6 October 1999


Press Release
GA/9628



GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS PROTOCOL TO WOMEN’S RIGHTS CONVENTION PROVIDING RECOURSE TO VICTIMS OF SEX DISCRIMINATION

19991006

Calls on States to Accept UN Committee’s Competence to Adjudicate Complaints of Discrimination against Women in Their Jurisdictions

Individual victims of sex discrimination will soon be able to submit complaints directly to the United Nations, according to a legal instrument approved and opened for signature this afternoon by the General Assembly.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a 21-article Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and called on all States parties to the Convention to become party to the new instrument as soon as possible. By ratifying the Optional Protocol, a State would recognize the competence of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women –- the body that monitors States parties’ compliance with the Convention -- to receive and consider complaints from individuals or groups within its juristiction. The Committee would then be authorized to request the State Party where the alleged violation occurred to take “interim measures … to avoid possible irreparable damage to the victim or victims …”.

The Committee would only consider complaints related to incidents in States Parties to the Protocol, and only when the complainant was demonstrated to have exhausted available domestic remedies, “unless the application of such remedies is unreasonably prolonged or unlikely to bring effective relief”. The Optional Protocol allows for the Committee to investigate complaints and seek information from the States parties concerned, but the latter have the option, under Article 10, of refusing to accept that provision. Article 17, however, explicitly forbids States parties from entering reservations to the text.

The Optional Protocol was formally opened for signature today; it will enter into force as soon as 10 States have ratified it. After that, it enters into force for individual States parties three months after the date of their ratification.


General Assembly Plenary - 1a - Press Release GA/9628 28th Meeting (PM) 6 October 1999

As the Assembly began its consideration of follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), the representative of Chile, who has been serving as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Assembly’s special session on that subject (scheduled to be held at Geneva in June 2000) expressed concern over the serious impact of the political, humanitarian and financial crisis on communities, and over its duration. The aim of the Preparatory Committee was to transform principles into specific policies, suitable for every country. The principles adopted by the Social Summit were meant for all, without any distinction between developed and developing countries. The special session should set the target of reducing 50 per cent of the world's poverty by 2015. That target should be adopted both by nations and by international institutions in their elaboration of global strategies.

Also this afternoon, the President of the Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab (Namibia) announced that the General Committee would meet at 9.15 a.m. on Friday 8 October to consider the inclusion of new issues on the Assembly’s agenda.

Statements on the World Summit were also made by Guyana (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing Countries and China), Finland (on behalf of the European Union and associated countries), Cote d'Ivoire, India, Mexico, Norway, Mongolia, Croatia, Cuba, Viet Nam, Japan, Indonesia, Peru, Jordan and Tunisia.

The Assembly will meet again tomorrow at 10 a.m. to continue its consideration of the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (for background, see Press Release GA/9627, issued earlier today. It will meet at 3 p.m. tomorrow to continue discussing the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development.


Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly met this afternoon to act on a draft resolution on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) and begin its consideration of the implementation of the World Summit for Social Development, (Copenhagen, 1995). It had before it the report of the Secretary-General on that subject (document A/54/200) outcome of the World Summit. It also had before it the report (document A/54/45 and (Suppl. and Add. 1 and Corr.1) on the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the Assembly’s special session on that issue scheduled to be held at Geneva from 26-30 June 2000.

Draft Resolution on Discrimination against Women

The Assembly had before it a draft resolution on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on Women (document A/54/L.4) the Assembly would adopt the Optional Protocol and call on all States’ parties to the Convention to become parties to the Protocol as soon as possible. The Protocol, which is annexed to the draft, provides for individuals who claim to be victims of sex discrimination, in the jurisdiction of a State party, to complain directly to the CEDAW, provided the domestic remedies have been exhausted.

By the draft resolution, the general assembly would also request the Secretary-General to provide the Committee with the necessary staff and facilities to enable it to receive individual complaints once the Optional Protocol has received enough ratifications to enter into force.

The Optional Protocol comprises 21 articles. It recognizes the Committee’s competence to hear complaints, in Article 1, and provides in Article 2, complaints from groups as well as individuals. It provides in Article 8 and 9 for the Committee to investigate complaints and seek information from the States parties concerned. However, Article 10 provides for States Parties to declare that they do not recognize the competence of the Committee in that regard. Article 17 forbids States parties from making any other reservations to the Protocol.

