The UN General Assembly’s Second and Third Committees will continue their sessions in November focusing on economic and financial issues and on social, humanitarian and cultural matters respectively
The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) opened its session on 8 October featuring a keynote address by James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University, who highlighted his book, “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty”, emphasizing the relationship between politics and economic institutions. While long-run economic growth was driven by new ways of producing things, including innovation and technical growth, society also needed to be organized in such a way as to harness the talents, energy and skills of its people, he said. “Societies that fail, fail to use these attributes,” Professor Robinson added.
The Second Committee has during the month of October arranged a number of side events including a panel discussion on “Conceptualizing a set of sustainable development goals” on 16 October; an event focusing on “Sovereign debt crises and restructurings: lessons learnt and proposals for debt resolution mechanisms” on 25 October; and a discussion on “Countries with special needs / Middle income countries” on 31 October.
At the end of October and beginning of November, sustainable development will be at the top of the agenda, followed by topics including agriculture development and food security, poverty eradication, the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and ICTs.
Upcoming special events in November include:
- Special joint meeting of the Second Committee and the Economic and Social Council on “Food security and nutrition: scaling up the global response”;
- Discussion on “Entrepreneurship for development”;
- Discussion on “Migration and development”;
- Panel discussion on “Science, technology and innovation: a new development paradigm”
The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) also opened its session on 8 October. DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo addressed the Committee highlighting achievements made and challenges remaining as the world community approaches the target date for the Millennium Development Goals.
“We must tackle rising inequalities and address the impact on vulnerable groups,” Mr. Wu said. He also pointed to the dire situation of unemployment around the globe, saying “the global jobs crisis has hit youth the hardest. Young women and men represent 40 per cent of the 200 million jobless people worldwide. They are nearly three times more likely than adults to be jobless.”
As in previous sessions, an important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions. It also discusses the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.
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