Daily report for 25 August 1994
2nd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
PrepCom Chair Juan Somava called the delegates to order andcommenced discussion on the draft Declaration. He thanked delegatesfor their brevity during the last three days, and noted that 249interventions were made on the draft Programme of Action, due, inpart, to the effectiveness of the blue light strategy.
During the course of the debate that followed, there appeared to bean emerging consensus that the draft Declaration, as contained inA/CONF.166/PC/L.13, must be completely redrafted. Most delegatescalled for a Declaration that is more concise, concrete andconsistent. Other areas of emerging consensus included: the needfor the Declaration to express strong political commitment on thepart of nations to achieve social progress; the need for adefinition of social development; and a link between theDeclaration and the Programme of Action. While delegates agreed onthe benefits of a shorter document, many, nevertheless, proceededto list numerous priority issues to be included in this "shortened"document.
The Development Caucus emphasized the NGO commitment toensuring the rights of all people. Education Internationalcalled for the empowerment of citizens.
The Commission on Global Governance called for a frameworkfor global governance into the next century, democratization of theUN System and respect for international law.
The Women's Caucus called for a redistribution of power andresources, including a redirection of military resources to meethuman needs.
Australia recommended a Declaration with three parts:identification of the reasons for and importance of the Summit;call for new commitments and action to be undertaken by actors atall levels; and a statement of principles.
The United States noted four priorities: indication of theshared socio-economic challenges faced by nations; the empowermentof people; the protection and promotion of human rights; and aglobal compact committing both governments and NGOs to meetdevelopment goals.
Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, called for therecognition of: political commitment to employment and socialintegration; international commitments; and the principles ofsolidarity and non-discrimination.
Mexico noted the need for a clear definition of socialdevelopment.
Chile emphasized the high political cost of inaction, theinterdependence of security, solidarity and peaceful co-existence.
Germany, on behalf of the EU, proposed a three-prongedstructure: the state of social development, showing the positiveand negative trends; a strategy based on principles and consistingof concrete objectives along the structure of the Programme ofAction; and incorporation of the main commitments that will beagreed upon in the Programme of Action.
China expressed concern regarding uncurbed population growthand consumption.
Senegal emphasized the importance of health. Polandunderscored equality of opportunities for all.
Croatia called for the commitment of all States to peace andsecurity through respect of sovereignty and uninterruptedsocio-economic development.
Benin emphasized the problems facing young democracies andnoted that social integration should not be predicated onuniformity and mediocrity.
Cuba recommended a more explicit recognition of the role andlinkages between social and economic growth.
Canada called for a more media-friendly and visionarydocument inspired by the declarations of the Children's Summit andthe Earth Summit.
Burkina Faso noted the importance of education.
Slovenia suggested a declaration with three elements: astatement of global problems and trends; strong commitments tosocial diversity and the eradication of poverty; and identificationof the means of implementation.
Pakistan called for: a clear definition of socialdevelopment; inclusion of issues such as debt relief, immigrationlaws, social development funding, and the abolition of tradebarriers; and time-tables for action.
Tunisia recommended a two-part text that would include adiscussion of the social development situation and theidentification of objectives. Other priority issues include thedebt crisis, terms of trade, health and the role of the family.
The Russian Federation noted the need to focus on post-ColdWar possibilities and developments such as the end of apartheid andthe trend toward nuclear disarmament.
Lebanon deplored deteriorating living standards and awidening wealth gap, despite technological progress.
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU) noted the role of trade unions in achieving andsustaining democracy through workers' rights and employment.
Bangladesh emphasized the importance of a supportiveenvironment for free trade, the abolition of all tariffs imposed bydeveloped countries, and the special situation of the poorestnations.
India called for: the elimination of poverty; condemnationof terrorism; support for female-headed households; elimination ofchild labour; debt reduction; education and empowerment; andattention to the special problems of Africa.
Vietnam noted the link between economic and socialdevelopment.
Iran called for a more balanced treatment of theDeclaration's main themes. A starting point should be therecognition that over one billion people are deprived of basicrights.
Belarus called on Heads of State to express their gratitudeto those who fought for freedom and democracy in World War II.
