Commission for Social Development

Stalni predstavnik RH pri Ujedinjenim narodima, veleposlanik Ranko Vilovic, održao je govor na 48. sjednici Komisije za društveni razvoj.

Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, At the outset, I would like to congratulate you and the other Bureau members on your election and to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive reports. Croatia aligns itself with the statement previously delivered by the European Union. We welcome efforts to revise and adapt the Lisbon Strategy for the post 2010 period, as well as the European Social Agenda 2005-2010 to complement the Lisbon Strategy. To this end, we support efforts aimed at raising awareness as to the EU's commitment envisaged in designating 2010 as the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. At the international scale, Croatia fully supports the mobilized efforts such as the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the Global Jobs Pact of the ILO, in order to overcome challenges the world faces today. Bearing in mind that in the new millennium many of these challenges do not respect borders, sharing experiences and best practices is crucial in overcoming the long-term consequences of the current global economic and social crises. Moreover, by encouraging the participation of all relevant stakeholders, we can provide a foundation for the attainment of the common goal – the creation of a sustainable and inclusive social economy that comprises social integration and cohesion. Mr. President, I would like to use this opportunity to highlight elements of the Croatian perspective and actions taken towards social development at the national level. One of the strategic goals of Croatia is to take all necessary measures aimed at benefiting families, children and youth, persons with disabilities, the elderly and all other members of society. In 2007 the function of Ombudsperson for Persons with Disabilities was created to ensure more effective protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. Moreover, Croatia was among the first countries to ratify both the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. Croatia's standpoint which affirms the right of all citizens to equally participate in all segments of society, has been embodied in the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons, adopted by the Croatian Parliament. Furthermore, the Croatian Parliament enacted a new Anti-Discrimination Act, by which the General Ombudsperson became the central and coordinating body for the suppression of discrimination, with its services widely available to all citizens. The prohibition of discrimination is in line with advanced international standards enshrined in the EU Charter of Human Rights, reinforced by the recent entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. To this end, Croatia has adopted numerous acts, measures, policies and strategies stipulating activities which provide better conditions for the social improvement of our society. Fully cognizant that a prosperous economic situation itself is not enough, the primary aim of Croatia's national policy on social development, is to strengthen the role of the family, as a pillar of society. Therefore, Croatian society is being encouraged to protect the role of the family and public awareness is being raised on its importance. This policy promotes better relations between the family, the local community and the state. In 2006 the Croatian Government launched the process of establishing Family Centers. These centers offer unique services for families, with the goal of advising, preventing violence, and fostering recognition of responsible parenthood among other things. Mr. President, For the benefit of both problematic families and society as whole, it is necessary to enable effective conditions for the implementation of social development and integration. Therefore, the Government of Croatia places great importance not only in assisting victims of domestic violence, but also helping perpetrators to change their patterns of behavior, as well as, their system of values. On a biennial basis, Croatia reassesses and accordingly adapts its National Strategy for the Protection against Family Violence. Among many initiatives Croatia has taken in advancing social integration allow me to mention a couple of them namely: the National Programme for Youth, the National Strategy for Prevention of Violence among Youth, the National Strategy for Equalization of Possibilities for Persons with Disabilities, the Programme on Day care and Aid to the Elderly in their Homes. Croatia is fully committed to combating intolerance and discrimination and to promoting mutual respect and understanding among people from all walks of life. By including non-institutional programs, as well as the civil society as partners for development, Croatia recognizes and protects the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of Croatian society at the national level. Despite steps taken in promoting social strengthening of youth and advancing the policies targeted at persons with disabilities as well as senior citizens, Croatia has felt the impact of the global financial crisis. Therefore, 2010 will be a challenging year requiring economic rebuilding, and finding ways of creating new jobs and more flexible market conditions. Mr. President, The challenges of living in a turbulent global world demand implementation of strong economic and social policies at the international level. In that sense Croatia welcomes ongoing efforts by ECOSOC and the Commission for Social Development. In conclusion, Mr. President, allow me to point out that this year marks the 15th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen. At the summit world leaders decided to create just societies along with their respective objectives. It is essential to continue with the implementation of its primary goals for the prosperity of all. Rest assured, Mr. President, of Croatia's determination in implementing social integration, development and justice for all. Thank you.