Skip to main content


17 October 1995

Press Release



Also, New System-Wide Initiative to Support Development in Africa to Be Launched

A system-wide action plan to provide coordinated assistance to countries in translating the outcomes of recent United Nations global conferences into concrete national policies and programmes has been agreed by all United Nations agencies, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced today. The agencies also agreed to launch a new inter-agency initiative in support of African development. Those decisions were taken in the context of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) which comprises the Executive Heads of all specialized agencies, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and all United Nations programmes and funds.

The special initiative on Africa, which will be launched early in 1996, has two components -- specific development actions, to be undertaken jointly by the organizations of the system in the context of their ongoing programmes, and in close cooperation with regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and other national and international development actors; and a year-long campaign for political and resource mobilization. The initiative will comprise programmes in priority areas, where the system has a clear comparative advantage and where cooperative action could lead to greater effectiveness and impact. It will be pursued as an integral part of the contribution of the system to the implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s and relevant plans of action adopted by the agencies' legislative bodies, and in support of policies and programmes decided upon by the African countries themselves. It is intended to reinforce peace-building efforts in the region and to mobilize the international community to reverse Africa's marginalization in the world economy.

The unifying theme of the action plan agreed by the ACC to follow up on recent global conferences is the provision of assistance to countries in a concerted attack on poverty. "It is important to reach international agreement as we have in these conferences, but it is even more important to

implement those agreements. We have secured the commitment of all the agencies of the United Nations to put the full weight of the United Nations system behind helping countries achieve the goals agreed to in these conferences", said the Secretary-General.

As part of this action plan, inter-agency task forces will be established to address basic social services; employment and sustainable livelihoods; and the enabling environment for social and economic development. Those are three critical areas of concern cutting across the agreements entered into at the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994, the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen earlier this year, and, most recently, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. An inter-agency mechanism is in place to follow up on Agenda 21, adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio. Further inter-agency arrangements to pursue the implementation of the important results achieved at the Conference on Women in Beijing are to be developed as soon as the General Assembly acts on the results of that Conference.

The existing inter-agency task force on the follow-up to the Cairo Conference, chaired by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will be expanded to cover social services for all, and to help further the commitments on strengthening of health and basic education services made at those conferences.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) will lead the second inter- agency task force on full employment and sustainable livelihoods for all.

The third inter-agency task force will focus on the enabling environment for people-centred sustainable development. It will address macro-economic policies, country strategies for poverty eradication, external debt, and relevant issues relating to international trade, technology and communication, among others. The World Bank has agreed to chair this task force.

As part of a concerted attack on poverty, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will provide support to United Nations Resident Coordinators, and use its own programme resources to promote an integrated focus on poverty elimination at the country level.

"I believe that we have achieved a breakthrough in bringing together the many talents and resources of the United Nations system", said the Secretary- General. "I am pleased to call attention to the promising close partnership that is being forged between the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, and the other specialized agencies, to ensure that these conferences have a real, lasting impact on the alleviation of poverty in all regions of the world", said the Secretary-General.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.