Kenya noted the commodity trade and debt problems in Africa.
Japan called for: a commitment to human resourcedevelopment; expansion of productive employment; promotion andprotection of civil and political rights; integration of the mostvulnerable in society; equal partnership between men and women; andthe protection of cultural diversity.
New Zealand emphasized: fundamental human rights and genderequality; international commitment to better standards of life;sustainable human development; recognition of human diversity; andthe creation of conditions for full human development.
The Holy See emphasized the centrality of the human person,with emphasis on human security, solidarity and the role of thefamily in society.
Malaysia said that the Declaration must emphasize the meansof implementation through the mobilization of resources.
The Philippines emphasized: the eradication of absolutepoverty and employment generation through the realization ofpeoples' potential; gender equality; the need for an NGO forum; andthe role of regional commissions in monitoring.
Switzerland called for inclusion of principles promotingfairness, equity, cohesion, respect for basic human rights, afavorable economic environment, full popular participation, accessto education, and livelihoods that are freely chosen.
Jamaica called for a statement of the fundamental moralprinciples on which the Summit is to be based, as well as thepolitical commitment needed to operationalize the agenda.
Bulgaria suggested that the Declaration should contain aglobal description of the current state of social development aswell as a list of main principles based on the Programme of Action.
Indonesia suggested reference to: the world socialdevelopment situation; principles, goals, and commitments; andreaffirmation of international agreements.
Brazil suggested that lists and commitments to time-tablesbe avoided. The Republic of Korea called for protection ofhuman rights, the promotion of equality and the right of all toparticipate in policy planning.
The Sudan stated that the Declaration must include: ananalysis of the humanitarian situation; a framework of principleson which the conceptual approach is to be based; and a reiterationof the commitments made in the Programme of Action.
The International Institute for Sustainable Developmentidentified several key elements, including: the endorsement ofother relevant agreements; a shift of focus from employment tosustainable livelihoods; and a commitment to empowering the poor.
The National Association of Gerontology emphasized socialintegration at every age.
The United Nations Volunteers noted the need for commitmentto human solidarity and support for volunteer action and service.
Kuwait proposed the development of a small draftingcommittee with representatives from the regional groups and othernations. He also recommended an additional paragraph to call on allStates to renounce recourse to war and to resolve the problems ofdisappeared and detained people.
People-to-People Aid noted the need for: a shift in thedevelopment paradigm; a transformation in global strategies towardequality between South and North; and identification of the primaryactors in bringing about social development.
The International Council for Social Welfare identifiedseveral key actions, including strengthening the human rightsregime, monitoring the WSSD commitments and developing nationalstrategies.
Sweden suggested that the Secretariat redraft the text toserve as a basis for negotiations next week.
IN THE CORRIDORS
While delegates discussed the draft Declaration for the WSSD inConference Room 4, there were also numerous consultations in thecorridors. Polish Amb. Zbigniew Maria Wlosowicz has been holdingconsultations on the Rules of Procedure, specifically on the numberand distribution of seats on the Bureau for the Summit as well asfor the Main Committee. He has also been consulting on theorganization of the Summit, including: the length of the actualSummit meeting of Heads of State or Government; the nature of thepre-Summit Plenary debate; and if only Heads of State or Governmentcan speak during the Summit portion.
Canada has also organized very informal discussions on the draftProgramme of Action with the aim of understanding and prioritizingissues, and analyzing the goals of the Summit.
NGOs have been busy lobbying delegates on numerous issues. TheWomen's Caucus has been particularly active. One of their goals isto ensure that the Summit recognizes International Women's Day,which is during the Summit on 8 March 1995.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will not convene until 4:00 pm today toallow time for regional and interest groups to meet. At 4:00 pm arepresentative from Denmark will present an update on theirpreparations for the Summit. The Secretariat will then introducethe revised version of the Draft Programme of Action, which will bethe basis for negotiations next week. The revised draft willinitially only be available in English. Copies in the other workinglanguages of the UN will likely be available by Tuesday. The textis expected to be 30% shorter than the original in documentA/CONF.166/ PC/L.13.
US BRIEFING: The United States delegation will hold abriefing for NGOs today at 1:15 pm in Conference Room 4.