At the outset, allow me to extend to you our congratulations for assuming the Chairmanship of the Third Committee and to express our confidence that your leadership will guide us towards good results during this session.
We would also like to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on this particular agenda item.
The social dimension is an important pillar of the new post-2015 development agenda and additional efforts are needed in order to define the linkage between social, environmental and economic sustainability and identify appropriate mechanisms for its implementation.
More specifically, addressing social exclusion and inequalities defines the quintessence of the social dimension of the new sustainable development goals. In this respect, it is far more than economic growth and prosperity that governments shall pursue. It is welfare for all, participation and inclusion that our transformative agenda shall bring about. We still need to keep on track with the outstanding MDGs targets and continue delivering on issues with great social impact such as health, education and human development. We believe that continuing the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-forth session of the General Assembly will help us further reduce the poverty, mitigate the social inequality and promote social integration.
During the last couple of years, the social development paradigm of the Republic of Moldova has been oriented towards empowering people and capitalizing on the human potential through investments in human capital and facilitating the participation of all social groups in developing processes. Mainstreaming the internationally agreed development goals such as the MDGs, the Cairo Programme of Action on Population and Development, the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing and the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action on Women Empowerment into national laws and strategic policies facilitated the configuration of a comprehensive and forward looking national agenda with solid monitoring and accountability components. There are several positive developments that we would like to particularly highlight in this respect including: an improved quality of life, expanded opportunities for individuals and the increased role of women in the social and political life of the country. One pertinent example is my country’s accession to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Following this accession, a critical shift in the overall approach towards this social group was observed. The Government pursued not merely social protection and health assistance for disabled persons. It was the recognition of their human value, dignity and potential, in conjunction with the respect of their human and civil rights and social inclusion that came first. Furthermore, the Law on the social inclusion of persons with disabilities was adopted containing important provisions on accessibility and infrastructure development, the creation of appropriate conditions for education and professional development, the integration into the labour market, social services and assistance and many more. The Government envisages the application of a coherent approach towards the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, including through needs based budget allocation and long term planning.
Furthermore, the Republic of Moldova reaffirmed its commitment to reduce unemployment, particularly among youth, through the implementation of the National Youth Strategy for 2010-2015 elaborated in line with the European Youth Strategy for 2010-2018. As a result, currently, an encouraging trend highlighting the continuing decrease in the unemployment rate among young people is attested. This was possible due to several determinants: career guidance and recruitment assistance have been expanded allowing more young people to benefit from those services, more new businesses and small enterprises have been established, and more education and mobility opportunities have been opened. The EU Association Agreement which was signed and ratified by the National Parliament last July, including the Free Trade Area as its component part, is expected to further advance on these important achievements and ensure the sustainability of the national development efforts. Along the same line, following the best practices of EU countries, last year the Government established Joint Offices for Information and Social Services in several districts throughout the country aiming at providing consultancy to local communities, including the vulnerable groups, on social protection, employment opportunities, entrepreneurship, legal and financial services etc. The Government is committed to expand the social services in rural areas, to bring them closer to the beneficiary and in this way to keep the families and communities together.
The Government will continue to implement programmes and adapt its legislation to the EU acts which we recognize as providing the highest standards for social protection and services in our part of the world.
We have set up the stage for a new development agenda, having people at the center of sustainable development, and we are ready to work together to achieve concrete goals for all social groups. In this respect, the Republic of Moldova runs as a candidate for the CSocD and is fully committed to bring its contribution to the UN efforts in promoting and putting into action the core principles of social development and human rights.
In conclusion, I also wish to assure you of our support in your efforts throughout the current session of the Third Committee and look forward to productive and constructive deliberations.
I thank you.