The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee began its geneal discussion with several speakers highlighting that the obstacles to achieving social development are compounded by climate change.
5 October 2010: The first session of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the UN General Assembly’s 65th session opened on 5 October 2010, in New York, US, to begin its general discussion on social development.
Opening the session, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, appealed to the Third Committee to put social integration and cohesion at the heart of its work. The presentation of a number of reports was followed by a question period. Various speakers, including representatives from Yemen, speaking on behalf of the G77/China, Saint Lucia, on behalf of Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Botswana, on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), China, the Republic of Korea, Algeria and Cuba, underlined that climate change hindered the achievement of social development.
A number of speakers addressed youth issues in the context of climate change. The youth delegate from Germany stated that the 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, which took place in Copenhagen Denmark, in December 2009, was an “excessive disappointment,” and called on States to leave their national agendas behind in order to act in a united, rather than divided, manner. The youth representative of Finland underscored the desire of young people to be accepted as partners for development and to be involved in addressing global crises, including climate change. The US affirmed his country’s belief that youth needed to be included in its approach to various challenges, such as terrorism, climate change and global health. He mentioned the launch by the Department of State of a new Youth Taskforce to ensure its policies included and empowered youth participation. [UN Press Release]