Daily report for 14 May 1993
2nd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
PROPOSED CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
DR. NAFIS SADIK: ICPD Secretary-General Dr. Nafis Sadik madea number of comments regarding the conceptual framework of thefinal Conference document. She expressed her hope that Part II,"Choices and Responsibilities," would reflect the new internationalconsensus on the full integration of population concerns intoeconomic and social activities and sustainable development. Shestressed the centrality of the individual as the basis of allpopulation policies. Sadik expressed her determination that women'sperspectives on human-centered policies and programmes at alllevels would be fully reflected in the work of the PrepCom. Sheurged that abortion be addressed as a health issue and she referredto the negative impacts of structural adjustment programmes and theneed to shift emphasis back to investment in the social sector.
COLOMBIA: On behalf of the Group of 77, the delegate fromColombia recommended: a chapter on finance for internationalcooperation for population activities; highlighting issues such aseducation, empowerment of women, the role of men in family planningand crucial aspects of migration; follow-up to the Conference; andsub-headings devoted to means of implementation, following theformat of Agenda 21.
DENMARK: The representative from Denmark, on behalf of theEC, identified four key areas for organizing the guidingprinciples: Human Rights and Population; Human Development andPopulation; Sustainable Development and Population; and Partnershipin Population. She also recommended that: the title of Chapter I inPart Two should be "Relations between population and sustainabledevelopment"; Chapter II should include a discussion of thechanging roles and responsibilities of men; Chapter III shouldinclude an assessment on the impact of AIDS; Chapter IV should dealwith the broader issue of sexual and reproductive health; andChapter V should assess gender and socio-economic differentialsregarding health and mortality issues in both developed anddeveloping countries.
EGYPT: Soliman Awaad stated that Egypt supports the overalloutline of the conceptual framework and recommended includingreferences in the Preamble to the right to development, nationalsovereignty, mutual responsibility and global partnership. Hesuggested that Part I of the conceptual framework address "Choicesand Responsibilities" instead of "Essential Principles forPopulation and Development," which could be merged into Part I, inlight of what the Preamble contains. Part II should deal withmechanisms to ensure effective implementation of the Conferenceoutcome.
SWEDEN: Amb. Lars-Olof Edstrm, on behalf of the Nordiccountries, stated that the draft outline must be better articulatedwith regard to the interrelationships and dynamics betweenpopulation, sustained economic growth and sustainable development.He urged that the document also address follow-up measures. Hesuggested that Part II of the draft outline should give specialemphasis to a limited number of issues or clusters, such as:integrating population concerns into development; the role andstatus of women; and reproductive rights, reproductive health andfamily planning.
AUSTRALIA: Amb. Richard Butler said that over-consumptionand the inequitable distribution of wealth are important issuesthat must be discussed. He also stated that additional resourcesare needed to improve both quality and availability of reproductivehealth services; control over fertility is a basic human right; andthe rights of migrants must be protected.
VENEZUELA: The representative from Venezuela stated that twoof the primary guidelines should be the participation of women andmigration. He also stressed the important role of NGOs in thepreparatory process and in the implementation of populationprogrammes.
PAKISTAN: Senator Noorjehan Panezai stated that the finaldocument should not merely list issues, but coherently analyze thecross-sectoral linkages between them. She added that the documentmust clearly identify the means of implementation of the plan ofaction. She pointed out that each issue should be examined from allangles. As an example, she cited that while the European PopulationConference on international migration stressed the need for goodgovernance, democracy, human rights, and education, it neglectedthe fact that most international migration results from job lossdue to trade barriers in the country of origin.
ZIMBABWE: The delegate from Zimbabwe supported theSecretariat's conceptual framework but said that there was a needfor consideration of financial provisions. He reiterated theimportant role that NGOs should play and added that theaccreditation of over 400 NGOs and their participation here istestimony to their growing commitment. He also expressed concernthat labor and unemployment problems were not sufficientlyaddressed.
ECUADOR: The delegate from Ecuador stressed the relationshipbetween population problems and development. She discussedEcuador's population policy, advocated increasing educationstandards, and reminded delegates that maternal mortality is inlarge part a result of illegal abortions.
CANADA: Michael Shenstone stated that while the finaldocument should represent a new departure, it should be operationalenough to assist national governments in developing new policies.He stated that the Conference must address how the linkages betweenpopulation and sustainable development can be translated into aninstitutional framework. He suggested that the Commission onSustainable Development should participate in monitoring theresults of the Conference. Shenstone urged the PrepCom to givecareful consideration to the Women's Declaration on PopulationPolicies that was prepared by the coalition of NGOs -- Women'sVoices '94. With respect to international migration, he stated thatthe Conference should focus more on the causes than the effects ofmigration. Shenstone hoped that the product of the Conference wouldnot read like a typical UN document.
POLAND: The delegate from Poland called for distinctions tobe maintained between regional and global recommendations,especially in light of the special socio-economic problems ofcountries in transition. He requested that the increase inmortality in Eastern Europe be addressed in the final document. Hecalled for recommendations 48, 49 and 50 from the final report ofthe European Conference to be incorporated in the new plan ofaction. He also proposed that international migration and itscauses should be presented in a broader context than the one setout in the conceptual framework document. He supported the thematicstructure proposed by the EC.
