Concluding its fifty-third session today, the Commission for Social Development approved by consensus four draft resolutions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council that addressed issues of African development, ageing, youth and the rights of persons with disabilities.
In closing remarks, Commission Chair Simona Mirela Miculescu (Romania) emphasized that progress towards sustainable development could not be achieved under the prevailing growth model, which was not employment friendly. She recapped the session’s highlights, including a commemorative event celebrating the 20 years since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, in which speakers presented their positions under the theme of “Social Development: From Copenhagen to the Post-2015 Agenda”.
Other highlights, she said, included a high-level panel on the priority theme, “Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world”; a panel on emerging issues; a civil society forum; and general discussions on issues related to social groups: youth, older persons, family and persons with disabilities among them. Thanking delegates for their active participation, she said “as a team, we will move the social development agenda forward”.
Among the four texts approved today was one on the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (document E/CN.5/2015/L.6), which would have the Council urge African Governments to intensify attention on inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth that met the needs of young people. The Council would stress the importance of taking measures to promote the “dynamic diversification” of African economies by, among other things, developing new industries in order to create opportunities for more and better jobs. Expressing grave concern at the Ebola outbreak, the Council would invite further consideration of long-term aid with regard to Ebola-affected States to alleviate the impact of the crisis.
Introducing the text, South Africa’s representative, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, called the resolution a testament to international support for the continent’s future, adding that it aptly highlighted the persistent challenges. Speaking after action, the representative of the United States said national policies must adhere to international commitments to promote open and dynamic economies, as well as the free movement of goods and services.
The Commission then approved a draft on the modalities for the third review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (document E/CN.5/2015/L.3), introduced by Commission Vice-Chair Janina Hasse-Mohsine (Germany). The text would have the Council invite States and the United Nations to take concrete measures to mainstream ageing issues into their programming and existing United Nations mandates. The Council would also encourage States to establish or strengthen a national coordinating body or mechanism to facilitate implementation of the Action Plan.
A draft resolution on policies and programmes involving youth (document E/CN.5/2015/L.4), introduced by the representative of Senegal, would have the Council encourage States to develop comprehensive policies and action plans focused on the best interests of youth, as well as promote gender equality and the empowerment of young women and girls. The Council would call on States to consider youth issues in all appropriate aspects of the post-2015 development agenda, urging them to promote young people’s participation in all such decision-making processes.
The Commission next approved, as orally revised, a draft resolution on promoting the rights of persons with disabilities (document E/CN.5/2015/L.5), which was introduced by the representative of Romania. The text would have the Council decide to hold, at the Commission’s fifty-fourth session, a multi-stakeholder panel on “Implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in light of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. The Council would continue to consider the issue of disability and development, including within the framework of United Nations operational activities.
The Commission then took note of the following documents: the Secretary-General’s report, the Celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2013 (document A/70/61-E/2015/3); the Secretary-General’s report, Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world (document E/CN.5/2015/3); and the Secretariat note, Emerging issues: contributions of social development to the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals (document E/CN.5/2015/6).
Finally, as the Commission concluded the “review year” of its 2015-2016 cycle, it approved its draft provisional agenda and documentation for its fifty-fourth session (document E/CN.5/2015/L.1), as well as the report of its current session (document E/CN.5/2015/L.2), introduced by the Rapporteur.
Immediately following the conclusion of the fifty-third session, Ms. Miculescu declared open the fifty-fourth session, following which Luz Andujar (Dominican Republic) was elected as Vice-Chair for that session. It postponed the election of the remaining Vice-Chair to a later date.