UNDESA DISD facilitates and promotes the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, including designing guidelines for policy development and implementation; advocating means to mainstream ageing issues into development agendas; engaging in dialogue with civil society and the private sector; and information exchange.

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Civil Society

UNDESA DISD works to promote greater awareness and increase involvement by civil society in the work of the United Nations on social policy and development issues as it relates to the mandate of the Division.

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UNDESA DISD works closely with the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) to promote the important role of cooperatives in social and economic development.

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UNDESA DISD works to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in society and development, with mandates stem from the World Programme of Action (1982), Standard Rules (1994) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), as well as other relevant human rights and development instruments.

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Employment and Decent Work

The World Summit for Social Development put the goal of full and productive employment at the forefront of the UN development agenda and recognized that the generation of productive employment was the most effective means of reducing poverty and promoting social integration. UNDESA DISD through the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) promotes productive employment and decent work for all by organizing expert group meetings and panel discussion to highlight this important issue.

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UNDESA DISD promotes the objectives of the International Year of the Family 1994 and it follow-up processes. It advocates mainstreaming of family issues into national, regional and international development agendas and promotes family-oriented policymaking. It engages in dialogue with Governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector and academics on family matters. It also facilitates the exchange of good practices in family policy.

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Indigenous Peoples

The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples (PFII) is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. The Permanent Forum holds annual two-week sessions. The first meeting of the Permanent Forum was held in May 2002, and yearly sessions take place in New York. .

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Poverty Eradication

The World Social Summit identified poverty eradication as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of mankind and called on governments to address the root causes of poverty, provide for basic needs for all and ensure that the poor have access to productive resources, including credit, education and training.

UNDESA DISD provides support to member states in achieving the goal of eradicating absolute poverty through national and international cooperation. It also serves as the global focal point for the United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

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Social Inclusion

The World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995 defined an inclusive society as “a society for all’, in which every individual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play (United Nations, 1995, para 66).Such an inclusive society is equipped with mechanisms which accommodate diversity and facilitate/enable people’s active participation in their political, economic and social lives. As such, it over-rides differences of race, gender, class, generation, and geography, and ensures equal opportunities for all to achieve full potential in life, regardless of origin. Such a society fosters, at the same time, emanates from the well-being of each individual, mutual trust and sense of belonging.

UNDESA DISD works for the social inclusion of older persons, youth, family, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and persons marginalized from society and development.

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UNDESA DISD aims to build an awareness of the global situation of young people, as well as promote their rights and aspirations. The mandate of the Focal Point on Youth is predominantly based on the World Programme of Action for Youth.

The Focal Point also works towards greater participation of young people in decision-making as a means of achieving peace and development.

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