ENB:10:44 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]


Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, opened the first day of the Summit before 118 Heads of State or Government. He appealed to countries to agree to cancel debt and to use resources to implement the commitments made in Copenhagen. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali reiterated the need for a global social contract and stated that the presence of so many leaders is the best guarantee of concrete follow-up. He pledged that the UN would be an instrument to implement the Summit"s results. After a grueling 25 hours and 150 speeches, the Summit adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action on Monday, 13 March, at 3:00 am. Highlighted below are some of the speeches in which leaders highlighted ongoing national actions or announced new concrete commitments.

DENMARK: Early in the week, Denmark announced that it would cancel one billion kroner worth of bilateral debt for six countries.

INDIA: Prime Minister P.B. Narasimha Rao noted recent constitutional amendments that now provide for decentralized, participatory, village-level democratic institutions. He promised that India would establish a national-level social development mechanism.

AUSTRIA: Chancellor Franz Vranitzky pledged to cancel US$100 million worth of debt for the poorest and most indebted countries.

JAPAN: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said that Japan will strengthen its efforts in supporting women in development.

SWEDEN: Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson supported a disarmament fund and called for improved economic governance through a UN Economic Security Council.

SPAIN: Prime Minister Don Felipe Gonzalez committed to increasing resources for cooperation and development, especially towards social development, and to moving toward the 20:20 compact.

FRANCE: President Francois Mitterand pledged support for an international tax on financial transactions.

NETHERLANDS: Prime Minister Wim Kok pledged support for the 20:20 compact.

ZIMBABWE: President Robert Mugabe stated that his government has widened the decision-making base and recently launched an anti-poverty alleviation programme.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: President Kim Young-Sam committed to expanding training for people in developing countries.

NAMIBIA: President Sam Nujoma noted that it appropriates almost half of its annual budget to education and health and that Namibia has made employment creation one of its four national development objectives.

GUYANA: President Cheddi Jagan said that Guyana will implement its part of the 20:20 compact by 1997.

NORWAY: Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland supported the 20:20 compact and new systems of international taxation.

THAILAND: Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai highlighted Thailand"s three- pronged national strategy: placing the family as the basic social institution; building a strong sense of community to stimulate social involvement; and supporting education, including community learning networks.

SWAZILAND: King Mswati III Ngwenyama said that Swaziland is developing a long-term strategy by consulting the entire nation on the direction for the national economy and to identify obstacles to social development. Swaziland is undertaking its own structural adjustment.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Prime Minister Victor S. Chernomyrdin offered assistance through science training, including military conversion and space research.

COLOMBIA: President Ernesto Samper Pizano announced Colombia"s programme to eradicate extreme poverty and to devote part of its budget to social development.

PARAGUAY: President Juan Carlos Wasmosy said that Paraguay"s major goal is reform of primary, secondary and higher education.

PHILIPPINES: President Fidel Ramos pledged support for the 20:20 compact and the Manila Declaration, which was agreed to by Asian-Pacific nations in preparation for the Summit.

BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia highlighted education programmes and affirmed its support for the Dhaka Declaration in which seven members of SAARC have resolved to eradicate poverty in the region by 2002.

UNITED STATES: Vice President Al Gore announced the "New Partnerships Initiative" where USAID will channel 40% of its aid through NGOs to strengthen small entrepreneurs, NGOs and democracy-building efforts. Earlier in the week, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a commitment to spend US$100 million over 10 years toward better education for women and girl-children in the least developed countries.

AZERBAIJAN: President Heydar Alirza Ogly Aliyev committed to peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict within the framework of the OSCE.

LESOTHO: Prime Minister Ntsu Mokhehle said that his nation"s poverty reduction and population plans are examples of their commitment to the Social Summit.

BOTSWANA: President Sir Ketumile Masire said that social development spending averages over 13% of Botswana"s national budget. Education and health will be given top priority and 86% of the population have access to health services. He said that the government will now shift its emphasis to reach out to excluded groups.

MONGOLIA: Prime Minister Puntagiin Jasrai endorsed the 20:20 compact and supported reductions in military expenditures.

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Paul Keating said that Australia"s A$130 million population policy will expand family planning. As Chair of the South Pacific Forum, Australia pledged to ensure that the interests of small island developing States are protected.

KENYA: President Daniel Arap Moi said that the government has developed over 50 social development-related programmes.

SWITZERLAND: Federal Counsellor Ruth Dreifuss said that her government will assess the effectiveness of its own development cooperation policies and has committed to remove structural obstacles and to guarantee access to human resources.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic committed to leaving the world a better place for future generations, but said that over 17,000 of Bosnia"s children have been killed during the three-year war, and that those who are alive are so gray from the bloodshed that they no longer resemble children.

MALTA: Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami offered to host a "training of trainers" centre covering areas such as the design and implementation of the Programme of Action.

BOLIVIA: President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada highlighted his government"s commitment to reform education, to ensure participatory privatization, and to implement a new social security system.

NICARAGUA: President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro said that military resources were being redirected towards health and education and highlighted her commitment to implement a national plan to protect the most vulnerable sectors of society.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION: President Jacques Santer announced that he will stimulate thinking within the EU to ensure that aid is geared more towards social objectives, in the spirit of the 20:20 compact.

SOUTH AFRICA: President Nelson Mandela recommended a social clause in international arrangements and committed to full employment and poverty eradication in South Africa.

SRI LANKA: President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga endorsed the 20:20 compact.

C"TE D"IVOIRE: Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan noted that over $400 million is being spent to renovate schools and hospitals in his nation and that 26% of the national budget is spent on health and education.

MALI: President Alpha Oumar Konare committed to providing education and health for all by 2000.

MOROCCO: Prime Minister Abdellatif Filali called for an African Marshall Plan.

IRELAND: Prime Minister John Burton committed to: achieving the 0.7% target for ODA by increasing ODA by 0.05% each year so that by 1997, they will be above the OECD average; supporting the 20:20 compact; and redirecting development assistance wherever possible to social development. He also committed to implement the commitments on the involvement of civil society.

LATVIA: President Guntis Ulmanis outlined Latvia's plans for social and economic reforms, including: extensive privatization; attracting foreign investment and stimulating small and medium businesses; and establishment of a social security system to assist the elderly, the poor and those unable to work. He also announced the Baltic states" proposal to hold a UN Summit on Disarmament for Environment and Development in Riga in 2000.

HUNGARY: President Arpad Goncz announced his government"s plan to introduce a three-level pension scheme, to restructure the social benefit scheme, and to develop preventive measures of social reintegration.

LITHUANIA: President Algirdas Brazauskas said that his nation supports the physically and mentally disabled, prisoners and other vulnerable groups.

ICELAND: Prime Minister David Oddson promised to make efforts efforts to ensure growth in development aid, especially in geothermal energy and fish stocks,and technical training skills.

HONDURAS: President Dr. Carlos Roberto Reina Idiaquez said Honduras has taken a stand against poverty by fostering a moral revolution against all forms of corruption.

NEPAL: Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari said that all efforts are being made to ensure the development of laws to protect children and disabled people. Family planning and basic health care will be expanded to reduce child mortality and public hospitals will be updated and better equipped.

[Return to start of article]