Daily report for 27 June 2000
24th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (WSSD+5)
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.
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 Chiefs of Delegation. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/speeches/speeches.htm.
WORKING GROUP I: PART III
COMMITMENT 1: ENABLING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: 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, JAPAN and the US opposed, and the paragraph remains bracketed. In paragraph 17, on guidelines that promote the private sectors 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. Delegates reached no consensus on the placement of paragraph 18, on self-determination, with the EU preferring Commitment 4 and the G-77/CHINA preferring Commitment 1. In paragraph 20, delegates agreed on: the G-77/Chinas replacement of reference to good governance with text on corruption undermining the efforts made and efficient use of resources for social development; Japans formulation on, inter alia, taking note of the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; and the USs insertion of in that context before take note. The paragraph was agreed.Paragraph 21, on a draft convention against transnational organized crime, was agreed. Sonia Felicity Elliott reported that the contact group on debt had reached consensus on 5 bis, on urging the international community to identify and implement development-oriented and durable solutions to external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries, and paragraph 15, on supporting the Cologne initiative for the reduction of debt. Delegates considered 87(a) and 95 together. The G-77/CHINA advocated separating 87(a) into one part on debt initiatives, and another on development assistance. References to designing and implementing remain bracketed pending further debate. In paragraph 95, the G-77/CHINA, supported by the US and opposed by JAPAN, proposed language on encouraging creditor countries to implement bilateral debt relief arrangements for the African countries and the LDCs. JAPAN, with the EU, proposed deleting reference to all remaining official bilateral debt, and replacing highly with heavily indebted. No consensus was reached. Delegates agreed to text ad ref in 87(b), on improving market access for export products of Africa and LDCs, including through tariff- and quota-free treatment for essentially all products originating in least developed countries on as broad and liberal a basis as possible. They discussed 90 bis, on a World Solidarity Fund, but no agreement was reached.
WORKING GROUP II: PART III
COMMITMENT 2: POVERTY ERADICATION
In 27 bis (u), on pro-poor health systems, the HOLY SEE opposed a reference to services. The G-77/CHINA proposed referring to provision of and universal access to high quality primary health care throughout the life cycle, including sexual and reproductive health care, not later than 2015, as well as health education programmes, clean water and safe sanitation, nutrition, food security and immunization programmes. Delegates agreed.
COMMITMENT 5: GENDER EQUALITY: In paragraph 71, delegates agreed on reference to taking into account fully and implementing the outcome of Beijing+5. The G-77/CHINA proposed, and delegates agreed, to delete language on, inter alia, gender equality in the context of the WSSD. 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 reference to appropriate measures to ensure a wide range of health services.
DEBT: The group requested Chair Sonia Felicity Elliott to prepare two sub-paragraphs, one emphasizing the general debt issue of developing countries, and the other focusing on the enhanced HIPC initiative. These would replace 5 bis and 15 with agreed text from Beijing +5 (sub-paragraph 135(i)) and become the basis for further negotiations. In 105(g), on structural adjustment and debt, delegates disagreed on different text formulations. Some supported including types of debt-relief per an earlier G-77/China proposal. Others objected to references besides HIPC. No consensus was reached. The group agreed to have paragraphs 87 and 95, on Africa and the LDCs, negotiated in Working Group I. Some delegates thought paragraph 10(a), on capital flows, should not be discussed in this contact group.
GLOBALIZATION AND LABOR: Under Chair Aurelio Fernndez, the group discussed paragraph 39, with some delegates opposing reference to a multilateral initiative to better understand the social dimensions of globalization. One delegate suggested replacing "initiative" with "cooperation." Others said they would be willing to consider new proposals. A few supported recognition of intersections between trade, development, poverty and labor by the ILO and other organizations. Similar divisions persisted during discussion of 39 ter, on cooperation among the ILO, the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) and governments to promote and recognize fundamental rights at work. Some countries disagreed with the implied message of conditionalities for funding. One delegate proposed new text emphasizing support or assistance by BWIs. Another preferred omitting reference to other international institutions and specifying "in this context, with assistance from the ILO."A few expressed support for Mexicos previous proposal on full employment. Both paragraphs remain bracketed.
