Daily report for 20 April 1994
3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
WORKING GROUP I
XIII. NATIONAL ACTION
C. Resource Allocation and Mobilization: The Chair reportedthat Mexico and the US had reached agreement on new text for 13.13(cost estimates of core national population programmes). Thecompromise sets out cost estimates in four closely relatedprogramme components: family planning; basic reproductive healthservices; STD/HIV/AIDS prevention programmes; and research and datacollection. In 13.14 (share of external resources among poorcountries), Sweden said that the bulk of the costs will have to beborne by the countries themselves. In 13.15 (additional resources),the US, supported by Sweden and Australia, added languagerecognizing those investments required in the health sector. Indiaagreed, but wanted the investments to be "additional andsubstantial." In 13.16 (resources for action programme), The Gambiaand the Philippines suggested full involvement of women in thedevelopment process. In 13.17 (further resources), Bangladeshwanted new and additional resources for the action programme. In13.18 (benefits from population programmes), the US emphasized theneed for substantial increased investments for implementation inthe near term. India stressed sustainable production andconsumption patterns.
III. INTERRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POPULATION, SUSTAINED ECONOMICGROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Three outstanding paragraphs remained in the text. In 3.13 (qualityof life), China insisted on a reference to the right todevelopment. The US and the EU requested inclusion of the promotionof sustained economic growth in the context of sustainabledevelopment. In 3.20 (supportive economic environment), the G-77,opposed by Albania, questioned the logic of putting developingcountries on an equal footing with countries with economies intransition. The proposed Section D was not discussed in light ofon-going consultations.
XVI. FOLLOW-UP TO THE CONFERENCE
In the evening, the Chair called on Canada (Chair of the informalnegotiations) to review those paragraphs that have not yet beenresolved in the informal consultations. In Section A(National-Level Activity), brackets remain in: 16.1 (basis foraction); 16.3(a)and (b) (functions related to follow-up); 16.7(dissemination); and 16.9 (monitoring mechanisms). In Section B(Regional and Sub-Regional Activities), brackets remain in 16.15bis (role of regional organizations). In Section C(Activities at the International Level), brackets remain in 16.18(objectives); 16.20 and 16.20 bis (role of ECOSOC). India,supported by Pakistan, requested reference to "new and additionalresources on concessional and grant terms" in 16.16 (Basis foraction). The Chair explained that the entire paragraph is bracketedand agreed to include the Indian proposal therein.
WORKING GROUP II
VII. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND FAMILYPLANNING
B. Family Planning: In 7.12(a) (objective), the Holy Seerequested replacement of "couples and individuals," with "men andwomen." Namibia and New Zealand objected and it was bracketed. In7.12(c), delegates accepted India's suggestion to include"acceptability" as a qualifier for family planning. In 7.12(e),India added the need to increase men's participation in practicingfamily planning. In 7.13(a) (promoting the principle of voluntarychoice in family planning), the text was bracketed by Malta,Ecuador and Nicaragua, who argued that family planning impliesabortion. In 7.13(b) (governments' role in assessing and providingunmet family planning needs), the EU asked to bracket the targetdates. Malaysia proposed "widest possible range," since somecountries may be unable to provide "the full range" of familyplanning. Norway and Finland disagreed and the term was bracketed.Since statistical projections in the second part of the paragraphwere not action-oriented, they were moved to the basis for action.In 7.13(c) (government responsibility to ensure family planningservices conform with human rights standards), Iran and Indonesiaquestioned the existence of accepted standards. The term wasdeleted. In 7.13(d) (role of NGOs), delegates highlighted thecooperative role of NGOs and the need for evaluating NGOactivities.
In 7.14 (barriers to family planning services), Malta preferred theterm "obstacles," but was faced with objection from India and theSolomon Islands who agreed with the text and WHO's definition ofthe term. "Barrier" was bracketed in its first reference in theparagraph. In its second reference, the US, the Philippines,Morocco, Bangladesh, Brazil and Iran asked to delete theenumeration of barriers, since they may not have the samesignificance everywhere. In 7.15 (role of governments in removingbarriers to informed choice), the enumerated list of barriers wasbracketed and reference to safety of services was deleted. In 7.16(the role of political leaders in promoting family planning),Benin, Malta and Ecuador reminded delegates that political leaderscannot be obliged to submit to international pressure. Maltainsisted that family planning should be "legally permissible."Bangladesh argued that Malta's suggestion was a contradiction interms, since governments cannot implement illegal policies. In 7.17(individual decisions), it was agreed to delete the section onincentives and disincentives, since it was not action-oriented. In7.18(c) (provision of services), the EU emphasized the importanceof the reference to "confidentiality." Honduras bracketed it. TheHoly See agreed with the EU as long as "contraception" isbracketed. In 7.18(g) (breastfeeding as a method of familyplanning), the term "low fertility" was deleted by the RussianFederation. In 7.19 (production and distribution of contraceptivesin developing countries), it was agreed to add "economies intransition." In response to Benin's concern, the WHO ensured thatthe list of essential drugs will change based on research resultson the safety of new contraceptives. Delegates retained the currentformulation since the Plenary unbracketed "contraception." In 7.20(the role of the private and public sectors), the Solomon Islandshighlighted the difficulty associated with cost recovery in somecountries.
C. Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV Prevention: In 7.23(objective), the US requested special attention to women and girls.In 7.24 (family planning and reproductive health programmes),Norway emphasized reproductive tract infections. In 7.26 bis(promotion of condoms), the US and the Philippines emphasizedhigh-quality condoms, while the Holy See asked for brackets.
