Daily report for 18 April 1994
3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
WORKING GROUP I
XIII. NATIONAL ACTION
A. National Policies and Plans of Action: In 13.1 (basis foraction), Canada supported Uganda's request for reference to bothinternational and internal migration. India added reference tounsustainable production and consumption.
B. Programme Management and Human Resource Development: In13.5 (basis for action), India proposed adding reference tocapacity building.
XIV. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
A. Responsibilities of partners in development: India,supported by China, proposed a new sub-paragraph in 14.3(objectives), which states that developed countries will adoptfavorable macro-economic policies to promote sustained economicgrowth and development in developing countries. The EU objected.The US, supported by Sweden, Australia and the EU, added a newobjective on human rights standards. India said that unless its newparagraph was accepted, it could not accept the US proposal. Bothwere bracketed. The Gambia proposed a new objective ensuring thatUN assistance programmes are consistent with and supportive ofnational programmes. India proposed deleting 14.3 bis(capacity building and technology transfer) and replacing it witha new paragraph on the adoption of favorable macroeconomicpolicies. The EU, Canada and Australia said that this Conferencecannot solve all development problems. Tuvalu, Estonia and Hondurasproposed deleting the sentence that refers to local production ofcontraceptives. In 14.4 (funding for capacity building), the EU andthe G-77 proposed alternative texts.
B. Towards a New Commitment to Funding Population andDevelopment: In 14.6 (basis for action), the G-77 proposed newtext requesting donors to increase assistance for populationprogrammes from 2 to 4%. The EU bracketed these figures. In 14.7(objectives), Algeria proposed deleting reference to countries witheconomies in transition and developing countries stricken bynatural and manmade calamities. The EU, Belarus, the RussianFederation and Estonia supported retaining the former. Tuvalusupported retaining the latter. If these categories are retained,Brazil proposed adding reference to developing countries with highlevels of unmet demand and India added reference to the mostpopulous developing countries. India proposed a new sub-paragraphon new and additional resources. Algeria proposed reference toSouth-South cooperation.
In 14.8 (increased financial contributions), the G-77 proposedincluding reference to the target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA.Switzerland proposed devoting at least 20% of ODA funds to thesocial sectors. The EU reserved its position, pendingconsultations. In 14.8 ter (coordination of financingpolicies), the G-77 and the EU proposed new language. Estoniawanted to include reference to achieving population programmes incountries with economies in transition.
XI. POPULATION INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION(IEC)
Sweden wanted to change the name of the chapter to "Population andDevelopment Information...." In 11.1 (basis for action), Canadaadded reference to migration. The US added "gender and culturallysensitive population and development related IEC policies." In 11.2(information, education and communication), the Philippines andNorway called for a reference to sustainable human development.Sweden called for greater public knowledge and commitment to beplaced in a democratic setting. In 11.3 (effective IEC activities),the Philippines noted that schools and religious institutions areimportant vehicles for instilling gender and racial sensitivity.Honduras asked that parents and older relatives be included ingroups that are influential in forming public opinion.
In 11.5 (objectives), Canada said (b) should include gender andracial sensitivity. India thought there was no reason to mentionthe latter. The US, supported by Sweden, Norway, Burundi andMalaysia, proposed a new objective to enhance the ability ofcouples and individuals to make informed reproductive choices. TheHoly See made a counter proposal "to enhance the ability of womenand men to have the same right to decide freely and responsibly thenumber and spacing of their children." Sweden proposed deletingreference to families in (a). The Holy See, India, Morocco,Malaysia and Croatia disagreed.
In 11.6 (raising awareness on priority issues), the followingissues were added to the list: gender equality (Finland);reproductive rights and unsustainable consumption and production(Sweden); responsible sexual behavior (EU); racism and xenophobia(US); and persons with disabilities (Morocco). In 11.11(strengthening interpersonal communication skills), the EU wantedto delete reference to ethical values. Honduras, Morocco, Guatemalaand the Holy See disagreed. This was bracketed for the Holy See. In11.13 (entertainment media), the Philippines, supported by Tanzaniaand China, added soap operas to the list of media. Finland thoughtthat this reference would call into question the seriousness of theUN, but the Secretariat assured delegates that soap operas havegained respectability in the literature on entertainment media. In11.15 (education), the EU proposed deleting the phrase "whilerespecting the rights, responsibilities and values of parents." TheHoly See, Guatemala and Honduras disagreed. Brazil proposed acompromise: "while respecting appropriate ethical standards."Several additions were made to the list of population anddevelopment issues. Colombia proposed deleting the list andreferring instead to the issues considered by the Plan of Action.
III. INTERRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POPULATION, SUSTAINED ECONOMICGROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
C. Population, Sustained Economic Growth, Poverty Alleviation andHuman Resource Development: The EU and the G-77 presentedtheir consensus text. After several delegations made amendments,Brazil, Australia, Senegal, Colombia, Tuvalu and Canada suggestedthat the consensus text be adopted without further debate. Swedenoffered to withdraw its amendments if other delegations would dothe same. Morocco strongly supported the Chinese amendments.Delegates finally accepted the compromise suggested by the US, whosaid that Section C is part of a larger chapter and Section Baddressed sustained economic growth.
WORKING GROUP II
VIII: HEALTH, MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY
C. Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood: In 8.16(a) (objective),the EU, supported by Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Brazil,Poland, Finland, Cuba, Bolivia and Tunisia, requested a statementon reducing unsafe abortions. The Holy See requested reference tothe commitment to women's health to reduce the number of abortions.Ecuador remarked that maternal mortality is not limited to unsafeabortion. Malaysia, the US, Botswana, Peru and Bolivia agreed andsaid although abortion may be illegal, it does occur and should bedealt with as a public health issue. Cte d'Ivoire said thatabortion may be allowed only within a limited legal framework, andany reference to unsafe abortion should be replaced with "abortionwith its complications." Pakistan said that prohibiting abortion tosave the mother's life endangers the life of the unborn. The HolySee and Malta referred to the lack of a clear definition of safemotherhood.
