United Nations

A/51/604/Add.6


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

5 December 1996

ORIGINAL:
SPANISH


General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 96 (f)


        SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION:
                            ERADICATION OF POVERTY

                 Report of the Second Committee (Part VII) *

(*  The report of the Committee on this item will be issued in several
parts, under the symbol A/51/604 and addenda.)


          Rapporteur:  Ms. Silvia Cristina CORADO-CUEVAS (Guatemala)


                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The Second Committee held a substantive debate on agenda item 96
(see A/51/604, para. 2).  Action on sub-item (f) was taken at the 32nd
and 37th meetings, on 11 November and 2 December 1996.  An account of
the Committee's consideration of the item is contained in the relevant
summary records (A/C.2/51/SR.32 and 37).


        II.  CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS A/C.2/51/L.18 AND L.51

2.   At the 32nd meeting, on 11 November, the representative of Costa
Rica, on behalf of the States Members that are members of the Group of
77 and China, introduced a draft resolution (A/C.2/51/L.18) entitled
"First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty", which
read:

         "The General Assembly,

         "Recalling its resolutions 48/183 of 21 December 1993, 49/110
     of 19 December 1994 and 50/107 of 20 December 1995 related to the
     observance of the International Year for the Eradication of
     Poverty and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for
     the Eradication of Poverty, and all other relevant resolutions
     relating to international cooperation for the eradication of
     poverty in developing countries,

         "Recognizing that the international community, at the highest
     political level, has already reached a consensus on and committed
     itself to the eradication of poverty through declarations and
     programmes of action of the United Nations major conferences and
     summits organized since 1990, particularly the World Summit for
     Social Development, 

         "Expressing serious concern that more than 1.3 billion people
     in the world live in absolute poverty, especially in developing
     countries, and that the number of such people continues to
     increase every year,

         "Welcoming the formulation of direct programmes of poverty
     eradication by some developing countries at the national level,

         "Noting the activities carried out by countries and
     organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, as well as
     by organizations, associations, institutions and entities of civil
     society, within the framework of the International Year for the
     Eradication of Poverty,

         "Noting also the action to be taken within the framework of
     the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty
     (1997-2006),

         "Recognizing that the mid-term review and appraisal of the
     implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social
     Development 1/ and the Programme of Action of the World Summit
     for Social Development, 2/ to be conducted in the year 2000, will
     contribute to enhancing, at the international and national levels,
     action for the eradication of poverty in the world,

         "Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on
     the observance of the International Year for the Eradication of
     Poverty and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for
     the Eradication of Poverty 3/ and on the implementation of the
     outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, 4/

         "Taking note of the agreed conclusions on coordination of the
     United Nations system activities for poverty eradication, adopted
     by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of
     1996, 5/ as well as of the outcome of the sessions of relevant
     functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council in 1996,

         "1.   Expresses its solidarity with people living in poverty in
     all countries and regions that are suffering severe deprivation of
     basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation
     facilities, health, shelter, education, employment, credit, income
     and information;

         "2.   Decides that the theme for the first United Nations
     Decade for the Eradication of Poverty shall be 'Eradicating
     poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative
     of humankind', and decides to adopt the logo for the Decade as
     proposed in the report of the Secretary-General; 6/

         "3.   Decides also that within the context of overall action
     for the eradication of poverty, special focus should be given to
     issues that reflect the multidimensional nature of poverty, such
     as environment, food security, population and migration, health,
     shelter, human resources development, fresh water, including clean
     water and sanitation, rural development, productive employment,
     the situation of vulnerable groups and social integration and
     therefore decides that the themes for 1997 and 1998 shall be
     'Poverty and environment' and 'Poverty and food security',
     respectively; the themes for the remaining years of the Decade
     will be decided every two years commencing, in 1998, at the fifty-
     third session of the General Assembly;

