Daily report for 3 February 1994
1st Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
The Preparatory Committee continued its discussion of Agenda Items3 and 4: "Status of the preparations for the WSSD" and "Analysis ofthe core issues to be addressed by the Summit and policy measuresto attain its objectives."
SRI LANKA: stated that poverty alleviation programmes whichprovide opportunities for productive employment rather than charityand welfare grants enhance social dignity and foster enterprise. Headded that national efforts should not clash with internationalstructures and that balance must be achieved between nationaloptions and international obligations.
SWITZERLAND: said that the declaration should reflect thecentral elements of a world peoples charter and should renew thosevalues necessary for a harmonious life. The quality of society ismeasured in the way it treats its weakest members. Regarding thecore issues of the Summit, he called for greater imagination beyondthe solutions that have been articulated to date.
UNITED KINGDOM: noted that the development of mutuallysupportive national and international economic environments iscrucial to the third core issue, expansion of productiveemployment. To this end, special priority must be given toaddressing the debt problems of the poorest and most indebtedcountries, notably through the Trinidad Terms Initiative.
LIBYA: said that until now, the economic sector of the UNhas not been able to assist in resolving global economic problemssuch as unemployment and poverty. He said that the increase ofemployment opportunities is a basic pre-condition to thealleviation of poverty. Basic training should be assured for women.He noted that the coercive measures and boycotts imposed on Libyaare hindering social development there.
LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC SYSTEMS: highlighted theorganization's major activities, including the preparation ofdocuments and regional meetings of experts, as well as thepreparation of a book on the key topics for South America.
LATVIA: affirmed the importance of identifying excludedgroups, such as persons released from prisons and orphans, and thephysically and mentally handicapped. Over 20% of Latvia'spopulation is subjected to some form of exclusion, yet the countrydoes not have the resources to address this growing problem.
FRANCE: raised questions to be addressed by the WSSD: how tocombat poverty and exclusion; what is meant by productiveemployment; how to assure social cohesion through education andtraining; and how to re-launch employment after structuraladjustment.
BENIN: said that social development must be defined as theelimination of unacceptable disparities in and between nations. Henoted the lack of global attention to the deprivation of democraticand human rights faced by the rural and urban poor in thedeveloping world.
THE HOLY SEE: said that where people live in extremepoverty, they live in insecurity. Pope Paul VI said in 1969 thatdevelopment was the new name for peace. We must respect thecentrality of the human person, as was stressed in Principle 1 ofthe Rio Declaration. The primary concerns should be basic healthcare and the elimination of diseases that threaten child survival.
GHANA: said that social development must be enhanced for allin light of the bleak world social situation. He noted the serioussocial consequences that have resulted from structural adjustmentprogrammes in Ghana. He highlighted the need for an enablingeconomic climate to redress the imbalance of resource distributionand the need to empower people to take effective control of theirown societal goals.
BAHAMAS: said that the impact of poverty and socialexclusion are more acutely felt in developing countries that mustdeal with the added burden of structural adjustment programmes. Henoted that the WSSD must act decisively to set a new and dynamicsocial agenda with humans at the centre of social development. Aclear consensus is emerging around the need for a differentframework to address global social problems.
IRAN: suggested that the PrepCom should: give due attentionto priorities; identify the obstacles; provide people-centeredprogrammes; classify expectations and avoid duplication.
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SETTLEMENTS AND NEIGHBORHOODCENTRES: described the important role of organizations such asthe IFS in providing the machinery to help implement the nationaland international social services that will be addressed by theWSSD.
WOMEN'S ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION: said thatthe world is experiencing a global nervous breakdown. She calledfor a new development paradigm for a people-centered economy to:redirect World Bank resources into small-scale credit; create newincentives for socially-responsible businesses; develop newinternational codes of corporate responsibility; and create neweducation and awareness strategies. She asked why the 39conventions and declarations referenced by the Secretariat do nothave the full support of the international community and statedthat gender equity is fundamental to the mission of the SocialSummit.
LITHUANIA: said that it is necessary to balance politicaland social progress, particularly for those countries evolvingtowards market economies. He noted the difficulties in earningadequate pay as one of the main causes of poverty in Lithuania. Hecalled for government statements to match the statements madebefore the PrepCom. He said that the Summit should lay thegroundwork for cooperation between all sectors and at all levels.
TURKEY: said that the draft declaration should lay outprinciples regarding: cooperation between social partners; linkagesbetween social development and technological changes; theinternational economic climate; and the resources needed to supportsocial development. Integration requires effective education,training and policies to expand productive employment.
NICARAGUA: on behalf of the Central American group, saidthat in the last 30 years, despite ambitious social programmes,poverty has been steadily increasing. The real causes of povertystem from political sources and require fundamental changes in theconduct of governments and international relations. He said thatthe impoverished of the world cannot feed themselves with UNresolutions or international agreements. They need productiveemployment and guaranteed work. He added that South America shouldmove from the theoretical to the practical.