COMMITMENT 6: EDUCATION AND HEALTH: In 75 bis, on measures against HIV/AIDS, the G-77/CHINA proposed, and others agreed to: text supporting multi-sectoral measures at the national level; and language highlighting the impact of the epidemic on personal, social and economic development. The G-77/CHINA, with BRAZIL, the EU and others, preferred reference to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. NEW ZEALAND, with the HOLY SEE, suggested language referring to HIV/AIDS and other infections, which may be sexually transmitted. The reference remains bracketed. In 75 bis (a), delegates agreed on a reference to strengthening health care services, including sexual and reproductive health. In 75 bis (b), the G-77/CHINA, with others, proposed text on responsible sexual behavior. ARMENIA suggested text on safe and responsible sexual behavior. The HOLY SEE opposed, but supported reference to childrens rights and the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians. The EU suggested adding reference to international conventions to the HOLY SEE proposal. No consensus was reached. 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, houV/seholds, orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in 75 bis (f). In paragraph 76, on international efforts against HIV/AIDS, the G-77/CHINA proposed adding text on access to affordable medications and, with the EU, deleting population before a reference to planning programmes. The EU proposed a reference to youth organizations, and suggested a new 76 bis, on making essential medicines available to all members of society. Both paragraphs remain bracketed. In paragraph 80, on TRIPS and access to medicines, the EU and US underscored patent rights, while the G-77/CHINA proposed a formulation stressing the precedence of human rights over patent rights. Canada suggested deleting the proposals, noting similar references in paragraph 82 and pointing out that highly technical expertise would be required to negotiate this text. South Africa said with HIV/AIDS threatening 25 percent of its productive population, it could not afford to be blas. Both texts are bracketed pending facilitation. In paragraph 81, on universal access to basic education and primary health services, delegates accepted Mongolias reference to a UN Literacy Decade. Delegates agreed on text in paragraph 82, on cooperation with WHO to monitor and analyze the pharmaceutical and public health implications of relevant international agreements. G-77/China-proposed language on analyzing the consequences of agreements on trade in health services remains bracketed pending conclusion of paragraph 80. Paragraph 83 and 83 bis, on integration of health policies in specific sectors, were adopted with minor amendments. In paragraph 84, delegates considered, as new 84 and 84 bis, a reformulation based on the Dakar Framework for Education for All. In agreeing to paragraph 84, delegates accepted, inter alia: the G-77/Chinas preference to reaffirm rather than recognize the framework; Canadas suggestion to refer to developing or strengthening national strategies as well as action plans at the appropriate level to promote Dakars education goals; reference to special emphasis on girls and children, in difficult circumstances or with special needs, including children with disabilities; and EU language on assuring girls and women full and equal access to education. In 84 bis, delegates agreed to adopt the text of paragraph 21 of the Framework, which recognizes that achieving education for all will require estimated additional support of US $8 billion a year and a consequent need for new, concrete financial commitments by governments and bilateral and multilateral donors.
COMMITMENT 7: AFRICA AND THE LDCs: In paragraph 99, on inviting, inter alia, UNAIDS to support countries most affected by HIV/AIDS, the EU advocated specifying financial, in a reference to resources, as well as wider access to quality medication through drug development, cost reduction and strengthening of reliable distribution systems. On resource mobilization for young people, she proposed adding with their full involvement. The G-77/CHINA proposed specifying support to countries upon request. No agreement was reached. In 100 bis, on supporting governments and civil society organizations in providing HIV/AIDS-related services, the G-77/CHINA specified national programmes and services linked to social security care and support. The HOLY SEE advocated including abstinence. The text remains bracketed. In paragraph 101, on supporting research and development centers in medicine and public health, the EU proposed adding a reference to vaccines and removing one to making available medicine at affordable prices. The text remains bracketed.
COMMITMENT 10: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION: Delegates agreed to delete 118 (b), paragraph 120, and reference to a generalised trust fund in paragraph 121. Paragraph 122, on the Declaration on the Right to Development, was amended to conform with POA language.
WORKING GROUP III: PART I
In paragraph 5, Chair Bagher Asadi proposed, with support from the US and JAPAN, deleting all qualifiers and accepting text on full respect for fundamental principles and rights at work. The EU, with CANADA and NORWAY, preferred language on reaffirming the will to respect, promote and realize the principles contained in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up. Chair Asadi proposed text on wealth within and among nations, maximizing opportunities and guaranteeing social justice, and recognizing the mutually reinforcing linkages among these elements. The EU, with SLOVAKIA, CANADA, MEXICO and others, proposed replacing among these elements with between economic and social development. The US and the G-77/CHINA preferred the Chairs formulation. JAPAN, with SLOVAKIA and others, added reference to the benefits of economic growth. The G-77/CHINA, supported by MEXICO and opposed by the US, suggested maximizing opportunities and benefits through the realization of an equitable multilateral trading system. The text remains bracketed. In 6 bis, the US, JAPAN, and the EU accepted Chair Asadis proposal to delete all bracketed proposals on debt. The G-77/CHINA preferred to retain the text, adding reference to low income countries. Discussion was deferred. In paragraph 9, CANADA supported a formulation on the strengthened and more stable international financial system, noting this was agreed language from GA Resolution 54/197. The US preferred to delete the entire reference, but said it could work from the resolution. The EU and JAPAN agreed. PAKISTAN noted a double standard on the issue of deleting references, and stated that repeating agreed language does not necessarily carry the WSSD process forward. MEXICO said that international consensus language should not appear in bold, and suggested focusing on compromise wording to cover the G-77/Chinas concerns. Brackets remain on the reference. After Chair Asadi emphasized the need for a compromise package for the declaration, the G-77/CHINA stated it reserved its right with respect to placement in paragraph 5. The EU noted it reserved all its rights with respect to this text. MEXICO said that it would insist on a reference to migrant workers in language on workers' rights.
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 quips that if delegates could just get a fully funded World Solidarity Fund off the ground, it would mean A Better World For All
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will meet at 10:00 am in the Assembly Hall.
WORKING GROUPS: Working Group I will meet at 10:00 am, 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm in Room XVII. Working Group II will meet at 10:00 am and 8:00 pm in Room XVIII. Working Group III will meet at 4:00 pm in Room XXVI.
CONTACT GROUPS: The contact group on unilateral measures will meet from 2:00-3:00 pm in Room E2070-2072. The contact group on environment will meet from 2:00-4:00 pm in Room XXVII. The contact group on globalization and labor will meet from 3:00-4:00 pm in Room XXIV.