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Volume 27 | No.11 | November 2023

Eradication of poverty and other social development issues in focus as the General Assembly’s Third Committee convenes for its 78th session


The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly kicked off its 78th session on 28 September 2023 to debate a range of issues to advance social development. Although there has been significant progress since the World Summit for Social Development in 1995, the Committee observed that advancements have slowed down or even reversed since 2015. This serves as a reminder that progress is still fragile and inconsistent.

In his report to the Committee on the "Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly,” the UN Secretary-General suggested that Member States should organize a World Social Summit in 2025. He also recommended designing policies that encourage fair employment and social advancement by collecting revenue more equitably and reallocating public spending towards universal social protection, accessible and high-quality education, nutritious diets, and universal access to electricity.

In its deliberations, the Committee has considered the following:

  • Policies to reduce inequality and promote economic security for older persons in a fair and financially sustainable way, considering both pensions and healthcare for older persons.
  • Important issues and challenges in the efforts to fully and effectively include older persons in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
  • The role of social inclusion is important in addressing multidimensional poverty and promoting sustainable development, particularly for vulnerable groups in society including children, women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, migrants, and Indigenous Peoples.
  • Building the capacities of cooperatives as profitable enterprises promotes sustainable development and empowers many people who live in poverty or vulnerable situations.
  • Key recommendations, with an emphasis on strengthening youth-centred policies and programmes at the national, regional and international levels.
  • The preparations for the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of Family include research, awareness-raising activities, and policy actions at all levels. These efforts focus on understanding the impact on families of mega trends such as technological advancements, urbanization, migration, demographic changes and climate change.
  • Policies should be adopted and implemented to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities during dangerous situations and emergencies. Additionally, there should be increased investment in easy-to-understand communication.

For more information: Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

Photo credit: UNICEF / Daniele Volpe