         "4.   Decides further that the objective of the first United
     Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty is to achieve the
     goal of eradicating poverty in the world, through decisive
     national actions and international cooperation in implementing
     fully and effectively all agreements, commitments and
     recommendations of United Nations major conferences and summits
     organized since 1990, particularly those related to poverty
     eradication;

         "5.   Stresses that international cooperation and assistance
     are essential to supporting the efforts of developing countries,
     particularly African countries and least developed countries, to
     meet the goal of eradicating poverty and stresses at the same
     time, that, at the request of Governments, the United Nations
     system should provide technical assistance in further developing
     and sustaining national capacity to gather and analyse information
     and to develop indicators for poverty analysis;

         "6.   Stresses also that the United Nations system should
     promote gender analysis in the integration of gender concerns into
     the planning and implementation of policies, strategies, and
     programmes on poverty eradication;

         "7.   Stresses further that during the Decade and beyond,
     people living in poverty and their organizations should be
     empowered by being fully involved in the setting of targets and in
     the design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of national
     strategies, activities and programmes for poverty eradication and
     the development of community bases, ensuring that such programmes
     reflect their priorities;

         "8.   Invites donor countries and multilateral financial
     institutions to give high priority to the eradication of poverty
     in their assistance budgets and programmes, on either a bilateral
     or multilateral basis, and also invites the relevant funds,
     programmes and agencies of the United Nations system to support
     developing countries, particularly African countries and least
     developed countries, in their efforts to achieve the overall goal
     of eradicating poverty and ensuring basic social services,
     through, inter alia, the elaboration and implementation of
     anti-poverty programmes;

         "9.   Encourages developing countries, particularly African
     countries and least developed countries, to mobilize domestic and
     external resources for poverty eradication activities and
     programmes and to facilitate their full and effective
     implementation;

         "10. Recognizes the need to increase the share of funding for
     social development programmes commensurate with the scope and
     scale of activities required to achieve the objectives and goals
     set out in commitment 2 of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social
     Development and chapter 2 of the Programme of Action of the World
     Summit for Social Development, relating to the eradication of
     poverty;

         "11. Reaffirms, in this context, that developed countries
     should attain, as soon as possible, the agreed target of
     0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall official
     development assistance and ensure that, within that target, 0.15
     to 0.20 per cent of gross national product is earmarked for the
     least developed countries;

         "12. Reaffirms also that the international community,
     including multilateral financial institutions, should take further
     measures and initiatives to cancel and/or reduce external debt, as
     well as to facilitate the access of developing countries,
     particularly African countries and least developed countries, to
     international markets, in order to enable them to implement fully
     and effectively their national anti-poverty activities and
     programmes;

         "13. Urges the international community to devote part of the
     resources made available by the implementation of disarmament and
     arms limitation agreements to poverty eradication programmes in
     developing countries, particularly African countries and least
     developed countries, with a view to reducing the ever-widening gap
     between developed and developing countries;

         "14. Calls upon all States, particularly donor countries, to
     contribute substantially to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to
     the World Summit for Social Development, which includes in its
     activities support for activities related to the first United
     Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty;

         "15. Invites the Administrator of the United Nations
     Development Programme to extend, as part of the contribution of
     the Programme to the Decade, the effort launched in 1996 with the
     Poverty Strategies Initiative, in order to strengthen technical
     and financial assistance in the elaboration or formulation of
     direct programmes to eradicate poverty in developing countries,
     particularly African countries and least developed countries;

         "16. Welcomes the initiative to convene the non-governmental
     Micro-Credit Summit in Washington, D.C., from 2 to
     4 February 1997, and the support given by the World Bank and the
     United Nations Development Programme thereto, with a view to
     ensuring that one hundred million families, especially the women
     of those families, around the world, particularly in African
     countries and least developed countries, will receive credit for
     self-employment and other financial services by the year 2005 and,
     in this context, calls upon all Governments, the United Nations
     system and the relevant actors of civil society to participate in
     the Summit, so as to ensure the successful outcome of the
     initiative;

