Home » General » 33rd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 51st Session

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali told the General Assembly this morning that considerable and widespread progress had been made to improve the health, nutrition, education and protection of the world’s children, major goals set at the 1990 World Summit for Children.

As the Assembly began its mid-decade review of Summit implementation, the Secretary-General said the achievements of the past six years — made during a time of unprecedented population growth, proliferating conflict, budget cutbacks and a widening gap between rich and poor — demonstrated the increased importance of children on the international agenda. Reviewing aspects of what he termed a United Nations “success story”, he reported that child immunization rates had reached nearly 80 per cent of children under one; polio had been eradicated in many parts of the world; progress was being made towards eliminating both neonatal tetanus and guinea worm; access to clean drinking water was improving; and 80 per cent of primary school-aged children were now enroled.

None the less, determination was needed to sustain progress and to accelerate achievements in some areas, said the Secretary-General as he called upon the international community to reaffirm the commitments made to children in 1990 and to redouble efforts to achieve the year 2000 goals of the Summit. He said economic policies aimed at more equal distributions of land, credit and income were essential to achieve those ends.

Also this morning, the Assembly elected the following States to serve on the Committee for Programme and Coordination for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 1997: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. The newly elected States will join the following countries currently members of the Committee: the Bahamas, Benin, China, Egypt, France, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Togo, United States, Uruguay and Zaire.

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