Report of Secretary-General on Follow-up to Social Summit

The report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development recalls that 186 Governments pledged at the Summit’s conclusion to put social development as the highest priority on their political agenda, and adopted the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, which were endorsed by the General Assembly in resolution 50/161. The Summit further called upon the Assembly to hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall review. The report provides an overview of follow-up activities during 1999, including the preparation of progress reports by various elements of the United Nations system. The Secretary-General’s preliminary assessment is that some of the targets of the Programme of Action will not be met on schedule, and that there have been “severe setbacks” in some instances. He expresses concern that “the recent emphasis in financial and economic policies has not always been development-oriented, that the dominance of a limited set of macroeconomic targets and parameters over the social, political, cultural and environmental domains has gone too far, and that social and economic policies and objectives must be fully integrated”.

Report of Preparatory Committee

The report of the Preparatory Committee for the special session covers that Committee’s meetings in May and July of this year, and relays two decisions for action by the Assembly. The report outlines the main issues that emerged during the Preparatory Committee’s discussions. Those include constraints to development, such as wars, civil strife, natural disasters and the conflict between the imperative of fiscal authority to control the public deficit, and finding the necessary fiscal resources needed to finance social policies. Also reviewed are national initiatives undertaken in response to the commitments of the World Summit, including poverty- reduction programmes and specific policies and programmes aimed at ensuring women’s greater participation in labour markets and public life.

At the international level, the Preparatory Committee proposes that, in view of growing uncertainties caused by the unstable international financial system, there is a need to redesign the international financial architecture so that it takes social development issues into account. There is also a need to review international trade so as to eliminate protectionist practices that are detrimental to developing countries’ agricultural exports. The need for further initiatives to reduce the debt burden of developing countries is also highlighted.

The report contains a draft decision approved by the Preparatory Committee (document A/AC.253/L.7 Rev.1) entitled “Role of the United Nations system”, recalling the Summit’s 10 Commitments as a basis for action by the system. The Commitments concern: (1) and enabling environment for social development; (2) poverty eradication; (3) full employment; (4) promoting social integration; (5) universal and equitable access to high-quality education and health services; (6) acceleration of development in Africa and in the least developed countries; (7) inclusion of social development goals in structural adjustment in programmes; (8) resources for social development; and (9) international cooperation for social development.

The report also contains the Committee’s draft decisions on various aspects of preparations for the special session, (document A/AC.253/L.8) as including such issues as logistical arrangements and accreditation and modalities for participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The report includes a detailed decision on the role of the United Nations, by which the Committee invites members of the United Nations system to provide information and recommendations corresponding to the priorities categorized in the 10 commitments.

The Committee also recommended that the Commission on Sustainable Development be the forum for national reporting and identifying where further initiatives are needed. Accordingly, it invites the Commission to undertake the overall review of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit and transmit the results to the Committee. The Committee also decided to coordinate with the Commission on the Status of Women, acting as the Preparatory Committee for the general assembly’s special session entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.

By Draft decision 1 -– Arrangements for the Special Session (document A/54/45/Corr.1) the General Assembly would invite Member States to participate in the special session at the highest political level possible. It would also set forth parameters for the organization of work of the special session and for participation of observers and representatives of United Nations programmes and other entities in the United Nations system.

The report of the Preparatory Committee’s resumed first session (document A/54/54/Add.1) conveys two draft decisions: Draft decision IV, providing for participation by a limited number of NGOs and Draft Decision 5, concerning NGO accreditation procedures.

Action on Draft on Women

The Assembly first adopted the draft resolution on the advancement of women (document A/54/L.4) without a vote.

Implementation of Outcome of World for Social Development

The Assembly then decided to allow the Observer for Switzerland to participate in the debate.

Statements

S.R. INSANALLY (GUYANA), on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, called for a redoubled effort to arrest the rampant process of social degradation. "We are convinced that people-centred development with an emphasis on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration can lead to the improvement in the living conditions of the world's peoples". To be effective, poverty eradication strategies needed to be holistic, multi-pronged and broad- based, paying particular attention to the needs of women and children. The Group reiterated its call for increased attention to be paid to employment expansion, particularly for women, youth, the disabled and older persons. It also recommended initiatives that encouraged self-employment and expansion of the informal sector.

