ENB:06:11 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]


Early in the proceedings, it was agreed that discussions on the structure and substance of the Cairo document should be separated. An "open-ended restricted" group on the structure and format of the final document was thus established under the chair of PrepCom Vice-Chair Tauno K„„ri„ of Finland. This sub-group addressed the following issues relating to the structure of the document:

Delegates spent the first few days expressing their views on the structure of the document. Sweden suggested that the outline, as contained in PC/11, be reformulated to restructure Part Two, "Choices and Responsibilities" into four sub- headings (demographic trends, analysis of inter-linkages, activities, and follow-up to the Conference). Finland suggested that the document include a preamble, essential principles for population and development, a section on the linkages and demographic trends, and three clusters of activities: integrating population concerns into development; the role and status of women; and reproductive rights, reproductive health and family planning. The EC, the US and the G-77 also introduced their proposals. The group then requested K„„ri„ to synthesize the proposals into a Chair's non-paper.

The Chair's non-paper, distributed on Wednesday, 19 May, introduced a draft outline of the chapter titles for the Cairo document, in an attempt to consolidate the concerns and input articulated by delegates. After hearing additional comments from delegates, the Chair introduced a second draft outline. In this outline, the chapters were organized into four groups: Choices and Responsibilities; Means of Implementation; Partnerships in Population -- Actors and Resources; and From Commitment to Action. This new formulation was based on suggestions made by Sweden and the EC.

The first chapter title was changed to better reflect the ECOSOC decision on the themes of the Conference: "The interrelationships between population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development." The earlier version made specific reference to consumption and environment. The US expressed concern about the removal of these two terms from the chapter heading. The G-77 and others argued that the phrase "sustainable development" incorporates these concerns.

The title of Chapter IV, "The family, its role and composition," also provoked much discussion. France, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US, the UK and the EC expressed concern that inclusion of the article "the" before "family" implies a narrow and limited concept of "family". Several developing countries, including Morocco, stated that "the family" as a concept represented a general notion of "family". Morocco appealed to the group to adopt the Chair's text as it appeared. He added that if there was no agreement, he would reopen the entire text, even if this meant complicating the work of the Chair. The sub-group was unable to reach consensus on the title of Chapter IV and, as a result, the entire draft outline was forwarded to the Plenary in brackets.

[Return to start of article]