3 September 1999
UN HAS VITAL ROLE TO PLAY IN HUMANIZING GLOBALIZATION, ACHIEVING SOCIAL EQUITY IN COMING CENTURY, ECLAC HEARING CONCLUDES
SANTIAGO, 2 September (ECLAC) -- The humanization of the world economy and of the globalization process, as well as the need to put macroeconomic policies back in touch with the lives of ordinary people are the greatest challenges facing the international community on the threshold of the twenty-first century, stated participants today at the conclusion of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) regional hearing on the future of the United Nations.
Civil society representatives gathered at the Santiago headquarters of ECLAC asserted that "the twenty-first century must be the people's century". To this end, the United Nations system must play a critical role in bringing together governments, business organizations, labour unions and civil society at large to develop a conceptual platform for the way ahead.
Discussion at this fourth and final round table, on the theme "Globalization and social equity: the role of the United Nations in the next century" brought to an end the two-day Santiago hearing, the fourth in a series of six regional meetings being held at the behest of Secretary General Kofi Annan in preparation for the Millennium Assembly and Millennium Summit, to be held in New York in September 2000.
The globalization of the world economy is an unavoidable process, participants agreed, as is the technological advance on which it is based. The United Nations is uniquely positioned to provide an intellectual leadership in ensuring that the advantages of economic globalization are equally shared by the world's population, and that negative effects be mitigated.
Speakers noted that the United Nations had a record in developing forward-looking development concepts. All its resources should be mobilized to bring together social actors in a concerted effort to create employment and eradicate poverty, which they agreed are the greatest challenge left pending at the end of the twentieth century and the greatest task for the twenty-first.
In particular, participants recommended that the United Nations system give high priority to improving education and training -- two of the greatest bottlenecks faced by developing countries -- to stimulating networks among universities, research institutes, the private sector, social organizations, and to promoting South-South cooperation, particularly in the technical and scientific fields.
Juan Somavia, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) chaired the round table. Panellists included Luis Anderson, Secretary General of the Interamerican Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT); Plinio de Arruda Sampaio, former Brazilian Federal Congressman; Horacio Piva, President of the Federation of Industrialists of Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Gert Rosenthal, Guatemalan Ambassador to the United Nations and former ECLAC Executive Secretary. The Rapporteur was Sir Alister McIntyre, Chief Technical Adviser to the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery.
The hearing ended on Thursday evening. The Secretary-General will draw upon the outcome of the hearing in the preparation of his report on the Millennium Assembly, to be issued by March 2000.