ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL MEETS IN RESUMED SESSION
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL MEETS IN RESUMED SESSION19951025
The Economic and Social Council, meeting in resumed session this afternoon did not reach agreement on the draft world programme of action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond, and decided to leave further action to the General Assembly.
The draft programme provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national and international action to improve the situation of young people. Also, this afternoon, the Council adopted a draft decision, as orally amended, that allowed the participation of 45 organizations of indigenous peoples, in the open-ended intersessional working group of the Commission on Human Rights. That group is to elaborate a draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples at the earliest possible date in 1995.
The adopted draft decision is contained in the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. Under that draft, the Committee will meet urgently to consider the remaining applications from organizations of indigenous people that are interested in participating in the working group. Also, governments wishing to submit their views on the applications are invited to do so at an early stage.
Also today, the Council heard the introduction of a draft resolution, sponsored by the United States, on the calendar of conferences and meetings under which the following bodies would meet biennially: the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, the Committee for Development Planning and its three working groups, the Economic Commission for Africa and its technical preparatory committee of the whole, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Economic Commission for Europe and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
The Council adopted a draft decision on the Open-ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests. Under that decision, the duration of the Panel's second session, to be held in Geneva, is extended from one week to two -- from 11 to 22 March 1996. It also approved the third session of the Panel to be held from 2 to 13 September 1996, at a venue to be determined.
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The Council had earlier approved the agenda for its resumed substantive session of 1995, as orally amended.
Statements were made by the representatives of the Sudan, Philippines, Canada, Algeria, China, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand, Peru, Australia, Russian Federation and Spain.
The Council observed a minute of silence in memory of Kenneth Dadzie, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The 1995 substantive session of the Council will resume at a time to be announced.
Council Work Programme
The Economic and Social Council met this afternoon to hold its resumed substantive session. Topics before the Council are the draft programme of action for youth, the provisional calendar of conferences, the programme of work in crime prevention and criminal justice and the drafting group for the declaration on rights of indigenous peoples.
Draft Programme of Action for Youth
Under the agenda item on social, humanitarian and human rights questions, the Council has before it the final draft of the world programme of action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond (document E/1995/123 and Corr.1), submitted by the open-ended working group on youth. The draft programme provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national and international action to improve the situation of young people -- defined by the United Nations as the age cohort 15-24. The draft indicates that in 1995, the world youth population -- the majority of whom live in developing countries -- is estimated to be 18 per cent of the total world population.
Under the terms of the draft, the world programme of action for youth is divided into three phases: the first focuses on the adoption of the draft by the General Assembly at is fiftieth session; the second phase is concerned with world-wide implementation of the programme for action to the year 2000; and the third phase, covering the period 2001 to 2010, is to focus on further implementation and evaluation of progress made.
The draft lists 10 priority areas of concern for youth which reflect the themes of the 1985 International Youth Year: Participation, Development and Peace.
The first priority area listed by the draft is education. It states that in order to improve the level of education and literacy among youth, basic education for all should be ensured. It also calls for the reform of the education curricula in schools, especially those which reinforce traditional female roles. In addition, it calls for particular attention to the education of indigenous, migrant and refugee youth, displaced and street youth, poor youth in rural and urban areas and youth with disabilities.
Also under that priority area, the draft aims at encouraging governments to create exchange programmes and youth camps to help youth understand cultural diversity at both the national and international levels. Furthermore, the draft calls, among other actions, for vocational and professional training, as well as for the promotion of human rights education.
The second priority area in the draft is employment. By noting that more than 100 million new jobs would have to be created within the next
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20 years to provide suitable employment for the growing number of young people, the draft calls for the encouragement and support of enterprises for the young. It also calls on governments to establish youth voluntary service programmes, as well as the creation of employment opportunities for the young in fields rapidly evolving due to technological innovation.
In order to prevent hunger and poverty among the youth, the draft's third priority area calls on governments to enhance educational and cultural services in rural areas. Also, it states that governments should provide grants of land to youth and youth organizations supported by financial and technical assistance. In addition, non-governmental organizations should organize direct-marketing groups, including production and distribution cooperatives, in order to improve current marketing systems and to ensure that young farmers have access to them.
