Daily report for 7 April 1994
3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
WORKING GROUP I
XV. PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL SECTOR: India andIran did not think it was necessary to separate the profit-makingand non-profit organizations in this chapter. Brazil stated thatthe relationship between governments and the non-governmentalsector should be a "working relationship" rather than a"partnership," which implies equal sharing of responsibilities.Canada mentioned the role of immigration and refugee advocacygroups.
A. Local, national and international non-governmentalorganizations: In paragraph 15.3 (NGOs as a means of focusinglocal and national initiatives), the US wanted a sentence on NGOsas the voice of the people, but India disagreed. The Holy Seewanted to add "migration" to the list of concerns addressed byNGOs. In 15.5 (relevance of NGOs to the action programme), Norwayand the US said that NGO involvement must not mitigate governments'responsibility to provide reproductive health services. Mauritania,China, Sri Lanka, India and Brazil said that NGOs should "beconsulted by" not "participate in" local, national andinternational decision-making bodies. In 15.6 (cooperation amongNGOs), Switzerland said that NGOs should be held accountable fortheir actions.
In 15.7 (objective), India and Colombia wanted NGO activities to becentered at the programme level and not at the policy level -- theexclusive domain of governments. In 15.8 (enhancing thecontribution of NGOs), the EU and Nigeria wanted to add that thepolitical and organizational independence of NGOs must berespected. In 15.9 (financial and technical resources), India andIran said that financial and technical resources should only betransferred to NGOs if requested. Senegal and Burundi pointed outthat some developing countries cannot provide financial resourcesto NGOs. Vanuatu urged governments to include NGOs on nationaldelegations at regional and international meetings.
B. The private sector: In 15.15, Cuba proposed thatreproductive health services be provided on concessional terms.Zambia wanted these services in a "culturally acceptable" manner.In 15.16 (improving programming through dialogue), Colombiamentioned the private sector's responsibility to inform consumers.
III. INTERRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POPULATION, SUSTAINED ECONOMICGROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The US wanted to change thetitle of the chapter to "Population and Sustainable Development,"however, Egypt and Morocco argued that the chapter titles wereagreed to at PrepCom II. Both Canada and the G-77/China proposedreorganizing the chapter.
A. Integrating population, economic and development strategies:Australia, Sweden and the EU each proposed new headings forthis section. In 3.3 (sustainable development), the EU and Finlandadded transport, fisheries, tourism and infrastructure to the listof economic sectors. Australia, the EU and India wanted referenceto poverty alleviation as a benefit of integrating population intoenvironment and development strategies. The G-77/China suggesteddeleting the definition of sustainable development. Norway proposedusing the Agenda 21 definition. Sweden proposed a new paragraph onthe responsibility of countries to work towards a sustainablebalance between population, natural resources utilization, andpatterns of production and consumption.
B. Population, sustained economic growth, poverty alleviationand human resource development: The G-77/China proposedrenaming this section "Integrating population, economic anddevelopment strategies." Sweden proposed "Poverty reduction andhuman resource development." The G-77/China tabled new text forparagraph 3.9 on economic obstacles to improving the quality oflife. The EU preferred the existing text, which has more of asocial than an economic focus. In 3.10 (poverty), the G-77/Chinastressed the relationship between poverty, population and economicgrowth. Australia wanted to ensure that eliminating povertyrequires ecologically sustainable and sustained economic growth.New Zealand added a sentence mentioning that indigenous peoples aredisproportionately affected by poverty. Norway suggested that"family planning services" be referred to as "reproductive healthservices." Switzerland mentioned that poverty is exacerbated byenvironmental degradation.
The G-77/China requested that 3.12 (governance) be deleted.Switzerland proposed reorienting government expenditure from themilitary to the social sector. The EU and Sweden thought 3.14(slowing population growth) was not action-oriented and should bedeleted or placed among the objectives. New Zealand proposed a newparagraph on support for the elderly. In 3.17, the G-77/Chinawanted to delete reference to "reducing pressures for largefamilies." Sweden proposed a new paragraph, which said sustainabledevelopment can be achieved if governments are transparent and curbcorruption.
C. Population, sustainable development and the environment:The G-77/China wanted to change the title to "Population andenvironment," and reduce the number of paragraphs in this sectionfrom thirteen to three. The EU had similar thoughts. Both groupsdescribed Agenda 21 as a comprehensive response to majorenvironmental challenges. A number of other delegates wanted tomake changes on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis so the Chaircontinued collecting amendments through paragraph 3.25.
WORKING GROUP II
VI. POPULATION GROWTH AND STRUCTURE:
A. Fertility, mortality and population growth areas: Finlandand Switzerland felt that 6.3 (reduction of world population) wasrepetitive. Niger affirmed the importance of respect for individualrights. In 6.4 (steps to reduce population growth), the RussianFederation noted that programmes should be flexible and considerthe need to sustain population growth in Eastern Europe. The HolySee preferred reference to "appropriate levels of fertility"instead of "low levels of fertility."
B. Children and Youth: In 6.7 (promotion of the well-beingof children and youth), Madagascar wanted an additional paragraphon street children. The US added a paragraph regarding preventionof early pregnancies and reduction of maternal morbidity andmortality resulting from unsafe abortion. Honduras insisted that"access to reproductive health" should not compromise access toinformation by parents. In 6.8 (eliminating childexploitation), the Philippines added reference to childpornography. The Republic of Korea stated that all countries shouldadopt laws against child trafficking. Egypt, Nepal and Chilesuggested adding rape and incest. Many developing countriesreferred to the economic realities requiring the labor contributionof children. In 6.9 (child labor laws), India and Bolivia calledfor improvements in socio-economic conditions, rather thanenforcement of child labor laws. In 6.12 (youth participation inpopulation activities), Ghana requested reference to substanceabuse. Mexico called for increased reference to health andsex education.
