At its special session of 1996, the Commission for Social Development considered two main items: review of the functioning of the Commission and strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty.
It reviewed its mandate, its terms of reference, the composition of its membership, the scope of its work and the frequency of its sessions, and elaborated a multi-year programme of work. It agreed on expansion of its membership from 32 to 46, as well as the annualization of its sessions. It developed a multi-year programme of work built around the follow-up to and review of the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, incorporating also the review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups.
Under the item on strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty, the Commission considered the report of the Secretary-General on the subject (E/CN.5/1996/3) and gave special attention to the three sub-themes: formulation of integrated strategies; meeting the basic human needs of all; and promotion of self-reliance and community-based initiatives. The Commission adopted a resolution in which it called for the implementation of agreed measures to eradicate poverty and for strengthened international cooperation to that end. It stressed the need for the implementation of sound and stable macroeconomic, micro-economic and sectoral policies that encouraged broad-based, sustained economic growth and development. The Commission called on the international community to seek to mobilize additional financial resources that were both adequate and predictable to contribute to poverty eradication.
The Chairman of the Commission’s special session was Mr Koos Richelle (Netherlands). Its two Vice-Chairpersons were Julia Tavares de Alvarez (Dominican Republic) and Ms Ruth S. Limjuco (Philippines). Rapporteur was Sileshi Shewaneh (Ethiopia).