|For information only - not an official document.|
|Press Release No: UNIS/GA/1664|
|Release Date: 4 July 2000|
General Assembly Concludes Special Session on Five-year Follow Up
To Copenhagen Social Summit
Final Document Calls for Halving Extreme Poverty and Achieving
GENEVA, 1 July 2000 (UN Information Service) -- The General Assembly concluded today a Special session which followed-up on the 1995 United Nations Social Summit by calling, among other things, for halving the number of persons living in extreme poverty by 2015; for the achievement of free and universal primary education by 2015; for avoidance of "unilateral measures" affecting the health and well-being of women and children; and for greater steps to ease the debt burdens of developing countries.
In a lengthy final document, the Session, formally titled the "World Summit for Social Development and Beyond: Achieving Social Development for All in a Globalizing World", also reflected concerns coming to light or assuming greater prominence since the 1995 Social Summit in Copenhagen. In reaction to the Asian financial crisis, measures were recommended to aid in warning about, preventing, and mitigating the effects of sudden international financial flows. Steps were called for to help countries in transition to market economies, preserve and enhance basic social services and to link up with global markets.
The final document -- completed after the session was prolonged into a Saturday meeting -- also urged reallocation of resources from "excessive" military expenditures to social programmes; for responses to the debt problems of middle-income developing countries; and for efforts to refrain from using food and medicine as "tools for political pressure".
Discussion of the effects of globalization dominated the week-long special session, during which negotiations on the final document ran in tandem with plenary meetings featuring addresses by the Presidents of Equatorial Guinea, Albania, Ghana, Zambia, Tadjikistan, Cameroon, and Nigeria, as well as the King of Swaziland and the Crown Prince of Monaco. Also addressing the special session were 11 prime ministers, seven vice-presidents, and ministers and other senior officials representing 130 countries.
National representatives charged repeatedly that the benefits of globalized economic progress were increasingly unequally distributed, that the world's poorer countries were falling farther and farther behind industrialized countries, and that official development assistance and debt-relief programmes had to be expanded.
The opening section of the final document, a political declaration, termed globalization and rapid technological advances unprecedented opportunities for social and economic development but said that at the same time they continued to present serious challenges, including widespread financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies. Considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy remained for developing countries, in particular the least-developed countries, as well as for some countries with economies in transition, it contended, and unless the benefits of social and economic development were extended to all countries, a growing number of people in all countries and even entire regions would remain marginalized from the global economy.
Opening the special session, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for an end to "extreme squalor [that] was an affront to common humanity" and said no country could be called truly prosperous so long as many of its citizens were left to fend for themselves against ignorance, hardship and disease.
The session's new initiatives to follow up on the Copenhagen Summit were listed under the 10 commitments made at the original Summit and which call for (1) an enabling environment for social development; (2) poverty eradication; (3) full employment; (4) promotion of social integration; (5) equality and equity between women and men; (6) universal and equitable access to high-quality education and health services; (7) acceleration of development in Africa and in the least-developed countries; (8) inclusion of social development goals in structural-adjustment programmes; (9) resources for social development; and (10) international cooperation for social development.
The special session -- the twenty-fourth in the General Assembly's history -- noted the possibility of a future meeting, saying in the final document that options included "bringing together, at the appropriate time, all parties involved to evaluate progress and to consider new initiatives".
A summary of the main points agreed upon in the final document can be found in press release SOC/00/15.
THEO-BEN GURIRAB, President of the United Nations General Assembly special session, in his closing statement, affirmed that the list of renewed commitments was led by the Assembly's deep-seated concerns about economic growth and democratization; full employment; debt cancellation; women's empowerment and gender equality; and multilateral trade based on social justice and equity. The Session specially stood in the face of the worst enemy in the world -- HIV/AIDS. Apart from nuclear weapons of mass destruction, that disease represented danger to the survival of humanity. It was actually not a disease but a human disaster. AIDS defied borders and spared nobody on account of race, creed, generation or gender.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it was estimated that over 23 million people were infected with HIV, representing 70 per cent of the global total. Over 90 per cent of infected Africans were unaware they had HIV. Fifty-five per cent of infected adults were women, while girls aged between 15 and 19 were six times more likely to be infected than boys. Talking about human suffering, he wanted to repeat, once again: hands off children, women and United Nations peacemakers, peacekeepers and lifesavers wherever they served humanity. Their persecutors and those who held them hostage by force should not be spared any mercy. Those criminals should face the full weight of the law.
