The reform of the pension system and revision of the social insurance system were among the priorities. Students determine which broad social goals are emphasized in their reading.
Achieving these goals is difficult because—although the goals complement each other in some cases—in many cases there are trade-offs to face.
The Council saw a clear link between the Commission and the forthcoming Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development. Over the last three years, Belarus had improved its situation and had achieved a certain level of stability.
It was time to move from words to deeds. Having gone through a difficult period following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country had adopted a number of urgent measures to deal with the budget deficit and transform the economy. Priorities included the food security programme and family policies that sought to respond urgently to the needs of the population.
All social indicators were improving, and unemployment had been reduced. However, even within a country, there are widespread differences of opinion regarding which broad social goals should take precedence.
The crisis had prompted his Government to embark upon a bold reshaping of the economy, to make it more responsive to the demands of the marketplace, while being sensitive to the needs of workers and vulnerable groups.
However, the country had to deal with the consequences of natural disasters and the fluctuations of international prices on such products as coffee.
Currently, poverty and unemployment were still salient problems for developing countries, he said. While market forces should determine the allocation of resources, economic opportunity should be made available to all, and macro-economic policies should incorporate effective social protection systems for the vulnerable, especially during times of economic transition and reform.