A lack of data, inadequate monitoring and evaluation of social programmes, as well as a dearth of trained professionals hindered the achievement of social development objectives, the Commission tasked with advancing those goals heard today, as it wrapped up its substantive work for the session with discussions on issues affecting vulnerable social groups.
“Empowering our people, as well as eradicating poverty and ensuring equal access to full and productive employment and decent work for all, remain high priorities for the Government,” the representative of Trinidad and Tobago said, underscoring its achievements in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities, the elderly, youth and families.
More broadly, she drew attention to the many challenges preventing the realization of the social development objectives, including a lack of data to determine the incidence of poverty at the national level, as well as the specific needs of vulnerable groups; inadequate monitoring to determine the effectiveness of social programmes; lack of trained professionals to administer services, such as geriatric care giving; disparities between responses to the needs of citizens in rural and urban areas; integrating workers in the informal sector and self-employed into social protection plans; and increased demand for health care for the ageing population.
Eritrea’s delegate stressed that promoting empowerment required deep structural transformation, especially within the African economies, through further industrialization and economic diversification. Africa needed to develop its own institutional capacity, logistical capability and financial resources, she said, calling for more aid, better partnerships in development and creation of conditions conducive for investment and trade.
Several Latin American delegations described how their region was addressing issues that affected the most vulnerable groups, with Argentina’s representative noting that her country had reduced unemployment and poverty under its current president. That was made possible by strong political will that placed people at the centre of State policy, she said. Elaborating on some regional initiatives, Ecuador’s delegate noted that his Government would host Latin America’s tenth Ministerial Forum for Social Development this year.
Many non-governmental organizations also took the floor, with a representative of International Council on Social Welfare commending the Commission for taking up issues of empowerment — an important cross-cutting topic, following which he called for a specific goal on inequalities to be reflected in the post-2015 framework.
In other business, Daniela Bas, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, introduced the Committee’s proposed work programme for the 2016-2017 biennium.Also participating in today’s general debate were representatives of Ecuador, Tunisia, Swaziland, Colombia, Cuba and Chile.
Additional speakers hailed from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as civil society officials from Sustain US; Fraternity Notre Dame; World Youth Alliance; Alliance Defense Fund; International Federation of Journalists; Global Foundation for Democracy and Development; International Presentation Association of Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Universal Peace Foundation; International Longevity Centre Alliance; Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization; Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights; SOS Kinderdorf International; Medical Mission Sisters; and Baltic Sea Forum.
The Commission for Social Development will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Friday, 21 February, to consider the series of draft resolutions before it.
Source: UN News