Mr. Gurirab said: "Let us summon all the necessary political will, mobilize the requisite resources and focus on people-centred priorities to defeat poverty, hunger, want and fear from the face of the earth, once and for all. Compassion, generosity and sharing were noble virtues that should govern human relations. Those fortunate countries that benefited from early industrialization and were, now, in an ideal position to profit immensely from globalization, should acknowledge and assume the responsibilities towards the least fortunate that accompanied their power and great fortune."
A representative of Gabon, on behalf of the African Group, said first and foremost, the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action remained relevant for helping Africa. African Governments, civil society and the private sector remained committed to working with the international community on development issues. The agenda of this cooperation included the eradication of poverty, establishing programmes that would foster stable employment, accelerating democracy, and ensuring transparency and good governance.
Africa had demonstrated evidence of progress in attaining some of the goals of Copenhagen. Yet they were overshadowed by social and economic factors such as worsening poverty, the continuing decline of overseas development assistance (ODA), the debt burden, impact of HIV/AIDS, natural disasters, and protracted social instability and civil strife in several countries. These were further compounded by globalization and liberalization. While there was no denying that globalization created opportunities, the new phenomenon did not include Africa and most least developed countries. African development partners should have noted that a reduction in ODA would only slow African social gains. African nations were aware of their responsibilities, and they had renewed their commitment to social development. Hoping the new commitments made during this meeting would be translated into concrete measures, Africa endorsed the conclusions of this special session.
A representative of the United States said that it was his country's policy that in the area of debt relief, it believed that international efforts should concentrate on successful implementation of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. The United States was concerned that paragraph 5bis of the draft outcome document took them well outside the framework of that initiative, and thus risked dissipating the efforts. For that reason, the United States dissociated itself from the consensus on that particular paragraph, just as it did on a similar paragraph in the Beijing+5 document.
A representative of Costa Rica said that concerning the paragraphs referring to universal access to health care and services, Costa Rica did not consider that they included abortion.
A representative of Malta said his country wished to reiterate its reservation about the portions of the report that referred to abortion.
A representative of Canada, also speaking on behalf of Norway, said they were pleased to join the consensus. One major accomplishment since the Copenhagen Summit, which they had recognized and reinforced, had been the adoption by the ILO of the declaration of the fundamental principles and rights at work. The two countries had also spent a good deal of time discussing the importance of effective coordination by all key organizations in the multilateral system in developing and implementing more coherent approaches to the present social development in all its aspects. He strongly encouraged the heads of all relevant agencies, working within their respective mandates to give highest priority to developing more coherent policy approaches and well-coordinated programme activities.
A representative of Bangladesh said his country welcomed the commitments to aid the least developed countries in their attempts to reach full social development. While addressing the impact on globalization on social development, Bangladesh would have preferred a more explicit reference to the gender impact of globalization.
A representative of France, on behalf of the European Union, said the report showed the progress since Copenhagen. Weaknesses were noted, and inspired efforts for the future. The positive points made in the report offered encouragement to move forward. This declaration clearly reaffirmed the essential conditions for social development. This was not the end of the work. There was still much to be done to foster social development and to eradicate poverty.
A representative of the Holy See said it considered references to "sexual and reproductive health" as applying to a holistic concept of health, and did not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of these terms. Nor did it endorse any form of legislation which gave legal recognition to abortion.
Its agreement on the use of the term "family planning" should not be interpreted as constituting a change in its well-known position concerning those family planning methods that the Catholic Church considered morally unacceptable or concerning family planning services that did not respect the liberty of spouses, human dignity and the human rights of those concerned.
Summary of Final Document of General Assembly Special Session
Under this Declaration, representatives of Governments attending the special session reaffirm their will and commitment to implement the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, including the strategies and agreed targets it contains.
The Declaration notes that since the 1995 Social Summit, recognition that social development requires an enabling environment has spread and strengthened; furthermore, there is growing awareness of the positive impact of effective social policies on economic and social development. Review and appraisal has shown that Governments and other relevant actors have made continued efforts to improve human well-being and eradicate poverty, but that further actions are needed; it has also become clear that there is no single path to achieving social development and that all have experiences, knowledge and information worth sharing.
The Declaration remarks that globalization and rapid technological advances offer unprecedented opportunities for social and economic development but at the same time continue to present serious challenges, including widespread financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies. Considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy remain for developing countries, in particular the least-developed countries, as well as for some countries with economies in transition. Unless the benefits of social and economic development are extended to all countries, a growing number of people in all countries and even entire regions will remain marginalized from the global economy. It was necessary to act now to overcome the obstacles to their integration.
