Daily report for 6 April 1994
3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
POPULATION INSTITUTE stressed universal family planningservices by 2015. The ICPD should not be held hostage to religiousdogma. FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION GROUP will hold a meeting ofyouth movements parallel to the ICPD in Cairo. INTERNATIONALLABOUR ORGANIZATION said priorities should include employmentplanning, rural development, labor markets, poverty alleviation,the role of women and protection of the environment. NEW ROADMAP FOUNDATION is committed to reducing consumption patterns inNorth America.
INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT called for:investment in the poor; improved data quality; and increasedcoordination. ALBANIA stressed the need to improve thequality of life. AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE urged saving the livesof children who are dying needlessly. PACIFIC ISLANDSASSOCIATION OF NGOS said the ICPD should be used to educate thecommunity to oppose the unsustainable use of this region.SUDAN raised the importance of integrating population indevelopment planning and religion. MAURITANIA stressednational efforts, international solidarity, and development of thecivil state. CAMEROON said economic practices to date havenot taken into account development variables.
WORLD ORGANIZATION OF THE OVULATION METHOD pointed out thatthere is no mention of natural family planning in the actionprogramme. BURUNDI stressed the role of education andcoordination. KENYA said structural adjustment programmeshave had adverse effects on health, education and employment.MALAYSIA mentioned the need to alleviate poverty, empowerwomen, and include moral and ethical perspectives. EQUATORIALGUINEA mentioned the need to improve primary, maternal andinfant health care. C"TE D'IVOIRE said there is a need forpopular support for the implementation of population activities.ANGOLA said its current growth rate is approximately 2.8%and there are about 3 million displaced persons as a result of war.NIGER supported freedom of choice in family size andeducation. SENEGAL stressed the need for Africa to implementthe Dakar Declaration.
WORKING GROUP II
Working Group II elected Sweden and Nigeria as Vice-Chairs andBolivia as rapporteur.
IV. GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN:
A. Empowerment and status of women: In the paragraph onobjectives, Australia suggested making explicit reference towomen's decision making. In paragraph 4.4 (gender gap), NewZealand, the US and Australia called for a stronger statement onclosing the gender gap. Indonesia suggested that literacy anddevelopment of skills are imperative for both men and women. Norwayasked to make the issue of child care more central. The Holy Seeobjected because of problems in the French and Spanishtranslations. Peru agreed with the text itself, but asked thattranslation problems be dealt with separately. Benin disagreed.Peru and US asked to strengthen the sub-paragraph on women'sproperty rights.
In 4.5 (discrimination and sexual harassment), Australia suggesteda more encompassing definition of sexual harassment. Switzerlandcalled for an exclusive section on disaggragated gender data.Senegal asked for reference to the enforcement ofanti-discrimination laws. Sweden proposed deleting the unrealisticdeadline of 2015. Bolivia and Peru asked for a statement againstdiscrimination based on proof of pregnancy. In 4.7 (violenceagainst women), the US, Australia, Peru, New Zealand and Malaysiaasked for stronger wording, including domestic violence againstwomen, girls and boys. Croatia, Pakistan and Norway called for aphrase on war violence against women. In 4.8 (burden of women'swork), Mexico and Australia wanted a statement on men'sresponsibility in domestic labor. In 4.9 (grassroots support forwomen), Nigeria and Mexico asked for clarity on the role ofgovernment.
B. The girl child: Venezuela objected to the title and askedthat it include women. In paragraph 4.13 (objectives), the UScalled for more emphasis on the role of poverty in genderdiscrimination. Norway said that poverty does not always lead togender preference. In 4.14 (gender discrimination), Switzerland,the US and Egypt added "inheritance" to the list of genderinequalities. In 4.15 (education for girls), Switzerland and Swedenasked to delete the target date for education for all. Bangladeshasked to include vocational training for women. In 4.16 (schoolstereotypes), Switzerland and Norway asked to include sex selectionas a form of discrimination. The US asked for a statement on changein teachers' attitudes and curricula. In 4.18 (minimum age ofconsent), the US, Madagascar and Switzerland asked for an increasein the minimum age of marriage. Norway and Cuba asked for referenceto child pornography. In 4.19 (female genital mutilation),Indonesia and India objected to forcing any policy on a country.Bolivia called for a statement on the active prevention of genitalmutilation. In 4.20 (education for girls), Sweden, Norway,Bangladesh and Bolivia called for reference opposing expulsion ofpregnant girls from school. Burkina Faso and Morocco asked forinternational financial contribution to building schools.
C. Male Responsibilities and participation: In theobjectives (4.22), Australia and Holy See asked to include women inthe section on fertility and parental responsibility. In 4.23(family responsibility), Bangladesh and India asked for a moreemphatic statement on men's participation. In 4.25 (child support),numerous countries asked for mechanisms to enforce child supportpayments.
V -- THE FAMILY, ITS ROLES, COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE:
A. Diversity of family structures and composition: In the basisfor action, Sweden, the US, Bangladesh, Australia and Canadasupported the current wording, which refers to the considerablechange in the composition and structure of families in manysocieties. In 5.2 (supporting the plurality of family forms),Indonesia wanted reference to the need to support the cohesivenessof the family. The divergence of views regarding the concept of theplurality of family forms was reiterated here as well. In 5.3(responsibility of employers to facilitate parentalresponsibilities), the US and Turkey suggested that paid parentalleave should be included. In 5.4 (increasing the earning power ofwomen), the US suggested reference to increasing the earning powerof all family members. China called for specific reference toassistance for all individuals, couples and people withdisabilities. In 5.5 (elimination of all forms of coercion anddiscrimination in policies related to marriage, unions andchild-rearing), Vanuatu requested reference to discrimination basedon sexual orientation. The Holy See requested that "unions" bechanged to "the family." Burkina Faso and Norway suggestedreference to sexual mutilation.
