17 October 1997


Press Release
GA/9334



GENERAL ASSEMBLY ENDORSES CLOSER LINKS BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS AND AGENCY FOR CULTURAL AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION

19971017
Role in Conflict Prevention, Human Rights Stressed; Debate On Outcome of World Summit for Social Development Is Concluded

The General Assembly this morning recommended that the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation intensify their consultations to ensure greater coordination on conflict prevention, support for the rule of law and democracy, and promotion of human rights.

The Assembly took that action by adopting by consensus a resolution on cooperation between the two organizations. The Assembly also decided to include the topic in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fourth session and asked the Secretary-General to report then on the implementation of the text.

The Secretary-General of the Agency, Jean Louis Roy, said cooperation was like an investment and there was a need to see a return. Both organizations recognized their common goals and planned to pool resources to consolidate the conditions necessary for peace and development. Governments wanted to see a new partnership with specific goals and the resolution emphasized the fruitfulness of future bilateral cooperation.

Statements were made by France, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Monaco, Romania, Tunisia, Viet Nam, Haiti, Belgium, Senegal, Mauritius, Niger, Benin, Cameroon, Mauritania and Vanuatu.

Also this morning, the Assembly concluded its consideration of the outcome of implementation of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995). Representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Philippines, Colombia, Iraq and Chile and the Observer of the Holy See spoke.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 22 October.


_---------_ * The meeting number on Page 1 of Press Release GA/9332 of 16 October should read the 33rd.

Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly met this morning to begin consideration of the Secretary-General's report on cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation. The Assembly was expected to take action on a draft resolution on cooperation between the two organizations.

The Assembly will also conclude its consideration of implementation of the outcome of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen. (For details, see Press Release GA/9331 of 16 October.)

The Secretary-General's report (documents A/52/299 and Adds.1 and 2) examines the agreement on cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, which was signed on 25 June. The agreement aims to strengthen economic, social, scientific and cultural relations between the two organizations, which will send representatives to each other's meetings whenever matters of shared interest are discussed. It also provides for the United Nations and the Agency to act jointly on relevant projects and set up commissions, committees or other bodies to advise them on matters of common concern. The two organizations will exchange information on areas or activities of common interest. The full text of the agreement is annexed to the report.

The report outlines cooperation between the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation and various United Nations bodies and programmes. It notes that some United Nations organizations have long-standing ties with the Agency, while others have indicated a strong interest in developing further cooperation.

By the terms of the draft resolution (document A/52/L.1), the Assembly would recommend that the United Nations and the Agency intensify their consultations to ensure greater coordination in conflict prevention, support for the role of law and democracy, and promotion of human rights. It would ask the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the head of the Agency, to encourage periodic meetings between representatives of both organizations, to promote the exchange of information and the identification of new areas of cooperation.

The Secretary-General would be invited to include the Agency in periodic meetings with the heads of regional organizations, taking into account the Agency's roles in conflict prevention, support for democracy and the rule of law. The Assembly would decide to include the item entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation" in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fourth session and ask the Secretary-General to report then on the implementation of the draft text.


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The sponsors of the draft resolution are Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, France, Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.

Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France), who said he spoke on behalf of the Francophone Group of New York, introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation. He said since the adoption of resolution 50/3, the cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency had been fruitful and contained many prospects for development. Since the adoption of the resolution, the Agency had entered into cooperation agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Cooperation with UNICEF had resulted in a programme of education and literacy for young rural children in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mauritania, Viet Nam, a basic education programme for displaced families in Djibouti, and a programme of technical assistance in Haiti focusing on training teachers and principals and making teaching materials available.

The cooperation agreement with the United Nations would enable attention to be given to the promotion of human rights, the application of democracy and good government, the formation and reinforcement of national capacities, economic development of the countries of the South, and support for small economic enterprises.

He said the signing between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Agency signified a collaboration that could address preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and all political, economic, social, scientific and cultural areas contained in the resolution. The September agreement signed between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Agency would focus on the state of law, the protection human rights, particularly the rights of women and children, and the fight against racism and xenophobia.

ALOUNKEO KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic) said that the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation was an expression of new solidarity among the countries of the world, particularly the French-speaking nations. The prime mandate of the Agency was strengthening economic, social, scientific and cultural relations between itself and the United Nations. It was not a new relationship. The Agency had participated in various meetings of the United Nations and taken part in several major conferences, such as the World Food Summit in Rome and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements


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(Habitat II). It had worked with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the production of teaching aids and manuals, teacher training and technical and vocational training. The Agency had concluded agreements with other United Nations agencies, including the UNDP, and he hoped cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations would be strengthened in the future.