The Declaration reiterates Governments' determination and duty to eradicate poverty and promote full and productive employment, foster social integration and create an enabling environment for social development. It notes that the maintenance of peace and security within and among nations, democracy, the rule of law, the promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development, effective, transparent and accountable governance, gender equality, full respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and the rights of migrant workers were some of the essential elements for the realization of social and people-centred sustainable development.
The Declaration notes that excessive debt-servicing has severely constrained the capacity of many developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition to promote social development; it also recognizes the efforts being made by indebted developing countries to fulfil their debt-servicing commitments despite the high social costs incurred. In the Declaration, Governments reaffirm their pledge to find effective, equitable, development-oriented and durable solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing burdens of developing countries.
The Declaration states that Governments are convinced that universal access to high-quality education -- including opportunities for the acquisition of skills required in the knowledge-based economy -- and health and basic social services and equal opportunities for active participation in development are essential for the achievement of the Copenhagen objectives.
The Declaration reaffirms the pledge of the Copenhagen Summit to place particular focus on and give priority attention to the fight against worldwide conditions that pose severe threats to the health, safety, peace, security and well-being of people, such as chronic hunger, illicit drug trafficking and use, organized crime, corruption, natural disasters, foreign occupation, armed conflicts, illicit arms trafficking, trafficking in persons, terrorism, intolerance, incitement to radical or ethnic or religious hatred, and chronic diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
The Declaration reiterates Governments' will to support the efforts of African and other least-developed countries to implement the Copenhagen commitments and to fight their widespread poverty.
The Declaration also recognizes a need to continue to work on a wide range of reforms for a strengthened and more stable, transparent, accountable international financial system to enable it to deal more effectively and in a more timely manner with the new challenges of development. It acknowledged the need for a coordinated follow-up to all major conferences and summits by Governments, regional organizations and all of the bodies and organizations of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates.
The Declaration determines to give new momentum to the collective efforts to improve the human conditions. It reiterated that it was strongly committed to social development, including social justice for all in a globalized world. It invited all people in all countries and in all walks of life, as well as the international community, to join in renewed dedication to the shared vision for a more just and equitable world.
A chapter on "further actions and initiatives to implement the commitments" made at the Copenhagen Summit lists new activities to be undertaken in relation to the original 10 commitments of the summit.
Under Copenhagen Commitment 1, on creation of an enabling environment for social development, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- Governments, when designing and implementing development policies, to ensure that people are placed at the centre of development; and to ensure that people have the right and the ability to participate fully in the social, economic and political life of their societies;
-- a renewed commitment to democratic, effective, transparent and accountable governance and democratic institutions responsive to the needs of people;
-- reaffirming the crucial role of Government in advancing people-centred sustainable development through actions to develop and maintain increased equality and equity, including gender equality, markets which functioned effectively within a framework of ethical values, policies to eradicate poverty and enhance productive employment, universal and equal access to basic social services, social protection and support for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups;
-- reaffirming, promoting and striving to ensure the realization of the rights set out in relevant international instruments and declarations, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Declaration on the Right to Development, including those relating to education, food, shelter, employment, health and information, particularly in order to assist people living in poverty and to ensure the strengthening of national and local institutions in charge of their implementation;
-- the international community, particularly creditor and debtor countries and pertinent international financial institutions, to identify and implement development-oriented and durable solutions to external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries, which constitute an element
affecting development efforts and economic growth, among other things, through debt relief, including the option of official development assistance (ODA) debt cancellation;
-- enhancement of positive interaction among environmental, economic and social policies as being essential for the successful attainment of Social Summit goals;
-- instituting systems for ensuring the ex ante assessment and continuous monitoring of the social impact of economic policies at both the international and national levels, with a particular focus on the formulation of macroeconomic policies for dealing with financial crises and the design of economic reform programmes;
-- developing national and, where appropriate, regional guidelines, taking into account broad definitions of productivity and efficiency, in order to undertake comprehensive assessments of the social and economic costs of unemployment and poverty to facilitate appropriate strategies for employment generation and poverty eradication;
-- requesting the Economic and Social Council to consider, through the Commission for Social Development, ways of sharing experiences and practices of Member States to assist them in the development of policies to promote the goals of the Summit;
-- stimulation and strengthening of the industrialization process in developing countries;
-- facilitation of the transfer to developing countries and countries in transition of appropriate technology, know-how, knowledge, and information, including for social development and capacity building;
