RECOMMENDATION 1290 (1996)1 on the follow-up to the Copenhagen Summit on social development

1.The Assembly is pleased that a World Summit on Social Development was held for the first time from 6 to 12 March 1995 in Copenhagen and wishes to thank those who initiated and organised this summit.

2.It recalls the undertakings made by the heads of state and government: create favourable conditions for social development; eradicate poverty through action at national level and international co-operation; provide acceptable living conditions through full employment; achieve social integration and the participation of all in society; achieve equality and fair treatment between men and women; provide access for all to education and health care; foster the economic, social and human development of Africa and the least developed countries; incorporate the aims of social development and the eradication of poverty into structural adjustment programmes; make better use of the resources earmarked for social development; reinforce international co-operation in social development.

3.The Assembly considers that since Europe has made the most progress in human rights protection, it should ensure that this high level of protection is maintained for civil/political and social rights.

4.It possesses the appropriate legal instruments, in particular the European Social Charter, a revised version of which is due to be adopted very shortly and which should be opened for ratification by the European Union.

5.It considers that, as the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Organisation whose aims include social progress, it has a role of regional liaison to ensure that these undertakings are made good.

6.It reaffirms that the human dimension is and should be the key element in social development.

7.The Assembly also believes that social development calls both for the recognition of women and a political commitment to help women develop their potential.

8.It refers to the numerous texts which it has already devoted to North-South relations (Resolutions 981 and 982 (1992) and 1006 (1993)), to development co-operation (Resolution 1060 (1995)), and to social policies (Resolution 1056 (1995) based on the work of the Prague Conference).

9.It notes that, in spite of repeated requests to developed countries to allocate 0,7% of their GNP to development aid, the majority of Council of Europe member states have not only failed to reach this target, but have actually reduced their aid.

10.The Assembly is aware that poverty and social exclusion are also taking their toll in Council of Europe member states and that measures need to be taken to help developing and the least developed countries, as well as Council of Europe member states, as interdependence is the key to inter-state relations.

11.Therefore, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

i.adopt the revised Social Charter as soon as possible;

ii.invite the European Union to become a Contracting Party to the revised Social Charter;

iii.ask for a study on the consequences of globalisation for social rights;

iv.include a clause on equality between men and women in an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights;

v.invite the governments of member states: re-establish a policy of full employment by various means including the reduction of working hours; introduce social policies based on solidarity, in particular through distributive fiscal policies; maintain a system of universal social protection;

and, in the context of their relations with developing countries: reduce the debt of the least developed countries; allocate 0,7% of their GNP to development aid, possibly tying it to conditions such as allocating these sums to social development, education and health; adopt 20/20 pacts, (that is to say, 20% of the budgets of developing countries and 20% of aid should be devoted to essential needs) if necessary accompanying them with specific clauses on women's access to education and employment, equal right of access to property and, in general, equality in fact and in law; study the possibility of instituting a tax on short-term monetary transactions in order to stabilise the financial markets and limit speculation, as proposed by the Nobel Laureate James Tobin.


1. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 20 March 1996.

See Doc. 7492, report of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Gross.