Closing Remarks by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs to the 48th Session of the Commission for Social Development
New York, 19 February 2010

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I feel guilty when I came to know that you have been waiting for me to close the session. But, I am keen to come, just to congratulate you for the very successful session. I am particularly grateful to the Chair and his Bureau for their efforts. I know so well the difficulties to reach consensus on those most "simple" issues such as social development, based on my 40 years of diplomacy. Thank you once again.

As we come to the close of the forty-eighth session of the Commission for Social Development, I am delighted that the Commission has achieved what it set out to do. Through your hard work, dedication and admirable spirit of compromise, you have adopted five resolutions, including the first resolution by an intergovernmental body on social integration since the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen 15 years ago.

In this historic resolution on promoting social integration, you have reaffirmed your will and commitment to continue implementing the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action, in particular to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive employment and foster social integration to achieve stable, safe, peaceful, harmonious and just societies for all.

In my opening remarks to this Commission, I acknowledged that the challenges to achieving social integration remain daunting. In particular, I highlighted the problems of rising inequality, the lingering effects of the financial and economic crisis, the predicament of climate change, and the need for social protection to combat vulnerability arising from global economic instability.

I am happy to see that my observations did not go unnoticed, as the resolution on social integration addresses each one of these concerns.

I also wish to congratulate you on the adoption of resolutions on the future implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, mainstreaming disability into the development agenda, and the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Thanks to your efforts, we continue to move each of these agendas forward. And with the adoption of the resolution on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission, I can look forward to exploring the priority theme of poverty eradication and its links to social integration and full employment and decent work with you in 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Chairman,

Before I conclude, I would like to commend you, as well as the other members of the Bureau, for your able leadership in shepherding all of these resolutions through to consensus. It has been a difficult task, and we appreciate your tireless perseverance.

Distinguished Delegates,

You should be proud of the many accomplishments you have achieved during the forty-eighth session of the Commission, and I look forward to your continued success in the forty-ninth session and beyond.

Thank you.