1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote
by the 86th Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(Santiago, 12 October 1991)

The 86th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,

Bearing in mind the objective set forth in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex or religion,

Acknowledging that the basic objective of human development is to enlarge the range of peoples' choices, in particular with regard to access to income and employment opportunities, education, health and a clean and safe physical environment, in order to make development more democratic and participatory,

Recognizing that each individual should have the opportunity to participate fully in community decisions and to enjoy human, economic and political freedoms,

Acknowledging that access to information is a fundamental part of democratic development,

Recognizing that a healthy and safe environment is essential in order to ensure sustained growth and development for future generations and thus to avoid compromising their options,

Believing that the promotion and protection of all aspects of human rights encompassing economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights must go hand in hand with development efforts and focus on the development of human beings both as individuals and as members of society,

Recognizing that education, health and environment policies are major prerequisites for proper human development, and that citizenship education is an important responsibility of Parliaments,

Emphasizing that widespread illiteracy seriously hinders, especially in developing countries, the process of economic, social and political development and cultural and spiritual advancement,

Recognizing that the female population is particularly prey to underdevelopment and aggravated poverty throughout the world,

Further recognizing that adequate income-earning opportunities and properly directed public spending on human priority needs* are essential components of human development,

Concerned that although major steps are being taken by some countries to reduce nuclear armaments, military expenditure nevertheless consumes substantial amounts of the national budgets of many countries,

Recognizing that the reduction of military expenditure would permit the allocation of the resources released to development and economic planning,

Aware that the worsening economic and social effects of the population explosion in developing countries, the deterioration of international terms of trade for suppliers of natural resources and the enormous debt burden borne by the majority of developing countries will cause the gap between developed and developing countries to widen even more,

Reiterating that in an increasingly interdependent world, sustained economic development in developing countries is largely dependent on a favourable international economic environment, and interrelated with the economies of the developed countries,

Acknowledging that some donor and recipient countries are reluctant to undertake social expenditures which offer little immediate financial returns and demand recurring expenditure,

Recognizing the value of a global compact for human development which emphasizes the central importance of people and analyses each issue for its impact on people,

Reaffirming that human development, economic growth and democracy are inextricably linked and that human development can be best achieved by the promotion of more balanced economic growth and more participatory development,

Recalling that, while democracy is a universal principle, it is up to each country to devise its own structures to implement that principle in conformity with its respective cultural values, traditions and aspirations,

  1. Calls on all countries to make a firm political commitment to human development and to undertake appropriate measures to redirect current spending to human development;
  2. Recommends the implementation of a broad programme of action to mobilize and increase people's capabilities and investment opportunities, to diversify the economic base and to eliminate barriers to equal opportunity;
  3. Demands that specific targets and programmes be set to reduce the adult illiteracy rate with sufficient emphasis on female illiteracy to reduce significantly the current disparity between male and female illiteracy rates;
  4. Calls for GNP statistics to take account of unpaid family work so that the various tasks undertaken for the family group may at last be recognized by society;
  5. Strongly hopes that the economic and social status of women as an essential component of a successful strategy for human development will be improved and that all development policies will give priority to education, health care, family planning, improved diet, employment and advancement opportunities, and equal pay;
  6. Calls on the Union to take part through all appropriate means in the activities of the "Special Health Fund for Africa" whose creation was recommended by the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on "Health - a Basis for Development in Africa" jointly organized by the IPU, WHO and the Union of African Parliaments in Brazzaville in June-July 1988;
  7. Urges all Governments and Parliaments to initiate or accelerate the necessary basic reforms in schools and in vocational training so as to enable all people to obtain qualifications suited to a modern economy;
  8. Calls on all Parliaments to urge their respective Governments to introduce education programmes which ensure that citizens are aware of their democratic rights, their responsibilities and the need to participate in the democratic process;
  9. Calls for more intensive co-operation between developed and developing countries as a means of dealing with the increasingly pressing problems of the deterioration of the global environment and the impoverishment of developing countries;
  10. Calls on countries to take all appropriate measures to increase their productivity and competitiveness so as to open up opportunities worldwide;
  11. Calls on Parliaments to examine the distribution of public and private spending on human development and to ensure that spending targets social and human needs;
  12. Appeals to the Governments and Parliaments of the industrialized countries to improve market access for developing countries and to create new economic opportunities, particularly by finding a comprehensive and durable solution to the external debt problem of developing countries, inter alia by taking account of the need to reduce significantly interest on all types of debt;
  13. Calls for the development of specific planning tools to analyse public spending on human development, and requests that Parliaments set up appropriate structures to monitor human development in their countries;
  14. Recommends that Parliaments use the criteria established by the United Nations Development Programme to analyse public spending on human development;
  15. Encourages all States, Governments, Parliaments and citizens to take stock of the inseparable links between the environment and the economy and to recognize that only responsible behaviour can preserve the environment and its natural resources;
  16. Recommends that all Parliaments and Governments, in making their economic decisions, be urged to take firm action to protect the environment;
  17. Calls on donor countries to meet the internationally agreed minimum target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for official development assistance and to ensure that a significant proportion of such aid is earmarked for human priority areas;
  18. Calls for reassessment of the development aid allocated to technical assistance to ensure that funds are used to build up local institutions and mobilize national expertise;
  19. Recommends reshaping of economic and political systems to further human development and the use of various strategies to balance political pressures, including approaches that encourage democratic freedom, promote common interests, compensate powerful groups, empower weaker groups, and co-ordinate external pressures;
  20. Calls on Governments to facilitate access to information, in particular by developing an information network free from political influence;
  21. Also calls on Governments to engage in a global dialogue for human development so that by the year 2000, all have access to primary education, primary health care, family planning and safe water, serious malnutrition is eliminated and opportunities for productive, remunerative and satisfying employment are expanded;
  22. Further calls on countries with heavy military expenditures to redirect the resources involved to human development programmes;
  23. Calls for a mutual commitment to human development in the field of official development assistance with donor countries reassessing their aid priorities and recipient countries realigning their expenditures so as to increase the human expenditure ratio;
  24. Urges all countries to renew their commitment to a successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations within the GATT with a view to a balanced outcome that takes account of the interests of all parties, particularly the developing countries.

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