-- increasing and improving access of products and services of developing countries to international markets through, among other things, the negotiated reduction of tariff barriers and the elimination of non-tariff barriers which unjustifiably hinder trade of developing countries, according to the multilateral trading system;
-- increasing and improving access of products and services of countries with economies in transition to international markets;
-- steps to attain, according to existing multilateral trading rules, greater universality of the multilateral trading system and to accelerate the process towards further accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) of developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
-- provision of technical assistance bilaterally and through the auspices of the WTO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and other organizations to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for capacity-building and to address the ability to trade, as well as to participate effectively in international economic fora, and in international trade negotiations, including the WTO dispute settlement mechanism;
-- steps with a view to the avoidance of and refraining from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected countries, in particular women and children and persons with special needs, that hinders their wellbeing and that creates obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, including the right to an adequate standard of living, to food, medical care, and necessary social services; and steps to ensure that food and medicine were not used as tools for political pressure;
-- improvement of preventive and other measures and early warning capabilities to address the excessive volatility of short-term capital flows, including, among other things, a temporary debt standstill;
-- enhancement of institutional capacities at the national and international levels to improve transparency of financial flows and development, strengthening and enforcement of regulatory frameworks for monitoring operations, among other things, to reduce the potential negative impact of financial operations;
-- establishing or strengthening, where appropriate, the financial and social fields to promote economic and financial stability and social development at the regional level;
-- provision of technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their domestic capital markets and to ensure their proper regulation by national Governments;
-- measures to protect basic social services, in particular education and health, in the policies and programmes adopted by countries when dealing with international financial crises;
-- action to strengthen national institutions and consultative mechanisms for economic policy formulation, involving improved transparency and consultation with civil society;
-- encouragement of international financial institutions and related mechanisms to be vigilant about potential financial crises in countries and to assist countries to develop their capacities to forestall and mitigate crises with a view to providing a timely and effective response;
-- recommend the High-Level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development, to be held in 2001, to consider mobilization of national and international resources for social development for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;
-- ensure the effective involvement of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the international economic decision-making process through greater participation in the international economic fora, ensuring transparency and accountability of international financial institutions to accord a central position for social development in their policies and programmes;
-- enhance development cooperation in order to augment the productive potential of people in developing countries, and to build the capacity, among others, of the private sector to compete more effectively in the global marketplace in order to create the basis for generating greater resources for social development;
-- support for the Cologne initiative for the reduction of debt, particularly the speedy implementation of the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt initiative, and welcome for commitments to ensure that additional financing is mobilized to fully fund HIPC debt relief over the longer term and that the provision of funds saved should be used to support anti-poverty programmes and social development;
-- encouragement of social corporate responsibility so that it contributes to social-development goals;
-- promotion of increased corporate awareness of the inter-relationship between social development and sustainable economic growth;
-- provide a legal, economic and social policy framework that was just and stable to support and stimulate private sector initiatives aimed at achieving these goals;
-- enhancing partnerships with business, trade unions and civil society at the national level in support of the goals of the Summit;
-- further effective measures to remove obstacles to the realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, in particular peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, that continue to adversely affect their economic and social development, and that are incompatible with the dignity and work of the human person and must be combated and eliminated;
-- enhanced international cooperation, including burden-sharing, and coordination of humanitarian assistance to countries affected by natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies and post-conflict situations in ways that will be supportive of recovery and long-term development;
-- creation and improvement of conditions to allow for the voluntary repatriation of refugees in safety and dignity to their countries of origin, and the voluntary and safe return of internally displaced persons to their places of origin and their smooth reintegration into their societies;
-- encouragement of relevant bodies of the United Nations system to address the issue of corruption which undermines efforts made and efficient use of resources for social development;
-- encouragement of the ongoing work on a draft convention against transnational organized crime and the additional protocols thereto;
-- proper consideration to effective measures regarding the issue of the social and humanitarian impact of sanctions, in particular on women and children, with a view to minimizing the social and humanitarian effects of sanctions;
-- and support for countries with economies in transition to establish effective regulatory environments, including adequate legal frameworks and institutions, to develop progressive and efficient tax systems to provide adequate resources for social development, and to better use existing material and labour resources.
