Daily report for 18 January 1995
3rd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
Before commencing work, all delegates expressed their condolences about theearthquake tragedy in Japan.
WORKING GROUP I
PART I-C: COMMITMENTS
Commitment 1(b): (means and capacities) The G-77 and China deleted "fully"after "participate." Canada, opposed by the Holy See, deleted "decentralization." In1(c) (markets), Australia noted the need to intervene to counteract marketfailure and promote stability and social development. The US proposed "promotingsustainable, broadly based economic growth based on open competitive markets" withnon-discriminatory and rule-based access. The G-77 and China added "free," deleted"open," replaced "equal" with "equitable," and added a reference to specialsupplemental programmes for the poor. The EU preferred the original text. The newsub-paragraph proposed by Switzerland, "reinforce peace, by promoting tolerance, non-violence and promoting diversity and strive to solve conflicts by peaceful means," wasaccepted. Belize offered minor amendments to the Russian Federation"s restriction ofpropaganda supporting violence in the media. Azerbaijan"s reference to the return ofdisplaced persons and refugees to their places of permanent residence was moved toParagraph 20. Dr. Utete (Zimbabwe) took over as Chair. In 1(c) (bis), the G-77 and China referred to the right of the poor to education, food, shelter andemployment. It was agreed that "rights of the poor" would be replaced with "the rightsof all to shelter, education and employment." Algeria suggested "rights of all, inparticular the poor," which was accepted by the EU. India proposed that thecommitments should be stated in both international and national terms. The USobjected to this. In 1(d) (international cooperation), delegates agreed to theG-77 and China"s suggestion to replace "promote" with "strengthen" and replace "asan integral component of overall" with "for achieving." Iran added "which enablesdeveloping countries to gain a more equitable access to the global marketopportunities, resources and technologies" after "cooperation." Delegates agreed tomove Iran"s proposal to 1(e). In 1(e) (macroeconomic policies), theG-77 suggested deleting the first three lines and replacing them with "promote andimplement a supportive external economic environment, inter alia, throughcoordination of macroeconomic policies, trade liberalization, provision of adequate,predictable, new and additional financial resources for sustainable development." TheEU accepted the amendment with two reservations. They objected to references tocoordination and to new and additional resources, noting that resources are addressedin Commitment 8. Benin noted that the ideas underlying the G-77 amendment are verydifferent from those in Commitment 8. The US supported the EU and suggested areference to developing countries, as well as countries with economies in transition.India, supported by Algeria and others, questioned how the EU could support the G-77 proposal with reservations that deleted the most important component. Pakistan saidthat the Summit will be pointless unless the international community is prepared todemonstrate real support. In 1(f) (support for LDCs and SIDS), Armenia,supported by the Russian Federation, proposed reference to countries with economiesin transition. The Marshall Islands, supported by Fiji, New Zealand and others, wantedto retain the specificity of the sub-paragraph, in particular the position of SIDS. TheUS suggested deletion of "SIDS", which was strongly opposed by Fiji and Jamaica,and the reference remains. Algeria suggested that the needs of economies in transitionbe dealt with separately. The Chair recommended a separate sub-paragraph: "Theefforts of countries with economies in transition to achieve rapid, broadly-basedsustainable development also deserves attention." The US added "support particularlythrough appropriate international cooperation," and "given the particular economicproblems they face." Benin opposed the latter addition, which was later dropped.India, supported by Bangladesh, recommended a reference to the low-income countriesof South Asia in Commitment 2.
COMMITMENT 2: (poverty eradication) The Chair underlined theimportance of this segment. Switzerland replaced "moral" with "ethical and social." In2(a) (national strategies), the G-77 and China recommended eliminating allforms of poverty and establishing specific time-bound commitments to eradicatepoverty no later than 2010. Australia proposed that 1996 (International Year ofPoverty) should mark the commencement of comprehensive national strategies toimplement the WSSD commitments on poverty, including extreme poverty eradicationby 2010. The US supported integrating both proposals. The EU supported the G-77and China proposal, objecting only to the date. They also referred to a multi-dimensional and integrated approach to combating poverty. Norway, opposed by theUS, referred to the removal of political, legal, economic and social structures andcultural values that create and maintain inequality. India, supported by Algeria,opposed inclusion of "cultural," and added a reference to the social mobilization andempowerment of the poor.
The Chair noted that the underlying concept in the text is poverty eradication. Henoted that the progression of measures involves reducing poverty, and within that goal,eradicating extreme or absolute poverty. India said that absolute poverty cannot beeliminated immediately because two sets of actions are needed: income guaranteemeasures and the provision of basic human needs. He preferred the term "absolute" to"extreme" poverty, since there is a definition for the former. The EU acceptedreduction of all forms of poverty as a first stage, and also indicated acceptance of theword "absolute". On the formulation of the progression, there was disagreementbetween the EU and the G-77 whether all forms of poverty should be reduced oreliminated. The EU indicated that poverty elimination represented an unrealistic goalto which their heads of state could not commit and preferred poverty reduction as anoverall goal. Benin questioned why commitments agreed to in Rio could not beundertaken here.
WORKING GROUP II
DRAFT PROGRAMME OF ACTION
PARAGRAPH 6: (market forces and national policies) The US modified India"sproposal regarding altering attitudes towards gender. The G-77 and China and the EUpreferred moving the reference to another paragraph.
PARAGRAPH 7: (goal of social development) The G-77 and China"sproposal for "increased and equal economic opportunities" was agreed to, as was theEU call to respect cultural diversity. The EU reference to "an equitable partnershipbetween men and women" was accepted.
