Daily report for 21 April 1994

3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee



Confusion regarding the use of family as the basic unit of sociallife was resolved by Canada, who proposed language from theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights. Delegates agreed to use "thefamily" in 5.1 (basis for action), instead of "families," providedthat the rest of the chapter remains as negotiated. As was decidedon Wednesday, discussion of [reproductive] in 5.3 (action) was heldin abeyance until resolution is reached in Chapter VII.


In 6.12 (youth participation in development activities),"confidentiality and privacy of reproductive health services" wasbracketed. The consensus language used in 7.6 was applied here. Thenew language reads: "with the support and guidance of their parentsand in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child."Throughout Section D (Indigenous People[s]), the "s" is bracketed.Australia insisted on "peoples," while Canada and others arguedthat "people" is accepted UN language. Since there was noagreement, delegates agreed that the text will remain bracketedpending Secretariat consultations with a UN working groupaddressing this issue.

In 6.27 (needs of persons with disabilities), the phrase"international migration" was bracketed. The Philippines andCameroon argued that limiting the movement of people withdisabilities is discriminatory. The Chair pointed out that thisissue is also addressed in Chapter X (International Migration) andit should be discussed there.


Delegates accepted new language for 9.7 bis: "Populationdistribution policies should be consistent with such internationalinstruments as, when applicable, the Fourth Geneva ConventionRelative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War(1949), including Article 49." All other brackets were removed,with the exception of 9.18 (solutions to the problem of internallydisplaced persons). India said that this issue had already beendiscussed in 9.17 bis and 9.15 and emphasized thatinternational measures may jeopardize national sovereignty. The US,supported by Croatia, Turkey, the Holy See, Guatemala, Pakistan,Egypt, the EU and Switzerland, asked to delete the brackets around9.18. It was agreed to bracket reference to national andinternational measures instead of the entire paragraph.


Paragraph 10.3 (remaining in one's country) initially read asfollows: "to ensure that the [human] rights of [individualsbelonging to] minorities, indigenous people[s] [and politicalopponents] are respected." The G-77, China, the Holy See, Hungaryand Canada wanted "human" and "individuals" deleted. The US and theEU supported their retention. Uganda, Hungary and Canada wanted"political opponents" retained. The EU and Mali disagreed. Sincethere was no convergence on positions, the brackets were retained.The following was also bracketed in 10.3: "[increased/full] accessto world markets." China and India wanted the term "full;" however,most delegations preferred "increased." India finally agreed toaccept "increased," with reservations.

In 10.10 (integration of documented migrants), the right of familyreunification was bracketed. The US expressed concern that there isno definition of the family and proposed "the importance of familyreunification" and removal of the reference to "right." Turkeyardently supported retaining "right." The brackets remain. In 10.11(rights of documented migrants), the brackets around "age"discrimination were removed. In 10.12 (basis foraction--undocumented migrants), the US suggested deletion of "someeconomic sectors of receiving countries need migrant labour,"noting that it had not been discussed by the Working Group and wasbetter addressed elsewhere. In 10.14 (reducing undocumentedmigration), delegates deleted the brackets and amended the text toread: "including the right to seek and to enjoy in other countriesasylum from persecution." In 10.16 (return and reintegration ofundocumented migrants), the bracketed text "in accordance withinternational law" was deleted. In 10.20 (support activities onbehalf of refugees), delegates accepted the EU's proposal toreplace the bracketed text regarding regional and internationalmechanisms to promote appropriate shared responsibility. 10.23(forced migration) remains bracketed, pending consultations.


In 12.7 (basis for action), the Holy See expressed reservations onthe term "contraceptives," and retained brackets around "fertilityregulation," until it is discussed in Chapter VII. Delegatesaccepted the EU's proposal to delete the brackets around "barriermethods." In 12.9 (government support for research), brackets wereremoved from the phrase referring to barrier methods againstdiseases. In 12.11 (involvement of the private sector), the term"fertility regulation commodities" was changed to "contraceptivecommodities," with the Holy See's reservation. In 12.15(c)(objectives), the Holy See agreed to unbracket "sexual andreproductive behavior."


14.3(a) bis (favorable macroeconomic policies) wascompletely bracketed and led to a protracted debate. India remindeddelegates of the brackets it requested around sub-paragraph (e)(human rights standards). No progress could be made and the Chaircalled for further consultations.

In 14.4, 14.10(a), 14.13 and 14.14, the problem of reference tocountries with economies in transition was raised. Argentinaattempted to propose compromise text in 14.13, eliminating the needfor special reference to these countries, but the proposal wasrejected by the Russian Federation. Estonia proposed a newparagraph on these countries, which was rejected by the G-77. In14.4 (national capacity-building), the Holy See deleted one set ofbrackets and added another. The text now reads: "includinginformation and education of [family planning programmes]." In 14.6(international funding and cooperation), the EU agreed to removethe brackets around the phrase on transfer of technology. In 14.8(basis for action), there are still problems with increasing ODAfor population programmes. The G-77's original proposal (...toincrease their contribution from 2% of ODA to 4%), remains inbrackets at the EU's request. In 14.10(b) (objective), the EUrequested brackets around "while ensuring no reduction in theresources available for other development areas." The US and the EUproposed compromise texts, but the G-77 insisted on retaining thebrackets.

