Daily report for 24 January 1995
3rd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
WORKING GROUP I
The Chair introduced CRP.4, the report from Amb. Butler"s consultative group on thedraft Declaration. Amb. Butler recommended that delegates approve the paper, withthe exception of the five reservations. Where agreement could not be reached,Somava sent the text back to the Butler Group.
In paragraph 4 (good governance), delegates accepted the G-77/Chinaproposal to change "sustainable economic and social development" to "social andpeople-centered sustainable development." Delegates retained the brackets inparagraph 8 (overriding goals of the international community).
IA. CURRENT SOCIAL SITUATION AND REASONS FOR CONVENINGTHE SUMMIT
Paragraph 15 will be drafted on the basis of the Programme of Action. The G-77/China proposal focused the second sentence of paragraph 16 (criticalsituation of Africa and LDCs) on developing countries. In paragraph 17(support for countries with economies in transition), the G-77/China proposed deletingthe introductory "for the same reasons," stating that some reasons for support are notthe same in Africa and LDCs, and economies in transition. In paragraph 18(sources of social distress), the following changes were made to the list ofsources: "illicit narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances" reads "illicit drugproblems;" "illicit arms trafficking" will be placed after "armed conflict;" and"security" will stand on its own rather than being linked as "peace and security." Inparagraph 19 (communicable diseases), delegates accepted the US referenceto "HIV/AIDS" rather than simply "AIDS."
B. PRINCIPLES AND GOALS
In paragraph 22 (vision for social development), the G-77/Chinaproposed a reference to the "various values, ethical and cultural backgrounds ofpeople," which reflects Cairo language. The proposal was accepted, pending furtherreflection by the Holy See. Sub-paragraphs 23(a)-(h) (framework for action)were accepted, with the exception of 23(g) (equitable incomedistribution). Delegates disagreed on many of the remaining sub-paragraphs. The G-77/China accepted those sub-paragraphs apart from the reservation to 23(k)(right to self-determination), but the EU called for several changes. The EU replaced"compensate" with "mitigate" in 23(i) (compensating the consequences ofdisability), but Norway, who had originally proposed the sub-paragraph, objected. In23(j) (human rights), the EU replaced "social cohesion" with "socialintegration." The EU called for the deletion of 23(q) (disabled and olderpersons), which the G-77/China and the US insisted on retaining. In 23(s)(participation of women), the EU replaced "improve" in the reference to women"sparticipation with "ensure." In 23(t) (return of refugees), the EU, supportedby the US, replaced "for the return of" with "to deal with the problems of" anddeleted "to their places of permanent residence." Azerbaijan noted that the EUamendments undermined the purpose of the sub-paragraph, which was to create theconditions for the return of refugees. He proposed "to allow them to return to theirplaces of permanent residence or their home of origin." In 23(u) (return ofprisoners of war), the EU added a reference to international conventions.
In paragraph 24 (responsibility of the international community), delegatesagreed to the EU proposal to replace "remove inequities" among people with thephrase "reduce inequalities." The Russian Federation proposed a reference to countrieswith economies in transition in the sentence on the widening income gap betweendeveloped and developing countries. The G-77/China objected to including newcategories of countries. Amb. Butler warned against re-drafting the "finely balanced"text.
The Group then reviewed the bracketed paragraphs together. Paragraph 8(goals of the international community) was not accepted by the G-77/China. TheEU insisted on the reference to "equity" in sub-paragraph 23(g) (equitableincome distribution). In 23(k) (right to self-determination), the EU requestedthat the sub-paragraph reflect Vienna language. Somava announced that the WorkingGroup would not reconvene until Wednesday afternoon to allow the consultativegroups of Amb. Razali (Commitments 7, 8, 9 and Chapter V, Implementation andFollow-up) and Amb. Butler (Declaration and Commitments 1 to 6) to continue, andfor the regional groups to review their work.
Amb. Ostergaard-Andersen (Denmark) reported that most hotel rooms in Copenhagenhave been pre-booked at special rates by DHS Congress Services. Individualarrangements can be made, but delegates should deal with DHS to benefit from thespecial rates.
WORKING GROUP II
Although Working Group II worked until 11:00 pm on Monday night, it did notcomplete its first reading of Chapter III. Thus, amidst growing time pressure onTuesday, the Group managed to complete Chapter III and was scheduled to work until11:00 pm, Tuesday, to try to complete Chapter IV.
CHAPTER III: PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT
D. ENHANCED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROUPS WITHSPECIFIC NEEDS
Paragraph 53 bis, as proposed by the EU, was accepted: "Programmesfor entry and reentry to the labour market aimed at the disadvantaged and vulnerablegroups which can effectively combat the causes of exclusion on the labour marketby:". After a lengthy discussion on 53 bis (a) (training onbusiness management), followed by additional consultations in the corridors,delegates agreed on a new formulation for complementing literacy, general educationor vocational training with teaching on business management. Delegates accepted53 bis (b) (relationship between skills, employment and housing,health and family life).
The chapeau in paragraph 54 now reads: "Policies should seek to guaranteeall youth constructive options for their future by:". Sub-paragraph 54(a) nowreads: "Providing equal access to education at the primary and secondary levels, withliteracy as a priority, with special attention to girls." 54(a) bis(promoting literacy training), 54(b) (youth training programmes), and54(b) bis (participation of youth in decision-making with regard totheir future) were accepted.
