Daily report for 13 April 1994

3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee

WORKING GROUP I

XV. PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL SECTOR

In 15.15 (cooperation with the private sector), the Holy See,Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau included appropriate education andinformation. Canada suggested changing the phrase "culturallyacceptable" to "culturally sensitive." In 15.16bis (private sectorresponsibilities), Norway urged governments to strongly encouragethe private sector to disseminate consumer information onpopulation and health related products and services. Canada putfamily planning in the broader context of reproductive health. TheHoly See requested that phrases referring to family planning shouldalways be bracketed until resolution of the use of this term byWorking Group II. In 15.1 (Basis for Action), the EU supported useof the word "partnership" in the title. Sweden, Canada, Norway,Nigeria and Jamaica supported deletion of the bracketed language,"in a consultative basis." In 15.5 (expertise of NGOs), Indonesia,supported by Sweden, Canada, the EU and Senegal, requested a moreinclusive term to describe womens' rights organizations. Jamaica,supported by the Holy See, wanted deletion of the second sentenceregarding the responsibility of governments to provide full, safeand accessible reproductive health services. The US, Sweden, Peruand Nigeria sought retention of the sentence. In 15.13 (privatesector role in sustainable development), The Gambia requested thatthe third and fourth sentences be transferred to the section onaction.

XII. TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

In 12.2 (Objectives), Uganda, supported by Jamaica, requestedinclusion of dissemination along with collection and analysisneeds. In 12.15 (Objectives), the problem of the placement of thelist of underserved groups, such as women (India), children (C“ted'Ivoire), families (Indonesia and The Gambia), disabled (Norway),and migrants, refugees and displaced persons (Croatia) was resolvedby the EU, who suggested that the list be placed at the bottom ofthe page with an asterisk. The US suggested a new 12.2 (c)regarding the various socio-economic and cultural contexts offamily planning behavior, and the importance of that context in thedesign and implementation of service programmes.

In 12.1 (Basis for action for Section A), Jamaica proposed deletionof "individuals, organizations and" in the last sentence. This lastamendment was opposed by the Philippines and Norway. Nigeriasuggested reference to "enabling individuals, organizations anddeveloping countries to have access on a no-cost basis."

In 12.7 (Basis for action in Section B), China, supported by theSolomon Islands and the EU suggested reference to fertilityregulation instead of contraception. They also added reference tolegal, as well as ethical, medical and scientific standards forbiomedical research. The Holy See raised its concerns regarding"contraception".

In 12.14 (Basis for action for Section C), the Solomon Islandssuggested the addition of "particularly concerning indigenouspractices". Benin added reference to the lack of related knowledgein developing countries. Honduras said that many developedcountries also lack the relevant knowledge. Brazil denied any lackof such knowledge in his country.

In 12.3 (strengthening national capacity), Brazil, opposed by theEU, called for reference to donor countries and not justinternational organizations. The EU suggested reference tobilateral and multilateral channels instead. Morocco requestedreference to social equity as well as gender equity goals. Jamaicaadded reference to poverty alleviation among the goals to bemonitored.

In 12.5 (establishment of qualitative and quantitative data bases),Jamaica, opposed by the EU, added a reference "to assessing andmeasuring poverty and quality of care". The EU proposed, andJamaica accepted, that the reference to poverty be placed insteadin the second line, among the factors to be linked.

In 12.5bis (demographic and socio-economic information networks),the EU referred to the existence of the POPIN network and suggestedthat reference to the need to create networks be replaced withreference to the need to strengthen existing ones. Senegal wantedthe reference to the creation of networks but agreed to compromiselanguage.

In 12.6 (enhancing knowledge on the position and role of gender),Colombia deleted reference to womens' uncompensated economicactivity. Pakistan, supported by the Philippines and Senegal,insisted on its retention.