In 8.16(b) (objective), delegates agreed to add breast- feeding asa factor in promoting the health and nutrition of pregnant women.In 8.17 (target date to reduce maternal mortality), delegatesagreed that each country should set its own goals according to itsresources. In 8.18 (primary health care), some delegationscontinued to question the definition of safe motherhood. Malaysiaand the Philippines called for a glossary of terms. The Chairaccepted Malaysia's request to include post-natal care. In 8.19(government roles in managing maternal mortality), Mexico proposedlanguage identifying high risks for future pregnancies. The HolySee, Malta and Honduras agreed with Mexico, but requestedreplacement of "unwanted" with "unplanned" pregnancies. The Chairreminded that in 4.24 agreement was reached on the term "unwantedpregnancies." The Chair asked to delete "unsafe, harmful abortions"in light of the considerable discussion on this issue. He added theimportance of "late parity" as a pregnancy risk. In 8.20(delaying first pregnancy), Bangladesh, supported by Iran,suggested replacing the last sentence with "Young adults should beprovided with information to help them decide responsibly about thetiming of their first child."
Discussion of 8.21 (abortion) was carried out on asentence-by-sentence basis. In the first sentence, brackets wereleft around "unsafe." India supported the present formulation.Pakistan urged its retention, since it reflects the reality thatsome pregnancies are simply not wanted. Sweden, opposed by Hungary,suggested deletion of "eliminate the causes of abortion" with"reduce the need for." The Chair supported Bolivia's suggestion torefer to the causes of abortion. Norway proposed "counseling toreduce the rate of abortion." In the fourth sentence, which callson governments to assess the impacts of abortion, Nicaragua,Venezuela and Guatemala requested its deletion, arguing that it wasan intrusion on sovereign jurisdiction. Canada, Botswana,Bangladesh, El Salvador, Chile, the US, Japan, Mexico, Brazil,India, Norway, Turkey and Bolivia supported its retention. TheChair reminded delegates that the sentence was actually taken froma Holy See formulation. In the fifth sentence, Ecuador deleted thereference to women's well-being and added reference to the moral,cultural and religious context of each country. Peru, supported byMalaysia, Bolivia, Mexico and Iran suggested "governments shouldconsider within their laws and policies related to abortion, humaneconditions oriented towards the protection of women's health andwell-being." The US, supported by Bangladesh, proposed "governmentsare urged to frame laws and policies on the basis of a commitmentto women's health and well-being." Cte d'Ivoire insisted thatwhere the mother's health is in danger, national laws shouldregulate conditions for access to abortion. In the sixth sentence,Sweden added the criterion of "affordable." Peru, supported byUganda, Mexico and others, suggested language to provide all womenwith the same options for abortion counseling and services.Honduras insisted that her government prohibits her from eventalking about abortion in this forum. Canada and Finland called fordeletion of the sentence because it is repetitive. In the eighthsentence, delegates agreed to add reference to counseling andeducation. The Holy See and Indonesia called for deletion of"family planning." The EU tabled new text for 8.21.
In 8.22 (maternal mortality programmes), delegates agreed to thereference to contribution of the parity, spacing and timing ofbirths on maternal mortality. Some delegates affirmed theimportance of the right of couples to decide the number ofchildren. Delegates agreed to replace reference to pre-andpost-marital counseling with a term that was not tied to maritalstatus. In 8.23 (male responsibility in reproductive health), theHoly See deleted "reproductive health including contraception"since they are not central to male responsibility. Cte d'Ivoiresaid that "high risk sexual behavior" is not the domain of men.Bolivia, supported by China and the US, added reference to AIDS andto sexual health. The Holy See agreed to the paragraph if"contraception" is replaced with "family planning."
D. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and AcquiredImmune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): In 8.25(a) (objective),Brazil mentioned the lack of emphasis on the individual. The USaddressed the socio-economic, gender and racial factors thatincrease vulnerability to the disease. Norway added the importanceof AIDS-associated diseases, particularly tuberculosis. In 8.27(programmes to reduce AIDS), the Holy See, supported by Guatemalaand El Salvador, referred to studies that question the reliabilityof the condom, and supported abstinence as the only method ofprevention. Brazil disagreed. Bolivia and El Salvador requestedretention of "condom" and "safe sex" and added "voluntary" before"abstinence." In 28 bis (governments' role in the fightagainst AIDS), Thailand emphasized research and Malaysia mentionedthe financial inability of some countries to conduct research. TheUS requested development of anti-virus agents for women. In 8.29(prevention and protection), the Holy See objected to the referenceof condoms as the only method of protection. Botswana and Colombiastated that although the use of condoms may not be totallyreliable, it should be included. Bolivia, supported by a largenumber of delegates, asked to include voluntary abstinence as aprotection method.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: The Working Group is expected to firstdiscuss the outstanding paragraphs in Chapter III -- 3.11, 3.13and 3.20, and possibly the EU proposal for a new Section D. Thenthe Group will discuss Section C (Resource Mobilization andAllocation) of Chapter XIII (National Action). It is unlikely thatthe Group will meet in the afternoon, but it is expected toreconvene in the evening to discuss Chapter XVI (Follow-up to theConference).
WORKING GROUP II: The Working Group still has two completechapters to discuss today: X (International Migration) and VII(Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health and Family Planning).There may be an evening session.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The Committee is expected to meetthis afternoon. PrepCom Chair Fred Sai has been holdingconsultations on Chapters I (Preamble) and II (Principles) and isexpected to report on the status of these chapters.