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UN General Assembly Special Session (Copenhagen+5): World Summit for Social Development and Beyond: Achieving Social Development for All in a Globalized World
Geneva, 26-30 June 2000

Highlights from Tuesday 27 June

On Tuesday, 27 June, the Plenary met in the morning and afternoon to hear high-level government representatives. The Ad Hoc Cow met in the morning to hear representatives of UN and international agencies and NGOs. Working Group I, under Chair Cristian Maquieira, met in the afternoon and evening. Working Group II, under Chair Koos Richelle, met in the morning, afternoon and evening. Working Group III, under Chair Bagher Asadi, met in the morning. Contact groups on debt and on globalization and labor met in the afternoon. Working Group I discussed Commitment 1 on enabling environment for social development. Working Group II discussed paragraphs under, inter alia, Commitment 2, on poverty eradication; Commitment 5, on gender equality; and Commitment 6, on education and health. Working Group III on the Political Declaration, addressed unresolved issues related to debt, fundamental principles and rights of work, and reforming international financial institutions, but reached no consensus. In Plenary, delegates heard statements on the review and appraisal of progress since the WSSD and on proposals for further initiatives for the full implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA. Speakers included three Heads of Government, two Heads of State, one Vice President, three Deputy Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers, four Vice Ministers and two Chief of Delegations. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/speeches/speeches.htm.

In the Corridors: Delegates can be pleased that the WSSD process is, in the words of one representative, "light years ahead" of the recent Beijing experience. But a few note uneasiness at the amount of cell phone traffic in the rooms, some of which is reportedly related to consultations with private sector advisers trying hard to remain behind the scenes. They wonder why the same countries who normally support human rights have lost their enthusiasm for the phrase in text on intellectual property rights and health care. One commentator suggests that if delegates could just get a fully funded World Solidarity Fund off the ground, it would mean A Better World For All…


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26 June ---

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Negotiations: Working Group I

Sonia Felicity Elliott, Guyana, facilitated the contact group on debt. She reported to the working group that the contact group had reached consensus on debt paragraphs (5 bis, 15, 105 (g), 112 (a), 112 (b) bis)

The G-77/China proposed replacing paragraph 16 and its sub-paragraphs with language on encouraging corporate social responsibility so that corporate activities accord with national legislation and serve national developmental goals. The EU, Canada and Japan opposed the formulation as too limited. The US noted the existing language was intended to present ways to promote corporate responsibility, not define it. The G-77/China maintained it had its own conception of the phrase, and the paragraph remains bracketed. Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China, is pictured on the right

Working Group II

Chair Koos Richelle, Netherlands (left) with Aurelio Fernandez, facilitator of the contact group on globalization and labor, and Kate Newell, Secretariat

Working Group II reached cleaned text on Commitment 5 on gender equality. Delegates agreed to text on: training health providers in all areas of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection prevention and control in 75 bis (c); developing and implementing strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission in 75 bis (d); addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on national development in 75 bis (e); and providing social and educational support to communities, households, orphans and children affected by HIV and AIDS in 75 bis (f).

In 73 bis, on health, education and social services, delegates accepted Beijing +5 text on equal access, the highest attainable standards, and universally accessible health care and services, including sexual and reproductive health. In 73 ter, delegates supported Beijing+5 text prioritizing maternal morbidity and mortality reduction. They also agreed to delete text on appropriate measures to ensure a wide range of health services. .

The Group debated a paragraph on strengthening information, education and communication campaigns to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to promote responsible sexual behavior. The Holy See requested including a reference to abstinence, as well as language on the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents and legal guardians. Armenia suggested "safe and responsible sexual behavior. The EU, the US, Canada, Norway and others supported this. The Holy See and the G-77/China said they needed further consultations.
Delegates from Thailand (left) and Swaziland in Working Group II

In paragraph 17, on guidelines that promote the private sector's social responsibility, the US objected to a reference to the Commission for Social Development. NEW ZEALAND, SWITZERLAND and the EU supported earlier amendments proposed by Canada, including a reference to the Global Compact. The paragraph remains bracketed.

Chair Cristian Maquieira meets with NGOs in response to the launching of "2000: A Better World for All", a report released today by the UN, the World Bank, the IMF and the OECD

Chair Maquieira suggested the report came at a bad time and discussed the possibility of a meeting in New York with the Secretary-General to further discuss expressed concerns. He suggested the report is indicative of a particular climate regarding globalization.

Donna Shalala, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the US delegation meet with NGOS. The US delegation discussed the status of negotiations on the political declaration and further initiatives.

In her address to the General Assembly, Secretary Donna Shalala highlighted five challenges to meet in order to reach the goals set in Copenhagen: political rights, free expression and a civil society in order to end poverty; full equality for women; expanding access to health care for everyone and teaching prevention and stopping the worldwide pandemic of infectious diseases; ensuring that the benefits of development and globalization are shared around the globe; and partnerships with NGOs, the private sector, government and local communities and listening to the people. With the NGOs, she discussed US positions on a currency tax, globalization, unilateral measures, environment and TRIPs and the issues of pharmaceuticals and access to medicine.

Perusing the NGO documents table outside the conference rooms in the Palais

Click here for ENB's coverage of the informals, which includes the Summary Report of WSSD+5 Informal Consultations held from 17-23 May 2000 (also in PDF and Text formats)

Click here for ENB coverage of the second PrepCom held 3-14 April in New York.

The results of the consultations can be found in the versions dated 23 May of the two main negotiation documents:
L5 Rev.3 (Part I), as of 23 May 2000, 4:15 pm - Draft political declaration to be adopted in Geneva. Also available in MS Word version.
L.5/Rev.3 (Part III), as of 23 May 2000, 1:00 PM - Further actions and initiatives to implement the commitments made at the Summit. Also available in MS Word version

Secretariat web site for the Special Session, which includes information on the speakers list, agenda and programme, Chairman's panels, practical information and latest news

The Geneva 2000 Forum, held in conjunction with the Special Session, will be a platform for sharing experiences through panels, discussions, exhibitions, video, etc., with new and innovative approaches in social and economic development policies and activities, and provide a fertile ground for new ideas. The Forum is organized and hosted by the Government of Switzerland. No less than 150 side events are being planned as part of the Geneva 2000 Forum.

Linkages Coverage of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen
A summary of the major issues
Agenda for the Special Session

Secretariat web site with official documents and information for NGO participants
Secretary-General's Report on the Implementation of the Outcome of the WSSD
Summary of the WSSD agreements
Geneva 2000 Forum, to be held in conjunction with the Special Session
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