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Programme of Action - Chapter 5: Implementation and Follow-Up


Implementation Requirements

82. Nothing short of a renewed and massive political will at the national and international levels to invest in people and their well-being will achieve the objectives of social development. Social development and the implementation of the Programme of Action of the Summit are primarily the responsibility of Governments, although international cooperation and assistance are essential for their full implementation. At all levels of implementation, the crucial and essential requirements are:

  • The promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the support for democratic institutions and the empowerment of women;
  • The integration of goals, programmes and review mechanisms that have developed separately in response to specific problems;
  • Partnership involving States, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, especially voluntary organizations, other major groups as defined in Agenda 21, the media, families and individuals;
  • The recognition of the diversity in the world and the need to take measures geared to achieve the Summit's goals;
  • The empowerment of people, who are to be assisted so that they fully participate in setting goals, designing programmes, implementing activities and evaluating performance;
  • Efforts to mobilize new and additional financial resources that are both adequate and predictable, and are mobilized in a way that maximizes the availability of such resources, and uses all available funding sources and mechanisms, inter alia, multilateral, bilateral and private sources, including on concessional and grant terms;
  • Solidarity, extending the concept of partnership and a moral imperative of mutual respect and concern among individuals, communities and nations.

Actions

A. National strategies, evaluations and reviews

83. The promotion of an integrated approach to the implementation of the Programme of Action at the national level, in accordance with national specificities, requires:

(a) Analysing and reviewing macroeconomic, micro-economic and sectoral policies and their impact on poverty, employment, social integration and social development;

(b) Enhancing government policies and programmes to promote social development by strengthening the coordination of all efforts by national and international actors, strengthening the efficiency and operational capacity of public management structures, and facilitating the effective and transparent use of resources, taking due account of the recommendations and follow-up to Agenda 21;

(c) Assessing the extent, distribution and characteristics of poverty, unemployment, social tensions, and social exclusion, taking measures aiming at eradicating poverty, increasing productive employment and enhancing social integration;

(d) Formulating or strengthening, by 1996, comprehensive cross-sectoral strategies for implementing the Summit outcome and national strategies for social development, including government action, actions by States in cooperation with other Governments, international, regional and subregional organizations, and actions taken in partnership and cooperation with actors of civil society, the private sector and cooperatives, with specific responsibilities to be undertaken by each actor and with agreed priorities and time-frames;

(e) Integrating social development goals into national development plans, policies and budgets, cutting across traditional sectoral boundaries, with transparency and accountability, and formulated and implemented with the participation of the groups directly affected;

(f) Defining time-bound goals and targets for reducing overall poverty and eradicating absolute poverty, expanding employment and reducing unemployment, and enhancing social integration, within each national context;

(g) Promoting and strengthening institutional capacity-building for inter-ministerial coordination, intersectoral collaboration, the coordinated allocation of resources and vertical integration from national capitals to local districts;

(h) Developing quantitative and qualitative indicators of social development, including, where possible, disaggregation by gender, to assess poverty, employment, social integration and other social factors, to monitor the impact of social policies and programmes, and to find ways to improve the effectiveness of policies and programmes and introduce new programmes;

(i) Strengthening implementation and monitoring mechanisms, including arrangements for the participation of civil society in policy-making and implementation and collaboration with international organizations;

(j) Regularly assessing national progress towards implementing the outcome of the Summit, possibly in the form of periodic national reports, outlining successes, problems and obstacles. Such reports could be considered within the framework of an appropriate consolidated reporting system, taking into account the different reporting procedures in the economic, social and environmental fields.

84. International support for the formulation of national strategies for social development will require actions by bilateral and multilateral agencies for:

(a) Assisting countries to strengthen or rebuild their capacities for formulating, coordinating, implementing and monitoring integrated strategies for social development;

(b) Coordinating the assistance provided by different agencies for similar planning processes under other international action plans;

(c) Developing improved concepts and programmes for the collection and dissemination of statistics and indicators for social development to facilitate review and policy analysis and provide expertise, advice and support to countries at their request.