JACQUES L. BOISSON (Monaco) said French-speaking countries and the Agency for Technical and Cultural Cooperation were cooperating on promoting peace, international security, democracy and economic and social development. The United Nations and the Agency had consulted on the Great Lakes crisis in Africa. The Agency had offered electoral assistance to French-speaking countries, based on its experience and that of the non-governmental organizations with which it had established trustworthy and effective cooperation.

He said development could not be limited to applying macroeconomic theories, but must encompass, as a priority, specific actions in favour of the neediest people on every continent, with focus on simple, practical projects that took daily realities into account. The Agency supported and often led microeconomic and micro-finance projects with the participation of local organizations. Adoption of the draft resolution would send an encouraging message to the Agency's partners, just before the meeting it was to hold that would bring together heads of State and government in Hanoi.

SORIN TANASESCU (Romania) said it was the common duty of French-speaking countries to circulate over the radio and the Internet the traditional and modern values for which French was a bridge to common goals and interests. Common interests and action by the Agency and the United Nations had made it possible for the United Nations Secretariat to recognize and organize cooperative action. The conclusion of a legal framework agreement between the United Nations and the Agency provided a guarantee for continuing cooperation. According to the agreement, both organizations might decide to hold commissions, meetings and seminars on areas of common interest and send representatives to each other's meetings when appropriate. He welcomed the agreement between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations.

He noted that, last month, Bucharest had hosted the third international conference on new or re-established democracies. The theme of the conference, which was organized by his Government with the UNDP, was focused on the relationship between democracy and development. It was attended by high-level government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations, as well as academics from 77 countries, including several French-speaking countries. He thanked the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation for its generous contribution to the conference. Its results and the study of the process of democratization would be beneficial for the host of the next conference.


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ALI HACHANI (Tunisia) said cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations had been exemplary since 1976, as shown by participation in various international United Nations conferences. The Agency was a unique organization that brought together countries from different continents to meet around a common ideal, and which saw themselves as a way to bring people together. That solidarity allowed countries to cooperate in numerous areas.

He went on to outline various cooperation agreements between the United Nations agencies and the Agency which, he said, furthered the ambitious goals of the Agency which could not be reached without international cooperation. The UNICEF and the Agency established a literacy programme for girls living in countries as diverse as Mauritania and Viet Nam. In preparation for a new phase, which would be discussed at the next summit meeting in Hanoi, strengthened cooperation was a necessity for both organizations.

NGO QUANG XUAN (Viet Nam) said cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation had had encouraging results over the last two years. It was helpful in furthering the United Nations reforms. The agreement signed between the Secretary-General and the Agency in June was a new step in the right direction. Viet Nam was convinced the agreement would be a sound foundation for specific measures and the establishment of cooperation projects.

He said Viet Nam was preparing to hold the seventh Summit of French- speaking Countries, a turning point because that would be the first time such a meeting had taken place in Asia. Representatives of 49 countries would attend. Viet Nam hoped that in coming years the United Nations and the Agency would continue to expand cooperation in all areas of common interest. It hoped draft resolution A/52/L.1 would have unanimous support.

PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) said that the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation now included 40 States from five continents. That was proof of the Agency's growth and its ability to contribute to French-speaking culture in the areas of education, health, training, communication, energy, the environment, agriculture, scientific information, support for the rule of law, and economic development. The scope for Agency activities was broad and called for increased development cooperation in areas it had in common with the United Nations, to whose peace and development efforts it had also contributed.

The Agency had established a dense network of ties to the United Nations system, he said. It had taken part in all the conferences and summits organized by the United Nations. A framework agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) had led to industrial development programmes in 15 French-speaking countries.

ALEX REYN (Belgium) said the mission of the Agency was to guarantee cooperation on the environment, development, agriculture, education, culture,


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communication, energy, scientific information and the rule of law. The United Nations mission was to deal with those problems on the world level, so it was natural that the two organizations set up a partnership. The Agency made valuable contributions in the area of technical support and carried out legal and judicial support in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Belgium supported the signature of a cooperation agreement between the United Nations and the Agency in June. That aimed to enhance exchanges between the two organizations in the political, economic, social, scientific and cultural arenas. This cooperation would help serve the common ideal of the two organizations.

IBRA DEGUENE KA (Senegal) said Leopold Senghor of Senegal was one of the first heads of State to take up the establishment of a French-speaking community to promote universal cooperation as a forum for giving, and where multidimensional cooperation in the areas of economy, development, environmental protection, good governance and the strengthening of state of law was the prime focus. Today, the objectives of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation were the same as those enshrined in the United Nations Charter. That was why the cooperation now existing between the Organization and the Agency was so visible in the daily life of the two entities.

