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PrepCom Chair Amb. Juan Somav´┐Ża (Chile) opened the first session of the PrepCom and introduced the agenda (A/CONF.166/ PC/14), which was subsequently adopted. He then outlined the organization of work for the session, as contained in document A/CONF.166/PC/L.14/Rev.1. He explained that the Plenary would not engage in general debate but, rather, would discuss the Secretariat document on a chapter-by-chapter basis. The purpose of the discussion for the first three days was to give delegates the opportunity to determine areas of priority and compromise to be included in the next draft of the document, which would be the basis for negotiations during the second week. The Committee then accredited 233 NGOs to the process (A/CONF/166/PC/ 11/Add.1).

Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, Nitin Desai, informed delegates about intersessional activities, which included a number of workshops, receipt of contributions for the WSSD Trust Fund, and the establishment of a steering committee, chaired by Ismat Kittani, to coordinate the UN's preparatory work for the Summit.

Helle Degn, Minister for Development Cooperation in the WSSD host country, Denmark, explained that preparations were well underway. She also confirmed that NGO Forum '95 would be held parallel to WSSD at a converted military base -- a practical peace dividend.

UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali set out the political background for the WSSD and its preparatory meetings. He heralded it as an opportunity "to begin a new era of international cooperation for global human security." Given the multiplicity of new threats (such as environmental degradation, the spread of disease and transnational migrations) facing States today, the role of the UN and the international system must be redefined. The Summit, above all, must begin the process of rethinking national and international approaches to security. New development models must be based on economies that serve people and must recognize the role of civic organizations in giving a voice to the people. He concluded by highlighting the UN System's unique capacity to assist States in achieving sustainable human development

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