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:
i.to create favourable conditions for social development;
ii.to eradicate poverty through action at national level and international
iii.to provide acceptable living conditions through full employment;
iv.to achieve social integration and the participation of all in society;
v.to achieve equality and fair treatment between men and women;
vi.to provide access for all to education and health care;
vii.to foster the economic, social and human development of Africa and the least
viii.to incorporate the aims of social development and the eradication of poverty into
structural adjustment programmes;
ix.to make better use of the resources earmarked for social development;
x.to 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
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
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
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:
a.to re-establish a policy of full employment by various means including the reduction
of working hours;
b.to introduce social policies based on solidarity, in particular through distributive
c.to maintain a system of universal social protection;
and, in the context of their relations with developing countries:
d.to reduce the debt of the least developed countries;
e.to 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;
f.to 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;
g.to 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: