Concluding its fiftieth session today, the Commission for Social Development recommended seven draft resolutions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, covering topics that ranged from the mainstreaming of disability into the international development agenda, to the priority theme for the next session.
The Commission’s approval of the drafts capped two weeks of negotiations as well as plenary panel discussions and lively general debates that focused on unemployment, social protection floor initiatives and ways to shrink the widening gap between the rich and poor. Ministerial-level officials from around the world described national efforts as the Commission considered the most effective and efficient means to lift millions of people out of poverty.
One draft resolution, an overarching text entitled “Poverty eradication”, was approved by consensus following significant negotiations on both its substance and the facilitation procedure. The representative of the United States, in particular, argued that the text focused on “tangential issues” and had been “pushed through” during inappropriately timed negotiations. Meanwhile, other delegates, including that of Algeria, representing the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, supported its consensus approval, which was the topic of considerable debate at the end of the day’s session.
Several of the texts approved focused on organizational matters, including the Commission’s future organization and working methods. By its terms, the Economic and Social Council would select “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all” as the priority theme for Commission’s fifty-first session. The theme echoed myriad statements made throughout the just-concluded session, in which delegations and civil society representatives alike called for decent and productive employment — especially for young people — as a core component of global efforts to eradicate poverty.
Other draft resolutions approved focused on specific initiatives, including preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family (1994), while still others explored the social dimensions of existing international instruments, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Immediately following the conclusion of the fiftieth session, Commission Chair Jorge Valero Briceño (Venezuela) declared the fifty-first session open, and Gyan Chandra Acharya (Nepal) was elected its Chair by acclamation. Elected Vice-Chairs were Amira Fahmy (Egypt), Larysa Belskaya (Belarus) and Emma Aparici (Spain).
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