Daily report for 6 June 2000
23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly (Beijing+5)
On Tuesday, 6 June, the Plenary met in the morning and afternoon. Working Group I, chaired by Kirsten Mlacak (Canada), met in the morning to discuss Sections II and III. Working Group II, chaired by Asith Bhattacharjee (India), met in the morning, afternoon and evening to discuss Section IV. Contact groups met in the morning, afternoon and evening to debate text on globalization and health.
Delegates heard statements on the review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the PFAs 12 critical areas of concern. Speakers included two Vice-Presidents, one Head of Government, two Deputy Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers, four Vice-Ministers and two Chiefs of Delegation. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.un.org/ga/webcast/stat.htm.
WORKING GROUP I
SECTION II: ACHIEVEMENTS AND OBSTACLES
Armed Conflict: In paragraph 12, on achievements, JUSCANZ proposed, with SADC, text on a gender-sensitive "approach to the" application of international human rights and humanitarian law. EGYPT, with SYRIA, called for a distinction between human rights and humanitarian "laws," while JUSCANZ, the EU, SENEGAL and CHINA opposed changing previously agreed language. BANGLADESH proposed replacing "application" with "enforcement." The text remains bracketed. JUSCANZ proposed, while the EU supported and BANGLADESH opposed, incorporation of language from GA Resolution 54/105 on the adoption of the Rome Statute of the ICC, which provides that, inter alia, rape and other forms of sexual violence are war crimes. The EU suggested, and JUSCANZ opposed, text on any other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Chair Mlacak referred the text to a contact group.
SECTION III: CURRENT CHALLENGES
In paragraph 41, on gender relations and equality, Yakin Ertrk, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women, explained gender identity, gender roles, and cultural and political identities. Delegates debated references to recognizing or measuring the real value of womens unremunerated work. The EU, with LIBYA, EGYPT, SUDAN and SLAC, noted different measurements of womens work, and preferred reference to the failure to recognize the real value of women. CARICOM said recognizing value is insufficient and suggested language on the failure to develop the mechanisms to measure unremunerated work. SADC, NIGERIA, TURKEY and others concurred. SUDAN noted difficulties with developing economic indicators of measurement. MEXICO highlighted PFA references. The Chair proposed text referring to the failure to recognize and to value, including through measuring in quantitative terms the unremunerated work of women for inclusion in national accounts, has meant that womens full contribution to social and economic development remains underestimated. The EU, EGYPT, LIBYA and others opposed reference to national accounts. SADC, NIGERIA, SLAC and others supported retention. The text remains bracketed.
WORKING GROUP II
SECTION IV: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES
International Actions: In 122(a), delegates agreed to text on assisting governments regarding humanitarian crises resulting from armed conflict and natural disasters. In 122(b), delegates amended and agreed to SLAC text on full participation of women in peace initiatives. SLAC withdrew its proposal for 122(c). In G-77/China-proposed 122 ter, on self-determination, SLAC, supported by others, advocated WSSD language. The text remains bracketed. Delegates could not agree on the formulation of 122(d), on the international criminal tribunals. In 123(a), delegates agreed on supporting activities to eliminate violence, including those of womens networks and UN organizations. Delegates supported, while EGYPT opposed, relocating and debating 125B, on an international environment conducive to world peace, in Section I. No consensus was reached.
National and International Actions: In the sub-section chapeau, specifying actions by governments, regional, and international organizations, including the UN system and IFIs and other actors, EGYPT opposed lifting brackets from IFIs and other actors. No consensus was reached. In 125H, on human rights policies, PAKISTAN, with CHINA, supported language on creating an enabling environment for these policies. He emphasized that alternative language on designing and implementing policies would require the text be placed under national actions. The sub-paragraph remains bracketed.
Delegates agreed to negotiate a SLAC formulation of 125(f), on accurate and comparable data and developing indicators. PAKISTAN, with EGYPT and CHINA, and opposed by the EU, suggested deleting comparable and indicators, and preferred inserting reference to disaggregated data. JAMAICA, with the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, preferred deleting comparable and keeping indicators. ARGENTINA called for retaining comparable. TUNISIA suggested deleting comparable and disaggregated, and referring to accurate and reliable data. MOROCCO, ETHIOPIA and SENEGAL supported indicators. SADC and SLAC proposed comparable and disaggregated data. JUSCANZ, with TONGA, noted that disaggregated and indicators are agreed PFA language. The alternatives remain bracketed. Delegates rejected Sudans proposal on women in difficult circumstances, but agreed on the Philippines reference to migrant workers and Moroccos proposed reference to all forms of violence.
In 125(g), the EU amended SLAC text to refer to regularly compiling and publishing crime statistics and mapping trends in law enforcement concerning violations of the rights of women and girls to increase awareness in order to develop more effective policies. Delegates agreed, and relocated 125(g) under national actions. In 126(a), the EU reformulated text on developing and supporting the capacity of, inter alia, universities to undertake gender-related and policy-oriented research in order to inform policy makers and to fully implement the goals of the PFA and their follow-up. PAKISTAN preferred "to promote full implementation of the PFA." TURKEY specified training institutes and other relevant research institutes. With these amendments, 126(a) was agreed.