B. Involvement of civil society

85. Effective implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the Summit requires strengthening community organizations and non-profit non-governmental organizations in the spheres of education, health, poverty, social integration, human rights, improvement of the quality of life, and relief and rehabilitation, enabling them to participate constructively in policy-making and implementation. This will require:

(a) Encouraging and supporting the creation and development of such organizations, particularly among the disadvantaged and vulnerable people;

(b) Establishing legislative and regulatory frameworks, institutional arrangements and consultative mechanisms for involving such organizations in the design, implementation and evaluation of social development strategies and programmes;

(c) Supporting capacity-building programmes for such organizations in critical areas, such as participatory planning, programme design, implementation and evaluation, economic and financial analysis, credit management, research, information and advocacy;

(d) Providing resources through such measures as small grant programmes, and technical and other administrative support for initiatives taken and managed at the community level;

(e) Strengthening networking and exchange of expertise and experience among such organizations.

86. The contribution of civil society, including the private sector, to social development can be enhanced by:

(a) Developing planning and policy-making procedures that facilitate partnership and cooperation between Governments and civil society in social development;

(b) Encouraging business enterprises to pursue investment and other policies, including non-commercial activities, that will contribute to social development, especially in relation to the generation of work opportunities, social support services at the workplace, access to productive resources and construction of infrastructure;

(c) Enabling and encouraging trade unions to participate in the planning and implementation of social development programmes, especially in relation to the generation of work opportunities under fair conditions, the provision of training, health care and other basic services, and the development of an economic environment that facilitates sustained economic growth and sustainable development;

(d) Enabling and encouraging farmers' representative organizations and cooperatives to participate in the formulation and implementation of sustainable agricultural and rural development policies and programmes;

(e) Encouraging and facilitating the development of cooperatives, including among people living in poverty or belonging to vulnerable groups;

(f) Supporting academic and research institutions, particularly in the developing countries, in their contribution to social development programmes, and facilitating mechanisms for independent, detached, impartial and objective monitoring of social progress, especially through collecting, analysing and disseminating information and ideas about economic and social development;

(g) Encouraging educational institutions, the media and other sources of public information and opinion to give special prominence to the challenges of social development and to facilitate widespread and well-informed debate about social policies throughout the community.

C. Mobilization of financial resources

87. The implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the Summit at the national level may require substantial new and additional resources, in both the public and the private sectors. Augmenting the availability of public resources for social development requires at the national level:

(a) Implementing macroeconomic and micro-economic policies in accordance with national priorities and policies, aimed at encouraging greater domestic savings and investment required for public spending, through progressive, fair and economically efficient taxes that are cognizant of sustainable development concerns, and through cutting back on subsidies that do not benefit the poor;

(b) Reducing, as appropriate, excessive military expenditures and investments for arms production and acquisition, consistent with national security requirements, in order to increase resources for social and economic development;

(c) Giving high priority to social development in the allocation of public spending and ensuring predictable funding for the relevant programmes;

(d) Ensuring that the resources for social development are available at the level of administration that is responsible for formulating and implementing the relevant programmes;

(e) Increasing the effective and transparent utilization of public resources, reducing waste and combating corruption, and concentrating on the areas of greatest social need;

(f) Developing innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for social programmes, and creating a supportive environment for the mobilization of resources by civil society for social development, including beneficiary contributions and individual voluntary contributions.

88. Implementation of the Declaration and the Programme of Action in developing countries, in particular in Africa and the least developed countries, will need additional financial resources and more effective development cooperation and assistance. This will require:

(a) Translating the commitments of the Summit into financial implications for social development programmes in developing countries, particularly Africa and the least developed countries;

(b) Striving for the fulfilment of the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for overall official development assistance (ODA) as soon as possible, and increasing the share of funding for social development programmes, commensurate with the scope and scale of activities required to achieve the objectives and goals of the Declaration and Programme of Action;

(c) Agreeing on a mutual commitment between interested developed and developing country partners to allocate, on average, 20 per cent of ODA and 20 per cent of the national budget, respectively, to basic social programmes;

(d) Giving high priority in ODA to the eradication of poverty in developing countries, in particular in Africa, low-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the least developed countries;

(e) Providing assistance for social-sector activities, such as the rehabilitation and development of social infrastructure, including in the form of grants or soft loans;

(f) Implementing the commitments of the international community to the special needs and vulnerabilities of the small island developing States, in particular by providing effective means, including adequate, predictable, new and additional resources for social development programmes, in accordance with the Declaration of Barbados 3/ and on the basis of the relevant provisions of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States;

