Celebrating 25 years of Championing Social Inclusion
The Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and its Programme of Action have guided multilateral action on social development since 1995. Adopted at the World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) in Copenhagen in March 1995, the Declaration emphasized the eradication of poverty as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative.
The Declaration represented a unique consensus on three key objectives of social development, namely, eradicating poverty, promoting full and productive employment, and fostering social inclusion, and set out a holistic approach to achieve them. It recognized that social development cannot be achieved by the social sectors alone, nor through piecemeal initiatives, the approach required an orientation of values, objectives and priorities towards advancing social progress and a better quality of life and well-being of all. It aspired to “place people at the centre of development by ensuring full participation by all”.
Highlights of the World Summit for Social Development
- The World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen from 6 to 12 March 1995, provided the first opportunity for the world community to focus its attention at the highest political level on the nature and roots of social problems and trends. At the Summit, Member States adopted the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action, which remains to date the most comprehensive action plan for the achievement of social development.
- The World Summit for Social Development in 1995 had been attended by more than 14,000 people, include delegates from 186 countries, with 117 represented at the level of Heads of State or Government.
- Member States had adopted the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action to advance social development through 10 commitments, including eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and promoting social integration. They had agreed to promote international peace and security, accelerate development in Africa and the least developed countries, and mobilize resources for achieving social progress. They had presented economic development, social progress and environmental protection as interdependent and components of sustainable development.