In 126(b), on action-oriented programmes, delegates accepted an EU amendment referring to implementation of the PFA. A reference to whether this should be "full" or "accelerated" remains bracketed. SLAC suggested language on, inter alia, time-bound targets and/or long-term measurable goals. PAKISTAN, with SYRIA and CHINA, supported the SLAC proposal under national actions. BANGLADESH preferred an EU formulation on time-bound targets. The EU and TURKEY opposed moving the text, and EGYPT opposed reference to either measurable goals or indicators. JUSCANZ referred to earlier agreement on reference to time-bound targets and short- and long-term measurable goals. The text remains bracketed.
Delegates accepted SLACs proposal to delete 127(e), on international trade. PAKISTAN and NIGERIA supported the EUs proposal to merge 127(b) and (c) with contact group language on respecting, promoting and realizing the principles contained in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and, inter alia, encouraging universal ratification and full implementation of ILO conventions. JUSCANZ preferred reference to strongly considering ratification. With this amendment, the sub-paragraph was agreed.
In 127(g), on consumption and production patterns, SLAC and JUSCANZ supported an EU proposal to refer to enhancing commitment to gender-sensitive development and supporting womens role in these patterns. Delegates accepted Pakistans reference to "affirming" commitment. MOROCCO and NIGERIA preferred retaining reference to direct investments. NIGERIA, opposed by SLAC, called for encouraging investments, while MOROCCO preferred encouraging and reorienting. The reference remains bracketed.
Delegates adopted EU-proposed text merging 127(h), on agriculture extension services, and 127(i), on security of rural women, with Indias reference to home-based work, especially in the informal sector. In 127(j), on child labor, EGYPT introduced a reference to "exploitative" forms of labor, which remains bracketed. Delegates adopted: 128(c), on youth organizations; an EU reformulation of 128(d), on promoting education and mentoring programmes; 128(d) bis, on skill training for women and girls; 128(h), on education and training of indigenous women, with retention of the reference to indigenous womens spirituality; and 128(j), on enrollment of children in primary and secondary school with CARICOM reference to relevant international targets set by international conferences.
Delegates agreed to delete 129(f), on womens participation at decision-making levels. In merged 130(a) and (b), on measures to eliminate violence against women and girls, including, inter alia, trafficking and forced marriages, references to the worst forms of child labor and to child prostitution, pornography and trafficking remain pending. No consensus was reached on placement of 130(d), on support to NGOs in addressing violence. Delegates agreed to move 130(e), on prosecuting the perpetrators of violence against women, to national actions, with additional reference to redress procedures.
In a drafting group on globalization, chaired by Misako Kaji (Japan), delegates considered 30 bis, on globalisation and SAPs. They
noted the formulation lays blame on external factors only; it portrays SAPs negatively, which could impact on future ODA; and it delinks globalisation and SAPs. There are two alternative formulations. One states that the negative consequences of SAPs, stemming from inappropriate design and application, have continued to place a disproportionate burden on women, inter alia, through budget cuts in basic social services. A second proposal notes that the impact of globalization, high costs of external debt servicing arising from SAPs, and declining terms of international trade have in several developing countries worsened the existing obstacles to development, aggravating the feminization of poverty.
In 30 ter, on the impact of the debt burden and debt servicing, delegates disagreed on World Bank and Second Committee classifications of developing countries. Compromise draft text was obtained by lifting similar references from WSSD+5 negotiations. In paragraph 29, on the side effects of the global economy, delegates dropped reference to labor standards that are not universally agreed.
A contact group, chaired by Patricia Flor (Germany), discussed 30 quater, on the negative impacts of unilateral coercive measures, but reached no consensus and the text was referred to the drafting group. They also transferred 125A, on strengthening poverty eradication strategies, after debating references to participation of women and challenges. In 135(d), on intensifying efforts to implement and evaluate poverty eradication programmes, a reference to "quality" training and education was accepted, and the text was agreed.
Sub-paragraph 125C, on debt relief, was considered along with 135(f), on the HIPC Initiative. In 125C, a tentative consensus was reached on language on identifying and implementing development-oriented and durable solutions, which integrate a gender perspective, to external debt problems of developing countries, inter alia, through debt relief, in order to help them to finance programmes and projects targeted at development, including the advancement of women. References to LDCs, sound economic management, and debt cancellation remain unresolved. In 135(f), references to ensuring provision of funding for the HIPC Initiative, other debt relief initiatives, and comprehensive poverty reduction strategies were debated, but no consensus was reached.
By 10:00 pm, no progress had been reported on outstanding issues in the contact group on health.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As at least one pundit-of-the-podium wittily refers to post-Special Session intersessionals, delegates are reflecting on options that include: no document, a weak document, a miracle document, or a document that is never completed not an unprecedented event in UN history. One regional NGO caucus has announced its support for the first option, but observers note that there is no organized force to make political hay out of the fall of the Beijing process. Other activists say theyve seen enough, and are ready to return to work on the national level. Meanwhile, there are some persistent advocates who still hawkishly follow the negotiations, even assisting UN security guards in keeping their compatriots out of last nights hot debate on reproductive health [and services]. Dont miss todays interdenominational prayer service for the outcomes document
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
PLENARY: The Plenary will convene at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in the General Assembly Hall.
WORKING GROUPS: Working Group I will meet in Conference Room 6 at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Working Group II will meet in Conference Room 2 at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 10:00 pm and 1:00 am.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will meet in Conference Room 5 at 10:00 am on diversity, human rights, the girl child and family; at 3:30 pm on armed conflict; and at 7:00 pm on globalization.