MALAWI: The delegate from Malawi fully endorsed the outline.She stated that paragraphs 13 and 14 must reflect the link betweenpopulation and the needs of people in developing countries. Sherequested that clear linkages between population growth, povertyand food security be established. Regarding paragraph 22, shecalled for careful review and incorporation of the recommendationsof the World Children's Summit. She urged that special attention begiven to children orphaned by AIDS. She suggested that specificmeasures must be drafted to assist host countries to deal with theinflux of refugees as well as the root causes of migration. Sheurged that consideration be given to women's issues in all thechapters.
NGO STEERING COMMITTEE: The Chair of the NGO SteeringCommittee, Billie Miller, thanked the Secretariat for liberalaccess to the PrepCom. She highlighted the issues that NGOs areconcerned about, such as human rights, migration, reproductivehealth and rights, ethical and religious perspectives, naturalresource management, and AIDS.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CONFERENCE
At the end of the morning session, Colombia, on behalf of the G-77,introduced a draft resolution, "Preparations for the InternationalConference on Population and Development" (E/CONF.84/PC/L.7). Hesaid that the main purpose of this draft decision is to ensurenecessary resources to guarantee complete success of the CairoConference. Dr. Sai then announced that this document would bediscussed by the ICW.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE (ICW)
At the second meeting of the ICW, the Chair, Nicholaas H. Biegman,listed four items that the ICW must address: the structure of thefinal document; the actual substantive content of the document; the20-year goals, which were expounded by Dr. Nafis Sadik; and thedraft decision prepared by the G-77 (L.7). He then proposed thatdiscussion of the structure be carried out in a small "restricted"group on Monday in Room 9. Furthermore, he asked the Secretariat todraw up discussion documents on the six clusters identified byECOSOC Resolution 1991/93, to be distributed Monday and discussedbeginning on Tuesday. He also proposed that L.7 will be firstdiscussed by the sponsors with interested delegations and thenbrought to the ICW.
A number of other issues came up as the delegates tried to reachagreement on this work programme. Colombia and France expressedconcern about the absence of interpretation. This problem wasresolved when the Plenary adjourned early and the interpretersarrived. The US and the UK raised questions about the programme ofwork during the intersessional period. David Payton from theSecretariat explained that there will be two opportunities betweenPrepComs II and III to discuss the ICPD -- at the ECOSOC meeting inJuly and at the 48th session of the UN General Assembly. He addedthat Dr. Sadik is examining the feasibility of holding periodicinformal exchanges of views here in New York.
The Holy See asked for clarification about how the "restricted"sub-group to discuss the structure of the document would berestricted. The Chair responded that this would be "an open-endedrestricted group" limited only by the number of seats in the room.Morocco and Egypt protested that Room 9, the smallest meeting room,was not appropriate and recommended scheduling the meeting in alarger room (6 or 7). The Secretariat agreed to look into theavailability of a larger room.
At the end of the afternoon there appeared to be general agreementon the need to separate substance from structure and that structureshould be discussed first. Governments were also in agreement thatthey must build on work already done in the expert groups andregional meetings. It was also agreed that the final two clusterswould be combined and that the Secretariat would prepare fivepapers over the weekend on the following topics: integratingpopulation concerns with development; the role and status of women;reproductive rights; international and internal migration; andnational action, resource allocation and mobilization of resources.
There still appeared to be some question about the fate of PC/11,the conceptual framework, the purpose of these five discussionpapers and the absence of certain issues such as human rights,aging, trade and structural adjustment. Other delegates were stillconcerned about when they would discuss the guiding principles,when the Secretariat would issue the paper on the 20-year goals andif there would be time to discuss it.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will meet this morning in ConferenceRoom 2 and discussion should close today on Agenda Item 5,"Proposed conceptual framework." Following Dr. Sai's request forgreater specificity in interventions, look for more directedstatements on both the structure and content of the final document.
THE "OPEN-ENDED RESTRICTED GROUP" ON STRUCTURE AND FORMAT OF THEFINAL DOCUMENT: An informal working group to debate thestructure and format for the final conference document is supposedto meet this morning at 10:00 am. This group will exchange views onthe chapters and headings of the final document. Discussion may bebased on the outline presented in the proposed conceptual framework(PC/11).
SECRETARIAT DISCUSSION DOCUMENTS: Look for five two-pagepapers that have been drawn up by the Secretariat over the weekend.These papers will assist the ICW in its substantive discussionsthis week and should be delivered to the governments today so thatthey can prepare their responses. Debate will begin tomorrow andone-half day will be allotted for debate on each of the clustersdecided at Friday's session of the ICW (see above). The papers areexpected to compile the recommendations of the Expert and Regionalmeeting and to draw from the statements made in Plenary and writtensubmissions made to the Secretariat.
NGO ACTIVITIES: The Women's Caucus will meet in ConferenceRoom 6 at 9:00 am. The Asia and Pacific Island NGOs, as well as theLatin American/Caribbean NGOs, will meet in Conference Room D at12:30 pm. The African NGOs have scheduled a meeting with the AfricaDivision of UNFPA at 1:30 pm in Conference Room 6 and will meetamong themselves at 5:00 pm in Conference Room D.