Canada and Norway argued that paragraph 55 (participation of women inthe labour market) does not belong in a section on groups with specific needs. Beninproposed considering its relocation during the second reading. Sub-paragraph55(a) now reads: "Establishing the principle of equality between men andwomen as a basis for employment policy." In sub-paragraph 55(b)bis (women"s equal access), the G-77/China, supported by the US,thought the formulation on positive action should be included in 55(b)(eliminating gender discrimination). Fiji, supported by the G-77/China, felt that55(b) ter should retain reference to gender sensitivity training foremployers. The US disagreed and the phrase "for employers" remains bracketed. In55(c) (women"s access to technology), the original text was accepted, withoutagreement on Canada"s amendment concerning reduction of occupational segregation.The G-77/China proposed the following compromise language for 55(d):"Changing those policies and attitudes that reinforce the division of labour based ongender, and providing institutional support, such as social protection for maternity,parental leave, flexible working arrangements, including parental part-timeemployment and childcare facilities, which enable working parents to reconcile workwith family responsibilities, paying particular attention to the needs of single parenthouseholds." Elements of paragraph 58(a) bis* (family andemployment responsibilities) that are not already found in paragraph 55(d) will beincorporated into that paragraph. The US wanted to move 55(d) bis toa more appropriate place, but first proposed the following: "Acknowledging the valueof both remunerated and non-remunerated work performed by women." The EUagreed, but China said this has already been mentioned in paragraph 42. Canada saidthat in 55(e) (men"s role in household responsibilities), the language aboutfostering family responsibility is consistent with the Nairobi Forward LookingStrategy.
In the chapeau to paragraph 56 (broadening employment for disabledpersons), delegates agreed that the term "persons with disabilities" would be usedthroughout the text. Since new text for paragraphs 57, 58 and 58 bis was onlydistributed in the morning, delegates asked for more time to consider it. Thus, themeeting was adjourned at 12:30 pm.
During the afternoon session, the Chair asked interested delegations to start informalconsultations on paragraphs 57 and 70, both of which deal with migrant workers.
In paragraph 58 (broader understanding of work and employment), the EUsaid that in 58(a) bis, they would prefer not to quantifyunremunerated contributions made to society and the economy. In 58(d)(encouraging volunteer work), the EU noted that the text supports partnership withNGOs. The US bracketed the reference to allocation of resources to support suchwork.
Delegates accepted the amended EU proposal for 58 bis, which nowreads: "This broader recognition and understanding of employment and work canpermit the development of additional socially useful new types of employment andwork [aimed at/required], inter alia:". 58 bis (a)(integrating disadvantaged and vulnerable groups into society) and 58 bis(c) (employment strengthens social ties) were accepted. 58 bis(b) now reads: "Helping dependent elderly or giving support for families needingeducational assistance or social support."
CHAPTER IV: SOCIAL INTEGRATION
BASIS FOR ACTION AND OBJECTIVES
The Working Group began consideration of Chapter IV at 4:30 pm. After a 45-minute drafting session involving the EU, the G-77, China, Norway, the US, Australia,Canada and the Holy See, delegates agreed on paragraph 59. Itnow reads: "The aim of social integration is to create a society for all where everyindividual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play. Such aninclusive society must be based upon respect for all human rights and fundamentalfreedoms, cultural and religious diversity, social justice and special needs of vulnerableand disadvantaged groups, democratic participation and the rule of law. The pluralisticnature of most societies has, at times, resulted in problems for the different groups toachieve and maintain harmony, cooperation, and to have equal access to all resourcesin society. Full recognition of each individual"s rights in the context of the rule of lawhas not always been fully guaranteed. Since the founding of the United Nations, thisquest for humane, stable, safe, tolerant and just societies has shown at best a mixedrecord."
In paragraph 60 (decolonization), China wanted to add "cultural diversity"to "fundamental freedoms," since these should be respected together. Inparagraph 62 (violence as a threat to security), the US added "olderpersons" to the list of those groups affected by violence. Australia supported theChair"s suggestion to delete paragraph 63 (main aim of social integration),since consensus had been reached on paragraph 59, making this paragraph superfluous.
In paragraph 64 (urgent needs), the US preferred the reference to systemicdiscrimination (i.e., structural barriers permeating society) in the 6th bullet to avoid thecreation of another list. In the 7th bullet (dangers to society), the Holy See wanted toadd "the production and sale of arms," in view of the problem with land mines. TheG-77/China believed the 8th bullet (strengthening the role of civil society) would pre-empt ECOSOC"s review of NGO consultative arrangements. Australia, the EU andRwanda supported the Canadian amendment regarding the role of civil society in theimplementation, design and evaluation of public policies. China did not think NGOscould help formulate public policy.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:20 pm and was expected to reconvene at 8:00pm to continue this discussion.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Many of the NGOs teeming in the corridors are satisfied with the extent to which theirinput has been incorporated into the Programme of Action and Declaration. Much ofthe wording related to structural adjustment programmes, Africa, gender and povertycan be attributed, in part, to the work of the various NGO caucuses. Some observershave noted that the firmness and visibility of NGOs have led to a greater degree ofaccountability among governments. It is felt that the degree of NGO collaboration hasbeen unprecedented and bodes well for Copenhagen. Some NGOs, however, havenoted concern that the Working Groups are "losing sight of the forest for the trees."
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: The Working Group will not meet this morning, butwill reconvene at 3:00 pm to review the work of the Butler and Razali Groups. Anight session may be necessary.
WORKING GROUP II: The Working Group will continue its first readingof Chapter IV this morning, if delegates were unable to complete the reading onTuesday night. The Group will then review the report on the Introduction and ChapterI from the informal consultative group. Look for a report from the informalconsultative group on Chapter II to be circulated this morning.