Club de Madrid Work on Shared Societies Resonates with UN Panel

At the conclusion of the UN Commission for Social Development’s (CSocD) two-week annual meetings, Commission member state representatives and the UN Secretariat credit the Club de Madrid with helping to strengthen language on social inclusion in the final resolution.

In broadening and strengthening the parameters of social integration, the Commission and the final resolution now speak of building “a society for all that is stable, safe, peaceful and harmonious and just and that is based on the promotion of and protection of all human rights, as well as non-discrimination, tolerance, respect for diversity, equality of opportunity, solidarity, security and participation of all people .”

This focus on diversity and the inclusion of different ethnic, religious and racial groups is important because often they have been overlooked in national goals and policies and the Shared Societies Project has been working to redress that oversight.

The wording of the resolution is also timely because the Commission was meeting on the 15th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen which called on nations to work for social integration, poverty alleviation and access employment. However the Commission recognised that only limited progress has been made on social integration and groups such as indigenous communities and immigrants are doubly disadvantaged because they both poor and marginalised. Club de Madrid welcomes this resolution because it urges states to recognise and address the needs of these groups.

Club de Madrid supports the Commission in calling for recognition of different cultures and identity groups and ensuring that the participation of these groups in the “formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies related to their needs”.

The Commission’s meetings this year conclude two years of work focused on social integration. Club de Madrid, through its Shared Societies Project, worked closely with the Commission over the two years. Club de Madrid President Wim Kok led a delegation to the meeting in 2009, and Peru’s Ombudswoman and former Prime Minister, Beatriz Merino, this month led a Club de Madrid delegation. Club de Madrid staff and experts also participated in preparatory meetings.

Dr. Merino was keynote Speaker on the High Level Panel on Social Integration. “I denounce all those who side with injustice, discrimination, and exclusion,” she said to a the session of the Commission with ministers, ambassadors, and other representatives of governments and civil society in attendance. Her remarks centred on the debilitating effects persistent discrimination has on social integration, well-being and the fight against poverty. To confront those effects requires recognition of the concept of equal opportunity and inclusion, which means eliminating political, economic, social and cultural barriers that keep people marginalized. Too often, policies are either lacking or too limited to address those concerns. “This is what we aim to work on with the leaders who can step up to increase social inclusion and build shared societies for all,” said Club de Madrid program director Sean Carroll.

       Merino and Dr. Clem McCartney, Shared Societies Project policy and content co-ordinator, spoke at a Civil Society Forum organized by the NGO Committee accredited to the CoSD, and in a side event organised by Club de Madrid on the “Economics of Shared Societies”.

       The goal of Club de Madrid’s participation was to ensure that the Commission maintains a focus on recognising diversity in all its forms (social, racial, religious, gender, et al) in its deliberations and the final resolution on social integration.

        The Club looks forward to the implementation of the Commission resolution and is committed to co-operating in efforts to achieve a shared society for all and a world which is safe for difference.


Please download here Club de Madrid’s interventions in the framework of the UN Commission of Social Development:

48º UN Commission on Social Development:

  • Beatriz Merino’s Intervention

Side Event “The Economics of a Shared Society: The Case of Peru”

  • Beatriz Merino’s Intervention

UN Civil Society Forum:

  • Clem McCartney’s Intervention
  • Beatriz Merino’s Intervention
  • Power Point Presentation of the Shared Societies Project