He said developing countries needed to be assured of a more level playing field for the marketing of their products and more favourable and fairer terms of trade. At the forthcoming world Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Seattle and at the tenth meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD X) in Bangkok, "we must ensure that these needs are met". Unfortunately, there were not nearly enough initiatives to relieve the debt burden faced by developing countries. Debt cancellation for the poorest would provide the breathing space necessary for recovery. The Group also urged an immediate reversal of the declining official development assistance (ODA) trend. It was worrying that concern for the reliability of the prevailing financial architecture, which had peaked when the Asian financial crises were full blown, appeared to have virtually dissipated. The situation had not fundamentally changed and it would be foolish to be lulled into complacency, he warned. There was still an urgent need for greater macroeconomic vigilance to protect developing countries from the uncontrolled consequences of globalization.

"We must be sensitive to the particular difficulties facing Africa, the less developed countries and small economies as they seek to respond to the social needs of their populations", he said. The deteriorating external environment had made it extremely difficult for those countries to address the structural deficiencies that inhibited their productivity and economic growth. To succeed, the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action required a strong partnership among Governments, civil society and the international community.

ANNA-MAIJA KORPI (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and its associated countries -- Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta -- as well as Iceland and Liechtenstein, said that to reduce poverty, it was necessary to strengthen the financial and economic architecture at the macro-level while promoting specific policies to benefit the poor at the national level, investing in basic social services, increasing public participation and empowering women. Discrimination against women in all societies concerning access to education and gainful employment must be given special attention. The importance of families must be recognized. She recommended that governments work with the private sector to help young people move into the labour market, and adult workers to adapt to technological change. Universal and lasting peace, as well as sustainable development, could be achieved only if it were based on social justice.

Effective implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action required strengthening of community organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other relevant actors of civil society to enable them to participate effectively in the design, implementation and evaluation of social development policies, strategies and programmes, she went on. The European Union would continue to explore opportunities for active participation by representatives of employers' and workers' organizations in the work of the special session in Geneva next year. The society must be organized in such a way as to provide opportunities and security to all its members, thus promoting social cohesion to develop. Assistance should concentrate on assisting recipient countries to build enabling domestic environments for social development. That would facilitate and improve the conditions of their integration into the world economy and their possibilities for attracting foreign investments.

CLAUDE BOUAH-KAMON (Cote d'Ivoire) said the first Commitment of the Social Summit was the creation of an enabling environment for development. However, international developments were not helping social programmes. Living standards in most developing countries had declined while per capita income had dropped in more than 60 countries. Lack of access to drinking water, hunger, insufficient healthcare, low literacy, low life expectancy, AIDS-related deaths and abject poverty were the realities of many of the poorer countries. Armed conflicts with the accompanying refugee flows had not helped much. Many countries could no longer guarantee the basic rights of their citizens. The negative impact of globalization and its adverse effects on the international financial and commodity markets had devastated many people. To achieve the goal of halving poverty by 2015, the international community must take bold initiatives to reduce the debt burden of the poorer countries. His Government was honouring commitments adopted at the Social Summit through establishment of a national plan to reduce poverty.

Among the areas addressed by the national plan were: health; education; literacy; employment and the advancement of women. The plan sought to maximize human resources and promote public initiatives to provide high quality education and health to all. The goal was to reduce illiteracy. In the area of health care his Government was trying to rehabilitate and build infrastructure and strengthen programmes to address HIV/AIDS and immunization. Unemployment was a serious concern, and national efforts sought to reduce disparities and create jobs. He noted that his country spent much of its resources repaying foreign debt. The link between debt relief and poverty eradication would depend on the real leeway gained from money made available through debt reduction.

JAGAT MEHTA (India) said India wholeheartedly endorsed UNCTAD's call for a positive trade agenda. Such an agenda would allow the free flow of goods from developing countries and divert much of the $350 billion agricultural subsidies of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to social and economic development in developing countries. No social agenda or commitments could bear fruit in an environment that did not allow fair play in the markets. The fundamental philosophy of the Summit had been to make development more people-centred, but what the world was experiencing today was a pattern of disabling inequities in the international macroeconomic environment.

