CSocD62 Highlights: Priorities, Discussions, and Outcomes

Marides Santos SSpS

The sixty-second session of the Commission for Social Development, spanning from February 5 to 14, 2024, convened to address critical issues integral to advancing social development and justice in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With a focus on eradicating poverty, mitigating inequalities, and addressing emerging challenges like digital transformation, the session underscored the imperative of robust social policies for inclusive growth. Additionally, it commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family, reflecting on familial roles in societal well-being.

Outcome and Resolutions

During the session, consensus was reached on three resolutions centering on fostering social development and justice, addressing the social dimensions of Africa’s development, and promoting care and support systems. Looking ahead, the Commission identified “Strengthening solidarity, social inclusion, and social cohesion” as the priority theme for its sixty-third session, aligning with commitments to the Copenhagen Declaration and the World Summit for Social Development.

General Discussions

Delegates expressed appreciation for the reports presented and reaffirmed commitments to global agendas. However, concerns were raised regarding the sluggish progress in poverty eradication and inequality reduction, exacerbated by crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. To counter these challenges, emphasis was placed on robust policies encompassing poverty eradication, healthcare access, education, and social protection. Gender equality and human rights integration were highlighted as pivotal for social justice.

Challenges and Solutions

Representatives from developing nations spotlighted financing hurdles impeding social policy implementation. Calls were made for wealthier states to fulfill official development assistance targets and alleviate debt burdens. The importance of supporting diverse family structures and addressing unpaid care work, particularly for women, garnered attention. Moreover, the significance of digital transformation in fostering inclusive growth and social protection was recognized alongside the need for international cooperation and equitable technology access.

Panel Discussions

Six-panel discussions delved into diverse aspects of social development, emphasizing the necessity of inclusive policies and intergenerational poverty eradication. Key topics included the intersectionality of social and environmental priorities, the impact of megatrends on families, and the potential of digital transformation for social justice. Discussions underscored the imperative of domestic resource mobilization, international cooperation, and stakeholder engagement in achieving sustainable development goals.

Attendance and Coverage

The session saw participation from 22 ministers and vice-ministers, along with over 300 civil society organizations. A robust engagement through 50 side events and a civil society forum showcased multifaceted perspectives. Extensive social media coverage underscored global interest, reflecting over 2,000 mentions and 7,000 engagements. The session’s opening and closing segments featured distinguished speakers, reinforcing the commitment to advancing social justice on a global scale.

The sixty-second session of the Commission for Social Development epitomized a collective resolve to address pressing social challenges, underscoring the critical role of inclusive policies, international cooperation, and stakeholder engagement in fostering equitable and sustainable development pathways. As the world navigates complex transitions, the session provided a platform for forging consensus and accelerating progress toward a more just and inclusive society.

Marides Santos, VIVAT New York