Daily report for 31 August 1994
2nd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
The Chair, Amb. Richell (The Netherlands), announced that he wantedto finish the first reading of CRP.2 before adjourning for thenight. By 8:00 pm, the Committee had completed the first fourchapters and had commenced discussion of Chapter V. Since the G-77and the EU had not yet developed group positions, furtherdiscussion of Chapter V was postponed until Thursday.
At the end of the day, the Chair identified the substantive issuesthat require further discussion: migration; debt reduction; thecosts of structural adjustment programmes; the target of 0.7% GNPfor ODA; and definitions of social security, informal work, humansecurity, and sustainable social development. Delegates addeddefinitions of: the role of the family in providing socialprotection; the various forms of poverty; and productiveemployment.
II. REDUCTION AND ELIMINATION OF WIDESPREAD POVERTY
C. ACCESS TO PUBLIC SERVICES: In the paragraphs on education(51 & 52), proposals called for reference to: the role of teachers(El Salvador); education for the disabled (Sierra Leone);reduction, rather than elimination, of school fees (Uruguay); andthe role of the community in establishing public services(Venezuela). In 59 (transportation, communication and energyservices), there were calls for free legal assistance (the G-77)and credit opportunities for the poor (Malawi). In 60 (publicspending), the EU and Finland proposed listing services, such aselectricity, which are not publicly funded. In 61 (communitydevelopment), delegates called for: efficiency and prioritizationin public services (US); reallocation of military spending(Canada); and improvement in housing and human settlements(Finland). Senegal called for immediate action to promote goodhealth. Malta, the Holy See and others objected to the reference tosexual and reproductive health. New paragraphs were recommended onmaternal mortality (EU) and health and sanitation problems(Guinea).
D. REDUCING VULNERABILITY: In 62 (poverty prevention),proposals included references to environmental protectionand poverty reduction (EU) and strengthening local governments(Guatemala). In 63 (food security), amendments included: food as ahuman right (the G-77); the effect of war on food security(Switzerland); special reference to Africa (Ethiopia); and thelink between population growth and food security (Antigua andBarbuda). Further proposals included references to: the disabled(Belarus); the UN role in coordinating emergency responses(Austria); non-stigmatizing food delivery methods (Canada);preventing the sale of food aid (Burkina Faso); and aninternational volunteer corps to respond to emergencies(Argentina).
E. ENHANCING SOCIAL PROTECTION: Finland and Sweden proposedrestoring L.13's references to social insurance. In 71 (families asproviders of social protection), Romania, the EU and Canadasuggested a role for government. Malaysia, Sudan, and the Holy Seeemphasized the role of the family. El Salvador recommendedcompetition between health providers. In 75 (protection ofchildren), proposals included reference to international drugtrafficking (EU, Cte d'Ivoire and the G-77) and the role of NGOsin social protection (Switzerland).
III. PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT
A. RETHINKING POLICY: In the introduction (76), delegatescalled for reference to: underemployment in developing countries(EU); full employment (India); and sustainable livelihoods withequitable remuneration (Canada). In 78 (unemployment), proposalsincluded reference to: labor-intensive and environmentally-soundtechnology (India); savings and investment (El Salvador); andlabor-market information systems (Indonesia).
B. STIMULATING EMPLOYMENT-INTENSIVE GROWTH: In 84(impediments to international economic growth), India called fortrade liberalization to include safeguards for developingcountries. In 86 (labour-intensive technologies), the EUdeleted the reference to facilitating technical adaptation fordeveloping countries. The G-77 called for technology transfer onpreferential terms. In 87 (women's access to technology), the G-77said that the use of technology should facilitate thetransformation of women's roles. In 89 (research and development),El Salvador called for clean technology.
C. CREATING EMPLOYMENT THROUGH ENTERPRISES: In 92 (workingconditions in small enterprises), Canada called for specialassistance to women and the poor. In 93 (equality of opportunity),Canada stressed the role of women in paid and unpaid activities. In94 (informal-sector enterprises), the EU emphasized elimination ofdiscrimination in granting credit to women and minorities. Austriainsisted that informal-sector enterprises can be construed as"black labour."
D. REVIEWING SECTORAL PRIORITIES: In 100 (export expansion),the G-77 called for the removal of all protectionist barriers.
E. REDEFINING THE NATURE OF WORK AND EMPLOYMENT: Sweden andothers objected to the underlying paternalistic tone of paragraph103 (the concept of work).
F. FOCUSING ON SPECIFIC NEEDS: In 105 (introduction),Germany and Japan proposed adding the disabled to the other sectorsthat have special needs. The EU and Belize felt that 106(alleviation of youth unemployment) was incomplete. The G-77 addedreference to the role of NGOs in providing youth employmenttraining in 107. In 108 (long-term unemployment), India called forreference to employment security instead of social security. In 112(roles of women), proposals included reference to: equalresponsibilities between men and women (Japan); the underlyingforces that create the needs of women (Sweden); and professionaltraining for women (Mali). Colombia proposed a new paragraph onproviding long-term work, labour opportunities and specialfacilities for workers.
G. ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF EMPLOYMENT: Canada addedreference in 115 (basic rights of workers) to the protection ofindigenous livelihoods and emphasized in 116 (working children) therights of street children.
IV. SOCIAL INTEGRATION
The EU and G-77 had not yet prepared their amendments to thischapter. However, the EU did call for a new Section C bis,"Promoting employment through active labour market policies,including education and training."
