Commission for Social Development
11th Meeting (PM)
FOLLOWING NIGHT-LONG CONSULTATIONS, COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
FAILS TO REACH AGREEMENT ON INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL, ECONOMIC POLICIES
Following all-night consultations, the Commission for Social Development failed this morning -– 22 February -- to reach agreement on conclusions on the integration of social and economic policies –- the priority theme of the session –- and decided to request a one-day extension from the Economic and Social Council on an exceptional basis.
During a meeting on the evening of 21 February, before the Commission went into consultations on its main outcome document, it took action -- under the agenda item on the review of United Nations plans and programmes pertaining to the situation of particular social groups -- on the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004 and the report of its Special Rapporteur on Disability, Bengt Linqvist.
Approving, without a vote, a draft resolution on a proposed international convention to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, the Commission noted the report and recommendations of its Special Rapporteur on Disability in the context of efforts to strengthen the international framework for the protection of persons with disabilities.
The Commission stressed the importance of its request to the Secretary-General to submit a compilation of existing international legal instruments, documents and programmes to the Ad Hoc Committee assigned by the General Assembly to consider relevant proposals, prior to its first session. (Those instruments, documents and programmes directly or indirectly address the situation of persons with disabilities.) The Commission also emphasized the importance of the contributions of States and relevant bodies of the United Nations system to monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules. In considering proposals for the convention, according to the Commission, the Ad Hoc Committee should take into account their relation to the Standard Rules.
In connection with preparations for the observance of the tenth anniversary of the Year of the Family, the Commission approved another draft resolution. By its terms, the Assembly, on the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council, would call upon all United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, regional commissions and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned to integrate the family perspective into the planning and decision-making process. It would invite the Secretary-General to launch the anniversary in early December 2003. It would also decide to devote one plenary meeting at its fifty—ninth
session to the observance of the anniversary, building upon the events to be held on 15 May 2004 on the occasion of the International Day of Families.
Also today, the Commission decided to transmit to the Economic and Social Council its comments on the proposed revisions to its medium-term plan for 2002-2005, which have been put forward to reflect the outcome of recent international events, including the Millennium Summit. The Commission’s Chairperson, Faith Innerarity (Jamaica), also introduced her summary of high-level governmental and expert-panel discussions, which is to be annexed to the report of the Commission.
Prior to action on the texts, the coordinators of informal consultations on various drafts -– Commission Vice-Chairperson Nicole Elisha (Benin) and the representatives of Sweden and Mexico -- reported to the Commission on the outcome of negotiations in informal consultations and introduced the drafts and changes to previously presented texts. Representatives of Venezuela (on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China), Russian Federation, India, Algeria, Cuba, Spain (on behalf of the European Union) and the United States took part in discussion of the wording of the drafts.
Addressing the Commission, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Ivan Šimonović (Croatia), emphasized that the increased interaction between the Council and the Commission showed that the two bodies did not work in isolation but reinforced each other. Thanking the Bureau and members of the Commission for their cooperation, he said that an example of such cooperation was the annual joint Bureau meetings of the subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council. He announced that the theme for the Council’s high-level segment would be the contribution that human resources development could have in such areas as health and education.
In other business, the Commission agreed on the provisional agenda for its forty-first session. It was decided that the priority theme next year would be "National and international cooperation for social development”. The Commission will also continue its review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, concentrating on the preparations for and observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family; the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons; and the global situation of youth.
The Commission will meet to conclude its session at a date to be announced.
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