Daily report for 17 May 1993
2nd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
PROPOSED CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
SWITZERLAND: The delegate from Switzerland endorsed theSwedish proposal for three priority issues or clusters: integratingpopulation concerns into development; the role and status of women;and reproductive rights, reproductive health and family planning.
AUSTRIA: The delegate suggested that: Chapter I containclear reference to consumption patterns; Chapter II reflect theneed for gender equality, the empowerment of women and theeducation of girls; and the chapter on migration be guided by therecommendations from the European Population Conference.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: The representative from the DominicanRepublic highlighted the importance of considering the ageing issuein the PrepCom's deliberations.
CUBA: The delegate from Cuba advocated avoiding negotiatingnew principles; supported a concise preamble; and stressed theright of countries to develop their own economies and deal withtheir own social problems.
ZAMBIA: The delegate from Zambia supported the G-77's callthat the preamble of the final document include mention of the newagenda for the development of Africa. He advocated a new chapter onfinance and international cooperation and expressed hope that theissues of homelessness and AIDS be fully addressed.
MALAYSIA: The representative suggested that: the women'schapter should highlight women's perspectives and participation inpopulation programmes; a separate chapter on family formation bedrafted; prevention rather than interruption of pregnancies shouldbe the method of choice; and that morbidity should be addressed.
UNITED STATES: Amb. Warren Zimmermann reiterated a number ofthe common themes at this PrepCom. He outlined suggestions for theconceptual framework, including: incorporating gender equality andequity along with women's empowerment in Chapter II; recognizingthe variety of family forms in Chapter III; addressing reproductivehealth, reproductive rights, family planning, adolescent sexualityand fertility, and gender relations in Chapter IV; and adding achapter on health and mortality.
GUINEA BISSAU: The delegate suggested that the finaldocument highlight the interdependence between demographic anddevelopment problems. In addition, the education and training ofwomen are conditions for effective population programmes.
UNDP: The representative from UNDP commented on the factthat approaches that enhance people's capabilities to remove thepoverty barriers are also effective in lowering fertility rates.
DEVELOPMENT ALTERNATIVE WITH WOMEN FOR A NEW ERA: JocelynDow stated that governments in poor countries must defy structuraladjustment programmes. She urged the prioritization of women'seducation, investment in social services and population control inthe context of environmental crises.
PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR GLOBAL ACTION: Senator Silvia Hernandezidentified some of the solutions for meeting the population anddevelopment challenge: improved family planning services andreproductive rights; improved education; more equitable consumptionpatterns; further debt relief; and the empowerment of women.
CHINA: Zhao Zhipei referred to Chinese national familyplanning efforts and related drops in the infant mortality rate andincrease in average life expectancy.
MALI: The delegate recommended: reinforcing the linkagebetween population and socio-economic development (Chapter I);including women in the decision-making process (Chapter II);protecting the family, children and youth (Chapter III); the needto strengthen family planning, combat sexually transmitted diseasesand high fertility (Chapter IV); solutions to the AIDS pandemic(Chapter V); and changing Chapter XI's title to "Mobilization ofFinancial Resources."
MEXICO: The delegate addressed issues related to internaland international migration and called for investment in educationas a basic social service. He called for family planning efforts tobe substantially enhanced.
GUINEA: The delegate from Guinea said that the finaldocument should emphasize family problems, human rights, the roleof women and the role of NGOs. It was suggested that a chapter beadded on training and employment.
INDONESIA: Dr. Abdullah Cholil supported: the crucial roleof women in health and population, as well as the male and youthsegments of society; recognition of the individual's reproductiverights; integration of population concerns into development; andincreased references to national activities in developed nations.
BANGLADESH: The delegate urged that delegates take intoaccount successes and failures since 1974 when formulating the newplan of action. He requested that the final document reflect thediverse situations in developing countries and stated that the mostcritical issue is the means of implementation.
HOLY SEE: Archbishop Renato R. Martino stated that voluntaryabortion under the guise of other perceived rights violates themost fundamental right of any human being to life. He said that theCatholic Church does not propose procreation at any cost, butrather it opposes demographic policies and family planning that arecontrary to the liberty, dignity and conscience of the human being.
At the conclusion of the Holy See's intervention, Dr. Sai welcomedthe introduction of moral and ethical issues into the discussion.He then asked why the Vatican could support the blessings of modernmedicine but could not make modern contraceptives available, sayingthat morals and ethics are a two-way street.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: The delegate mentioned that the finaldocument should have a cluster relating to the demographiccomplications of countries with economies in transition. Hesuggested breaking down the principles into three categories: humanrights, environment and living conditions.
NIGERIA: K.O. Olisemeka outlined the four pillars whichshould form the core of any population strategy: increase politicalcommitments; develop participatory national strategies andprogrammes; accelerate resources mobilization; improve andintensify family planning.
INDIA: Usha Vohra stated that Cairo should not become anumbrella conference that crowds the agenda with related importantissues which are not directly related to population anddevelopment, such as the environment and women. She then made anumber of specific recommendations for the restructuring of theconceptual framework to focus more on population.
