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Sixty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly Statement by H.E. Ewald Limon Permanent Representative of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations on agenda item 60 (a): Social Development New York 3 October 2006
03 October 2006 / 11:07

Sixty-First Session of the
United Nations General Assembly

Statement by H.E. Ewald Limon
Permanent Representative of the
Republic of Suriname to the United Nations

on agenda item 60 (a):

Social Development

New York
3 October 2006

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Mr. Chairman,

Allow me at the outset to extend congratulations to you and the other members of the Bureau on your unanimous election to guide the work of this important committee.

Let me assure you of my delegations’ full support as we work towards a successful conclusion of this session.

I would like to associate myself with the statements already delivered by the distinguished representatives of South Africa, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and Saint Lucia speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community.

Mr. Chairman,

The international community in 1995 at the Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development set forth a comprehensive vision of social development.
Today in 2006 it is regrettable to note that the past decade had fallen short of expectations regarding implementation of the commitments arrived at during this Summit and beyond.

Although we should not underestimate the progress made in some countries and regions with regard to reducing the levels of absolute poverty, the international community cannot sit idle and be content with the progress achieved thus far.

Increased international cooperation, creating an enabling environment, including access for developing countries to international economic opportunities are among many other elements that should shape the international agenda for the eradication of poverty.

It is also acknowledged that poverty eradication is increasingly shaping national agendas. In this regard I would like to note that the Government of Suriname, in its Multi-Annual Development Plan for 2006-2011 has recommitted itself to eradicate poverty, provide social protection and to offer guarantees that would allow each citizen to enjoy qualitative education, health care and housing.

Furthermore in its strategy for the eradication of poverty and advancing social development the Government has committed itself, among others, to reformulate the current social protection system in order to ensure that households who qualify for Government assistance indeed receive the necessary support. Of critical importance in the strategy is also the optimal utilization of its natural and human resources through increased productivity.

Creating productive employment therefore is also among the elements in the Governments strategy for the eradication of poverty. Employment is an important mechanism through which individuals can improve their conditions and gain some economic independence. In this regard initiatives for small and medium size entrepreneurship will be encouraged and supported where appropriate.

The Government is fully aware of its responsibilities to improve the human condition of all its citizens. However we continue to believe that cooperation between government, private sector and non-governmental organizations remains pivotal in order to create a development perspective that is both broad and inclusive.

Mr. Chairman,

In addition the Government of Suriname is convinced that a country driven process with its intended participatory approach proves to be an important ingredient for successful implementation of programmes and policies geared towards the eradication of poverty.

Given this reality it will diligently work towards the realization of its commitments set forth in its national development plans and the many international commitments to advance social and economic development and create better living conditions for our people. Adequate resources will be needed to support the implementation of national efforts. Notwithstanding budgetary constraints the Government has committed itself to allocate financial resources for social development.

However my delegation is convinced that national efforts should be matched by corresponding efforts by developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7% GNP for official development assistance.

Mr. Chairman,

The last decade has been characterized by unfulfilled promises; unfulfilled promises to the majority of the world population who has been deprived of every opportunity to gain benefits from advanced technology and increased scientific and medical knowledge.

We are indebted to the impoverished and disadvantaged in the world community to end the rhetoric and genuinely work towards advancing social and economic development.

More than ever we have the tools at our disposal to adequately address issues such as the persistent inequalities in income, high unemployment rates, lack of access to resources and basic services.

For its part, the Government of Suriname remains resolute in its pledge to implement the commitments made at Copenhagen and beyond, and to engage constructively with the international community as we strive to truly create a better society for all.

Thank you.