Daily report for 21 January 1995
3rd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
Ater a nine-hour Saturday session, Working Group I completed its first reading of thedraft Declaration and proposed amendments to Chapter V, Implementation and follow-up. Working Group II was able to complete Chapter II, Eradication of poverty.
WORKING GROUP I
Amb. Somava called for specific amendments to the Declaration, with the substantivedetails of each sub-paragraph to be worked out by the drafting group.
COMMITMENT 8 (utilization of resources): The EU proposed a new sub-paragraph (dd) on ensuring responsibility in budgetary matters. The G-77and Chinahighlighted the need for new social indicators. In 8(e) (reduction in militaryexpenditures), the Holy See referred to international agreements restricting arms thatare excessively injurious and the need for transmission of information to the UN ArmsRegister. In 8(f) (new and additional financial resources), the EU, opposedby the G-77 and China, proposed weaker language on new and additional resources.Canada, supported by the US, proposed deletion of "new and additional." In8(g) (flow of resources), the G-77 and China deleted the reference to"transition countries," since there was a separate paragraph on this. The RussianFederation pointed out that 8(g) was more encompassing than the paragraph oneconomies in transition. The EU also proposed language on the promotion of jointventures in the social sector as an alternative for the deletion of 8(g). While there wasgeneral agreement on the EU proposal, the G-77 and China did not feel that it was anadequate substitute for 8(g). In 8(h) (0.7% of GNP as ODA), the G-77 andChina, supported by Norway, proposed a target of the year 2000 and strongerlanguage. Japan, supported by the EU, did not want a specific target. On the Japaneseproposal to promote South-South cooperation, the G-77 and China added reference tointernational support for such cooperation. In 8(i) (debt-relief agreements),the EU, supported by the US, proposed language on favorable terms of debtforgiveness. The G-77 and China felt that "forgiveness" was paternalistic and preferred"cancellation" instead. The G-77 and China proposed reference to innovative measuresto reduce bilateral debt and to develop durable solutions for servicing multilateral debt.Benin felt that the EU language was close to accepted UNGA-49 language andsuggested a merger of the two. In 8(j) (Uruguay Round), the G-77 and Chinaaccepted Japan"s reference to "fully implementing the final Uruguay Round." Thiswould ensure that all agreements reached at the Uruguay Round and their respectivetimeframes would be implemented. Benin pointed out that the results of the Roundwere not entirely satisfactory for African countries.
In 8(k) (trade liberalization), Canada, opposed by India, called for strongerlanguage on monitoring of trade liberalization to improve working and livingconditions. The original text was retained. In 8(l) (economies in transition),the G-77 and China added the qualifier "without prejudice to the needs of developingcountries." Armenia and the Russian Federation did not agree. Armenia also suggestedlanguage on financial and technical assistance for economies in transition, which wasnot supported by the G-77 and China. In 8(m)(financing for the UN), therewas agreement to strengthen the UN"s role in WSSD follow-up. Azerbaijan proposed anew 8(n) regarding the return and needs of refugees and displaced persons.The G-77 and China, and the EU, agreed with the concept, but reserved on itsplacement.
COMMITMENT 9 (strengthened framework): Reference to regional andsubregional organizations was accepted in the chapeau. 9(a)(implementingthe WSSD) was accepted, subject to minor changes. In 9(b)(regionalcommission meetings), Japan preferred triennial instead of biannual meetings. The USreserved on this sub-paragraph, pending discussion on Chapter V. In 9(c)(role of UN system in follow-up), references were made to the roles of:multilateral development banks (the EU); international organizations concerned withdevelopment and trade (Australia); and the ILO (Japan). In 9(d)(ECOSOCreview of the WSSD), Japan suggested that the progress made by nationalgovernments and relevant UN functional commissions should also be evaluated. In9(e) (second WSSD), the EU and Japan felt it was premature to plan asecond WSSD until the first one was evaluated. The G-77 and China proposed a newcommitment on education.
CHAPTER V: IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
The Chair requested that delegates identify major problems and issues in ChapterV.
INTRODUCTION and A. NATIONAL STRATEGIES
The G-77 and China said that political will must be promoted at both the nationaland international levels. They called for international assistance, in addition tocooperation, and emphasized quantitative and qualitative indicators to assess socialdevelopment. The EU, the US, Australia and Japan called for human rights languagein the introduction. The US stressed the need for specific measures for follow-up andcapacity-building.
B. INVOLVEMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY
The G-77 and China called for references to: poverty eradication; cooperationbetween governments and civil society; linkages between sustained economic growthand sustainable development; capacity-building; and evaluation of costs. The EUsupported civil-society involvement. Australia called for voluntary codes of conductfor investment. The US noted the difficulties with such codes.
C. MOBILIZATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES
The G-77 and China stressed the need for: substantial, new and additional funds;budgetary reorientation at national and international levels; reduction of arms andmilitary expenditures; commitment to ODA targets; a special fund for socialdevelopment; and debt reduction measures. They introduced a paragraph on the needsof SIDS. The EU called for: high priority to social development in the allocation ofpublic funds; coordination between multilateral and bilateral funding policies;implementation of the recommendations of the Paris Club; and increased socialresponsibility within international financial institutions. Australia called for a study oninnovative funding mechanisms. The Russian Federation highlighted the negativesocial consequences of military conversion. Norway called for the 20:20 concept to bestudied. The US expressed concern about references to new and additional resources,but indicated its support for exploring new funding sources. Pakistan noted the non-viability of developing a mathematical formula such as the 20:20 initiative. Beninnoted the full commitment of African countries to the 20:20 concept. Discussioncontinued until 9:00 pm.
