CSocD58 concluded its session by adopting three draft resolutions, including first-ever text on homelessness
CSocD58 concluded its session by adopting three draft resolutions, including first-ever text on homelessness

20 February 2020

The Commission for Social Development concluded its fifty-eighth session on 19 February 2020, forwarding three resolutions — including the first-ever text on homelessness to be approved by a United Nations intergovernmental body – to the Economic and Social Council for adoption.

Speaking after action, the representative of the United States outlined several reservations to its contents. Spotlighting references to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, he said that any obligations under that instrument are applicable only to States parties and are, therefore, for the United States not legally binding. Similarly, references to the 2030 Agenda are non-binding and do not create any new laws or financial commitments. The United States supports that framework as a form of voluntary commitments and will continue to be a global leader in sustainable development, he said. Turning to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, he said the United States strongly supports initiatives aimed at helping the recipients of assistance build up their resilience.

Regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, USA representative recalled the United States decision to withdrawal from the accord — an action that will take effect one year after that intention was announced — and said all references to the Paris Agreement are therefore without prejudice to the United States position. On health care, he said countries should aim to reduce costs and engage all stakeholders, noting that competition is a main driver of cost reduction. Each country should develop its own health care system, he stressed, noting that the term "universal health care" is often interpreted as referring to a Government-funded, single payer system, which the United States does not support.

The observer for the Holy See welcomed the Commission's approval, for the first time, of a resolution focused exclusively on homelessness. Underlining the importance of the family unit in preventing and tackling that phenomenon, she welcomed the resolution's calls for urgent international action, but voiced regret that the interrelated and indivisible nature of human rights was not properly addressed in the text.

The Commission, acting again without a vote, approved a draft decision titled "Priority theme for the fifty-ninth session of the Commission for Social Development" (document E/CN.5/2020/L.6), by the terms of which it decided that the 2021 session would focus on "Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies for social development and well-being for all".
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