Towards a Renewed Social Contract

Excerpt from the Civil Society Declaration 2023 by the NGO Committee on Social Development

Each year ATD Fourth World participates in the Commission for Social Development (CSocD). The 61st session takes place from 6-15 February 2023 with the priority theme:

Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

2023 session

The Commission for Social Development is a UN advisory body. It is  responsible for the social development pillar of global development and takes input from civil society. The 2023 session will in part also prepare the second World Social Summit that will take place in 2025.

The signed declaration will sent to the Bureau of the Commission for Social Development and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the opening of this 61st session, on February 6, 2023.

Civil Society Declaration 2023

The goals enshrined in the SDGs and other global agendas are ambitious; achieving them at the pace needed will require entirely new patterns of relationships, interactions, and cooperation among Member States, civil society, local communities, the private sector, and many other stakeholders. Movement toward goals of equality, health, knowledge, and cohesion—and not simply the pursuit of macroeconomic growth—will require, at minimum, a human-centered recovery shaped by economic models that protect the natural world while promoting human prosperity. Systematic evaluation of a full, genuine, and rights-based participation is in order to share knowledge, experiences and innovative approaches to public policy and governance. This is a basis upon which each nation can reduce inequality, in its different manifestations, and promote the principle of opportunity for all.

Action for Member States

It is with the above considerations in mind that we provide the following calls to action for Member States:

  • Invest in social protection floors for all members of society, without discrimination on any basis, and regardless of nationality or employment status.
  • Encourage sustained holistic economic progress through sustainable technological innovation that seeks to balance societal harmony and protection of the natural world.
  • Commit to forward looking financing and job creation policies. State institutions should create incentives for the private sector (companies, industry) to commit to an essential duty: invest in fostering and releasing the talents of young people.
  • Ensure young people have a path to employment. Programming around the transition to decent work calls for investment in education and high quality training for all.
  • Access to quality education and training for the most disadvantaged members of a nation’s population should be prioritized. Skills training in both technical and soft skills have to be provided.
  • Build dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centered economies, promoting youth and women’s economic empowerment, access to decent work for all and opportunities to increase digital literacy.


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