It was clear from the Secretary-General's report that the targets of the Summit Plan of Action would not be fulfilled in the agreed upon time-frame, he said. The single most important reason for that was the continuing lack of resources. The 10 commitments made at Copenhagen underlined the inclusive nature of development and brought into focus the fact that building social capital was as important as economic growth. The Copenhagen Compact should be reviewed, to see if it required any change. Development, to be inclusive and dynamic, urgently required new initiatives.

GUSTAVO ALBIN (Mexico) said that the Rio Group had reaffirmed the need to implement economic and social programmes to integrate the vulnerable sectors of the population and to eradicate poverty and marginalization. Latin America had defined concrete measures to achieve the goals of Copenhagen. He welcomed the work of the Preparatory Committee to promote the assessment of the World Summit. In addition, agreement on the final document for the special session of the general assembly had been reached. While that document was an engine for social development, it must include new initiatives bearing in mind what had been achieved to date.

He said that the Rio Group hoped to continue along that avenue, leaving aside old confrontation which, in some cases, had paralyzed action. Globalization had had positive consequences on development, but the recent economic crisis revealed the fragility of some social sectors. Therefore the Rio Group reiterated the necessity to achieve a balance between social and development aspects.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said the recent changes to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative were similar to what his country had been advocating for years. The challenge now was to cover the remaining gap in order to secure full financing of the enhanced initiative. Crucial to social development, he noted, was an enabling environment at both national and international levels. In addition to macroeconomic factors, Norway felt that other enablers included good governance and respect for all human rights. One of the key outcomes of the Social Summit was ensuring universal access to basic social services and that was crucial in the fight against poverty. That access was far from being achieved and upcoming reports on education for all, access to primary health services and implementation of the 20/20 initiative should serve as a guide in achieving that goal.

The goal of full employment required action at many levels, he continued. Access to credit and to training opportunities were essential, and special attention must be given to improving opportunities in that area for people with disabilities and special needs, as well as the long-term unemployed. Norway was particularly concerned at the apparent increase in the number of children being exploited through child labour. He urged speedy ratification of the new International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention against the worst forms of child labour. He suggested that providing increasing resources to the poorest countries was only one way of maximizing the impact of international development cooperation. It was also necessary to achieve better coordination of development efforts.

JARGALSAIKHANY ENKHSAIKHAN (Mongolia) said his country had been grappling with fundamental change for eight years. Market reforms had been boldly accelerated by liberalization of trade and prices and through privatization. However, reform had been, and was still, a painful process not without costs. All internal resources and possibilities were being mobilized. External assistance and support would continue to be important.

Mongolia had introduced an innovative project called the "One World UN Conference Series", he said, as a national response to promote an integrated follow-up to United Nations conferences and summits. The series covered the conferences on children, human rights, population, social development and women in 1998-99. Its main purposes were to raise awareness in the general public of goals and commitments and to promote dialogue with decision-makers and youth. The result was a national development strategy described by participants as "turning from a mosquito to a busy bee”. Other Member States might find that exercise a useful example.

Implementation of the Copenhagen Summit decisions called for genuine government and international political commitment, he said. Mongolia supported the Copenhagen 20/20 agreement. The current declines in ODA and in core United Nations resources were cause for concern. He hoped the ongoing deliberations would regenerate the political will needed.

IVAN SIMONIVIC (Croatia) reviewed the numerous measures taken by his Government to implement the commitments of the Social Summit. Those included policies that gave special attention to the training of the unemployed, and sought to improve the status of women in all fields. A health protection programme had been undertaken, directed towards vulnerable persons and groups with special needs. Central to this programme was the “Health for all by 2005" project, which would ensure access to the health system for every citizen.

Globally, the multilateral trading system presented some unjustified obstacles for newcomers. Although Croatia had concluded all its bilateral negotiations, it continued to be shut out of the World Trade Organization due to a dispute between two large members that had nothing to do with it or the merits of its application. Arbitrary barriers to the access of certain States stood in sharp contrast to the commitment the Economic and Social Council had made towards trade liberalization. Globalization required increased international cooperation to fulfil the commitments of the Social Summit.

