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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 Thursday 29 June

As of 12:00 pm on Friday 30 June, 19 paragraphs still remained outstanding. 7 paragraphs were cleared on Friday morning . . . .As the final day of negotiations approaches paragraphs on difficult issues such as the ILO remain unresolved. On Thursday, 29 June, Working Group I met until 11:30 pm. Working Group II met in morning and evening sessions. Working Group III on the Political Declaration was scheduled to meet at 11:00pm but postponed its meeting until related issues in Working Group I had been resolved. Contact groups, informal informals and bilateral discussions took place throughout the afternoon on globalization, labor, trade, and sound principles and good practices. 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 one Head of State, two Deputy Prime Minister, 23 Ministers, one Vice Minister and 10 Chiefs of Delegation. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/speeches/speeches.htm.

Photo:John Langmore, Director, Division for Social Policy, DESA, Gautam Mukhopadhya, DESA, and Chair Cristian Maquieira

Click here for the latest version of Part III of the text on Further Initiatives

IN THE CORRIDORS: With a merry band of negotiators crammed into the Chair's office upstairs, reportedly slaying the last difficult brackets, delegates claim they could be wrapping up tonight around the hour for coffee, cognac or 1957 Dom Perignon. That should give time for small group musings, perhaps on who plans to reappear-or not, in one noticeable case-at WSSD+10. Over the past five days, delegates from across the spectrum have observed that a collegial spirit has mostly stretched to match a time of deep political divisions. Developing countries have struggled with issues of conditionality, and at least one large nation that should be exercising its leadership role is struggling with disinterest. But there is progress in the form of new references to a temporary debt standstill, transparency and accountability of IFIs, and the debate over the international currency transaction tax, which an EU country now privately concedes is an inevitability. And when the political declaration is finally cleared, there can be package dancing all the way home....

See below for coverage from high-level panels on full employment and social integration.

Juan Somavia, Director General, ILO, during a high-level panel on full employment. He called for an honest look at the impact of the current global economy on people and said these issues should be looked at through the eyes of people. Paragraphs with references to the ILO and its Conventions (27 ter (a), 38(a), 40, and 47 (a)) remained some of the most contentious throughout the day. A contact group on 39 ter, on calling on approaches promoting and realizing fundamental principles and rights at work.



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Negotiations: Working Group I

Delegates agreed to language on the following paragraphs, negotiated in an informal informal meeting under Chair Maquieira (pictured at the left with the Portugal and Nigeria): paragraph 2, on governance; paragraph 5, on rights; 6 ter, on regional guidelines; 10(a), on addressing excessive volatility of short-term capital flows, including consideration, inter alia, of a temporary debt standstill; paragraph 13, on the international economic decision-making process, including a reference to ensuring the transparency and accountability of IFIs; paragraph 16, with reference to bearing in mind that corporations must abide by national legislation, encourage corporate social responsibility by promoting awareness (16(a)) and providing a just and stable framework (16(b)); and paragraph 19, on enhancing international cooperation, including burden-sharing, inter alia, to countries affected by natural disasters. Delegates agreed to language in 8(c), on access to products of developing countries, except for references to services and EIT countries. A reference to the Global Compact in 16(c), on enhancing partnerships, also remains bracketed.

Working Group III Chair Bagher Asadi and Chair Maquieira decide to postpone negotiations on the Political Declaration until noon on Friday at the earliest.
Egypt, Nigeria and Jamaica

Under Commitment 7 on Africa and LDCs, delegates negotiated paragraph 87 on the basis of the Chair's proposal, noting it formed a package with paragraph 95. JAPAN could not accept reference to "countries that have not already done so" in language on bilateral debt cancellation, and proposed "welcome the/stress the importance of the implementation of bilateral debt relief." BANGLADESH (pictured here with the EU) suggested, and the G-77/CHINA supported, "implementing bilateral debt relief arrangements by creditor countries." In a later session, delegates accepted language in 87(a) on implementing appropriate debt relief initiatives that can lead to a sustainable solution to debt burdens. The new formulation dropped a prior reference to HIPC. In paragraph 95, on bilateral debt relief, JAPAN agreed, ad ref, that it could accept language on encouraging creditor countries to implement these arrangements. After BANGLADESH expressed concerns about conditionality, delegates agreed on a reference to stressing that debt relief should contribute to national development objectives including poverty eradication.

Debate on paragraph 105(c) focused on whether transparency and accountability is required for both governments and IFIs and whether to make the sub-paragraph into a separate paragraph. The EU (pictured at the left) said the statement suggests IFIs would govern countries, but also wanted the text linked to national policy frameworks. The G-77/CHINA suggested "ensuring transparency and accountability by both governments and IFIs for improved efficacy of SAPs and social development goals," but JAPAN said the link with social development goals is unclear. The paragraph remains bracketed.
Norway expressed supported for the Chair's text on 104 on poverty reduction strategies.