         "17. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Secretariat
     entity entrusted with the task of the system-wide promotion,
     implementation and follow-up of activities and programmes of the
     Decade with adequate human and financial resources within the
     regular budget of the United Nations to enable it to discharge
     fully and effectively its functions and responsibilities;

         "18. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the
     reports to be prepared for the 1997 special session of the General
     Assembly for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the
     implementation of Agenda 21 give due attention to the issue of
     poverty eradication;

         "19. Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the
     General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the overall
     assessment of the implementation of the programme for the
     observance of the International Year for the Eradication of
     Poverty, including the amount of resources earmarked by funds,
     programmes and agencies of the United Nations system, including
     the Bretton Woods institutions, and to report on the
     implementation of the present resolution - that report to include
     a section on the negative effects of unilateral actions on the
     situation of people living in poverty and programmes for their
     well-being, in targeted developing countries;

         "20. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its
     fifty-second session an item entitled 'First United Nations Decade
     for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)'."

3.   At the 37th meeting, on 2 December, the Vice-Chairmen of the
Committee, Mr. Kheireddine Ramoul (Algeria), introduced a draft
resolution (A/C.2/51/L.51), submitted on the basis of informal
consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.18.

4.   At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.2/51/L.51 (see para. 7).

5.   After the adoption of the draft resolution, the representative of
the United States of America made a statement (see A/C.2/51/SR.37).

6.   In the light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.51,
draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.18 was withdrawn by its sponsors.


                 III.  RECOMMENDATION OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE

7.   The Second Committee recommends to the General Assembly the
adoption of the following draft resolution:


          First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolutions 48/183 of 21 December 1993, 49/110 of
19 December 1994 and 50/107 of 20 December 1995 related to the
observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty, and all other relevant resolutions relating to
international cooperation for the eradication of poverty in developing
countries,

     Recognizing that the international community, at the highest
political level, has already reached a consensus on and committed
itself to the eradication of poverty through declarations and
programmes of action of the United Nations major conferences and
summits organized since 1990, particularly the World Summit for Social
Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women,

     Expressing serious concern that more than 1.3 billion people in
the world, a majority of whom are women, live in absolute poverty,
especially in developing countries, and that the number of such people
continues to increase,

     Welcoming the formulation of direct programmes of poverty
eradication by some developing countries at the national level,

     Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the
observance of the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty
and proclamation of the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty 7/ and on the implementation of the outcome of
the World Summit for Social Development, 8/

     Recognizing that investment in human capital and domestic and
international policies supportive of economic and social development
are essential prerequisites for the eradication of poverty,

     Noting the activities to eradicate poverty carried out by
countries and organizations and bodies of the United Nations system
and by organizations, associations, institutions and entities of civil
society, within the framework of the International Year for the
Eradication of Poverty, and the coordinated follow-up to and
implementation of the results of the major United Nations conferences
and summits organized since 1990 in the economic, social and related
fields,

     Noting also the action to be taken within the framework of the
first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-
2006),

     Recalling its resolution 50/161 of 22 December 1995, in which it
decided to hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall
review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the World
Summit for Social Development, 9/ to consider further actions and
initiatives, inter alia, towards the eradication of poverty in the
world,

     Taking note of the agreed conclusions on coordination of the
United Nations system activities for poverty eradication, adopted by
the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1996,
10/ as well as of the outcome of the sessions of relevant functional
commissions of the Economic and Social Council in 1996,

     1.  Expresses its solidarity with people living in poverty in all
countries and reaffirms that the satisfaction of basic human needs is
an essential element of poverty eradication, those needs being closely
interrelated and comprising nutrition, health, water and sanitation,
education, employment, housing and participation in cultural and
social life;

     2.  Also expresses its solidarity with those suffering from a
lack of control over resources, including land, skills, knowledge,
capital and social connections, and calls for particular actions to
provide appropriate social services to enable vulnerable people and
people living in poverty to improve their lives, to exercise their
rights and to participate fully in all social, economic and political
activities and to contribute to social and economic development;

