83rd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 1

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07-Dec-1995 00:57:27
World Conferences cost-effective way to tackle challenges of next century, Assembly told in implementation review of Social Summit goals at 83rd meeting.

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Conferences such as the World Summit for Social Development provided a unique and cost-effective way to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century, the representative of Chile told the General Assembly as it reviewed implementation of the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit, held last March.

Chile's representative, addressing himself "to those who wish to eliminate world conferences", said there was no other process for achieving such a high-level consensus in such a cost-effective manner. The Summit had cost only $2.5 million out of the regular budget, equivalent to the cost of half a day of the peace-keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, he added.

To maintain the spirit that prevailed at the Social Summit, Denmark intended to convene in Copenhagen international high-quality seminars on selected social development issues, the representative of that country said. And it was continuing to consider approaches for providing a firm structure for ongoing intellectual cross-fertilization regarding social development issues.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the representative of Spain said the Union attached special importance to the participation of organizations of the civil society in the implementation of the Programme of Action and appealed to governments to enhance effective partnership with them. The European Union called for the full exploration of means to effectively mobilize financial resources for social development.

The representative of Cote d'Ivoire said African countries were working to create an enabling environment by implementing development strategies and structural adjustment programmes, but their efforts had yet to be met by a genuine partnership. She called on those present to implement the commitments made at the Copenhagen Summit, stating, "It is time to act. Everything has already been said on this subject, and destitution and hunger continue to claim so many victims."

According to the representative of Peru, the agreements reached at the Summit provided a practical guide of enormous importance for States. Consistent with the Social Summit agreements, Peru was undertaking a program of structural adjustment and social support. Beginning in 1995, at least 40 per cent of its national budget would be devoted to social expenditures -- twice the level agreed upon in Copenhagen. The representative of Kazakstan also said the results of the Social Summit had provided the basis for the social policy of his country.

Other statements were made by the representatives of Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Australia.

The General Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. today to continue its consideration of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development. It is also scheduled to discuss implementation of the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace.

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