GUATEMALAN ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUAL EDUCATION: Therepresentative mentioned a number of issues including: theempowerment of women; the responsibilities of men in makingreproductive decisions and caring for children; maternal mortalitydue to clandestine abortions; protection of women and children fromsexual abuse; and the hope that NGOs will be part of delegations inCairo.
FOUR DIRECTIONS COUNCIL: Andrew Adams III stated, on behalfof indigenous peoples, that the problem is not that theirpopulation is growing too fast, but that it is decreasing as aresult of unsustainable consumption and development policies.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS: The representativespoke on behalf of the NGO Committee on Ageing and noted that thisis "something that we are all doing." She made a number ofrecommendations, including: bringing the active older person intothe mainstream of economic and social development and access byolder people to adequate resources to meet basic needs.
SOCIOLOGISTS FOR WOMEN AND SOCIETY: Dr. Elaine Woolfsonadvocated expanding the framework to include health of ageingwomen; rights of couples; the importance of economic fundingstreams; and the extension of women's health services.
INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS: Therepresentative supported Guinea's call for a chapter on trainingand employment and said that the creation of productive employmentis the best way to confront poverty and migration.
ASIA INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S NETWORK: The representativeadvocated the integration of the concerns of indigenous peoplesinto all areas of the final document. She called for the conveningof an expert group on indigenous peoples or some other forum tohear their perspective.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON FORMAT AND STRUCTURE
Informal-informal discussions began yesterday on the proposedstructure of the final document. The meeting was led by PrepComVice-Chair Tauno Kri of Finland. Concerns regarding the lack ofinterpretation were conveyed to the Secretariat.
Sweden circulated a proposal for the reformulation of PC/11. Theproposal retains all of the essential elements, but restructuresPart Two, "Choices and Responsibilities" into four sub-headings(demographic trends, analysis of interlinkages, activities, andfollow-up to the Conference). The proposal also regroups the 13chapter headings to highlight actors and resources and emphasizesthe action elements. Finland suggested that the proposed structureinclude the preamble, essential principles for population anddevelopment, a section on the linkages and demographic trends, andthree clusters of activities: integrating population concerns intodevelopment; the role and status of women; and reproductive rights,reproductive heath and family planning. The EC then circulated itssuggestions for reorganizing the guiding principles.
Colombia requested guidance from the Secretariat on the approachestaken at both Bucharest and Mexico City on the structure of thefinal document. The Secretariat explained the methodology used atthese meetings, and reminded the delegates of the decision taken atPrepCom I to draft a new plan of action.
After a discussion on the nature of the preamble, the US introducedits non-paper on Part Two of the conceptual framework. Swedenemphasized that given limited resources, prioritization andconcentration must be given to certain areas and that the finaldocument must be operational and action oriented.
David Payton of the ICPD Secretariat suggested that the prioritiesfor this group should be to: 1) determine if there is a need for apreamble and, if so, how inclusive it should be; 2) decide if thereshould be principles as set out in Part One of PC/11 and, if so,how to incorporate the various proposals; 3) reach consensus on theset of chapters and how they should be clustered; 4) determine thestructure within chapters for sub-headings; and 5) decide if thereshould be goals and where they should be placed. The US suggestedthat a smaller group of interested governments caucus after theG-77 meeting to attempt to draft a common outline. The afternoonsession of the group was cancelled and the G-77 announced that itwould meet at 4:00 pm to address these and other issues.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Discussion will continue throughout the day inPlenary in Conference Room 2. Among the scheduled speakers for themorning are: Burundi, Argentina, Nepal, Romania, Latvia, Denmark,Johns Hopkins University, Tanzania, Maldives, Bangladesh Instituteof Research for Promotion of Essential & Reproductive HealthTechnologies, Third World Network, and Interaction. Afternoonspeakers include: Sweden, Thailand, Niger, Bolivia, Nicaragua,Burkina Faso, Uganda, New Zealand, Japan, Jamaica, Morocco, Norway,Central African Republic, United Kingdom, Jordan, Asian NGOs,Indigenous Groups and the World Population Foundation.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE (ICW): The ICW will meetall day in Conference Room 3 to discuss the first four substantivepapers on clusters prepared by the Secretariat and circulatedyesterday. Discussion should begin with Cluster 1,"Interrelationships between population, development, environmentand related matters." The Secretariat will distribute the paper onCluster 5 this morning.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON FORMAT AND STRUCTURE: This groupwill meet tonight from 6:00 until 9:00 pm in Conference Room 6. TheG-77 is not expected to produce its own paper on the format andstructure, but may suggest that the Secretariat's conceptualframework (PC/11) be the basis for negotiation.
NGO ACTIVITIES: The Women's Caucus will meet in ConferenceRoom 6 at 9:00 am. An NGO Briefing on Population, Ecology andCulture - Indigenous Perspectives, with panelists from thePhilippines and Guatemala will be held in Conference Room 9 at 9:00am. The Asian and Pacific Island NGOs, as well as the LatinAmerica/Caribbean NGOs will meet in Conference Room D at 12:30 pm.The Southern Forum of NGOs will meet in the same room at 2:00followed by the Africa Group of NGOs at 5:00 pm. The NGO Panel on"Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Livelihoods" will meetin Conference Room 6 at 1:15 pm.