A. SOCIAL INTEGRATION: RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY BASED ON SHAREDVALUES: Switzerland and Canada called attention to the needs ofmarginalized groups. Slovenia emphasized ethical principals in theformulation of social policies. Iran emphasized the role ofspirituality and moral values. Norway underscored the resort toviolence and physical force in conflict resolution. Peru called forthe social integration of indigenous communities.
B. ENDING DISCRIMINATION IN ALL ITS FORMS AND PROMOTING EQUALITYOF OPPORTUNITY: Norway and Zimbabwe called for reference to thedisabled. Canada stated that economic, social and cultural rightsmust be implemented.
C. EDUCATION AS AN INTEGRATING FORCE: India, Morocco, thePhilippines, Slovenia and Canada recommended a new paragraph onhuman rights education. Pakistan proposed reference to childrenwho are vulnerable to drug abuse and trafficking. In 137 (educationfor girls), India emphasized empowerment through education. Maliand Benin noted the absence of reference to informal education.Bangladesh called for incentives, such as tuition exemptions andscholarships for girls.
D. EQUAL ACCESS TO THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE STATE: In 141(maintaining social cohesion), Antigua and Barbuda called for areference to reproductive health.
E. RESPONDING WITH SPECIAL MEASURES TO SPECIAL SOCIAL NEEDS:The Holy See added a new paragraph on the re-integration ofcriminal offenders. Japan said that affirmative action may lead toreverse discrimination. Norway proposed a new paragraph on drugabuse. Canada and New Zealand called for increased recognition ofindigenous people. In 143 (opportunities for the sociallyexcluded), Sudan added the elderly among targeted groups withdisabilities.
F. A SHARED CONCERN: FAIR TREATMENT OUTSIDE ONE'S COUNTRY OFORIGIN: Mexico emphasized protecting migrants' human rights.Guinea and Belize called on the international community to assistrefugee host nations. Pakistan recommended action to prevent thecreation of immigrants and refugees.
G. BRINGING GOVERNMENT CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE: Indonesiacalled for greater emphasis on decentralization and communityempowerment.
H. CREATING SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY: The Holy Seehighlighted the role of cultural and religious associations infacilitating interaction between the individual, communities andGovernments.
V. MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
In Section D (Role of the UN and the UN system), Austria called forreference to the ongoing process of UN reform, and policy dialogueson social development between the UN and the Bretton Woodsinstitutions. Regarding follow-up, she noted the need for:effective regional initiatives; themes and timetables; clear policyrecommendations by the Secretary-General for monitoring; countrystrategies; and clear priorities and procedures for the Commissionon Social Development. The US stated that national expenditures andinternational institutions should be targeted to meet basic humanneeds. Mexico called for a clear indication of goals. Switzerlandunderscored national responsibility for implementing the Programmeof Action.
NGO STATEMENTS: The International Confederation of FreeTrade Unions noted the role of trade unions in defining andrealizing social progress. The Asia Pacific Caucus calledfor a clear definition of social development. The AmericanAssociation of Retired Persons thanked the Secretariat forincorporating reference to the contributions of older people insociety. The International Council on Social Welfare calledfor a summary of the specific implementation provisions.
OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP
The Chair, Amb. Wlosowicz (Poland), convened a brief meeting toannounce completion of his consultations on the proposedorganization for the Summit. A formal decision on the Summit'sschedule will be taken at a later date. At issue is whetherhigh-level special representatives of Heads of State or Governmentmay speak during the meeting of Heads of State, and the length ofthis meeting (two or three days).
IN THE CORRIDORS
The "Friends of the Chair" met Wednesday evening to discuss a paperon elements for the draft Declaration, prepared by PrepCom ChairJuan Somava. The draft contains four parts: Introduction; Currentsocial situation and reasons for the Summit; Principles, commonvalues and goals; and Commitments. There are nine commitments:promotion of social progress and enhancement of the humancondition; eradication of poverty in the shortest period possible;enabling all people to earn livelihoods through freely chosenemployment; promotion of social integration; achievement of fullequality between men and women; promotion of the economic, socialand human development of Africa and the least developed countries;"socially-oriented" structural adjustment programmes; generation ofsufficient resources; and improvement of the international economicenvironment and international financial assistance.
The initial reaction of delegates to this document was positive,although many thought it should be shortened. NGOs were seensmiling in the corridors while reading "this dream document."
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The Committee will commence withChapter V, Means of implementation and follow-up. On Wednesdayevening, the Chair estimated that the draft text, with theamendments, will be 200-250 pages long. There will also bediscussions on intersessional work to facilitate the work atPrepCom III. The starting point will be Amb. Richell's proposal foran open-ended "Friends of the Chair" group to produce a new draftby 1 November 1994.
PLENARY: The Plenary will convene at 3:00 pm to consider theitems addressed by the Open-Ended Working Group: the draft Rules ofProcedure and preparations for the Summit. The Chair is alsoexpected to formally introduce his paper, "Elements for the draftDeclaration," which should be available today in all languages asA/CONF.166/PC/CRP.3.
UNDP PRESENTATION: Dr. Mahbub ul Haq, Special Adviser to theUNDP Administrator, will speak on "New Imperatives of HumanSecurity," today at 1:00 pm in Conference Room 3.