He said the cooperation agreements were aimed at strengthening the joint relationship in common areas, particularly in the scientific and cultural fields. He appealed to Member States to support the draft resolution, which his country endorsed, and to strengthen and broaden and increase cooperation in the interests of peace and Solidarity.

TAYE WAH MICHEL WAN CHAT KWONG (Mauritius) said his country was happy to associate itself with the draft resolution, since it was one of the founding members of the Agency. The relationship between the United Nations and the Agency had begun in the 1970s, but had gained new momentum between 1991 and 1995. In 1976, cooperation with UNESCO was the first instance of a relationship with the United Nations family. That relationship was due to the Agency's giving of priority to education, particularly technical training.

With other United Nations bodies, the Agency had also worked on development programmes that stressed micro-financial activity, he said. Notable was the cooperation among Indian Ocean countries in the areas of fishing and livestock farming. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency in the areas of good governance and preventive diplomacy would develop in a particular way in the future. The Agency had not merely cooperated with the United Nations, but had also conducted a number of conferences and world meetings to address major issues over the last 10 years with other French- speaking countries.


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JOSEPH DIATTA (Niger) said the Agency had helped many developing countries develop their education systems, protect their cultural heritage and the environment, and boost their economic potential. It had much to contribute to the United Nations service of the world community. The Niger especially saluted cooperation on democratization and conflict-prevention.

As a young democracy, the Niger was a first-hand beneficiary in the areas of electoral assistance, observation of elections, improvements to the justice system and promotion and protection of human rights, he said. The Agency had solved crises in several French-speaking countries, and its cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) went along those lines. The international community must encourage the relationship between the Agency and the United Nations because it served the interests of the entire world.

ADAM YACOUBOU (Benin) said cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation had entered a new phase with the agreement signed last year by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Agency's Secretary-General, as well as various agreements with United Nations agencies. Furthermore, consultation and dialogue had been held on a more regular basis between the United Nations Secretariat and the Agency. Those efforts had centred on development in central Africa; various initiatives to settle the crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa; electoral assistance to French-speaking countries; and preparatory work for the special session of the General Assembly on Agenda 21. All those efforts were a testimony to the determination of the United Nations and the Agency to expand their cooperation into new areas. Such cooperation would have a positive effect on the social welfare of countries.

He said Benin, which had hosted the last summit of the heads of State of French-speaking countries in 1995, would pass the torch on to Viet Nam who would host the seventh summit -- an opportunity for new joint action. The efforts of the United Nations and the Agency would establish a new milestone for the type of fruitful cooperation that the international community was looking for.

JEAN-MARC MPAY (Cameroon) said development problems in the French- speaking countries of the south and their limited resources made cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations especially important. The UNESCO and the Agency were working together on promoting and protecting African languages and cultures. The UNIDO and the Agency cooperated on supporting agriculture and industry in 15 French-speaking countries with six different programmes. The two organizations also carried out industrial cooperation in the Indian Ocean States and promoted non-polluting industries.

In cooperation with UNICEF, the Agency collaborated on literacy campaigns aimed at rural girls and young women in Senegal, Benin, Burkina


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Faso, Mauritania, Viet Nam, Djibouti and Haiti, and also on the establishment of a sustainable development network on the Internet in Togo. The Agency had undertaken initiatives to achieve a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

MAHFOUDI OULD DEDDACH (Mauritania) said the Agency and the United Nations were pursuing the same goals of peace, cooperation and understanding between peoples. The Agency had played an active role in major United Nations conferences and summits. The heads of State and government of French-speaking countries had formed a partnership with the United Nations in which the Agency played a positive role, especially in the areas of development, democracy, education, training, technical cooperation, energy, scientific information and the environment.

He said Mauritania had always based its policies on dialogue and friendly cooperation. As Arab and an African country at the same time, it took part in an organization, the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, that advocated fruitful dialogue between various cultures on peace and stability.

JEAN RAVOU-AKII (Vanuatu) said the activities of the Agency for Technical and Cultural Cooperation in his country could be seen in three specific areas -- renewable energy sources, education for French-speaking teachers at primary level, and training of French-speaking magistrates.

In the area of renewable energy sources, the Agency, through the energy institutes of French-speaking countries, was presently implementing an energy programme in Vanuatu. It was a joint activity between the Agency and the UNDP.