Actions to ensure the provision of basic health services to the young is the next priority area under the draft. It calls for coordinated global actions against major diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever and HIV/AIDS. Also, governments are called upon to include programmes focusing on primary health knowledge. Furthermore, governments are called upon to develop education programmes and services related to sexual and reproductive health as well as sanitation and hygiene. Also, governments are called to cooperate at the international level to protect children, adolescents and youth, from neglect, malnutrition, abandonment and all types of exploitation and abuse, such as abduction, rape and incest, pornography, trafficking and acts of paedophilia, as well as commercial exploitation.
Actions to avoid the deterioration of the natural environment is the fifth priority under the draft. It calls for the integration of environmental education into the school curricula; the international dissemination of information on environmental issues to youth; the participation of youth in the protection, preservation and improvement of the environment; and the enhancement of the role of the media in disseminating environmental issues to the general youth public.
The sixth priority area of the draft deals with drug abuse. It calls on the international community to cooperate in carrying out demand reduction programmes for illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Also, the participation of youth organizations and youth in those programmes is encouraged. This area asks for the training of medical and paramedical students in the rational use of pharmaceuticals containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. In addition, drug abuse prevention should be promoted, and rehabilitation and education programmes for former drug and alcohol addicts be implemented. Also, authorities could consider strategies -- such as daily reporting to police stations -- to prevent exposure to drug abuse and dependence among young people suspected or convicted of criminal offences.
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The draft calls on governments and other relevant organizations to implement preventive measures and rehabilitation services to deal with the seventh priority area: juvenile delinquency. Preventive measures include specific educational, employment and leisure programmes for youth from poor urban settings; programmes that help build the self-esteem of youth who drop out of school; information campaigns that sensitize youth to the detrimental effects of violence in general. Also, rehabilitation programmes through special institutions are encouraged.
The next and eighth item under the draft deals with the importance of leisure-time activities such as games, sports, cultural events and community service in the psychological, cognitive and physical development of young people. The actions to be taken by governments include leisure-time activities as elements of educational programmes and in urban and rural development programmes.
In order to improve the situation of girls and young women, the ninth priority area proposes the elimination of discrimination against them; their equal access to all levels of education, health services and employment; the removal of discriminatory laws and practices in food allocation and nutrition; and their protection from economic forms of exploitation. The international enforcement of legislation protecting women from all forms of violence is also encouraged.
The final priority area under the draft deals with the full and effective participation of youth in society and in decision-making. Actions to make the above possible include: developing the youth's opportunities to learn their rights and responsibilities; encouraging increased cooperation and exchange between youth organizations; and the inclusion of youth representatives in the government's national delegations to the General Assembly.
The draft encourages the implementation of the above actions at the national, regional and international levels.
Provisional Calendar of Conferences
The Economic and Social Council also has before it a note by the Secretariat containing a provisional calendar of conferences and meetings for 1996 and 1997 in the economic, social and related fields (document E/1995/L.20).
The note invites the Council to approve the calendar of conferences and meetings for 1996 and 1997 in the economic, social and related fields. It also provides information on meetings of related bodies and conferences and meetings of governing bodies of specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and it draws attention to the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 45/264 and 46/235 on the restructuring and
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revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields, which were taken into account in the preparation of the calendar.
The note also invites the Council to consider further the question of biennial sessions of its subsidiary bodies, in accordance with its resolution 1988/77 on the revitalization of the Council.
According to the note, the provisional calendar was prepared in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions and resolutions of the Economic and Social Council, including the provision that the Council should hold an organizational session, not to exceed four days' duration, in early February and a resumed organizational session at the end of April for one or two days, and that the Council should hold one substantive session of four or five weeks in alternate years in New York and Geneva between May and July (Assembly resolution 45/264).
An annex to the report provides the dates, venue and titles of the various conferences and meetings on the provisional calendar.
Two addenda to the note bring up to date the information contained in the provisional calendar, adding the meetings of working groups whose mandates are to be established or renewed by the Council at its current session (document E/1995/L.20/Add.1); and listing meetings, not included in the provisional calendar, authorized by the Council at its substantive session of 1995 (document E/1995/L.20/Add.2).
