Social Development Commission Recommends Four Draft Resolutions on Future Working Methods, Priority Themes, as It Concludes Fifty-Sixth Session Nehaal Mayor

The Commission for Social Development, acting by consensus on the final day of its fifty‑sixth session, decided to forward four draft resolutions to the Economic and Social Council, including one aimed at further focusing the Commission’s working methods in future sessions.

By the terms of a text titled “Future organization and methods of work of the Commission for Social Development” (document E/CN.5/2018/L.5) — which was approved without a vote as orally revised — the Economic and Social Council would decide that, going forward, the Commission would consider a single priority theme at each session, leading to the proposal of an action‑oriented resolution with recommendations to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. It would also decide that the 2019 priority theme would be “Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies”, and further request the Commission to adopt a multi‑year programme of work to guide its future sessions.

Speaking on that resolution, the representative of the United States said that while his delegation had joined the consensus, each country had its own development priorities and must be able to work within national parameters.

A draft resolution titled “Social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development” (document E/CN.5/2018/L.4) was also approved without a vote, as orally amended. Introducing that text on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, the representative of Egypt said ongoing efforts were giving a global impetus in the drive to leave no one behind, with development remaining at the core of the Group of 77. Focusing on Africa was essential, she said, emphasizing that areas of focus included health, clean water, sanitation and empowering women and girls, with the draft resolution emphasizing the need to scale up efforts. Despite the lack of progress in World Trade Organization discussions, the Group of 77 reiterated a call for a resumption of negotiations and for Member States to enhance their efforts in that regard.

After the Commission approved the draft resolution without a vote, the representative of the United States expressed his delegation’s disappointment, citing problematic elements in the text.

The Commission approved, also without a vote, a draft resolution titled “Third review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002” (document E/CN.5/2018/L.3), by whose terms the Council would encourage Member States to further strengthen their implementation of that Plan. Among other things, it would recognize the potential of older persons and their essential contributions to societies and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s implementation. The Council would also encourage States to take into account the multidimensional nature of the vulnerability of older persons to poverty and economic insecurity, including through the promotion of good health, care and well‑being in their implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level. Expressing concern that growing older presented a significant additional risk of vulnerability to economic insecurity and poverty, the Council would further encourage States to adopt measures and policies aimed at providing economic and social security and health care to older persons.

Acting again without a vote, the Commission approved a draft resolution titled “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.
Article prepared by Nehaal Mayor.

Afzal Ali Shah Maududi
with inputs from A.S.Khan.Lucknow