Under Commitment 2, on eradication of poverty, the special session, called for, among other things:
-- steps by all relevant actors to reduce the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by one half by the year 2015, with a view to eradicating poverty;
-- urging countries to incorporate goals and targets for combating poverty into their national strategies for socio-economic development and enhancing the capacity of local governments to address poverty while maintaining accountability;
-- empowerment of people living in poverty by ensuring that macroeconomic policies reflect employment growth and poverty-reduction goals; encouraging reevaluation of national fiscal policies, including progressive tax mechanisms, to reduce income inequalities and promote social equity; encouraging the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises; studying and, where appropriate, improving the productivity of the informal sector; expanding micro-credit and other financial instruments adopted to the needs and potentials of marginalized people and groups; encouraging sustainable rural development; expanding advisory services and technical assistance in the areas of agriculture, including animal husbandry and fisheries, and promoting small businesses and self-employment for rural workers, in particular women, in the light of increasing rural poverty, landlessness and rural-urban migration; promoting industrialization in rural areas for employment generation; developing and promoting institutional capacities; ensuring gender equality at all levels and taking measures to counteract the feminization of poverty; promoting participatory poverty assessments as well as social impact assessments which included sex, age and relevant socio-economic categories, defining the extent and localization of poverty and the groups more severely affected, in order to design anti-poverty strategies; targeting the special needs of vulnerable disadvantaged groups; supporting initiatives to empower female heads of households; and using health policies as an instrument for poverty eradication; ensuring community participation in the formulation and implementation of poverty reduction strategies and programmes with a view to increasing people's self-reliance and promoting a holistic approach to the various needs of the people; ensuring access for all to basic social services, even during financial crises; encouraging decentralization in the delivery of basic social services as a means of responding more efficiently to the needs of people;
-- developing and implementing sustainable pro-poor growth strategies that enhanced the potential and increased the ability of women and men living in poverty to improve their lives;
-- sharing best practices on how to establish or improve social protection systems covering risks that could not be mastered by the beneficiaries themselves and trap people into poverty;
-- exploring ways and means, supported by resources, including, as appropriate, reallocation of resources, to vulnerable people;
-- developing new mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of these systems in the appropriate country context, especially that of ageing populations and increased unemployment;
-- and encouraging international support to countries with economies in transition in order to assist them in combining universal coverage of social services with targeted assistance to the most vulnerable groups; in implementing policies to involve those individuals marginalized by transition and to overcome exclusion and further deprivation; and in maintaining adequate social programmes.
Under Commitment 3, on promotion of full employment, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- reassessment, as appropriate, of macro-economic policies with the aim of greater employment generation and reduction in the poverty level while striving for low inflation rates;
-- creation of an enabling environment for social dialogue by ensuring effective representation of and participation of workers' and employers' organizations;
-- expansion of opportunities for productive employment, including self-employment, with particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises;
-- support for the comprehensive ILO programme on decent work;
-- support for the convening of a world employment forum by the ILO in 2001;
-- support for accession, where it hasn't occurred, and full implementation of ILO conventions on basic workers' rights, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, effective abolition of child labour, elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation, employment rights of minors, women, youth, persons with disabilities, migrants, and indigenous people;
-- support for and participation in the global campaign for the immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour;
-- promotion of safe and healthy working conditions;
-- invitation to the ILO to help States, upon request, to extend the support measures provided to informal-sector workers;
-- steps to devise and strengthen coverage of social-protection systems to meet the needs of people engaged in flexible forms of employment;
-- steps to ensure that migrant workers benefit from the protection provided by relevant national and international instruments, and effective measures against the exploitation of migrant workers;
-- appropriate measures to address the specific employment issues of youth, ageing workers, persons with disabilities, single parents, and long-term unemployed, with particular regard to women;
-- promotion of gender equality and elimination of gender discrimination in the labour market by ensuring the right to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value by women and men;
-- and assistance to women and men in reconciling employment and family responsibilities by, among other things, establishment of flexible working arrangements, including parental voluntary part-time employment and work-sharing, as well as accessible and affordable quality child-care and dependent-care facilities, paying particular attention to the needs of single-parent households.
