Jawaharlal Nehru University
School of International Studies
Centre for American and West European Studies
International Seminar on Welfare State Systems: Development and Challenges
New Delhi 9-11 April 2001
We, social scientists from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, and from different disciplines have discussed the Welfare State as a global phenomenon and arrived at the following General Conclusions:
1. We believe that Social Welfare is an attainable global goal.
2. We believe that Social Welfare is a Human Right which entails also a duty.
3. We believe that excessive disparities of living standards between citizens are unacceptable.
4. The Welfare State requires solidarity among the citizens, democracy and transparency , a minimum level of social benefits and services guaranteed to all citizens, autonomy of the social welfare agencies, universality of benefits and shared costs.
5. The Welfare State has been based on different models which emphasize different principles for the provision of social benefits.
6. It is important to distinguish between the Welfare State and Welfare Society, in which the provision of social benefits is the joint responsibility of the state and non-governmental organisations.
7. We believe that all citizens should participate in contributing to the costs and sharing of the benefits of the Welfare Society, thus making it an institution they wish to defend.
8. We, however, wish to emphasize that there is no one universal model of the Welfare Society. The fundamental objective, social welfare for all citizens, can be guaranteed in very different ways.
9. We are convinced that the Welfare Society, even at a low level of economic development, would have beneficial effects on economic growth and development.
10. We believe that in Asia and Africa, the countries wishing to embark
on a path to Welfare State, should develop and experiment with new alternatives,
based on the social and community structure and a very broad role for the
12 As a possible means to advance the global Welfare Society, debt cancellation can be made contingent to development of Welfare Society.
11 April 2001
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