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The Commission for Social Development of ECOSOC concludes its 48th session devoted to social integration (3-12 February)

arton2130As in 2009, the priority theme of this year’s Commission for Social Development (3-12 February, New York) was “Social Integration.” Since 2007, the Commission has organized its work according to a cycle of two sessions dealing with a single priority theme. The first year is a “review session” which aims to share experiences, review current processes and identify best practices. The second year is a “policy session” resulting in a set of resolutions for policy action.

In accordance with theses new methods of work, the 48th session, the “policy year,” was devoted to the identification of concrete measures and policy options that would help to promote social integration in order to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive employment and achieve stable, safe, peaceful harmonious and just societies for all. On that particular topic, negotiations proved painstaking and difficult. The resolution adopted on “Promoting social integration” urges, among other things, “governments … to develop systems of social protection and to extend or broaden, as appropriate, their effectiveness and coverage, including for workers in the informal economy … and also urges governments, while taking account of national circumstances, to focus on the needs of those living in, or vulnerable to, poverty and give particular consideration to universal access to basic social security systems.” It also expresses concerns regarding the negative impacts for social development of the intertwined crises: economic and financial crisis, energy crisis, climate change and food insecurity.

In addition to the priority theme, the Commission reviewed relevant United Nations programmes and plans of action pertaining to the situation of various social groups, especially persons with disabilities and older persons. It also addressed “Policy responses on employment and the social consequences of the financial and economic crisis, including its gender dimension” as the emerging issue. In connection with those issues, the Commission adopted three resolutions. Two other resolutions were passed at the 48th session, one on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission and another one on the Social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

The resolution on the future organization and methods of work identifies the priority theme for the 2011-2012 cycle, “Poverty eradication.” It also “recommends that, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the work of the Commission, the officers elected to the Bureau of the Commission serve for a term of office of two years, in parallel with the review and policy cycle.” This has been a request from civil society organizations for quite some time.

Click here to access all resolutions: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/2010resolutions.html

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