(g) Providing international support and assistance to the land-locked developing countries in their efforts to implement the outcome of the Summit, taking into account the challenges and problems characteristic to those countries;

(h) Giving preference, wherever possible, to the utilization of competent national experts or, where necessary, of competent experts from within the subregion or region or from other developing countries, in project and programme design, preparation and implementation, and to the building of local expertise where it does not exist;

(i) Exploring ways and means to strengthen support and expand South-South cooperation based on partnership between developing and developed countries, as well as enhanced cooperation among developing countries;

(j) Maximizing project and programme efficiency by keeping overhead costs to a minimum;

(k) Developing economic policies to promote and mobilize domestic savings and attract external resources for productive investment, and seeking innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for social programmes, while ensuring their effective utilization;

(l) Monitoring the impact of trade liberalization on progress made in developing countries to meet basic human needs, giving particular attention to new initiatives to expand the access of developing countries to international markets;

(m) Encouraging direct cooperation to promote joint ventures, including in the sector of social programmes and infrastructure;

(n) Encouraging recipient Governments to strengthen their national coordination mechanisms for international cooperation in social development and to ensure the effective use of international assistance so as to assist donors to secure commitment to further resources for national action plans;

(o) Inviting multilateral and bilateral donors to consult with a view to coordinating their financing policies and planning procedures in order to improve the impact, complementarity and cost-effectiveness of their contributions to the achievement of the objectives of social development programmes of developing countries.

89. Implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the Summit in countries with economies in transition will require continued international cooperation and assistance. To this end, there is a need to:

(a) Assess the financial implications of the commitments of the Summit for social development programmes in countries with economies in transition;

(b) Enhance technical and financial assistance for the implementation of programmes of macroeconomic stabilization in order to ensure sustained economic growth and sustainable development;

(c) Support and encourage transformations in the field of human resources development;

(d) Invite multilateral and bilateral donors to consult with a view to coordinating their financing policies and planning procedures in order to improve the impact of their contribution to the achievement of the objectives of social development programmes of countries with economies in transition.

90. Substantial debt reduction is needed to enable developing countries to implement the Declaration and Programme of Action. Building on, inter alia, the momentum from the July 1994 meeting of the seven major industrialized countries in Naples and the October 1994 meeting of the governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, further progress can be made by:

(a) Inviting the international community, including the international financial institutions, to continue to explore ways of implementing additional and innovative measures to alleviate substantially the debt burdens of developing countries, in particular of the highly indebted low-income countries, in order to help them to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development without falling into a new debt crisis;

(b) Adopting measures to substantially reduce the bilateral debts of the least developed countries, in particular the countries of Africa, as soon as possible, and exploring other innovative approaches to managing and alleviating the onerous debts and debt service burdens of other developing countries as soon as possible;

(c) Giving special consideration to those developing countries in which multilateral debt constitutes an important part of their total debt in order to seek a durable solution to this increasing problem;

(d) Encouraging the possibilities of debt swaps for social development, with the resources released by debt cancellation or reduction to be invested in social development programmes, without prejudice to more durable solutions, such as debt reduction and/or cancellation;

(e) Mobilizing the resources of the Debt Reduction Facility of the International Development Association in order to help eligible developing countries to reduce their commercial debt; considering alternative mechanisms to complement that Facility;

(f) Inviting creditor countries, private banks and multilateral financial institutions, within their prerogatives, to consider continuing the initiatives and efforts to address the commercial debt problems of the least developed countries and of low and middle-income developing countries; to consider the extension of appropriate new financial support to the low-income countries with substantial debt burdens that continue, at great cost, to service debt and meet their international obligations; to continue to explore ways of implementing additional and innovative measures to substantially alleviate the debt burdens of developing countries, in particular of the highly indebted low-income countries, in order to help them achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development without falling into a new debt crisis.

91. In order to ensure that structural adjustment programmes include social development goals, in particular the eradication of poverty, the generation of productive employment and the enhancement of social integration, Governments, in cooperation with the international financial institutions and other international organizations, should:

(a) Protect basic social programmes and expenditures, in particular those affecting the poor and vulnerable segments of society, from budget reductions;

(b) Review the impact of structural adjustment programmes on social development by means of gender-sensitive social-impact assessments and other relevant methods, and develop policies to reduce their negative effects and improve their positive impact;

(c) Further promote policies enabling small enterprises, cooperatives and other forms of micro-enterprises to develop their capacities for income generation and employment creation.