A draft resolution, sponsored by the United States, on calendar of conferences and meetings (document E/1995/L.67), is before the Council. Under its terms, the Council would decide that the following bodies should meet biennially: the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, the Committee for Development Planning and its three working groups, the Economic Commission for Africa and its technical preparatory committee of the whole, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Economic Commission for Europe and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Also, by a draft decision recommended by the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests of the Commission on Sustainable Development (document E/1995/L.68), the Council would approve the request of the Panel to extend the duration of its second session, to be held in Geneva, from one week to two weeks -- from 11 to 22 March 1996. It would also approve the request of the Panel that its third session be held from 2 to 13 September 1996, at a venue to be determined.
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Programme of Work in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Before the Council is a draft resolution on the Programme of work in crime prevention and criminal justice (document E/1995/L.55). Under its terms, the Council would request the Secretary-General to further elaborate the proposed programme of work in light of all the recommendations and resolutions, contained in the draft resolution of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its fourth session.
Also under that draft, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide the members of the Commission with full programmatic and budgetary information contained in the proposed programme budget and with statements of programme budget implications relevant to the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme.
That draft resolution is sponsored by Italy, Japan and Uganda.
Drafting of Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights
Under the agenda item on social, humanitarian and human rights questions, the Council has before it a report of the Committee on Non- Governmental Organizations (document E/1995/124). The report transmits a draft decision by which the Council would approve the participation of 46 organizations of indigenous people, not in consultative status with the Council, in the open-ended inter-sessional working group of the Commission on Human Rights. That group is to elaborate a draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples at the earliest possible date in 1995.
Action on Drafting of Declaration
The Council then adopted, as orally amended, the draft decision on the elaboration of a draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, as contained in the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.
The following two paragraphs were added to the draft decision:
(1) The Council requests the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to meet urgently to continue its consideration of the remaining applications from organizations of indigenous people that are interested in participating in the working group, with a view to the Council receiving the Committee's recommendations in time to allow the participation of the approved organizations included at the first session of the working group.
(2) In accordance with resolution E/1995/32, the Council invites Governments wishing to submit their views on the applications to do so at an early stage.
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The draft decision was then adopted with the two paragraphs added at its end. Also, the organization "Asociacion Interetnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (Chile)" was deleted from the list.
Discussion of Draft Text
IZZEL DIN HAMMID (Sudan) said it was important to involve the governments in any activity of indigenous peoples living under their jurisdiction. Careful consideration should be made in selecting the organizations. Governments needed to be involved so as to avoid the inclusion of groups who were not really indigenous.
MARGARET KELLEY, the Secretary of the Council, replied that governments always received information from the Centre for Human Rights in regard to letters they received from indigenous peoples.
RUTH LIMJUCO (Philippines) said that while the Philippines had no objections, how wide was the support for those two paragraphs?
CLAUDE BAILLARGEON (Canada) said his delegation whole-heartedly supported the proposal submitted and also the amendment that was given. There might, however, be contingencies regarding the availability of translation and interpretation services. If services were unavailable, the timing of the working group could be delayed so that the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations had the time to review the accreditation.
The SECRETARY said that should the Committee wish to meet on 31 October, services would be available.
HOCINE SAHRAOUI (Algeria) said that having participated in consultations on the two new paragraphs, it fully supported the draft as it now stood.
FENG CUI (China) said a previous resolution (E/1995/32, paragraph 5) requested the coordinator for the international decade to consult with the relevant countries. Under paragraph 2 in the resolution under discussion, however, the coordinator would not be requested to coordinate with relevant governments. He asked which resolution would have priority? The second paragraph was not necessary since a procedure on this matter already existed.
He also asked if the Centre for Human Rights had consulted the relevant international or regional organizations, and if it had really consulted the relevant Governments? All the relevant Governments' views should be sought, not just those Governments under whose territories those NGOs operated.
MILES STOBY, Director, Division of Policy Coordination and Economic and Social Council Affairs, said that the provision on consultation with States contained in the draft was not a new one. The Centre for Human Rights would consult in accordance with the relevant paragraph. States to be consulted
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were those States in which an NGO was based. New applications would not be submitted without the State concerned being consulted for its comments in accordance with the relevant provision.
Ms. FENG (China) said that she was still not very clear about the provision. China's understanding of operative paragraph 5 was not quite the same as that given by the Director. China interpreted the paragraph to mean that the country in which the NGO activities were related was the one to be consulted.
EDGARD TELLES RIBEIRO (Brazil) said the paragraphs originated in the Third Committee when some countries had not been able to present their endorsements. He supported the paragraphs as drafted.