WORKING GROUP II
The Chair reported that by Saturday morning, the informal contact group had removed95% of the brackets in Chapter I.
CHAPTER II: ERADICATION OF POVERTY
C. MEETING THE BASIC NEEDS OF ALL
Paragraph 32 (partnerships meeting basic needs of all): In the chapeau, the USwithdrew its amendment to meet the basic needs of all "legal residents," due to strongG-77 and China objection. In 32(b) (women"s full access to social services),the EU objected to "gender-sensitive health services," preferring "comprehensivehealth care." Pakistan proposed language stating that abortion should not be promotedas a method of family planning and the Holy See bracketed the entire sub-paragraph.The G-77 and China proposed consolidating 32(b)(bis) and32(bb)(bis), both of which referred to participation of and equal access forindigenous people. Norway agreed to move its 32(bbb)(bis) (health linked tothe environment) as long as it remained somewhere in the document. The EUproposed in 32(c) (social services for vulnerable people) that "appropriate"rather than "special" services should be provided. In 32(d) (ensuring accessto legal services), Japan specified that "free legal assistance" be provided for in trialprocedures. The US, supported by the EU and Australia, qualified the reference with"where appropriate." The G-77 and China reserved on both formulations, which werebracketed. In response to the G-77 and China"s reference to "fair administration" ofjustice, the EU proposed using the Vienna formulation of "strong and independentadministration of justice," which delegates accepted, pending the outcome of thebracketed reference to "free" services. The EU and Benin suggested that the US-proposed 32(new e) (restorative services for those requiring institutionalcare), which was expanded to encompass those who are homebound, is better placedin Chapter IV (Social Integration).
Paragraph 33 (implementation targets): In the chapeau, the US supportedthe Egyptian proposal "urging" countries to implement commitments rather than theimperatives in the original text ("must") or proposed by the G-77 and China("should"). The EU qualified the G-77 and China"s proposal that there should be"appropriate" assistance from the international community, but the G-77 and Chinaobjected. With regard to the sub-paragraphs, the Chair said that the list ofcommitments have been made at other conferences and the language should be takenverbatim from the relevant declarations or programmes of action. Switzerlandsuggested that each sub-paragraph should include the source of each commitment. TheUS added two new sub-paragraphs on (1) life expectancy and (2) eradicating andcontrolling preventable diseases that represent a threat to development.
In 33(e)(reproductive healthcare), some delegates preferred reference toparagraph 7.6 of the Cairo Programme of Action, but the G-77 and China, the HolySee and Pakistan wanted direct reference to the following Cairo language: "whileensuring that in no case abortion should be promoted as a method of family planning."It was bracketed. Agreement was reached on how to monitor the implementation ofthese commitments (33(i)), and the Holy See dropped its proposed33(j) on stable family units.
Paragraph 34 (social services): Delegates agreed that the paragraph shoulddeal with access to "social services" for people living in poverty. Sub-paragraphs34(a), on access to quality education, and 34(b), on non-formaleducation, were bracketed. Sub-paragraph 34(c) (preschool education) wasaccepted. In 34(d) (access to health service outlets), Norway, Switzerlandand the US noted that reproductive health and family planning are not interchangeableand that the phrase should read "reproductive health, including family planning." TheG-77 and China disagreed and it was bracketed. Delegates agreed that34(d)(bis) should be moved to paragraph 71, which addresses violenceagainst women. Pakistan and the Holy See felt that 34(e)(comprehensivenational health care strategy) should not focus exclusively on reproductive health care.Delegates agreed to include Norway"s amendment regarding education about thebenefits of breastfeeding. Sub- paragraph 34(f)(health care workers in low-income communities and rural areas) was also bracketed.
D. ENHANCED SOCIAL PROTECTION AND REDUCEDVULNERABILITY
Paragraph 35 (social protection systems): The chapeau now reads: "Socialprotection systems should be based on legislation, as appropriate, strengthened andexpanded, as necessary, in order to protect from poverty, people who cannot findwork, people who cannot work due to sickness, disability, language barriers, old ageor maternity, or caring for children and sick or elderly relatives, families that have losta breadwinner through death or marital break-up, and people who have lost theirlivelihoods due to natural disaster or civil violence, wars or forced displacement. Dueattention should be given to people affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Actions tothis end [should] [could] include:".
Sub-paragraph 35(a) now reads: "Strengthening and expanding programmestargeted to those in need, programmes providing universal basic protection, and socialsecurity and social insurance programmes, with the choice of programmes dependingon national financial and administrative capacities." Discussions continued until 9:00pm.
IN THE CORRIDORS
There was concern in the corridors that the PrepCom has not progressed sufficientlyduring its first week. Working Group I has barely begun consideration of Chapter Vand Working Group II has been able to complete only a first reading of Chapters I andII. Nevertheless, substantive progress has been made on the draft Declaration, whichnow includes strong commitments on the role of women in social development,eradication of poverty, and empowerment in general. With only one week remaining,unless the Working Groups pick up their pace and increase their use of smallinformal-informal groups, the document that is sent to Copenhagen may remain largelybracketed.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will meet today at 3:00 pm.
WORKING GROUP I: Working Group I will not meet today. The Chairhas asked Amb. Razali to compile all amendments to Chapter V, which will be thebasis for negotiations on Tuesday.
WORKING GROUP II: Working Group II will begin consideration ofChapter III, Productive employment and the reduction of unemployment. An eveningsession is expected.