     3.  Decides that the theme for the first United Nations Decade
for the Eradication of Poverty shall be "Eradicating poverty is an
ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind", and
decides to adopt the logo for the Decade as proposed in the report of
the Secretary-General; 11/

     4.  Recommends that, within the context of overall action for the
eradication of poverty, special attention should be given to the
multidimensional nature of poverty and to the national and
international framework conditions and policies that are conducive to
its eradication, which should aim at the social and economic
integration of people living in poverty and the promotion and
protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,
including the right to development;

     5.  Also recommends that the causes of poverty be addressed in
the context of sectoral strategies such as those on environment, food
security, population, migration, health, shelter, human resources
development, fresh water, including clean water and sanitation, rural
development and productive employment, and by addressing the specific
needs of vulnerable groups, all of which should aim at the social and
economic integration of people living in poverty;

     6.  Decides that the themes for 1997 and 1998 shall be "Poverty,
environment and development" and "Poverty, human rights and
development", respectively; the themes for the remaining years of the
Decade will be decided every two years, commencing in 1998, at the
fifty-third session of the General Assembly;

     7.  Also decides that the objective of the first United Nations
Decade for the Eradication of Poverty is to achieve the goal of
eradicating absolute poverty, and reducing overall poverty
substantially in the world, through decisive national actions and
international cooperation in implementing fully and effectively all
agreements, commitments and recommendations of United Nations major
conferences and summits organized since 1990 as they relate to poverty
eradication;

     8.  Invites all donors to give high priority to the eradication
of poverty in their assistance budgets and programmes, on either a
bilateral or multilateral basis, and also invites the relevant funds,
programmes and agencies of the United Nations system to support
developing countries, particularly African countries and the least
developed countries, in their efforts to achieve the overall goal of
eradicating poverty and ensuring basic social services, by supporting
national efforts to formulate, coordinate, implement, monitor and
assess integrated poverty strategies, including capacity-building, and
by supporting efforts to empower people living in poverty;

     9.  Stresses that international cooperation and assistance are
essential to supporting the efforts of developing countries,
particularly African countries and the least developed countries, to
meet the goal of eradicating poverty, and stresses at the same time
that, at the request of Governments, the United Nations system should
provide technical assistance in further developing and sustaining
national capacities to gather and analyse information and to develop
indicators for poverty analysis;

     10. Calls upon all Governments and the United Nations system, in
particular the relevant funds, programmes and agencies, to promote an
active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective and to
use gender analysis as a tool for the integration of a gender
dimension into the planning and implementation of policies, strategies
and programmes on poverty eradication;

     11. Stresses that during the Decade and beyond, people living in
poverty and their organizations should be empowered by being fully
involved in the setting of targets and in the design, implementation,
monitoring and assessment of national strategies, activities and
programmes for poverty eradication and the development of community
bases, ensuring that such programmes reflect their priorities;

     12. Encourages developing countries, particularly African
countries and the least developed countries, to mobilize domestic and
external resources for poverty eradication activities and programmes
and to facilitate their full and effective implementation;

     13. Recommends that all Governments formulate or strengthen
integrated poverty eradication strategies and policies and implement
national poverty eradication plans or programmes, in a participatory
manner, to address the structural causes of poverty, encompassing
action on the local, national, subregional, regional and international
levels, and stresses that those plans or programmes should establish,
within each national context, strategies and affordable time-bound
goals and targets for the substantial reduction of overall poverty and
the eradication of absolute poverty;

     14. Recognizes the need to increase the share of funding for
social development programmes, in particular, basic social programmes,
commensurate with the scope and scale of the activities required to
achieve the objectives and goals set out in commitment 2 of the
Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development 12/ and chapter 2 of
the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development,
13/ relating to the eradication of poverty;