He said teacher training at primary level was taking place at the Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific. His Government was pleased with the common agreement with the Agency to set up the training structures for French-speaking magistrates in the South Pacific University, whose headquarters were in Vanuatu. Vanuatu supported that cooperation and was pleased to be among co-sponsors of the draft resolution which he hoped the Assembly would adopt unanimously.

JEAN LOUIS ROY, the Secretary-General of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, said that many times during the bi-ennial conferences of the heads of State and government of countries which used the French language, the importance of multilateralism had been recognized. Governments wanted to see a new partnership with specific goals. In 1995, as part of their effort to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly between French- speaking countries, Member States had taken the initiative to include in the Assembly's agenda, a new item on cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency. The draft text introduced today, emphasized the closer cooperation in the preparation of, and participation in, major United Nations conferences. At each conference, French-speaking partners and other players


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had enriched the United Nations initiatives and made sure French-speaking countries participated in both preparations and follow-up.

He said the Agency had sought to identify with synergies with United Nations programmes. Cooperation was like an investment and there was a need to see a return. Both the United Nations and the Agency recognized common goals and based their activities on new technology. The Agency sought to strengthen cooperation between developing countries through feasibility studies on investment and major work on technology, as outlined in the Secretary-General's report. Over the last two years as mentioned by France, the Agency had pooled considerable resources with the United Nations. He recalled agreements that had been signed and said they all sought to combine the resources of both organizations in interventions in a given number of countries. A meeting in Paris last month allowed for the building of cooperation in the areas of technical assistance, training, the sending of observers and coordinating teams of observers for elections.

The draft text noted the positive future direction of cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations, and emphasized the fruitfulness of bilateral cooperation which he hoped would increase. Representatives deserved gratitude for the support they had given to the cooperation efforts of the Agency and the United Nations. The two organizations planned to pool their resources to consolidate the conditions necessary for peace and development.

Action on Draft

The Assembly then adopted by consensus the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the ACTC.

Summit for Social Development

The Assembly then resumed debate on implementing the outcome of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen.

MOHAMMAD J. SAMHAN (United Arab Emirates) said action since Copenhagen was testimony to the international community's determination to implement the commitments made at the Summit. However, a shadow was cast on the world by the growing gap between the developing and developed countries as seen in increasing levels of illiteracy. Millions of people lacked adequate food, clean drinking water and educational opportunities. The growth of drug trafficking, organized crime and violence had become global challenges; governments were not able to deal with them alone, or without regional and international cooperation. There was an urgent need to increase the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries.

He said he hoped the special session of the General Assembly to be held in the year 2000 would reaffirm the role of the United Nations agencies in


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ensuring follow-up to the Copenhagen Summit. In a commitment to that outcome, his Government had changed some of its social development programme. It had allocated resources for programmes for the disabled and the elderly, increased the role of the private sector and provided employment opportunities for all members of society. It had developed rural areas with a network of roads, and the provision of housing and clean drinking water. The United Arab Emirates was cooperating with regional programmes and had donated financial resources to developing countries.

VOLODYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said that although two years had passed since the Summit, the follow-up had been far from satisfactory. His delegation hoped the Assembly in the year 2000, which would review implementation of the outcome of the Summit and consider further actions, would be the main test in evaluating the capability of the global community to respond properly and adequately to the major social challenges of the present time and to fulfil commitments.

He said Ukraine continued to focus its efforts on the problems of youth and elderly people. In the context of the International Year for Eradication of Poverty, it had established a monitoring system to collect and review information on the root causes of poverty and the different forms it took. He noted that the participants of the Summit committed themselves to the goal of eradicating poverty "as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind". In this regard, Ukraine supported the activity of the newly established Department for Economic and Social Affairs to assist the implementation of the follow-up to the Summit.

FELIPE MABILANGAN (Philippines) said that consistent with its international commitments to eradicate poverty and widespread unemployment, his country had intensified its implementation of a social reform agenda, which provided concrete cross-sectoral time-bound strategies to eradicate poverty. It focused on three major issues: access to quality basic services; access to productive resources and asset reforms; and institution-building and participation in governance.

With full employment as their goal, the Philippines had embarked upon a comprehensive employment strategy programme to provide more jobs and livelihood opportunities, to promote the rights and welfare of the labour sector, and to enhance human resource development with new approaches towards developing a competitive workforce prepared to meet the challenges of globalization.

In order to share and learn from each other's experiences, the United Nations Commission on Social Development should develop an appropriate format that would ensure a better appreciation of country activities implementing specific results of the Copenhagen Summit.