Working Group II

Working Group II Chair Koors Richelle

CANADA (left) reformulated paragraph 66, on addressing armed conflict causes, as new 66 bis. CUBA opposed reference to good governance, specified "root" causes, called for elaboration of causes and added Beijing text on, inter alia, human rights, territorial integrity, political independence and non-intervention. The HOLY SEE (below) called for reference to reduction of trade in arms and EGYPT to termination of foreign occupation. No agreement was reached.
In revisiting the paragraph 66 bis, on addressing causes of armed conflict to enhance civilian protection, CANADA proposed a new formulation promoting elements that it perceived, from previous discussions, as widely supported. CUBA suggested focusing on "root" causes, and adding language referring to other elements from Beijing+5, subparagraph 125 (b). The HOLY SEE reiterated its desire to add "reduction in the trade of arms." The text remains bracketed.

Delegates discussing paragraph 45, on addressing employment issues of specific groups. The G-77/CHINA, with others, advocated "migrant workers." The EU, with CANADA, CYPRUS and JAPAN, opposed, and called for a reference to "documented." Advocating deletion of the paragraph's reference to migrants, the US specified documented workers who have acquired the right to long term residence. No agreement was reached.
In paragraph 69, on measures to end foreign occupation, the US and EU (right) restated their preference to delete the paragraph. It remains bracketed.

Chairman's Panel: Promotion of Full Employment

Left to right: Fackson Shamenda (President, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Zambia), Mirai Chatterjee (Former General Secretary, Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), India), Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Secretary of State for Children and Youth, Canada), Juan Carlos Aparicio (Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Spain), Chair Juan Somavia (Director General, ILO), Carol Bellamy (Executive Director, UNICEF), Irena Boruta (Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Poland), and Advocate Dikgang Moseneke (Chairman, Telkom, South Africa)

Juan Somavia, ILO, highlighted the following: overcoming the feminization of poverty; enterprises stimulate investment and growth, but workers' rights must be respected; doing away with unwanted employment such as child labor; focusing on older worker; taking advantage of local communities and interest groups and organized labor and critical perspective of NGOs; and decent work. He said that we all need to take an honest look at what impact the current global economy is having on people and that issues should be looked at through the eyes of the people. Carol Bellamy, UNICEF, highlighted linkages between full employment and child development and said full employment is necessary for child development as it increases family income and enhances self-esteem of parents which reduces the risk of violence against children and their exploitation. She discussed the challenge of reducing child labor, and said of an estimated 250 million children economically active, between 50 and 60 million are the poorest of the poor: child soldiers, girls in brothels, young bonded workers in factories and fields, and domestic workers in the homes of the rich.

Advocate Dikgang Moseneke, Telkom, South Africa, Carol Bellamy, and In discussing self-reliance for women, Mirai Chatterjee, SEWA, India, highlighted five essential strategies: strengthening and developing employment opportunities; capitalization at the household level; capacity building to stand firm in the competitive market; and social protection and security. She noted the increasing number of rural workers taking advantage of the internet and e-commerce, helping to get products to the North. But she highlighted a contradiction between this and the fact that many raw materials are difficult to get access to as they are exported for the global market.
Ethel Blondin-Andrew (Secretary of State for Children and Youth, Canada) discussed an active measures programme in Canada towards the reintegration of workers, particularly those that have fallen by the wayside by downsizing, etc, and highlighted specific training programmes aimed at reintegration. Juan Carlos Aparicio (Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Spain) highlighted new measures being taken in trying to reduce unemployment including social dialogue between employers and employees. He emphasized collective bargaining and organizing and said abusive short term contracts should be avoided. Irena Boruta (Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Poland), discussed examples from Poland as a country in transition to democracy.
Fackson Shamenda (President, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Zambia), discussed the importance of collective bargaining. He called for partnerships, and support for the fundamental principles and rights of work. He called for support of ILO conventions and basic core labor standards and said the ICFTU is fighting against discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS. He emphasized people-centered social development and decent work in order to enhance the dignity of human beings.

Chairman's Panel: Social Integration: Basic Social Services for All

Emma Bonino (Former EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Italy), Chair Rima Khalaf (Former Deputy Prime Minister, Jordan), Gro Harlem Brundtland (Director General, WHO), Kevin Watkins (Senior Policy Analyst, Oxfam, UK) Below right: Aminata Traore (Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mali) said she was sick and tired of the continuing condescending attitude towards Africa and criticized World Bank policies for being completely out of touch with reality and said things are getting worse. She advocated putting more people in political office who can do something to effect positive change.

Gro Harlem Brundtland (Director General, WHO), Kevin Watkins (Senior Policy Analyst, Oxfam, UK)

Delegates milling about in between Working Group sessions, where photos from Plenary are being sold.

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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