ENB:10:11 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

the need for priority action

. There appeared to be general agreement that: (1) commitments made in this process must be translated into concrete action; (2) pragmatic and simple priorities must be set; (3) systematic support is needed at all levels; and (4) the action plan to be developed must be of a general nature but it must also consider the special needs of its weakest members.

The fifth theme that emerged during the debate pertains to the need for an enabling environment for social development. Points raised included: (1) the best route to development is through self-sufficiency; and (2) policies related to trade, debt, market access and technology transfer must be developed based on the principles of international cooperation. The debate on international cooperation was the weakest, with few concrete ideas presented regarding the form that international cooperation should take.

The sixth theme pertained to the role of civil society and the role of various actors. Two major questions were raised: (1) what role is the UN system to play; and (2) how can financial institutions be made more sensitive to the goals of social development? It was agreed that the UN agencies should have a more integrated approach in their activities and that the relationship between the UN and international financial institutions should be strengthened. Also, delegates agreed that governments and NGOs, as well as the public and private sectors, should work more closely in order to comprehensively address the core issues.