Press Releases

    17 February 2005

    Social Development Commission Hears Introduction of UN Research Institute’s 2003-2004 Report

    NEW YORK, 16 February (UN Headquarters) -- In a short meeting this morning, the Commission for Social Development heard the introduction of the report of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, and presented the nominations of six candidates to serve on the Research Institute’s Board, pending the outcome of elections by the Economic and Social Council.

    Reporting on the Research Institute’s work in 2003-2004, its Deputy Director, Peter Utting, said the Institute’s research documented the important link between social policy, economic development and democratization. Adopting a broad definition of social development that emphasized not only people’s material well-being, but also social cohesion, security and justice, the Research Institute’s activities were wide-ranging and had been organized under five programmes. Research on gender issues prominently featured in the Institute’s work. A major initiative had been the preparation of a flagship report on gender and development. The report, entitled “Gender Equality: Striving for Justice in an Unequal World”, would be launched in March at the Commission on the Status of Women. The most positive message of the report related to women’s increasing presence in politics and the public life.

    Highlighting other major activities, he said the Institute had been looking at how social policies had been changing in the context of globalization and liberalization, and their impacts in five different regions of the world. A number of thematic issues had been explored, such as what kind of macroeconomic policy regime could lead simultaneously to economic growth, poverty reduction and social progress. With the publication of over 50 books or papers, the number of Institute publications had increased significantly. There had also been increased interaction between the Institute and other United Nations agencies. Work on social policy would continue to figure prominently in the new research agenda for 2005-2009.

    Also today, the Commission nominated six members to serve on the Board of the Institute, subject to election by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). They would replace five members whose terms expired this year, as well as one member who resigned from the Board. The four people identified for re-nomination were Tony Atkinson, Anna Hedborg, Amina Mama and Adele Smith Simmons. The two new candidates were Christian Comeliau and Asma Jahangir. Their biographical information is contained in document E/CN.5/2005/4/Add.1. The Commission postponed the nomination of another candidate to complete the term of office of Salma Sobhan, who died.

    In other business, Johan Schölvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, presented the Commission’s draft programme of work for 2006-2007 (contained in document E/CN.5/2005/WP.1). The content of the working paper would be incorporated in the Secretary-General’s 2006-2007 proposed programme budget, to be approved by the General Assembly at its sixtieth session.

    The Commission will hold its next open meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday, 17 February, when it will hear introductions of all draft proposals.

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