RAFAEL DAUSA CESPEDES (Cuba) said the Copenhagen Commitments had been met with some scepticism, particularly by the developing countries. Four years later, poverty was proliferating, unemployment was increasing and health and well-being were deteriorating. The persistent decline of development assistance, adverse international financial conditions and structural adjustment policies were contributing to ruinous situations in third world countries. Neo-liberal globalization, which should have brought prosperity, was globalizing social injustice and marginalization. Many had thought the Copenhagen Commitments would globalize brotherhood, solidarity, sustainable development and the equitable distribution of the world's wealth. Instead there were 400 million impoverished humans in the world, and 200 million children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition, 12 million of whom would die before reaching that age. One hundred and thirty million children also had no access to schools, while there were one billion illiterate people worldwide. What compliance could there possibly be with the commitment to education for all?

He said that follow-up efforts must demand more precise compliance with the Commitments. How could the world move beyond Copenhagen when ODA was down, and developing countries were prescribed structural adjustment policies that took no account of their social priorities. His own country had successfully implemented social development policies and strategies on the basis of a fair and equitable distribution of wealth. Cubans had free health care and education, and life expectancy was 75 years. Ninety seven per cent of Cuban children went to school,

and there were 600,000 university graduates. Forty-one per cent of the budget went towards providing social services. Cuba's social progress had been achieved despite the negative impact of the economic war being waged against it by the United States. In a spirit of cooperation and solidarity, Cuban doctors also offered services to the poorest countries of the third world. The South Summit to be held in Havana in the year 2000 would bring together the leaders of the Group of 77 developing countries. In the absence of arms races, the cold war and enormous military spending, what was preventing the allocation of the resources previously earmarked for those activities being spent on social and economic development in the developing countries?

CRISTIAN MAQUIEIRA (Chile) said that the Copenhagen Summit was intended to achieve social development based on three factors: the eradication of poverty; employment; and social integration. The cost of macroeconomic corrections should not fall on the poorest sectors. Since the social summit took place there had been many obstacles, in particular, in the eradication of poverty, in employment and in social integration. Alongside the positive aspects of globalization, there were negative effects for which no corrective measures had been found so far. Moreover, the access of developing countries to international markets, financial instability and the difficulties in coordinating macroeconomic policies of the developed countries were a concern. All that was occurring in a time of ideological and systematic change.

He expressed concern that the political, humanitarian and financial crisis had had a serious impact on communities and that it had lasted for a long time after the adoption of relevant decisions had started to produce positive results. The key to solving the new challenges rested on the options that were selected, on the objectives and on the direction that was chosen. The aim of the Preparatory Committee was to transform principles into specific policies, suitable in every country. The forthcoming special session of the general assembly should establish a goal of reducing 50 per cent the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. Turning to employment, he said that the special session should also elaborate a global strategy under the leadership of ILO.

NGO QUANG XUAN (Viet Nam) said that social development had been a priority ever since Viet Nam regained its independence. The backwardness of the economy and the legacy of war had severely hampered its efforts, but Viet Nam had endeavoured to implement the commitments of the World Summit. Its economy had experienced high rates of growth in the 1990s, and the proportion of its budget allocated for social programmes had continuously increased. Priorities had included the implementation of important labour and education laws, poverty alleviation programmes such as micro-credit given to people living in remote areas, and a national employment programme aimed at creating over a million jobs per year.

Viet Nam’s experiences, he said, showed that sustainable social development was based on political stability, economic development and social justice. His country’s success in implementing social policies was due to the fact that its policies met people’s aspirations, and drew a positive response from the people. International cooperation was no less important than strong government leadership, however. Current trends in the global market had aggravated the multifaceted constraints on the least developed countries. It was therefore all the more imperative to create a cooperative world economic order to support national efforts for social development.

RYUICHIRO YAMAZAKI (Japan) supported the idea of human-centred development, which was the fundamental principle of the Copenhagen Declaration, and hoped that the follow-up process would aim at the realization of a human-centred millennium. In the general debate, his Foreign Minister had stressed the importance of focusing on "human security" and called for the protection of the dignity and life of every person against the threats posed by poverty, refugee flows, environmental degradation, diseases, human rights violations, landmines, terrorism and natural disasters. To that end, Governments should strengthen their efforts to develop human capacity, improve access to products and basic social services, enhance support for civil society and promote popular participation. Special attention should be given to the empowerment of women and assisting the poor.