D. Human Sexuality and Gender Relations: In 7.29(objectives), the EU requested the reinsertion of a paragraph fromthe original text on access by women and men to information forachieving sexual health. In 7.31 (national policies), delegatesaccepted Nigeria's suggestion that policies should be based on thecurrent realities of sexual behavior and respect human sexuality.In 7.33 (preventing female genital mutilation), Uganda and Malawiasked for rehabilitation services for the victims. Nigeriamentioned other abusive practices against women.
E. Adolescents: In 7.37(a) (objective), delegates agreed toBolivia's suggestion to include voluntary abstinence. Reference toreproductive health services was bracketed at the insistence ofMorocco, who does not provide these services to unmarriedadolescents. In 7.37(b) (objective), delegates agreed to thereduction of "all" adolescent pregnancies. In 7.38 (actions), Benininsisted on inclusion of the rights of parents. In 7.39 (rights ofadolescents), Argentina, supported by Ecuador, said that in LatinAmerica adolescents are linked to the family. Malaysia, the HolySee, Malta, the US, Japan, Canada and Australia favored reducingadolescent pregnancies. In 7.40 (special needs of adolescents), theHoly See and Peru said that pregnant adolescents require specialsupport from their families and communities. In 7.40 bis(programme composition), Brazil, supported by Peru, Canada and theEU, suggested giving special status to parents and families. TheUS, supported by Jamaica and the Solomon Islands, stressed trainingfor those who provide guidance.
Amidst procedural wrangling and time-consuming arguments on thecontentious issues that have plagued the PrepCom, the Plenary beganits final consideration of the draft Programme of Action. ICPDSecretary-General Nafis Sadik gave a brief statement citing thecentral challenges: integrating population concerns withindevelopment strategies; acknowledging the centrality of humanbeings, while recognizing the importance of family and society; andrecognizing and advancing the rights of women. PrepCom Chair FredSai expressed his hope that delegates will address the remainingdifficult issues, while taking into consideration today'srealities.
XV. PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL SECTOR(A/CONF.171/PC/L.3)
The Holy See called for brackets around "sexual and reproductivehealth" throughout the text. The Chair said that this phrase wouldbe held in abeyance. In 15.9 (resources for NGOs), "independence"and "integrity" were bracketed when referring to NGOs. Delegatesagreed to the EU proposal to refer to "full autonomy" instead. In15.14(b) (objective) and 15.15 (role of the private sector), theHoly See, Guatemala and Honduras wanted to eliminate the word"contraceptive" since contraceptives are included in "familyplanning commodities." The Chair responded that "contraceptive" isa technical medical term used everywhere. India, Canada, Bangladeshand Indonesia requested retention of the term. The Chair ruled that"contraceptives" will remain in the text, noting thesereservations. Benin proposed replacing "partnership" with"cooperation" between governments and NGOs in 15.1 (basis foraction). Working Group I Chair Lionel Hurst reminded delegatesabout the agreement to retain "partnership." Benin insisted onbracketing "partnership." The Chair noted that Chapter 27 of Agenda21 refers to NGOs as partners and urged Benin to reconsider. Aftera long procedural debate, both "partnership" and "cooperation" werebracketed.
XIII. NATIONAL ACTION (L.10)
Hurst introduced the text, noting that Section C will be includedlater. The EU reminded the Chair of its giant brackets aroundSection C. In 13.8(a) (objectives), Brazil said that "adolescents"should be mentioned. In 13.1 (basis for action), Sweden said thatgender equity and equality should be mentioned. Canadapreferred equality. Agreement was reached to include both terms.Once again the issue of family planning was raised. The Holy Seeand Guatemala said that family planning must remain in bracketsuntil agreement is reached on a clear division between familyplanning and abortion.
IV. GENDER EQUITY, EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (L.4)
The Holy See announced that it had no problem with the term"contraceptive" in 4.4(f) (discriminatory practice against women).However, it insisted on retaining brackets around family planningin 4.23 (equal participation of women and men) and 4.24 (men'sshared responsibility). Benin and India pointed out that the secondsentence of 4.19 bis on sex selection through in-vitrofertilization is contradictory to language on preventing sexselection practices. The sentence was deleted from the paragraph.On the issue of gender equity and equality, Canada advocated usingonly equality. Norway suggested that it would be better to use bothterms in 4.3, but only equity in 4.21. Canada agreed to accept theNorwegian proposal. In 4.15, the EU requested that the bracketsaround the target date for universal primary education remain,pending the discussion of goals.
V. THE FAMILY, ITS ROLES, RIGHTS, COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE(L.5)
The Chair of Working Group II, Nicolaas Biegman, said that the onlybrackets are around "reproductive." He added that a possibleproblem with the definition of the "family" was resolved since theUN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Yearof the Family last October. However, there was a misunderstandingof the definition used in the first sentence of 5.1 (basis foraction). Some delegates assumed agreement was reached on "thefamily," rather than "families," which appeared in the text. Malta,Ecuador, Morocco, Mauritius, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaraguasupported use of the singular form. The EU, Canada and the USsupported the plural form.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary is expected to meet until 9:00 pm. Itwill resume consideration of Chapter V (A/CONF.171/ PC/L.5). Otherchapters expected to be considered (not necessarily in this order)are: VI (Population Growth and Structure (L.6)) and IX (PopulationDistribution, Urbanization and Internal Migration (L.9)). Look forthe texts of Chapters X, XII and XIV. The Plenary will also hearstatements by the Prime Minister of Estonia, UNDP Administrator GusSpeth, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination andSustainable Development Nitin Desai, the Deputy Executive Directorof UNICEF and a representative from the Indian Academy of Sciences.
INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Working Group I will meet informallythis morning in Conference Room 6 to resolve the bracketedparagraphs in Chapters XVI, III and XIII. Working Group II willmeet informally this morning in Conference Room 9 to discussparagraphs 7.1 and 7.2.