1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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UNRISD: 30 Years of Research for Social Development



The year 1993 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). In marking this important anniversary, we pay a tribute to the Institute's valuable contribution to the study and analysis of social development issues, while appreciatively acknowledging the ongoing importance of its role.

UNRISD's contribution is particularly vital now, as the struggle for economic development confronts the challenges of the 1990s. All too often in the past the drive for economic development has been pursued with insufficient regard to the resulting social costs. Growth and development have often been unequally distributed and poorly planned for. Income disparities and social conflict have increased in many countries while social problems such as illicit narcotic use, crime, homelessness, prostitution and broken families have assumed unprecedented dimensions.

The challenge of the 1990s is to promote integrated development strategies which are sensitive to the link between economic development, political development and social development. In undertaking this task, policy makers and development practitionersmust address the themes of poverty alleviation, political participation and social cohesion - themes which have guided UNRISD research over the past 30 years. Progress in these three areas is crucial if humanity is to advance toward the goal of "social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom" envisioned in the Charter.

The United Nations has added further impetus to the promotion of social development by convening the World Summit for Social Development, planned for 1995. UNRISD has a crucial role to play in the build-up to the Social Development Summit through the dissemination of its findings, through its analysis of key issues, and as a forum for the exchange of ideas. It is vitally important that the international community take full advantage of this rich source of knowledge, experience and expertise.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali
United Nations Secteray-General
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  • Pub. Date: 1 Jun 1993
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 92 9085 008 6
    From: UNRISD