PARAGRAPH 8: (enabling environment) The Canadian proposal to describea people-centered approach in the introductory paragraph generated debate. The USsupported Canada, the EU supported a shorter version, and Benin suggested languagefrom Rio. The US suggested "broad-based participation of civil society." In the secondbullet, the G-77 and China suggested "broadly-based patterns of sustained economicgrowth and sustainable development." The EU linked growth, population anddevelopment while the G-77 and China said the Cairo text should form a separateparagraph. Canada wanted to maintain reference to the environment in bullet 2. TheG-77 and China said the concept of sustainable development is an agreed conceptfrom Rio. The EU did not want to mix Rio and Cairo language. In bullet 3, the USreserved on "equitable" and suggested "an increased and fair and non-discriminatorydistribution of the benefits of growth." The G-77 and China accepted "fair, equitableand non-discriminatory." In the fifth bullet, delegates accepted the Canadian call forpublic policies "that respect pluralism and diversity." The EU opposed a US-proposedbullet on health care services, including reproductive services, citing theinappropriateness of such detail at this point. In the sixth bullet, delegates accepted aG-77 and China reformulation of the Canadian call for a stable legal framework andfor promoting democracy. The Holy See and the G-77 and China"s eighth bulletproposal for a strengthened family role, coupled with a US amendment to refer to thefamily in all its forms, provoked a heated debate. Argentina quoted related languagefrom the ICPD document, but the EU objected. The Norwegian and G-77 and Chinaproposals to refer to health care in the ninth bullet were expanded to "health careservices," as proposed by the US. The US, supported by the G-77 and China,reformulated the Holy See"s text: "public policies that empower people to enjoy goodhealth and productivity throughout their lives."
PART A: A FAVOURABLE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONALECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
PARAGRAPH 9: (promoting trade employment) The US referred to "broad-based" sustained economic growth and non-discriminatory and rule-based trade. TheEU, supported by China, said that rule-based trade must be multilateral. China addedthe word "open." The G-77 and China added "global sustained economic growth,"which was accepted language from the UN Second Committee. The US bracketed"global." The G-77 and China, supported by the EU, said that the original "requires"is preferable. Canada withdrew its amendment of "and/or international level." The USwanted to substitute "non-discriminatory" for "equitable" in the new (a) of the G-77and China. There were no objections to "sound and stable" in the original (a).
Switzerland, supported by the EU and the G-77 and China, said that consistency ofsectoral policies with macroeconomic policies was important. The EU, the US, andJapan favored the present text on poverty reduction. The G-77 and China preferred itsown amendments. Algeria cautioned against backsliding vis- -vis the GeneralAssembly. The G-77 and China said (a)(bis) should be in the employment chapter.The EU and the US disagreed.
The US supported Japan"s proposal to replace language on the Uruguay Round with"implementing the WTO agreement faithfully." In 9(d) (reducing volatileinterest rates), the US, supported by the EU, replaced this subparagraph with:"Encourage national and international policies to promote stability in financialmarkets." The G-77 and China had a new formulation dealing with coordinatingmacroeconomic policies at the national, subregional, regional, and international levelsto reduce volatility of exchange and interest rates. The US objected. All the versionsof the paragraph were bracketed. In 9 (new g) (SIDS), the US requested a reference tothe SIDS Programme of Action.
PARAGRAPH 10: In 10(a) (reduction of debt burden), the G-77 and Chinacould not accept Canada"s amendment to "reduce and/or eliminate debt burden on acase-by-case basis." In 10(b) bis (sustainable consumption patterns), the US added"curbing consumption and production patterns in all nations."
PARAGRAPH 11:In paragraph 11(c) (implementing developmentstrategies), the US suggested alternative language: "working in partnership to ensurethe implementation of the measures." In 11(d) (increasing ODA), the EUagreed with the target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA reached as soon as possible.
PARAGRAPH 12: In 12(a) (opening market opportunities), the Canadianproposal to replace "the poor" by "people living in poverty" was accepted. In 12(b)(functioning of markets), the US reacted strongly to regulating markets.
Amb. Wlosowicz (Poland) requested delegates to informally discuss the desirednumber of vice-presidents and inform the chair of any resolution. Nitin Desai thenintroduced Informal Note No. 2, which the Secretariat prepared as a basis ofdiscussion on the Summit"s organization. An opening session was proposed forMonday, 6 March with remarks from the Queen of Denmark and other dignitaries.Two parallel meetings will follow: a main committee from 6-9 March to finalizenegotiations and a Plenary from 6-10 March to allow high-level representatives tospeak. Desai recommended a seven-minute time limit for speeches. The last two days,11 and 12 March, will consist of the Summit of Heads of State or Government. Healso mentioned that speakers on 8 March (World Women"s Day) should focus ongender issues.
Denmark reported on arrangements to date, after which delegates raised concerns withthe speaker"s list and the protocol for non-heads of State.
Desai noted the possibility for any country to make a statement on 11 or 12 March.He suggested that the main questions be submitted in writing and serve as the basisfor consultations. The Plenary will reconvene once a clearer picture of the organizationof the Summit work emerges.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: The Working Group will continue consideration ofthe Commitments section.
WORKING GROUP II: The Working Group will continue consideration ofChapter I. Thursday and Friday evening sessions are expected, as well as two Saturday sessions. The compilation of amendments for Chapters II-IV should be availableThursday. Also available each morning will be a printed summary of the previousday"s work.