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. It meets once a year, usually in February. Since 1995, it has taken up one key concern of the Summit each year. The Commission is a functional body of the Economic and Social Council. Its 46 members are elected for terms of office of four years on the following basis:

    12 from African States; 10 from Asian States; 5 from Eastern European States;
    9 from Latin American and Caribbean States; and 10 from Western European and Other States.

    The current members of the Commission with their terms of expiry are: Algeria (2002), Argentina (2002), Austria (2004), Bangladesh (2004), Belarus (2003), Benin (2003), Bulgaria (2004), China (2004), Croatia (2002), Czech Republic (2004), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2002), Denmark (2004), Dominican Republic (2002), Ecuador (2003), El Salvador (2004), France (2003), Gabon (2004), Germany (2003), Ghana (2003), Guatemala (2002), Guinea (2003), Haiti (2002), Indonesia (2003), Iran (2002), Italy (2004), Jamaica (2004), Japan (2003), Kazakhstan (2004), Kenya (2004), Mexico (2004), Morocco (2002), Nigeria (2003), Peru (2003), Republic of Korea (2003), Russian Federation (2003), South Africa (2004), Spain (2002), Sudan (2003), Swaziland (2002),

    Sweden (2002), Switzerland (2004), Thailand (2002), Turkey (2002), United Republic of Tanzania (2004), United States (2003) and Viet Nam (2004).

    Action on Draft Proposals

    The Commission took up a draft decision entitled "Enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world", contained in an informal paper.

    By the terms of that text, the Commission would recognize the need for further analyses, research and sharing of views with regard to "enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world".

    The Commission would decide, against that background, to consider possible ways of further examining that issue at a future session.

    It then approved that draft by consensus.

    Following approval of that text, the Commission took up a draft resolution entitled "Preparation for and observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family" (document E/CN.5/2001.L.6).

    By that text, the Economic and Social Council would recommend the General Assembly urge governments to view 2004 as a target year by which concrete achievements should be made to identify and elaborate issues of direct concern to families. Governments would be urged to set up and strengthen mechanisms to plan and coordinate activities of governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations.

    Also by the text, the Assembly would invite Member States to consider organizing activities in preparation for the celebration of the tenth anniversary. It would take note, by other terms, of the Secretary-General’s report on the follow-up to the International Year of the Family and the preparations for the anniversary.

    FAITH INNERARITY (Jamaica), Commission Chair, said the draft had no budget implications.

    The Commission then approved the text as orally revised.

    Ms. INNERARITY (Jamaica), Commission Chair, said a Chairman’s report of the panel discussion on volunteerism was being distributed to the Commission. It would be annexed to the Commission’s report.

    The Commission then resumed its consideration of the item "Multilateral-year programme of work of the Commission for 2002-2006".

    MUHAMMED ENAYET MOWLA (Bangladesh), Vice-Chairman, reported on the outcome of the informal consultations held under that item and introduced a related draft resolution.

    By that draft, the Economic and Social Council would decide that the various priority themes for the years 2002-2006 and their respective sub-themes.

    The Commission then agreed to recommend the multi-year programme of work to the Economic and Social Council.

    Turning to its agenda item on programme questions and other matters, the Commission took note of the document Report of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (document E/CN.5/2001/3). It also took note of the note by the Secretary-General on the nomination of members of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (E/CN.5/2001/8 and Add.1); and the note by the Secretariat on the draft programme of work of the Division for Social Policy and Development for the biennium 2002-2003 (E/CN.5/2001/L.2).

    MOHSEN ESPERI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said the Group had already indicated its concerns about some elements of the documents. It would make a further statement at a later date.

    DALILA SAMAH (Algeria) sought clarification as to how the term "priority theme" and the various sub-themes should be considered.

    JOHN LANGMORE, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, said the sub-themes should be regarded as aspects of the main theme.

    The Commission then adopted the provisional agenda for its fortieth session.

    ANZHELA KORNELIOUK (Belarus), Vice-Chair and Rapporteur, then introduced the report of the Commission’s thirty-ninth session (E/CN.5/2001/L.5), which the Commission adopted as orally revised.

    Ms. INNERARITY (Jamaica), Commission Chair, said in her closing remarks that concrete actions had been adopted to meet human development needs, social protection issues being of paramount importance. Where consensus had not been achieved, the Commission looked forward to further discourse and developments. The perception of a setback could be a door opening to progress.

    HANS LUNDBORG (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Commission could feel proud of its work and urged governments to bring experts from their capitals to exchange ideas and views with the Commission, in the spirit of multilateralism.

    Mr. ESPERI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, commended the Commission’s leadership and expressed gratitude to the Bureau.

    DEYANIRA RAMIREZ (Costa Rica), speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, also commended the Bureau.

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