Under Commitment 4, on promotion of social integration, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- establishment of an enabling environment for civil society organizations to enhance their delivery of social services in a transparent, democratized, and accountable manner;
-- promotion of the effective participation of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and persons when drawing up legislation and programmes for poverty eradication and social exclusion;
-- promotion of voluntarism in the creation of caring societies;
-- recognition of the family as the basic unit of society, that various forms of the family exist in various societies, and that greater attention should be paid to helping the family in its supporting, educating, and nurturing roles and to addressing the causes and consequences of family disintegration;
-- encouragement of the media, including the Internet and other forms of information technology, in promotion of social integration through inclusive and participatory approaches to producing, disseminating and using information, including by making it more accessible to disadvantaged and marginalized groups;
-- identification and pursuit of measures to counter the increasing dissemination of child pornography and other obscene materials, intolerance, including religious intolerance, hatred, racism, discrimination based on sex and age, and incitement to violence through the media and information technology, including the Internet;
-- steps to ensure that education at all levels promoted human rights, tolerance, and peace;
-- steps to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
-- continued and intensified action to combat all forms of gender-based violence;
-- recognition of the contribution of indigenous people to society and promotion of ways to give them greater responsibility for their own affairs;
-- encouragement of ongoing work on a draft declaration on the rights of indigenous people, with the aim of achieving completion prior to the conclusion of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People in 2004; and support for establishment of a United Nations permanent forum to discuss indigenous issues;
-- exchange views and information on national experience and best practices in designing and implementing policies and programmes on ageing;
-- support on an urgent basis for research on the actual and projected situation of older persons in order to contribute significantly to the revision of the World Plan of Action at the Second World Assembly on Ageing;
-- expansion of policies and measures to empower persons with disabilities to play a full role in society, and to allow them access to employment;
-- intensified efforts to ensure the protection of the human rights and dignity of migrants, irrespective of their legal status, and the social and economic integration of documented migrants;
-- promotion of measures to prevent illegal trafficking and transport of migrants and trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, for purposes of prostitution, economic exploitation, and other forms of exploitation; and development of clear penalties and establishment of procedures and laws to ensure punishment of those convicted of such crimes;
-- finalization as soon as possible of the trafficking and smuggling protocols currently being negotiated in Vienna by the Ad Hod Committee on the Elaboration of a Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
-- support of the efforts of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme;
-- support for the development in each country of comprehensive programmes to reduce the consumption of tobacco, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and the abuse of alcohol;
-- further strengthening of organizations and mechanisms working for the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts and to address their social roots and consequences;
Under Commitment 5, on promotion of equality and equity between women and men, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- measures by Governments to ensure that the human rights of girls and women were respected, protected and promoted;
-- recognition that despite some progress, gender mainstreaming was not yet universal and gender-based inequality continues in many areas of most societies; and that the elimination of discrimination against women and their empowerment and full participation in all areas of life should be priority objectives at the national and international levels;
-- full implementation of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century";
-- closing of the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005 and assurance of free, compulsory and universal primary education for both girls and boys by 2015;
-- increasing women's and girls' access to all levels and forms of education;
-- achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women;
-- increasing women's participation and bringing about a balanced representation of women in all sectors and occupations in the labour market, and closing the gender gap in earnings;
-- reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality as a health-sector priority;
-- elimination of all forms of violence against women, in the domestic as well as the public sphere;
-- promotion of programmes to enable women and men to reconcile their work and family responsibilities and to encourage men to share equally with women household and child-care responsibilities;
-- support of Governments in their efforts to accelerate full implementation of the Copenhagen Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform for Action, with time-bound targets and/or measurable goals and evaluation methods;
-- consideration by States of accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
-- and increased efforts to provide equal access to education, health, and social services and to ensure women's and girls' right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health and well-being throughout the life cycle, as well as adequate, affordable and universally accessible health care and services including sexual and reproductive health, particularly in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Under Commitment 6, on universal and equitable access to high-quality education and health services, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- steps to ensure appropriate and effective expenditure of resources for universal access to basic education and primary health care;
-- steps to improve the performance of health care systems, in particular at the primary health-care level, by broadening access to health care;
-- exploration, where appropriate, of the possibility of promoting non-profit community-based health insurance programmes;
-- recognition of the critical importance of access to essential medicines at affordable prices; acknowledgement of the contribution of intellectual property rights to promote further development and distribution of drugs, and that these intellectual property rights should contribute to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare;
-- encouragement of new action at the international level, including the feasibility of declaring a United Nations Literacy Decade, to support national efforts to achieve universal access to basic education and primary health services for all by the year 2015;
-- reaffirmation of the Framework for Action for education for all adopted at the World Education Forum in Dakar;
-- recognition that achieving education for all will require additional financial support by countries and increased developmental assistance and debt relief for education by bilateral and multilateral donors, estimated to cost in the order of $ 8 billion per year, and recognition that it was therefore essential that new, concrete financial commitments be made by national Governments and also by bilateral and multilateral donors, including the World Bank and the regional development banks, by civil society, and by foundations;
-- measures to better acknowledge and support the work of teachers and other educational personnel, including, where appropriate, improved compensation and benefits;
-- encouragement and assistance to developing countries and others to build capacities for secondary and tertiary education;
-- taking all appropriate measures to ensure that infectious and parasitic diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy and schistosomiasis neither continue to take their devastating toll nor impede economic and social progress;