WORKING GROUP II

IV. GENDER EQUITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

A. Empowerment and Status of Women: Canada and Japan asked torevise the title by substituting equality for equity. Bolivia andHonduras disagreed and said that equity implies a sense of fairnesswith regard to the same rights for men and women. The Chair agreedto bracket the term for further discussion. In 4.4.c (barriersagainst women's rights), Iran asked for the deletion of culturalbarriers. Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zimbabwe called for itsretention and added religious barriers as well. The Holy Seedisagreed with religious barriers. Cuba included politicalbarriers. A tentative conclusion was reached to state "all forms ofdiscrimination" without specification. The Holy See, Guatemala,Bolivia, Costa Rica and Honduras asked to bracket "sexual andreproductive health", since no consensus had been reached on itsdefinition. The Chair reminded delegates of the WHO's definition.Botswana, the EU and Jamaica asked for its retention, since itconnotes a broad range of issues. In 4.3.f (elimination of genderdiscrimination), Indonesia said that some forms of genderdiscrimination are justifiable. Most countries disagreed. In 4.5(laws against discrimination and harassment), it was agreed thatwhere such laws do not exist they should be ratified. In 4.5.a (onwomen's property rights), Malaysia, supported by most Muslimdelegations, objected to the equal inheritance for women, since itopposes the Sharia. After informal deliberation with theVice-Chair, Muslim countries agreed that women could "receive"property on an equal basis with men. In 4.7 (elimination ofdifferent forms of exploitation), Kenya and Peru objected to theinclusion of forced prostitution. Norway was concerned thatdeletion of the word "forced" would imply total prohibition ofprostitution. It was agreed to keep "forced" and reword the rest ofthe sentence. In 4.8 (gender division of labor), countries agreedto use "household work" instead of "household chores," as the wordimplies drudgery and discourages male participation.

B. The Girl Child: In 4.19 (prohibition of female genitalmutilation), China and the Holy See asked to include the practiceof prenatal sex selection. The Philippines emphasized the role ofreligious leaders. Based on Pakistan's suggestion, it was agreedthat governments are the only legal body who can prohibit suchpractices. In 4.15bis (measures to keep girls in school), Boliviaand Brazil asked for special programs to educate pregnantadolescents. The US agreed but objected to educational segregationof pregnant adolescents.

C. Male Responsibilities and Participation: In 4.22(objective), Finland, Australia, and Bangladesh emphasized male"sexual and reproductive behavior" instead of "fertility." In 4.24(men's shared responsibilities), Nicaragua objected to theprevention of "unwanted pregnancies," since it implies thatabortion could be relied on as a solution. Sweden and Finland askedto keep the text and pointed out that abortion implies terminationand not prevention. In 4.25 (government role in ensuring protectionfor women), the US and Canada highlighted battered women.Bangladesh called for protection for "families" instead of "thefamily unit," which implies the concept of the nuclear family.

V. THE FAMILY, ITS ROLES, RIGHTS, COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE

A. Diversity of Family Structure and Composition: In 5.2(objective), the Holy See and Malta objected to the plurality offamily. Finland and Switzerland emphasized the importance of theconcept of plurality and called for protective laws. Honduras andHungary requested brackets around the term. India and Australiastated that the costs of child-rearing are increasing for couplesas well as for women. In 5.3 (governments' and employers'responsibilities toward families), Senegal, Malaysia, Burkina Fasoand the US included maternal and health services. Reproductivehealth was bracketed as part of services provided by governmentsand employers. In 5.4 (efforts to increase women's economicearnings), Indonesia, Finland, the Holy See and the US agreed thatefforts should ensure that poor women are able to earn "at least"minimum wage. In 5.5 (elimination of discrimination againstfamilies), it was agreed that disabled families should have thesame "family and reproductive rights" as others, and that theserights should not be limited to marriage and childbearing as issuggested by the text.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Many delegates expressed concern that the informal group that metyesterday in the Delegates Lounge to review Chapter III hadreceived a copy of the Chair's draft text before it was distributedin the formal session. The G-77 went so far as to insist that itwould not accept any agreement that had emerged from thosediscussions.

Several delegates appreciated Amb. Biegman's firm stance with thoseLatin American countries who continued to question the definitionof reproductive rights, despite the ample time they had to considerthis issue in their regional group meeting.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUP I: Working Group I will complete its secondreading of Chapter XII (Technology, Research and Development) andthen proceed to Chapter III (Interrelationships between Population,Sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development) thismorning. It will continue its second reading of Chapter XI(Population Information, Education and Communication) thisafternoon. A copy of the Chair's draft text for Chapter III will bedistributed today. It is highly possible that the Working Groupwill have an evening session tonight and Friday night to continuethe second reading of the various chapters under its mandate. Watchfor continued informal consultations.

WORKING GROUP II: The Working Group will continue its secondreading of Chapter V (The Family) and then proceed with Chapter VI(Population Growth and Structure). It is expected that they willalso review Chapter IX (Population Distribution, Urbanization andInternal Migration).

SECURITY BRIEFING: The US Mission to the UN will host ageneral briefing on security for the Cairo Conference for US NGOs,at 5:00 pm on the 8th Floor of the Church Center. Speakers willinclude Timothy Wirth, Mr. O'Brien, Regional Security Officer forthe US in Cairo and Amb. Walker, US Ambassador-designate to Egypt.Notwithstanding the overriding political issues that would make achange in venue nearly impossible, many participants have expressedtheir hope that the Conference will be moved to Geneva, New York orIndonesia.

Participants

Negotiating blocs
European Union
Group of 77 and China
Non-state coalitions
NGOs

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