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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/54/256
20 August 1999

Original: ENGLISH

Item 107 of the provisional agenda*
Social development, including questions relating
to the world social situation and to youth,
ageing, disabled persons and the family




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I. Introduction


1. The General Assembly, in its resolution 44/82 of 8 December 1989, proclaimed 1994 as International Year of the Family. The Year objectives are to, inter alia, (a) increase awareness of family issues among Governments; (b) strengthen national institutions in formulating, implementing and monitoring policies in respect of families; (c) stimulate efforts to respond to problems affecting, and affected by, the situation of families; and (d) enhance the effectiveness of local, regional and national efforts to carry out specific programmes concerning families. The Assembly called for the widest possible dissemination of the objectives of the Year as well as periodic reporting on activities undertaken to follow up the Year. In its resolution 52/81 of 12 December 1997, the Assembly recognized that the basic objective of the follow-up should be to strengthen and support families in performing their societal and developmental functions and to build upon their strengths, in particular at the national and local levels.

2. The present report is the third biennial report on follow-up activities to the Year, prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 50/142 of 21 December 1995 and Assembly decision 53/434 of 9 December 1998 on the organization of work of the Third Committee and biennial programme of work of the Committee for 1999B2000. This report is based primarily on information made available by Governments, the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and research institutions.

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III. Summary of activities to follow up the International Year of the Family


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B. United Nations system

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21. Technical assistance to Governments in the family field has been provided by several organizations. For example, UNICEF assisted Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Romania and Yugoslavia in capacity-building to develop appropriate policies and deliver services to families and children. In 1998 and 1999, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) provided technical assistance to Chile's Servicio Nacional de la Mujer in the elaboration of the National Report on the Family. WHO provides guidance to countries emphasizing the role of a healthy family in development through its Adolescent Development Programme course. ILO seeks to ensure that gender perspectives are mainstreamed in its technical cooperation programmes. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provided assistance to 50,649 refugee families in 1998-1999 in the form of food and cash subsidies, training programmes and small grants or loans to establish self-support projects. The Joint and Co-sponsored United Nations Programme on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (UNAIDS) has been involved in Zimbabwe and India concerning training programmes relating to a family life education component of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-based education carried out in schools. UNESCO assists Governments in making early childhood care and education programmes more widely available and accessible. It provided training courses on early childhood and family education in the Asia and the Pacific region. UNESCO also serves as a networking and clearing house for information on early childhood issues, policies, programmes and organizations and is the lead agency for an Inter-Agency Early Childhood Communication Strategy.

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