Daily report for 28 June 2000

24th Special Session of the UN General Assembly (WSSD+5)

On Wednesday, the Plenary met in the morning and afternoon to hear high-level government representatives. Working Group I met in the morning, afternoon and evening. Working Group II met in the morning and evening. Working Group III met in the afternoon. Contact groups on the environment, unilateral sanctions, trade, and 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 one Head of Government, one Head of State, one Vice President, three Deputy Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers, four Vice Ministers and eight Chiefs of Delegation. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/speeches/speeches.htm.


COMMITMENT 7: AFRICA AND THE LDCs: In 90 bis, JAPAN agreed to US- proposed text on "establishes" a World Solidarity Trust Fund. The EU, with CANADA and AUSTRALIA, preferred "to consider the modalities for establishing," and advocated deletion of "Trust." The G-77/CHINA suggested, CANADA supported, and the EU opposed, "consider the establishment of." Chair Maquieira proposed, and delegates accepted, "encourages interested governments to consider the establishment of." The sub-paragraph was agreed.

In paragraph 94, the G-77/CHINA preferred deletion of reference to LDCs "committed to poverty reduction and economic and social reform." The EU suggested "committed to implementing poverty reduction strategies." BANGLADESH, SUDAN, CUBA and MEXICO opposed, stating that the language required judgment on the boundaries of commitment. The EU proposed, and BANGLADESH opposed, "in the context of their poverty reduction efforts." The text remains bracketed. In paragraph 97, delegates agreed to text on the UN Secretary General's report on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development, and the anticipation of the outputs of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Working Group on these issues.

COMMITMENT 8: STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMMES: In paragraph 104, on dialogue with IFIs, delegates agreed to work with the Chair's proposal, but debated: a US proposal to emphasize dialogue with governments; Japan's proposal to make SAPs transparent; and the EU's formulation on consultations with various actors. Delegates accepted G-77/China text on IFIs taking account of specific circumstances of countries. Japan's proposal and a reference to the transparency of IFIs were deleted. The EU supported, but others opposed, reference to dialogue that "would" benefit from consultations, if "governments" was subsequently deleted. The reference remains bracketed. In 104 bis, NORWAY, with CANADA and the EU, proposed language on poverty reduction strategies, "inter alia, in connection with the preparation" of poverty reduction strategy papers.

The Chair proposed a re-formulation without reference to the papers, and the G-77/CHINA suggested "on a voluntary basis." The US opposed this version, and called for adding reference to poverty reduction strategy papers under paragraph 105, on national policies. The text remains bracketed.The US, supported by the G- 77/ CHINA, proposed reformulating 105(c) to refer to ensuring transparent and accountable governance by both governments and IFIs. The US, with JAPAN, said IFIs should be excluded as the context is national polices. NEW ZEALAND, opposed by the EU and the G-77/CHINA, advocated qualifying governance as "participa- tory." The text remains bracketed.

COMMITMENT 9: RESOURCE ALLOCATION: In 110(d), the US supported EU language on requesting international support to strengthen institutional capacity for preventing corruption and, inter alia, illegal transfer of funds. The G-77/CHINA added funds repatriation to countries of origin. The text was agreed. In paragraph 111, the US, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, proposed text on "considering further means, at the international level, to mobilize additional resources for social development." No consensus was reached.Delegates agreed to the G-77/CHINA's reformulated 111 (c), on improving existing mechanisms for stabilizing commodity export earning to respond to developing country producers concerns, and 111(d), on tax avoidance. They deleted 111(f), on illegal transfers. In 112(c), on ODA, the EU suggested Beijing+5 language. The G-77/CHINA preferred GA Resolution 54/202, calling upon developed countries to fulfill the target for ODA as soon as possible. Describing this as a "depressing development," the US, with the EU and JAPAN, noted that ODA language has already been agreed in the WSSD+5 draft political declaration. The text remains bracketed.

Delegates confirmed agreement on 112(d), on the 20/20 initiative. In 112(e), on concessional financing, the US opposed a G-77/ China reference to "increased." Japan called for deleting references to, inter alia, lending countries' commitment. The G-77/ CHINA preferred "providing," while the EU supported "continuing to provide." In 112(f), PARAGUAY and LAOS stressed landlocked countries. ARMENIA specified EITs. The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the US, proposed GA resolution text on providing landlocked and transit developing countries with appropriate technical and financial assistance. There was no consensus.


COMMITMENT 2: POVERTY ERADICTION: In 27 bis (o), delegates agreed on references to "social impact assessments," based on previously agreed language.

COMMITMENT 3: EMPLOYMENT: EGYPT, with PAKISTAN, INDIA and CUBA, noted that paragraph 40(a), agreed in a contact group, was ambiguous and proposed new language on encouraging the private sector to respect and promote the principles included in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work. The text remains bracketed.

COMMITMENT 4: SOCIAL INTEGRATION: In paragraph 67, on strengthening UN bodies, delegates agreed to text calling for greater attention to "children, including unaccompanied refugee minors, displaced children, children separated from their families, those acting as soldiers and those involved in armed conflicts.".

COMMITMENT 6: EDUCATION AND HEALTH: In 75 bis, on measures against HIV/AIDS, delegates accepted G-77/ China-proposed text on HIV/AIDS and "other sexually transmitted infections." The HOLY SEE withdrew its proposal to merge 75 bis (a) and (b), and proposed language in (b) on "full partnership with youth, parents, families, educators and health-care providers." Delegates agreed to these formulations. In paragraph 76, on international efforts against HIV/AIDS, the G-77/CHINA proposed, and delegates accepted, adding reference to affordable medication. They deleted paragraph 76 bis. NORWAY, with CANADA and the G-77/CHINA, supported language highlighting political commitment. SUDAN, with CUBA, underscored "other pharmaceutical agents." The paragraph was agreed.

