Fifth Working Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing

54th Commission for Social Development, 3-12 February 2016

Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development

“The Commission for Social Development provides an ideal opportunity to focus on the role of social development as a key component of sustainable development and to identify effective means of placing peoples at the centre of the 2030 Agenda” Daniela Bas, Director of UNDESA-DSPD

The 54th session of the Commission for Social Development (CsocD54) will take place from 3 to 12 February 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This session will conclude the Commission’s 2015-2016 review and policy cycle under the priority theme, “Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World.”

The Commission, at the juncture of transitioning into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will focus its discussion on the critical role of social policy and development in achieving people-centered, inclusive, just, and socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development for all.

Deliberations during the Commission will be executed through high-level panel discussions as well as general discussions amongst the Members of the Commission and other stakeholders.  Scheduled side-events will also take place to enhance and enrich discussions of the priority theme.

Civil Society Forum
As a protocol, the Civil Society Forum will take place prior to the Commission on 1 and 2 February 2016. The Forum will support participants in refining their understanding of the relationship between CsocD54 and Agenda 2030, and formulating concrete recommendations for the Commission. The Forum will also seek to strengthen collaboration between the Civil Society and Member States through effective open dialogue, focusing on such issues as inequalities and poverty, human rights, accountability and means for implementing sustainable policies for realizing Agenda 2030.

Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World

The Secretary General’s report on the priority theme identifies forward-looking strategies for strengthening the social dimension of sustainable development. The report amplifies that rethinking and strengthening the social dimension of sustainable development requires the international community to overcome the underlying structural causes of development challenges by securing broad-based social progress and fostering resilience to ensure sustainable and permanent development.

A high-level panel discussion on the priority theme will be guided by the SG’s report – drawing upon the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the deliberation of the Commission at its fifty-third session.

Emerging issues: moving from commitments to results for achieving social development

CSocD54 will address current issues affecting social development that require urgent consideration or new cross-cutting issues in the context of evolving global challenges under this item. This session will provide the Commission for open exchange of ideas that are strategically important for social development.

A panel discussion on the emerging issues will be guided by a Note by the Secretariat, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as insights of experts, how to translate commitments made in the framework of the new Agenda into concrete polices and strategies to achieve social objectives, and how the Commission could effectively contribute in this regards.

Implementation of the 2030 agenda in the light of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CSocD54 will assemble a multi-stakeholder panel discussion to discuss the recent progress in the disability-inclusion in the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. The multi-stakeholder discussion will explore how existing UN institutional frameworks can contribute to strengthening the mainstreaming of disability, enhance awareness and improve cooperation to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and will discuss the possibility and will further investigate modalities of establishing a new monitoring mechanism for disability in development for the CSocD.

CSocD54 PostCard
The upcoming CSocD54 is an important one, as it will be the first session after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which provides the new overall context.

The new Agenda puts poverty and sustainable development at its core and emphasizes people-centred, unified and coherent approach.  Strengthening social policy and development is critical to ensure an integrated follow-up, balancing its social, economic and environmental dimensions.  The fundamental role of social development in realizing the SDGs need to be highlighted. This gives renewed energy as well as a stronger sense of urgency to the work of the Commission.

For more info on the CSocD54, please visit:

CSocD54 is also present on social media through facebook at:  and twitter @undesadspd using hashtags #SDGs and #CSocD54.

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