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He said that without the necessary resources, the outcome of the Summit would remain a distant blueprint for action. It was the responsibility of countries themselves to provide the resources for their social development, and developing countries had done their best, given the various economic and structural constraints confronting them. There had been some expectations for an increase in ODA but the reverse had occurred. It was alarming that the level of ODA had continuously declined over the past five years. Such assistance was an essential part of the cost-sharing needed to address priority global social concerns like poverty eradication. In addition, such sources of external finance was critical to many capital-starved countries.

To ensure a successful review and appraisal of the outcome of the Summit in the year 2000, it was necessary to involve non-governmental organizations, academic and research organizations, business communities and members of civil society.

EDITH CAMERANO (Colombia) said her country's social policy programme called "A network for Social Solidarity" was conceived as an instrument directed primarily at improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable groups in Colombia. The major strategies addressed basic education, the health system and the integration of the indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples into national socio-economic development projects. The eradication of absolute poverty was the objective of the Colombian Government in its development plan and it therefore appreciated the calls by the General Assembly for national and international cooperation to overcome the problem.

She said Colombia attached importance to the initiatives of the international community, including those of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in aiding social development. She called on developing countries to contribute 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) to ODA. Colombia also urged the international community to continue promotion of basic social development programmes as agreed in Copenhagen. Multilateral debt remained a serious burden for a great number of poor countries and it was impeding their economic development, while arresting their human and social development. She said the release of resources expended on armaments would be another source of finance for social development programmes.

KHALED AL-HITTI (Iraq) said there had been a welcome trend to give more support to development since the Copenhagen Summit. It was not just a concern of developing countries. It was possible to reverse the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty, but there could be no development without the effective use of all human resources. International relations were going through a change, given the increasing disparities between the North and the South and the unequal technological development which was hampering the social situation in developing countries. Illiteracy, impoverishment and disease were spreading in many countries and were having a negative impact on societies.


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He said Iraq had not been able to implement any of the Copenhagen commitments because of the economic sanctions imposed against it. United Nations agencies hampered development by imposing sanctions.

The document An Agenda for Peace had highlighted the negative impact which sanctions could have on countries, and stated that such strategies should be used only when other means had been exhausted and civilians were spared. The unrestricted use of economic sanctions showed a grave shortcoming in the United Nations Charter, particularly the lack of provisions to alleviate their impact. He said the use of sanctions was an inhumane and ineffective tool, and countries in the Security Council used sanctions to further their own interests which had nothing to do with the goals of the United Nations.

JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) said that he endorsed earlier statements by Tanzania, on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, and by Paraguay, on behalf of the Rio Group. The follow-up to the Rio Conference on environment and development had not been as successful as many had hoped, mainly because it reopened debate on texts which had already been agreed on. That should not happen with the follow-up to Copenhagen, which would be held in the year 2000. Member States should not renegotiate agreements; rather, they should aim to focus on major initiatives to further implementation of the Copenhagen's Summit's outcome.

The special session should bring all the real actors in social development together -- governments, non-governmental associations, financial institutions, banks, mayors, representatives of civil society and the media. In other words, the United Nations should provide the space so that civil society as a whole could come together and act together. Copenhagen had been the greatest gathering of government leaders; the upcoming special session should be the greatest focus of social actors ever to come together. Only the United Nations was capable of doing that.

He said the preparation to the special session should build on the political commitment to eradicate poverty which was made at Copenhagen. The international community must move forward and make a legally binding treaty to achieve that objective within a given time frame. Grass roots organizations must be involved. There was a need to generate employment and care for the environment. New ways to use private capital to provide social services must also be found. Capital should be used not as an act of charity, but as a good business deal. The world could not expect international cooperation and harmony while only some countries enjoyed economic progress. And the special needs of some developing countries must be recognized.


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RENATO R. MARTINO (Holy See) said the hope and expectation of the wide range of representatives of civil society who worked constructively with governments to look at the challenges of poverty, of creating productive employment and of broad social integration, must not be disappointed.

At Copenhagen it was clearly recognized that it was possible to rapidly reduce and ultimately eliminate the humiliating scourge of extreme poverty, the means to which did exist. That theme should be examined in the short period before the review session, as should be, the significance today of social and economic rights and the need for that principle to be reaffirmed. The realization of those rights needed the putting into place of policies which enabled the market, private sector and civil society, as well as public authorities on the local, regional and national level, to work constructively together. Finally, there was the question of the financial means available for development assistance, and especially the crisis of ODA. The poorest countries, if they were to attract investment, required substantial ODA to remedy their comparative disadvantage. The reduction of such assistance was, in some cases, a question of a weakening of solidarity and a growth of dangerous isolationism.

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