COMMITMENT 7: AFRICA AND THE LDCS: In paragraph 99, on UNAIDS, delegates agreed on: a G-77/China insertion of "upon request in the chapeau;" the EU's proposal for text on "wider access and "quality" medication, and text from the 53rd World Health Assembly on access to medicine in 99(a); and the EU's proposal for text on youth in 99(b). In 100 bis, delegates agreed to include references to, "inter alia," national programmes and social security; and deleted refer- ences to "formation of" and "including abstinence." The paragraph was agreed. Paragraph 101 was agreed after delegates accepted: an EU reference to vaccines; text on improving control and treatment of communicable and infectious diseases; and language on assisting in making vaccines and medicines for the control and treatment of these diseases widely available at affordable prices.

COMMITMENT 10: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION: In paragraph 124, on people-centered sustainable development: AUSTRALIA supported good governance over transparent and accountable governance; the EU proposed referring to an open and equitable multilateral trading system; the US advocated replacing equitable with rule- based; and IRAN specified non-discriminatory. JAPAN, supported by the US, proposed reference to trading regimes conducive to sustainable development. The EU proposed text on the participation of civil society and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. CUBA specified all human rights and the right to development, and opposed calls for deletion of the paragraph. The text remains bracketed.

In paragraph 126, on legislative action and awareness raising for implementing WSSD commitments and further initiatives, CANADA, supported by AUSTRALIA, the US and MEXICO, amended text to invite parliamentarians and legislators to adopt measures. The G-77/CHINA preferred inviting "parliamentarians" to continue to adopt legislative measures. Delegates agreed on inviting "Parliamentarians" to continue to adopt legislative measures, as necessary, and to expand awareness-raising, for implementation. In paragraph 128, delegates agreed to text on inviting ECOSOC to consolidate ongoing initiatives and actions, with a view to launching a global campaign to eradicate poverty.


Chair Asadi proposed a new package deal for paragraphs 5, 6 bis and 9, including, inter alia: reference to fundamental principles and rights at work in 5; deletion of bracketed text in 6 bis; and a strengthened and more stable international financial system in paragraph 9. The EU, supported by CANADA and SWITZERLAND, reiterated good governance and their preference for text in paragraph 5 on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its follow-up. The G-77/CHINA noted preference for references to mobilization of resources, the question of debt problems, and migrant workers. MEXICO supported reference to fundamental principles and rights at work and to vulnerable groups such as unemployed and migrant workers. CUBA emphasized, inter alia, transparent and responsible governance for international institutions including IFIs. NORWAY suggested reference to the Copenhagen Declaration. CHINA highlighted the importance of poverty eradication. With no consensus, discussion was deferred.


ENVIRONMENT: Chair Sonia Felicity Elliott invited discussion on paragraph 6. Delegates debated suggestions to: delete a reference to environment in text on social and economic policies; reflect all environmental agreements under consideration at the international level; and confine environmental references to the political declaration. Others noted environmental issues are more linked to consumption.

Delegates agreed, ad referendum, to: amend the chapeau using language from paragraph 2 of the POA to enhance positive interac- tion between social, economic and environmental policies; merge the chapeau text with 6(a), on promoting the integrated and simul- taneous consideration of this objective; delete all bracketed text except references to "sustainable livelihoods;" and drop 6(b), on an integrated approach to these policies, because the reference was perceived to be a conditionality.

UNILATERAL MEASURES: Chaired by Luis Fernándo Carranza-Cifuentes, the contact group discussed paragraph 9. A participant stressed the understanding, and called for confirmation, that a bilateral agreement was reached to incorporate paragraph 125E of Beijing+5 without amendment. He underscored further negotiation depended on clarification. Proposing fine-tuning to align 125E with WSSD+5, another delegate advocated reference to disabled and elderly people and to measures seriously affecting realisation of social development goals. Supporting the Beijing text, a participant suggested the latter amendment was repetitious. Another stressed the need to reflect Copenhagen's context and the presence of stronger unilateral measures over the past five years. With no agreement, and citing WSSD+5 agreed paragraphs, participants differed over the standard of falling back on, versus fine-tuning, recently agreed language.

GLOBALIZATION AND LABOR: In paragraph 39, some delegates proposed a new formulation of the text, recommending, inter alia, that the ILO establish a dialogue within its mandate with other organizations of the international system. While some accepted this language, others could not support cooperation between the ILO and WTO. One delegate suggested deleting reference to the WTO. Another indicated unwillingness to give the ILO further mandates or roles. Some underscored the need to address how to develop such a dialogue. With no consensus, further discussion was deferred.


Let the trade-offs begin. As negotiations approach the critical midnight hour (after which it is a sure bet that delegates won't be spending Saturday strolling by the lake), delegates broke early last night to rest up for the most heated battles today. Or was it because of certain national interests in the Euro 2000 soccer match? One high-level commentator suggested that the many remaining brackets would fall steadily before long hours of hard work, and predicted that there wouldn't be any last minute takeovers of the process. Another, having experienced the frequent implosion of package deals, issued a last minute plea to delegates to at least not make things more difficult, even if they can't agree. Meanwhile, NGOs caught the attention of the world's media by throwing handfuls of A Better World for All in the trash, and at least one top UN official was heard bemoaning his agency's contribution to this ongoing public relations debacle...


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, 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm in Room XVII. Working Group II will meet at 10:00 am, 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm in Room XVIII. Working Group III will meet at 11:00 pm in Room XXVI.

CONTACT GROUPS: The contact group schedule will be announced.

Further information