-- multisectoral measures at the national level to enable all women and men, including young people, to protect themselves and others from HIV/AIDS, and measures to protect the dignity and the human rights of, and improve the quality of life of, people living with HIV/AIDS;
-- strengthening of political commitment and efforts at the international and national levels against HIV/AIDS, with a focus on developing countries;
-- provision of support to countries with economies in transition to revitalize systems of primary health care and to promote more vigorous campaigns for health education and the promotion of healthy lifestyles;
-- encouragement at all levels, arrangements and incentives to mobilize commercial enterprises, especially in pharmaceuticals, to invest in research aimed at finding remedies that could be provided at affordable prices for diseases that particularly afflicted people in developing countries, and invitation to the World Health Organization to consider improving partnerships between the public and private sector in the area of health research;
-- steps to ensure that food and medicine were not used as tools for political pressure;
Under Commitment 7, on acceleration of development in Africa and in the least-developed countries, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- encouragement of concerted national and international efforts to promote an integrated approach to people-centred sustainable development;
-- concerted national and international efforts to promote an enabling environment that would facilitate the integration of Africa and least-developed countries into the global economy and promote their participation in the multilateral trading system;
-- encouragement of creditor countries to implement bilateral debt relief arrangements for the African and the least developed countries, stressing that debt relief should contribute to national development objectives, including poverty eradication;
-- improvement of market access for exports products from Africa and least-developed countries, including through tariff- and quota-free treatment for essentially all products originating in least-developed countries on as broad and liberal a basis as possible;
-- support of programmes to assist such countries to take full advantage of the multilateral trading regime, both on a bilateral basis and through multilateral efforts, among other things, through the World Trade Organization, the ITC, UNCTAD and through relevant regional and subregional economic organizations;
-- pursuit of structural-adjustment programmes relevant to the needs of these countries by supporting growth-enhancing, poverty-reducing economic reforms;
-- support, among other things, for initiatives in the development venture capital funds for investment in these countries in fields conducive to sustainable development;
-- assistance to Governments in Africa and the least-developed countries in enhancing their countries' productive capacity and competitiveness through, among other things, policies and programmes to support agricultural and industrial diversification, establishment of
-- cooperative business networks, public and private systems for sharing information, promotion of technology, and encouragement of domestic and foreign investment, especially in the field of technology;
-- calls for donor Governments and international organizations to encourage investment in critical infrastructure services, including reconstruction in post-conflict and natural disaster situations, and invitations to Governments in Africa and the least-developed countries to use infrastructure investments to also promote employment;
-- encouragement of interested Governments to consider the establishment of a World Solidarity Fund to be financed on a voluntary basis in order to contribute to the eradication of poverty and promote social development in the poorest regions of the world;
-- calls for the World Food Programme and other concerned agencies to strengthen food-for-work activities in low-income food-deficit countries as an important measures to expand or rehabilitate needed community infrastructure, create employment and enhance household food security;
-- enhancement of South-South cooperation as a means of promoting development through enhancing investment and transfer of appropriate technology through mutually agreed arrangements;
-- support of steps taken by Governments to allocate additional resources to education and the management capacities of the educational sector, and improve enrollment ratios, particularly for women and girls;
-- support of steps taken by Governments to encourage skilled and highly educated Africans to remain in the region and to use and further develop their skills;
-- urging developed countries to strive to fulfil as soon as possible the agreed target of earmarking 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of GNP as official development assistance for the least-developed countries;
-- accord priority to the least developed countries by the international community, including the United Nations funds and programmes as well as international and regional financial institutions, in the allocation of resources on concessional terms for economic and social development;
-- encouragement of the 25 African countries most affected by HIV/AIDS to adopt time-bound targets for reducing infection levels, such as a target of reducing infection levels in young people by 25 per cent by 2005, and inviting the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, in conjunction with its co-sponsoring agencies, to prepare and propose means for implementing a strategy for achieving this target;
-- support and assistance to research and development centres in Africa and the least-developed countries in the field of vaccines, medicine and public health, thereby strengthening training of medical personnel and counsellors, improving control and treatment of communicable and infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, as well as assisting in making vaccines and medicines for the control and treatment of these diseases widely available at affordable prices;
-- and encouragement of the international community in giving full support to the Third United Nations Conference of the Least Developed Countries in 2001.
Under Commitment 8, on inclusion of social development goals in structural adjustment programmes, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- encouragement of international financial institutions and national Governments to adopt the principle of integration of social as well as economic aspects in the design of structural adjustment and reform programmes;
-- steps to ensure that adjustment programmes in response to economic crises, including those negotiated between national Governments and the IMF, strive to ensure that the process does not lead to a severe drop in economic activity or sharp cuts in social spending;
-- encouragement of Governments and international financial institutions to improve on-going dialogue on the design, implementation and reform of structural adjustment programmes, and recognition that such a dialogue would benefit from consultations by Governments with relevant actors and organizations in civil society;
-- encouragement of the development of nationally owned poverty-reduction strategies;
-- steps to ensure transparency and accountability by both Governments and international financial institutions for improved efficacy of structural adjustment programmes and fulfilment of social development goals;
-- steps to ensure that public services reach people living in poverty and vulnerable groups as a matter of priority;
-- establishment of participatory mechanisms to undertake assessment of the social impact of structural adjustment programmes and reform packages before, during and after implementation with a view to mitigating their negative impact and improving their positive impact on social-development goals, with the possible involvement of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, regional development banks, and organizations of civil society;
-- improvement of information-sharing and coordination between the Economic and Social Council and the relevant organizations of the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions;
-- and steps to ensure that gender issues are taken into account in the formulation and implementation of structural-adjustment programmes.