The figures on resource flows from donor countries in 14.11 isbracketed because they are derived from bracketed figures inChapter XIII. Norway proposed new language derived from UNICEF'sstatement in the morning about devoting 20% of ODA funds to meetingsuch priority needs in basic education and primary health care.Australia and the EU requested brackets. Norway agreed to withdrawthe amendment since it would, in effect, reopen the entireparagraph for negotiation.

In 14.14, India said that the text should always read "populationand development" to be consistent with the heading of thissection. This was accepted. Tunisia proposed a new paragraph 14.15bis on innovative financing for population and developmentprogrammes.


In 11.1 (basis for action), the brackets were removed and newlanguage proposed by the US was adopted. It now reads "At the mostbasic level more adequate and appropriate information is conduciveto informed and responsible decision-making concerning health,sexual and reproductive behavior, family life and patterns ofproduction and consumption." In this particular instance, the HolySee unbracketed "sexual and reproductive behavior." In 11.2(information and behavioral change), Barbados proposed new textthat reads: "Indeed this begins with the recognition that decisionsmust freely and responsibly be made on the number and spacing ofchildren and in all other aspects of life, including sexual andreproductive behavior." The EU wanted time to examine this proposalbefore accepting it. In 10.5(b) (objective), the Holy Seeunbracketed the word "reproduction." Brackets in 11.4, 11.6 and11.9 remained until the discussion on Chapters XII and XIII. TheChair asked for submission of written alternatives for 11.5(d)(objective) and 11.11 (interpersonal communication). Although 11.7(the role of leaders) was not bracketed, the US questioned thephrase "specialists of recognized morality." Brazil and Colombiaimplored Honduras, who had originally proposed this phrase, toreconsider it.


Mart Laar, the Prime Minister of ESTONIA addressedpopulation and development issues in countries with economies intransition. Issues related to the needs of an increasingly olderpopulation are straining limited government resources and privatesocial services. Migration is another issue of concern.

Prof. P. N. Tandon, Indian National Science Academy, spokeon behalf of 56 National Scientific Academies. Successful fertilityreduction is in large part dependent on the need to improve theoverall quality of life. Women need to be empowered and controltheir fertility. He listed ways that scientific and technologyresearch can contribute.

James Grant, Executive Director of UNICEF, said that thegoals for children in 2000 should be stepping stones for achievingthe ICPD goals in 2015. The Programme of Action must: support thegoals adopted by the international community in other fora; stressthe importance of education for girls; identify key elements ofinternational and national action to ensure goals are met; andpromote inter-agency cooperation on population matters.

James Gustave Speth, Executive Director of UNDP, said thatthe ICPD should address both population and sustainable humandevelopment. The ICPD must stimulate a revolution in sustainablehuman development. There are too many failed revolutions and lostor forgotten goals. The ICPD cannot end in this way. Four keyobjectives of UNDP's work are: eliminating poverty, creating jobsand sustainable livelihoods, advancing women and sustaining thenatural resource base.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination andSustainable Development (DPCSD), highlighted those issueslinking the ICPD agenda and the other recent and forthcoming UNconferences. They are: complex and interrelated problems thatrequire integrated actions; the role of the civil society inplanning and implementation of development actions; and thecentrality of women to sustainable development. He stressed theimportant role of NGOs in these conferences.

Ebrima K. Jobarteh, Deputy-Secretary-General for the 4th WorldConference on Women, reaffirmed the links between the differentUN conferences. He stressed some of the cornerstone issues in theBeijing Conference: inequality of access to education, health andother means of maximizing women's capacities; gender disparity indecision-making both at personal and societal levels; andimpoverishment of women and youth.


Informal consultations led to a new version of 7.1 with compromiselanguage stating that access to certain methods of fertilityregulation is not legally available in all countries.Informal-informal consultations continued in the corridorsyesterday on Chapter XVI (Follow-up), as progress was made infinding language acceptable to all Parties on "new and additionalresources on grant and concessional terms," even though thislanguage remains in brackets. The paragraph on the establishment ofindicators is still bracketed as a result of differentinterpretations of the uses of such indicators.


PLENARY: There is a heavy agenda for the final day ofPrepCom III. The Plenary must still consider the following chaptersof the Programme of Action: I, II, III, VII, VIII, XIII (Section Conly), and XVI. In addition, the Plenary must adopt the draft rulesof procedure for the Cairo Conference, accredit four new lists ofNGOs to the Conference, and adopt the report of the PrepCom. Unlessthe Chair applies severe discipline and curbs discussion on the remaining portions of bracketed text where agreement cannot beeasily reached, it will be a very late night (or an early Saturdaymorning) in Conference Room 1.


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