EGYPT: proposed that the declaration should: addressinclusion of social development objectives in financialinstitutions; stimulate structural and economic reform forvulnerable groups; build on the Rio commitments; and enshrine therole of women.
PARAGUAY: said that civilian and political rights arenecessary in order to obtain the acceptable minimum standards ofliving. He stated that restrictions on currently existing resourcesshould strengthen programmes to help the most vulnerable and addedthat state reforms should not undermine the neediest sectors.
ITALY: stressed the need to develop safety net policies forthe poor and to eliminate waste, delays, duplication, andinefficiency. He called for the family unit to be targeted bysocial programmes.
CHINA: noted that the declaration should: give a clearexplanation of the relationship between economic development andsocial progress; highlight the important role of the comprehensivecoordination and management of institutions in social development;ensure that international cooperation is conducted in acomprehensive, effective and fair manner; and stimulate thedevelopment of a new international economic order of justice,equality, mutual benefit and cooperation.
TOGO: noted the near total collapse of basic institutionssuch as hospitals and schools in Africa. He stressed that if theseproblems, particularly among the rural poor, are to be resolved,then the developed countries must commit themselves to providing0.7% of their GNP.
NEPAL: said that programmes should accelerate adultliteracy, and provide health facilities, education, clean water andsanitation. Employment for rural women is most important. Nepal'spriority is rural development in health care, training andeducation and an increased role for women in these sectors.
CAMEROON: said that strategies relating to improvement oflife for women, children and the disabled remain insufficient. Fewstructures exist for disabled people, such as vocational trainingand professional rehabilitation. Economic policy must createemployment in the rural sector, particularly among youth.
ALGERIA: noted that building a new social space could helpconsolidate a sense of identity, combat destabilization, guaranteesecurity, and enhance peace and security. A social developmentstrategy must remedy structural imbalances, relieve the debtburden, and ensure access to markets and employment.
UNHCR: stressed the link between social development, humanrights and the protection of vulnerable groups and people living inrefugee-like situations. People must engage in participatorydevelopment. She emphasized the distinction between forced andvoluntary migration.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: WFP's mission is to support programmesto reduce hunger and poverty. She said food for humanitarianassistance is food for development, and self-sustaining foodproduction in a time of peace is of great importance.
SPAIN: said that policies must be reorganized fornondiscrimination for all people, especially the most vulnerable.Social reintegration policies for refugees and migrant workers areimportant. The WSSD should take into account Agenda 21.
COTE D'IVOIRE: noted that the problems of society have beenwell known for many years. The problem is the mobilization ofresources. She said policies should be geared to national needs.
NIGERIA: stated that statistics indicate the currentsituation in Africa is worse than in the 60s. He said that the mostsuccessful social programmes in Nigeria are the community-basedones. In addressing the core issues, he proposed the need to:create multi-sectoral cooperatives; use the mass media in awarenessraising; and better manage existing resources.
DISABLED PERSONS INTERNATIONAL (SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THEDISABLED): stated that for true prosperity, people mustimplement their own solutions and noted that prejudice andpaternalism block the potential of disabled people. Solutionsproposed by the WSSD must include the disabled, or they willinclude nobody.
ICVA: said that the exclusion of individuals and wholeregions has grown. Wealth is found increasingly in the hands of afew. He noted that the net flow of resources from South to Northcontinues. Greater equity in distribution of resources is needed.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
THE BUREAU: Somava and the all-male Bureau will meet thismorning at 9:00 am to receive feedback from each of the regionalgroups on the organization of work for next week. Look for theBureau to suggest that the establishment of a Working Group of theWhole, to meet in parallel with Plenary, be postponed.
PLENARY: General debate finally<W2I> <D>ends on AgendaItems 3 and 4 when the remaining nineteen speakers finish, eitherthis morning or early in the afternoon. The speaker's list shouldbe Ukraine, Mauritania, Pakistan, Zambia, Romania, Bangladesh,Cuba, Malaysia, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Libya, Estonia, Jordan,Iraq, Thailand, Tunisia, Ecuador and Rehabilitation International.The Chair will open discussion on the draft Rules of Procedure forthe Summit (A/CONF.166/PC/L.6). Today's comments will be reflectedin a revision to be prepared for the next session of the PrepCom.Somava is then expected to present an oral summary of this week'sdebate. Following this, he is likely to present the outcome of themorning's Bureau meeting and ask the Committee to agree on theprogramme of work for next week. Look for the Secretariat to beasked to rework Working Paper 1 as the basis for discussion onMonday.
NGO MEETINGS: There will be a general NGO meeting tonight from6:00 to 9:00 pm in Conference Room 4. WSSD Coordinator, JacquesBaudot, will be the featured speaker. Also, there will be anorientation session for NGOs on Saturday at 10:00 am on the secondfloor of the Church Center, 777 UN Plaza.