B. Socio-economic support to the family: There was aconsiderable divergence of views regarding 5.6 (the "family in allits forms" as a basic unit of society). Nicaragua, the Holy See,Malta, Venezuela, Honduras and Argentina called for deletion ofreference of the family "in all its forms" and insisted that it bereplaced with "the family." Peru, Mexico, Bangladesh, Canada, theUS and others urged that the plurality of family forms should bereflected. In 5.7 (ensuring family-sensitive socio-economicpolicies), Botswana and Morocco suggested reference to the growingnumber of female-headed households. The EU and Kenya requestedreference to the plurality of family forms.
In 5.8 (family-sensitive government policies), Switzerlandrequested stronger language requiring governments to create anenvironment supportive of the family. In 5.9 (assistance tofamilies with specific problems), Turkey added reference to theproblem of blood marriages. Many countries requested reference toAIDS. In 5.10 (care of elderly and disabled family members), Swedencalled for stronger language requiring governments to develop themeans for multi-generational families. In 5.11 (victimizedfamilies) Pakistan added reference to "armed conflict." ThePhilippines suggested the addition of "environmental disasters."Norway said a wider range of disasters should be mentioned.
WORKING GROUP I
The Chair, Lionel Hurst, outlined the programme of work and theWorking Group elected Ghana, Pakistan and Turkey as Vice-Chairs andthe Czech Republic as rapporteur.
XII. TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: After a chaoticstart, the Chair asked delegates to work on aparagraph-by-paragraph basis. In all, 102 amendments were proposed.
A. Basic data collection and analysis: In 12.2 (objectivesfor data collection), India insisted on deleting reference toenvironmental variables. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Switzerland,Nigeria and the US agreed that the objectives should includedissemination of research findings. China felt that paragraph 12.3(capacity for data collection) should specify assistance todeveloping countries in data collection. In the otheraction-oriented paragraphs, the Solomon Islands cautioned againstresearch that takes advantage of vulnerable people. China, Peru andthe EU stressed that both population and development datashould be collected. The EU thought data collection should be usedin the formulation and implementation of sustainable developmentstrategies. Mexico proposed including data on internationalmigration.
B. Reproductive health research: In 12.7 and 12.10, the HolySee proposed replacing "modern methods of fertility regulation" and"contraceptive methods" with "safe and responsible methods for theplanning of family size," since this was language agreed to inother fora. Australia requested that amendments of this typeinclude specific reference to the forum. In 12.8 (objectives),India proposed a new sub-paragraph on research on malecontraceptive methods. The Holy See, the US, the EU and Bangladeshproposed amendments to sub-paragraph (b) on the safety of fertilityregulation methods.
Jamaica and Mexico pointed out that 12.9 and 12.10 are repetitive,since they both deal with the development and introduction of newfertility methods. Mexico and Argentina called for the deletion ofresearch on emergency contraception (i.e., post-coitalcontraception). India requested deletion of the need for researchon the reproductive and sexual health needs of adolescents, sinceadolescents should not be having sex. Ghana responded that eventhough we may want to discourage adolescents from having sex, theyare, and we cannot eliminate this research.
In 12.12 (research on reproductive health products), Jamaicasuggested deletion of reference to women's perspectives oncontraceptive research. In 12.13 (research on unsafe abortion),Argentina, Benin, Nicaragua and Senegal said the danger is notunsafe abortion, but abortion itself. Botswana, Nicaragua andHonduras said research should be done on the psychological effectsof abortion. Honduras proposed a new paragraph on research todetect the time of ovulation for use with natural family planningmethods.
C. Social and economic research: In 12.15 (objectives) Perusaid that social, economic and cultural research should bepromoted. Cte d'Ivoire said that 12.16 should promote social andeconomic research on population and development. Indiawanted to delete reference to linkages between population,environment and economic development, and Zambia wanted to change"economic development" to "sustainable development." The EU amended12.17 (research built into population and development programmes)to incorporate research findings into the decision making process.In 12.18 (research on areas beset by population pressures), Indiainserted "over-consumption patterns" after reference to research onthe effects of population pressures. Benin proposed dividing 12.21(research on sexuality and gender roles) into two paragraphs andchanging research on "violence against women" to "sexual violenceagainst women." The Holy See suggested adding research on femaleinfanticide and "feticide." Indonesia proposed adding a newparagraph on the importance of research on family indicators.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: The Group will consider Chapter XV(Partnership with the non-governmental sector) this morning andChapter III (Interrelationships between population, sustainedeconomic growth and sustainable development) this afternoon.
WORKING GROUP II will consider Chapter VI (Population growthand structure) this morning and Chapter VII (Reproductive Rights,reproductive health and family planning) this afternoon.
EARTHACTION PRESS BRIEFING: EarthAction will host aninformal press briefing on the state-of-play of PrepCom III todayat 11:00 am in Conference Room D.
PANEL DISCUSSION: The Johns Hopkins University School ofPublic Health will sponsor a panel discussion today at 1:00 pm inConference Room 1 on "The Communications Revolution -- FamilyPlanning and Population."