     15. Reaffirms, in this context, that developed countries should,
as soon as possible, strive for the fulfilment of the agreed target of
0.7 per cent of their gross national product for overall official
development assistance and, where agreed, within that target, earmark
0.15 to 0.20 per cent of gross national product for the least
developed countries;

     16. Also reaffirms the agreement on a mutual commitment between
interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on
average, 20 per cent of official development assistance and
20 per cent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social
programmes, and notes with interest the consensus reached at Oslo on
25 April 1996 on this matter;

     17. Welcomes the recent initiatives of the Bretton Woods
institutions, including the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt
Initiative, and the ongoing process at the international level
regarding debt relief, as appropriate, for developing countries, and
calls upon the international community, including international
financial institutions, to implement fully and effectively all
initiatives that will contribute to a durable solution of the debt
problems of developing countries, in particular African countries and
the least developed countries, and thus support their efforts to
eradicate poverty;

     18. Reaffirms that the international community, including
multilateral financial institutions, should consider further measures
to facilitate the access of developing countries, particularly African
countries and the least developed countries, to international markets,
in order to enable them to implement fully and effectively their
national anti-poverty activities and programmes;

     19. Urges the international community to reduce, as appropriate,
excessive military expenditures on and investments in arms production
and acquisition, consistent with national security requirements, in
order to increase resources for social and economic development, in
particular to poverty eradication programmes in developing countries,
particularly African countries and the least developed countries;

     20. Calls upon all States, particularly donor countries, to
contribute substantially to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to the
World Summit for Social Development, established under the authority
of the Secretary-General, which includes in its activities support for
activities related to the first United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty;

     21. Invites the Administrator of the United Nations Development
Programme to continue, as a contribution, inter alia, to the Decade,
the effort launched in 1996 with the Poverty Strategies Initiative, in
order to strengthen assistance in the elaboration of national plans,
programmes and strategies to eradicate poverty in developing
countries, particularly African countries and the least developed
countries, and calls upon all countries to contribute to the
Initiative;

     22. Welcomes the agreed conclusions adopted by the Economic and
Social Council at its substantive session of 1996 on the coordination
of United Nations system activities for poverty eradication and calls
for their full and effective implementation by organizations of the
United Nations system;

     23. Notes with interest the initiative to convene a micro-credit
summit in Washington, D.C., from 2 to 4 February 1997, to focus on the
importance of increasing access to micro-credit and related financial
services for self-employment and income-generating activities for
people living in poverty, in particular women in developing countries,
and calls upon all Governments, the United Nations system, including
the Bretton Woods institutions, and the relevant actors of civil
society to participate actively in the summit so as to contribute to
its successful outcome and to support the development, implementation
and management of micro-credit programmes in developing countries;

     24. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the
Secretariat entity entrusted with the task of system-wide promotion
and follow-up of activities and programmes of the Decade with adequate
human and financial resources within the regular budget of the United
Nations to enable it to discharge fully and effectively its functions
and responsibilities;

     25. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the
reports to be prepared for the 1997 special session of the General
Assembly for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the
implementation of Agenda 21 give due attention to the issue of poverty
eradication;

     26. Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the
General Assembly at its fifty-second session on the overall assessment
of the implementation of the programme for the observance of the
International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, taking into account
progress being made in the implementation of the outcome of the World
Summit for Social Development, including recommendations for possible
actions and initiatives in relation to the Decade;

     27. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
second session an item entitled "First United Nations Decade for the
Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)".


                                     -----


                                     Notes

1/   Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen,
6-12 March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

2/   Ibid., annex II.

3/   A/51/443.

4/   A/51/348.

5/   A/51/3 (Part I), chap. III, para. 2.

6/   A/51/443, para. 53 (a) and (b).

7/   A/51/443.

8/   A/51/348.

9/   See Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen,
6-12 March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9).

10/  A/51/3 (Part I), chap. III, para. 2.

11/  A/51/443, paras. 53 (a) and (b).

12/  Report of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen,
6-12 March 1995 (A/CONF.166/9), chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

13/  Ibid., annex II.

 

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