November 23, 2017

ECOSOC General Segment on Social Development

Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Mr. Stelios Makriyiannis, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations, at the ECOSOC General Segment on “Social and Human Rights Questions” focusing on “Social Development,” July 26, 2012

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its MemberStates.

The Acceding Country Croatia[1], the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Serbia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration. 

Mr. President,

As ECOSOC turns to the agenda item 14 including “Social Development” and the report of the Commission on Social Development in its 49th session, we would like to reaffirm its commitment to poverty eradication, in both its internal and external action, as well as the advancement of the wider Social Development agenda. These issues deserve all the more attention in these days as higher risk of poverty and social exclusion as well as growing unemployment rates reflect the on-going and far-reaching social impact of the crisis which many countries are facing.

Mr President,

The Europe 2020 Strategy that was adopted in 2010 is based on the fundamental conviction that economic and social objectives contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The promotion of decent work, social protection and gender equality policies play an essential role in reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion. Hence the European target to reduce the number of people living at risk of poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by the year 2020 is backed by targets on employment and education.

We also emphasise the need to combine and adapt different policies, such as employment and social policies, since their contributions are strongly interrelated and inseparable. As it is also stressed by the Global Jobs Pact and the ILO Social Protection Floors recommendation, sustainable social protection systems can provide welfare and prevent the increase of poverty, while also helping to stabilize the economy as well as to maintain and promote employability and competitiveness. Economic and social policies should focus on the objectives of productive employment and decent work backed up by good governance based on social dialogue. Social security systems need to be well administered to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and transparency, and to achieve a high level of confidence from citizens.

Recent years have shown that social protection systems have helped alleviate the social and economic effects of recession. The topic of this year’s cycle of the Commission of Social Development is promoting and empowering people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment for all and we have participated with great interest in the debates of the commission on how best to achieve this common objective. We look forward to the discussion at the next session of the CSocD, when concrete policy suggestions will be discussed.

The EU and itsMemberStateswould like to reiterate our commitment to the promotion of social integration and social cohesion policies also through a multilateral system which benefits from the contributions of all relevant stakeholders are needed, including social partners, civil society, non-profit entities, and the private sector in order to move forward along this path. We also remain committed to further developing policy dialogue with our strategic partners and in international fora, notably the UN, the ILO and G20.

[Ageing]

Given demographic trends inEurope, we are very active in advancing the situation of older persons, including fostering the realisation, for older person, without discrimination, of human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in international standards. We have undertaken many activities to encourage Active Ageing and look forward to sharing experience on our most recent activities in this regard. At the UN here inNew York, we are actively participating in the open-ended working group on ageing set up by the General Assembly’s Third Committee, with a view to exchanging good practice. We also look forward to the UNECE Ministerial Conference in September 2012 held also to contribute to the on-going review of the Madrid Action Plan and to the revitalisation of strategic actions of the EU and itsMemberStatesand the UN in Europe.

[Youth]

Everywhere in the world, young people are faced with higher unemployment rates and they are consequently exposed to worsening living conditions. We were gratified to have been able to contribute, through the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and inclusion László Andor, to a High-level Panel discussion on this important issue.

[Disabilities]

We are also highly committed to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which the EU became a party to, in addition to its Member States, and which is being implemented through the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. The EU and itsMemberStatesalso promote the rights of people with disabilities in EU external action, including its development programmes. EU action supports and complements national initiatives to address disability issues in dialogues with non-member countries.

Finally, Mr. President,

The European Union and itsMemberStatesengaged and contributed actively to the work of the 49th session of the Commission for Social Development. Allow me to confirm our strong commitment to continue our work in this regard and cooperate with all other delegations in order to enhance global dialogue on social issues and to advance Social Development also in the future.

Thank you, Mr. President.



[1] Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.