A UN Agenda for Development: Reflections on the Social Question in the South



I have been asked to comment on the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Development report, 50 single-spaced pages which make an eloquent case for the need to put the development question front and centre as we reach the end of the millennium. The report underscores the degree to which the end of the Cold War, ‘donor fatigue’ and other factors conspire to create a ‘development crisis’. It goes on to identify five different dimensions of development — peace, the economy, the environment, social justice and democracy — as key factors for the sort of development we need.1


Civil Society Informal Sector Social Question Conflict Prevention Development Crisis 
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  1. 1.
    UN General Assembly, An Agenda for Development, Report of the Secretary General, A/48/935, 6 May 1994. On the extensive consultations on the subject, see UNGA, Agenda for Development, Note by the President of the General Assembly, A /49/320, 22 August 1994.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See the leaflet, Why a Social Summit? (New York: UN Department of Public Information, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    This and the following paragraphs draw on the arguments developed in Ricardo Lagos, Después de la Transición (Santiago, Chile: Ediciones B, Grupo Zeta, 1993), Chapter 4, ‘El Requisito de la IntegraciGn Social’, pp. 89–123.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See President Eduardo Frei’s column, ‘Una tarea de la democracia’, Cooperación (Santiago) 3 (January—February 1995), p. 24. For a general discussion of the purpose of the Summit, see Josef Thiesing, ed., For Democracy and Social Justice: Documents and Recommendations of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, 1995 (Bonn: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 1994), especially the chapter by Chile’s former President Patricio Aylwin, ‘Justice and Solidarity: A Challenge for the One World’, pp. 17–25.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Why a Social Summit? Google Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    On the conclusions of the Summit, see Juan Somavfa (Chile’s Ambassador to the UN and chair of the Preparatory Committee for the Summit), ‘Towards a Political Economy for People’, Socialist Affairs 1 (1995), pp. 12–15.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Edward Mortimer, ‘We all need to change’, Financial Times, 2 November 1994.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See Government of Chile, lnforme Nacional, Cumbre Mundial Sobre Desarrollo Social (Santiago: Ministerio de Planificación y Cooperaci6n, 1995), pp. 20–1. The following paragraphs also draw on this report.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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