92. International financial institutions should contribute to the mobilization of resources for the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action. To this end, the relevant institutions are urged to take the following measures:

(a) The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the regional and subregional development banks and funds, and all other international finance organizations should further integrate social development goals in their policies, programmes and operations, including by giving higher priority to social-sector lending, where applicable, in their lending programmes;

(b) The Bretton Woods institutions and other organizations and bodies of the United Nations system should work together with concerned countries to improve policy dialogues and develop new initiatives to ensure that structural adjustment programmes promote sustained economic and social development, with particular attention to their impact on people living in poverty and vulnerable groups;

(c) The United Nations, in cooperation with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral development institutions, should study the impact of structural adjustment programmes on economic and social development and assist adjusting countries in creating conditions for economic growth, job creation, poverty eradication and social development.

93. In addition to augmenting the flow of resources through established channels, relevant United Nations bodies, in particular the Economic and Social Council, should be requested to consider new and innovative ideas for generating funds and, for this purpose, to offer any useful suggestions.

D. The role of the United Nations system

94. A framework for international cooperation must be developed in the context of the agenda for development 28/ in order to ensure the integrated and comprehensive implementation, follow-up and assessment of the outcome of the Summit, together with the results of other recent and planned United Nations conferences related to social development, in particular the World Summit for Children, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the World Conference on Human Rights, the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the International Conference on Population and Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II). At the international level, as at the national, the financial and organizational implications of the commitments, goals and targets should be assessed, priorities established, and budgets and work programmes planned.

95. With regard to the consideration of social development at the intergovernmental level, special consideration should be given to the roles of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council. To this end:

(a) The General Assembly, as the highest intergovernmental mechanism, is the principal policy-making and appraisal organ on matters relating to the follow-up to the Summit. The Assembly should include the follow-up to the Summit in its agenda as an item entitled "Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development". In 1996, it should review the effectiveness of the steps taken to implement the outcome of the Summit with regard to poverty eradication, as part of the activities relating to the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty;

(b) The General Assembly should hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit, and should consider further action and initiatives;

(c) The General Assembly, at its fiftieth session, should declare the first United Nations decade for the eradication of poverty, following the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty (1996), with a view to its considering further initiatives on the eradication of poverty;

(d) The General Assembly, as well as the Economic and Social Council, could convene meetings of high-level representatives to promote international dialogue on critical social issues and on policies for addressing them through international cooperation;

(e) The General Assembly should draw upon the initial work of the agenda for development working group on a common framework for the implementation of the outcome of conferences;

(f) The Economic and Social Council, in the context of its role under the Charter of the United Nations vis-a`-vis the General Assembly and in accordance with Assembly resolutions 45/264, 46/235 and 48/162, would oversee system-wide coordination in the implementation of the Summit outcome and make recommendations in this regard. It should look at ways to strengthen, consistent with the mandates of the Charter of the United Nations, the role and authority, structures, resources and processes of the Council, bringing specialized agencies into a closer working relationship with the Council so that it can review progress made towards implementing the outcome of the Summit as well as improving the Council's effectiveness. The Council, at its substantive session of 1995, should be invited to review the mandate, agenda and composition of the Commission for Social Development, including considerations of the strengthening of the Commission, taking into account the need for synergy with other related commissions and conference follow-up. The Council should also draw upon any initial work completed by that time on a common framework for the implementation of conference outcomes (see paras. 94 and 95 (e) above). The Council should also be invited to review the reporting system in the area of social development with a view to establishing a coherent system that would result in clear policy recommendations for Governments and international actors;

(g) Within the framework of the discussions on an agenda for development and the discussions of the Economic and Social Council at its coordination segment of 1995 on a common framework for the implementation of the outcome of United Nations conferences in the economic and social fields, consideration should be given to the possibility of holding joint meetings of the Council and the Development Committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Secretary-General and the heads of IMF, the World Bank, ILO, the United Nations funds and programmes, and other relevant agencies should consider the possibility of holding joint meetings for the purpose of considering the implementation of the Declaration and the Programme of Action prior to the Development Committee sessions;

(h) To promote implementation of the outcomes at the regional and subregional levels, the regional commissions, in cooperation with the regional intergovernmental organizations and banks, could convene, on a biennial basis, a meeting at a high political level to review progress made towards implementing the outcome of the Summit, exchange views on their respective experiences and adopt the appropriate measures. The regional commissions should report to the Council on the outcome of such meetings through the appropriate mechanisms;

(i) The important role of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in monitoring those aspects of the Declaration and Programme of Action that relate to compliance, by States Parties, with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights should be emphasized.