Under Commitment 9, on resources for social development, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- support for the holding of a high-level international inter-governmental event on financing for development, to be held in 2001, to consider mobilization of national and international resources for social development for the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Plan of Action;
-- reallocation of public resources for investment in social development, among other things through appropriate reduction of excessive military expenditures, including global military expenditures and the arms trade, and investment for arms production and acquisition, taking into consideration national security requirements;
-- enhancement of the cost-effectiveness of social spending;
-- strengthening of mechanisms and policies to attract and manage private investment, thus freeing and also increasing public resources for social investments;
-- facilitation of ways and means for the involvement and active partnership of civil society in the provision of social services;
-- promotion of equitable and progressive broadening of the tax base;
-- improvement of the efficiency of tax administration, including tax collection;
-- the extension of access to micro credit and other financial instruments to people living in poverty, particularly women;
-- the improvement and restructuring, as appropriate, of national tax regimes and administration to establish an equitable and efficient system that supports social development policies and programmes and, among other things, takes measures to reduce tax evasion;
-- promotion, through international action, of the mobilization of new and additional resources for social development;
-- carrying out of a rigorous analysis of advantages, disadvantages, and other implications of proposals for developing new and innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for dedication to social development and poverty eradication programmes;
-- development of appropriate means of international cooperation in tax matters;
-- exploration of methods for dividing the liability of multinational corporations to pay taxes on profits among the various jurisdictions in which they operate;
-- exploration of ways to combat the use of tax shelters and tax havens that undermine national tax systems;
-- improvement of existing mechanisms for helping stabilize commodity export earnings so as to respond to the real concerns of developing country producers, taking into account that commodity price instability has remained extremely high, with declining trends for a number of commodities;
-- prevention of tax avoidance and promotion of treaties for avoiding double taxation;
-- encouragement of creditor countries and institutions to take action to achieve rapid progress towards faster, broader and deeper debt relief as agreed under the enhanced HIPC initiative;
-- concerted national and international action to address effectively debt problems of low- and middle-income developing countries;
-- encouraging donor and recipient countries, based on mutual agreement and commitment, to fully implement the 20/20 initiative, in line with the Oslo and Hanoi Consensus documents, to ensure universal access to basic social services;
-- provision of landlocked countries and transit developing countries with appropriate technical and financial assistance in their efforts to implement the outcome of the Summit, particularly in addressing their special needs and problems;
-- implementation of commitments regarding the special needs and vulnerabilities of small island developing States;
-- promotion of greater efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources for social development;
--inviting Governments to consider sector-wide approaches for the achievement of social development goals.
And under Commitment 10, on international cooperation for social development, the special session called, among other things, for:
-- development and strengthening of indicators at the national level for assessing and guiding social development;
-- inviting the Statistical Commission, with the assistance of the Statistics Division and in close cooperation with other relevant bodies of the United Nations system, including the Administrative Committee on Coordination, and, as appropriate, other relevant international organizations, to review, with a view to facilitating future consideration by the Council, the work undertaken in harmonizing and rationalizing basic indicators in the context of follow-up to the United Nations conferences and summits;
-- strengthening of cooperation at the regional level;
--supporting continuing existing cooperation between the Economic and Social Council and the Bretton Woods institutions and joint meetings with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, so that the objectives and policy approaches of the United Nations conferences and summits were given due consideration by those institutions;
-- promotion of South-South cooperation, and support of triangular mechanisms whereby donors would provide appropriate support;
-- consideration of the establishment, as appropriate, of national mechanisms, where they do not already exist, for implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action;
-- invitation to the Economic and Social Council to consolidate ongoing initiatives and actions established in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, and the recommendations contained in the present document with a view to launching a global campaign to eradicate poverty;
-- and commitment of the international community and encouragement of the United Nations system and all relevant actors to take further determined sustained action to implement the Copenhagen commitments and the results of the Geneva special session, not excluding the possibility of bringing together, at the appropriate time, all parties involved to evaluate progress and to consider new initiatives.
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