C. Ageing populations: New Zealand and Switzerland preferredthe term "older people," rather than "ageing populations" or "theelderly." In 6.14 (objective), China proposed a new sentence onfinancial, medical and amusement support for the elderly. Moroccoproposed a new objective on family protection and responsibilityfor the elderly. The Solomon Islands said that conditions must becreated so the elderly can participate in the community, if sodesired. In 6.16 (contribution of the elderly), Chile and Beninproposed referencing laws that eliminate discrimination andviolence against the elderly, especially women. Australia wantedthe elderly consulted in the policy-making process.
D. Indigenous people: Mexico, Australia, New Zealand andPeru suggested that this section be incorporated into Chapter III.Australia said that reference should be made to the socio-economicpolicies that impact indigenous peoples. The EU said that anotherobjective should refer to the evaluation of population programmesaffecting indigenous communities. The International Treaty Council,supported by Peru, requested that indigenous peoples' right todevelopment be recognized. In 6.24, New Zealand added reference toconsultation with indigenous peoples. Sweden and Madagascarrequested a new section on the disabled.
VII. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND FAMILYPLANNING:
A. Reproductive rights and reproductive health: Bolivia,Mexico and Peru asked to expand reproductive health to includesexual health. Malta and Paraguay asked for attention to thediversity of religious values in 7.3 (provision of health care).Norway asked for a consistent definition of reproductive health.Pakistan, the Philippines and the US asked for education for breastfeeding to be added to 7.4 (primary and reproductive health care).The US, Egypt and India asked to include unsafe abortion andcancers of the female reproductive system to the list of priorityhealth hazards. The Holy See agreed that reproductive health shouldinclude treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, but refusedinclusion of abortion and its potential complications. In 7.6(innovative programs for health care), the US and Sweden asked toplace more emphasis on men's responsibility in child rearing.Cameroon called for a definition of reproductive rights that heedsthe centrality of family and community. In 7.7 (communityparticipation), the US stressed the importance of local women'sgroups for effective implementation, but Papua New Guinea said thatwomen's groups are already over-burdened and all NGOs shouldparticipate. Poland and Estonia supported the statement in 7.8(international assistance to previously centralized economies).Benin objected and asked for assistance to all poor countries.
B. Family planning: In 7.12 (objective of family planning),the EU and Egypt found the task of eliminating unwanted pregnanciesunattainable, and instead, asked for a concerted effort to reducethem. Mexico acknowledged the importance of 7.13 (organizationalsupport for family health), but argued that this is anadministrative issue and should not be dealt within this chapter.In 7.14 (barriers to implementation of family planning), India andBolivia stressed the need for greater male participation in familyplanning. In 7.20 (innovative channels of distribution ofcontraceptives), Bolivia called attention to ethics andresponsibilities. Mexico and India called for internationalfinancing for the manufacture and dissemination of safe andreliable contraceptives in 7.19 (the role of the internationalcommunity). Mexico emphasized the need for qualitative andquantitative methods for evaluating family planning.
C. Sexually transmitted diseases: In 7.26 (information anddistribution of condoms), Zimbabwe asked for more research onfemale condoms. The US added that information on "sexuallyresponsible behavior" should become an integral part of sexualeducation. Argentina and the Sudan asked to delete reference tocondoms in this section.
D. Human sexuality and gender equality: In 7.30 (sexeducation), Vietnam and Malawi asked for both formal and informaleducation on sexuality, especially for boys. In 7.32 (measuresagainst sexual exploitation), many stressed the need for legalpunitive measures against sexual exploitation and asked forcounseling for the victims.
E. Adolescents: In 7.37 (adolescent reproductive healthissues), many asked for measures to promote abstinence by choiceand responsible sexual behavior among adolescents. Delegates agreedthat not only is early pregnancy a factor in population growth, butit is also a health hazard to the mother and it should be reducedboth within and outside of marriage. In 7.38 (barriers toreproductive health services), the EU and Bolivia stressed the needfor the right to confidentiality. Nicaragua stressed thatadolescents' rights to confidentiality jeopardize parental rightsto information about their children. In 7.40 (health andreproductive services), Peru emphasized that services shouldpromote responsible sexual behavior.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Algeria, currently the Chair of the Group of 77, is slightlyfrustrated with members of this group of developing countries. InWorking Group I on Wednesday, Algeria commented that he did notthink that he was really speaking on behalf of the G-77, since somany other member delegations were putting forth their own, oftencontradictory, proposals. He requested that the NY-based delegatesexplain the negotiating process and the role of the G-77 to theexperts from their capitals.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: The Group will first finish itsconsideration of Chapter III (Interrelationships betweenpopulation, sustained economic growth and sustainable development),beginning with paragraph 3.26 (consumption patterns). Look for awritten proposal from the EU on a new section on education forChapter III. Working Group I will then consider Chapters XIII(National action) and XIV (International cooperation).
WORKING GROUP II: This morning, Working Group II will meetin the General Assembly Hall to discuss Chapter VIII (Health andMortality). In the afternoon, the Group will discuss Chapter IX(Population distribution, urbanization and internal migration).