PATRICIA ESPINOSA (Mexico) supported the two paragraphs which ensured that non-governmental organizations interested in participating in the working group would be able to do so. A reference to the Commission on Human Rights was needed in the document.
JOHN D. BIGGAR (Ireland) said it was important to reach agreement so the non-governmental organizations could meet promptly.
Ms. FENG (China) said she had been referring to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/32 in order to maintain consistency.
The PRESIDENT said discussion on that matter would continue.
PATRICK JOHN RATA (New Zealand) said that the widest and fullest participation of indigenous groups should take place. The remaining applications should be considered promptly so meetings could start promptly.
Mr. HAMMID (Sudan) said he supported the amendment but added another oral amendment.
The PRESIDENT said that paragaph 1 c of the document could not be amended because it referred to a resolution already adopted. The President then asked whether there were any objections on the proposed paragraph.
Mrs. LIMJUCO (Philippines) said the paragraph was not clear enough as the representative from China had said.
Ms. FENG (China) said paragraph 1 c of the document was correct, however, it was incomplete; she suggested several oral amendments.
MIGUEL BARRETO (Peru) said Peru was not against adoption of the draft decision, but it was Peru's understanding that at the last meeting, the Committee on NGOs had decided to recommend only those non-governmental
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organizations that had not been objected to by governments. But an organization that was objected to by Peru, the Associacion Interetnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana was included.
FIDEL COLOMA (Chile), Chairman of the Committee on NGOs, said there had been some communication from the Peruvian Government regarding that organization. With the goal of inviting indigenous peoples to participate, the Committee had reviewed the Selva Peruana organization's application and found that it had every qualification to participate, and so it was accepted.
Mr. BARRETO (Peru) said it was its understanding that any organization that was objected to would not be considered in the first group to be submitted. That was the case with the Selva Peruana association.
Ms. LIMJUCO (Philippines) said while there was wide support for the application of the non-governmental organization, the Committee should take into consideration the views by the Government of Peru. The application should, therefore, be held in abeyance.
Mr. COLOMA (Chile) said that although Peru had had an objection, it should be very clear that the case of that non-governmental organization would be reviewed by the Committee on NGOs, and the Committee would decide and produce a report.
KATHY WONG (Australia) said that there should be practical proposals about the work of the Committee.
Ms. LIMJUCO (Philippines) said the Committee on NGOS should ascertain how it should view comments from governments. No guidance on how the Committee on NGOs should treat the views of the respective governments.
Mr. HAMID (Sudan) said that the resolution was acceptable provided that the governments concerned would be fully involved in the decision-making process with organizations of so-called indigenous people and there should be a clear definition of what was meant by an organization of indigenous people.
Statements on Draft Programme for Youth
GEORGE PAPADATOS (Greece), Vice-President of the Council, reporting on the work of open-ended informal consultations on the preparation of the draft programme, said there were still some disagreements on paragraphs 56, 57 and 58 relating to promotion of health services, including sexual and reproductive health, and to HIV and AIDS. He called attention to a new paragraph 137, which reads as follows:
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"There is a need to continue to improve the impact of technical cooperation activities carried out by the United Nations system, including those that relate to youth activities. The United Nations system must continue to assist governments, at their request, to ensure implementation of national plans and strategies within the national priorities and programmes to support youth activities. As administrative overheads can reduce the resources available for technical cooperation, these should be reduced. National execution should be the preferred modality for the implementation of projects and programmes and, where required, developing countries should be assisted to improve their national capacities for project and programme formulation and execution."
Ms. LIMJUCO (Philippines) said they should adopt the paragraph.
SERGUEI N. KAREV (Russian Federation) added oral amendments to paragraph 137.
AURELIO FERNANDEZ (Spain) said the Vice-President's presentation did not reflect the outstanding work of the participants. Although his Government accepted the paragraph, it did not agree with the presentation made by the Vice-President.
Following a brief discussion, the VICE-PRESIDENT said the Council did not have consensus on the draft paragraph for youth. He had no option but to close discussion and leave it to the Assembly plenary and the President of the General Assembly to take action.
Statements on Calendar of Conferences
JOHN HOPE (United States) introduced the draft resolution on calendar of conferences and meetings.
The Council then took up the draft decision on future sessions of the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Panel on Forests. The draft decision was adopted as orally amended.
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