He also stressed the importance of establishing new partnership among the various actors. The primary responsibility for social development lay with the States, but, it was necessary for the relevant non-State actors in civil society -- especially NGOs, volunteers, and the private sector -- to help create such a partnership. The countries themselves must take the lead in designing and implementing national plans to address the specific conditions that each one faced. International cooperation could help countries enhance individual self-reliance, shape new partnerships and create ownership, all of which were vital elements for achieving human-centred development.

SUSANTO SUTOYO (Indonesia) said the Copenhagen Summit was convened with the most noble and determined of intentions to resolve once and for all the ills of poverty and destitution. The tasks on which the international community had embarked were by no means small, nor easily achieved. Yet he had no doubt that in the long run, the Summit goals would be achieved.

However, Indonesia had hoped more would have been achieved by this time, that some measure of success would be evident in the war on poverty. It was clear that the onset of globalization and trade liberalization had not been to the benefit of all countries. The experience of the past two years pointed to the urgent need to redesign the international financial architecture. The current state of international trade should be reviewed with the aim of boosting exports of developing countries. He added that debt relief needed to be implemented without delay to free financial resources for social and economic development.

There should be a frank discussion at the forthcoming Special Session of the obstacles to follow-up activities and of the failure of the international community to effectively assist developing countries in eradicating poverty, he said. The Preparatory Committee had made a number of useful recommendations, which Indonesia supported and which it hoped would receive more than rhetorical attention. He cautioned that events of the past two years should not become a pretext for moving from social development to social engineering.

FERNANDO TUDELA (Peru) said poverty eradication implied the elimination of its consequences, allowing the economic structure of a country to have a permanent and foreseeable organizational and institutional system. Combating poverty demanded the existence of solid institutions, adequate financial resources, specific programmes that identified the areas of poverty and the unwavering political will of governments. In Peru, the basic goal for the 1996-2000 period was the progressive slowing down of fertility rates in situations of extreme poverty. The strategy against extreme poverty gave priority, by means of assistance programmes, to caring for vulnerable groups, such as children less than five years old, pregnant women, senior citizens and people who had been displaced by terrorism. The execution of economic and social policies within Peru, directly and indirectly sought to include sectors with the greatest amount of poverty into the society and make them active agents in the development of the country.

He said that in recent years, the detailed review of Copenhagen had been important in offering conclusions that were relevant to the work of Member States, particularly as suggestions for policies that might be executed by countries. Within that framework, the varied nature of the social area and acknowledgment of the differences in the degrees of development of countries should serve to forge common positions.

SAMER ANTON NABER (Jordan) said he hoped results would be achieved that would support the goals of employment and poverty eradication, the creation of an enabling environment, social integration and the provision of education and health care. There was a need for further initiatives to honour undertakings pledged at Copenhagen. States had a role to play in establishing social development and equal opportunity for all. Jordan was doing its best in collaboration with civil society, through open dialogue, to provide equal opportunities. An open and visual mass media had therefore been established. Despite its limited resources, his country endeavoured to create a sustainable environment for development. In a relatively short time, it had also absorbed three large-scale migrations. Jordan granted those refugees status without prejudice to their rights and spent $350 million annually on them.

He said there was still a thrust for socio-economic reliance despite the debt problems facing his country. However, facing up to the real challenges of sustainable socio-economic growth and development could not be done with a quick fix approach. In addition, developing countries could not realize their goals alone. There was a need for cooperation. He supported the call by the World Bank to establish a framework that would include all considerations.

MOKHTAR CHAOUACHI (Tunisia) welcomed with interest the Report of the Preparatory Committee. It boded well for the success of the special session. Globalization had some negative aspects, such as unemployment, lack of social integration, marginalization and poverty. The World Summit made eradication of poverty a particular priority; there was an urgent need to establish a solidarity fund to provide support areas in dire need.

He said that the establishment of a social development policy had broader implications for the development of human rights and the protection of persons. Improving the status of women and providing support for the institution of the family were two important keys to ensuring social stability. He stressed the need to take such measures.

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