All the countries in the Asia-pacific region have been urged to cooperate closely in the war against the major problems facing the human being: poverty, unemployment and social disintegration. this appeal was made today by socioeconomic planning secretary of the Philippines cielito f. habito in his keynote speech at the opening of the meeting of senior officials, first component of the Asian and pacific ministerial conference on social development. the conference, convened by the united nations economic and social commission for Asia and the pacific (escap) and attended by delegates from 59 countries in the region, is a preparation for the world summit on social development to be held in march 1995 in Copenhagen, Denmark. poverty, unemployment and social disintegration are the roots of all serious social problems of modern society, habito stressed that “the world has to forge new understanding, has to begin a new era of international cooperation for global human security.” he urged the participants to transform the “strategy into a specific policy and program agenda with concrete and realistic targets for accomplishment over, at most, the next 15 year.” united nations statistics showed there were more than 1 billion population of the world now living under the poverty line among them over half in south Asia and another 15 percent in east Asia. in her speech also at the opening ceremony, ms. Seiko Takahashi, deputy executive secretary and officer-in-charge of escap to the meeting of senior officials, spoke of the two purposes of the manila meeting as follows. first, it will review and extend the work begun in compliance with “the social development strategy for the escap region towards the year 2000 and beyond” adopted at the fourth Asian and pacific ministerial conference on social welfare and social development held here in October 1991. second, it will undertake regional preparations for the forthcoming world summit for social development. for this purpose, the governments will consider a draft manila agenda for social development which will address the three core issues for the world summit for social development –poverty alleviation,social integration and employment expansion.
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