96. The United Nations system should provide technical cooperation and other forms of assistance to the developing countries, in particular in Africa and the least developed countries, in implementing the Declaration and Programme of Action. To this end:

(a) The United Nations system, including the technical and sectoral agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions, should expand and improve their cooperation in the field of social development to ensure that their efforts are complementary and, where possible, should combine resources in joint initiatives for social development built around common objectives of the Summit;

(b) In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of United Nations organizations in providing support for social development efforts at the national level, and to enhance their capacity to serve the objectives of the Summit, there is a need to renew, reform and revitalize the various parts of the United Nations system, in particular its operational activities. All specialized agencies and related organizations of the United Nations system are invited to strengthen and adjust their activities, programmes and medium-term strategies, as appropriate, to take into account the follow-up to the Summit. Relevant governing bodies should review their policies, programmes, budgets and activities in this regard;

(c) The Administrative Committee on Coordination should consider how its participating entities might best coordinate their activities to implement the objectives of the Summit;

(d) Regular reports on their plans and programmes related to implementation should be provided to the appropriate forums by United Nations funds and programmes and the specialized agencies.

97. The United Nations system should consider and provide appropriate technical cooperation and other forms of assistance to the countries with economies in transition. To this end:

(a) The respective United Nations bodies should assist the efforts of those countries in designing and implementing social development programmes;

(b) The United Nations Development Programme should continue to undertake efforts to support the implementation of the social development programmes, taking into account the specific needs of the countries with economies in transition;

(c) The organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, including the technical and sectoral agencies, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, should continue their cooperation in the field of social development of countries with economies in transition.

98. The implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the Summit will involve many entities of the United Nations system. In order to ensure coherence in this effort, the General Assembly should give consideration to:

(a) Promoting and strengthening the coordination of United Nations system activities, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization at the global, regional and national levels in the area of economic and social development programmes, including, inter alia, through reports to and meetings in coordination with the Economic and Social Council;

(b) Inviting the World Trade Organization to consider how it might contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action, including activities in cooperation with the United Nations system;

(c) Requesting the International Labour Organization, which because of its mandate, tripartite structures and expertise has a special role to play in the field of employment and social development, to contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action;

(d) Requesting the Secretary-General to ensure effective coordination of the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action.

99. United Nations operational activities for development should be strengthened in order to implement the Summit outcome, in accordance with relevant resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 47/199, and to this end:

(a) The United Nations Development Programme should organize United Nations system efforts towards capacity-building at the local, national and regional levels, and should support the coordinated implementation of social development programmes through its network of field offices;

(b) Coordination at the country level should be improved through the resident coordinator system to take full account of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the Summit and related international agreements;

(c) The United Nations system should encourage and assist South-South cooperation and technical cooperation among developing countries, at all levels, as an important instrument for social development and the implementation of the Programme of Action;

(d) United Nations development efforts should be supported by a substantial increase in resources for operational activities for development on a predictable, continuous and assured basis, commensurate with the increasing needs of developing countries, as stated in resolution 47/199;

(e) The United Nations system's capacity for gathering and analysing information and developing indicators of social development should be strengthened, taking into account the work carried out by different countries, in particular by developing countries. The capacity of the United Nations system for providing policy and technical support and advice, upon request, to improve national capacities in this regard should also be strengthened.

100. The support and participation of major groups as defined in Agenda 21 are essential to the success of the implementation of the Programme of Action.

To ensure the commitment of these groups, they must be involved in planning, elaboration, implementation and evaluation at both the national and the international levels. To this end, mechanisms are needed to support, promote and allow their effective participation in all relevant United Nations bodies, including the mechanisms responsible for reviewing the implementation of the Programme of Action.


Notes:

3/ Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 April-6 May 1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No. 94.I.18), resolution 1, annex II.

28/ See A/48/935 and An Agenda for Development (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.95.I.16).

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