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COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

A Committee of the Whole, under the chairmanship of Amb. Koos Richelle (The Netherlands), was established during the second week of the PrepCom to conduct a paragraph-by-paragraph discussion of the revised draft Programme of Action (CRP.2).

Although the revised draft did not reflect the 30% reduction in length that the Secretariat had intended, the 195-paragraph text was more concise than L.13. The Working Paper was drawn from the original text, with modifications proposed during the first week's debate as well as specific written submissions by delegates.

The Committee of the Whole considered CRP.2 during eight working sessions. The paragraph-by-paragraph discussion proceeded slowly. After the first five paragraphs, which required an entire working session, the Chair abandoned his attempts to reconcile comments into agreed text. Instead, a new process was adopted whereby all oral and written amendments would be appended to CRP.2. The final result was an approximately 250-page compilation that was not distributed. Instead, the Secretariat will use the compilation as a guide in developing the next draft, which is expected at the end of September.

During the course of the week, delegates called for changing the structure of the entire document. Indonesia suggested that each paragraph should contain a call for action. The US further proposed that each paragraph state the rationale for action, the objectives for action and the action required. The Chair noted that this proposal would require reconstructing text in addition to combining paragraphs. Nevertheless, the Chair indicated at the end of the PrepCom that the Secretariat's new draft will follow this structure.

The following section-by-section analysis of CRP.2 will highlight the main contents, describe some of the revisions, and summarize key proposed amendments.

INTRODUCTION: The first four paragraphs of CRP.2 introduce: the reasons for the World Summit; its relationship to other global conferences; the relationship between the three core issues and social, economic, environmental and cultural concerns; and the need for international cooperation.

The original draft (L.13) contained five significantly longer paragraphs, two of which were deleted: the needs of those with few resources and current social problems.

Indonesia, supported by Norway, Mauritius and the US, suggested that paragraphs 1 (reasons for WSSD) and 2 (other conferences) would be better placed in the Declaration. Norway called for an introduction that outlined the content of the Programme of Action. Several delegates suggested referring to conferences not already mentioned in the text. In response to a proposal by the Chair, delegates agreed not to mention specific conferences but, rather, to refer to global conferences relevant to social development.

India, supported by the G-77 and Poland, stated that social development concerns must be central to economic decision-making. Norway stated that economic growth should serve people. Canada emphasized the concept of sustainable human development and the US called for "sustainable continuous development."

I. AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

A. A changing global situation: Based on the EU proposal, this section addresses the challenges of globalization, noting in particular that technology has the potential to improve people's lives, although it can also increase inequities between and within nations. Other issues include: the movement of people across borders; the problem of organized crime; and the resulting need for international cooperation. A reference to the lack of personal security or acceptable standards of living as a cause of migration was deleted.

Delegates' paragraph-by-paragraph comments covered a range of issues. The G-77 called for special reference to African countries and LDCs in meeting the challenge of globalization. Morocco and the EU emphasized access to training in relation to technology. Canada called for increased recognition of human rights as a way to reduce migration. The EU, Morocco, Croatia and Switzerland called for recognition of the right to leave and to return to one's country. On the paragraph on crime, Guatemala emphasized arms trafficking, while the G-77, the EU and the Holy See underscored the need to address terrorism.

B. Creation of a favourable international and national economic environment: This section notes that "sustained economic growth needs supportive national policies and an enabling international climate..." Trade policies, debt reduction, the costs of structural adjustment, the special needs of African countries, the target of 0.7% GNP for ODA, and domestic macro-economic policies are all addressed. The call for national action is new in CRP.2, as is a call for international agencies to assist developing countries in adjusting their policies. References to the need to integrate the social dimension into the design of SAPs, and the special situation in Africa were also added.

In the discussion, the G-77 objected to the reference to international assistance to developing countries in reshaping their policies. The EU said debt relief is important for the poorest countries, while the G-77 called for retaining a variety of solutions to debt problems. Japan called for debt reduction, rather than cancellation. In the paragraph on structural adjustment, Poland called for macro-economic stability combined with mechanisms to aid the poor. Sudan and Norway commented on the need to mitigate the adverse social implications of SAPs. In reference to development assistance, the US and the EU proposed recognizing the private sector as the primary source of financial resources. The EU, the G-77 and Canada agreed that social stability promotes private investment.

C. Creating a favourable political environment: The third section of Chapter I identifies a Government role in social development, while recognizing the need to respect human diversity. Equality between men and women, education and mass communication contribute to the creation of a favorable social situation. Protection of human rights and freedom of association are important factors. Peace and basic needs comprise the definition of human security.

The revised text deleted several items contained in L.13. These included: gender-based analyses of all institutions, policies and practices; a UN role in promoting international peace and preventing potential conflicts; the establishment of international mechanisms to support the interests of the weakest nations; and the use of social impact assessments. The original text's focus on democracy and human rights in relation to human security is broadened to include issues of human welfare. The initial reference to cooperatives and trade unions now refers to the need to assure the right to freedom of association.

During the discussion of this section, the G-77 proposed a reference to the adverse socio-economic effects of denying self-determination. The EU called for empowering women to exercise their human rights, and the US similarly noted the disproportionate burden of poverty, unemployment and violence on women. In the paragraph on education and communication, the EU emphasized the importance of a free press. India called for recognition of state-controlled media in education. In reference to the limitations of market mechanisms to promote social goals, Mexico underscored the need to balance unequal market forces. Sweden called for democratic, accountable, transparent and participatory institutions as pre-conditions to human security.

II. REDUCTION AND ELIMINATION OF WIDESPREAD POVERTY

A. Promoting a global approach: This section highlights the various expressions of poverty and the moral, political and economic responsibilities of Governments in the struggle against poverty. The key additions to the section include: a clearer description of the problem; a call for the eradication of extreme forms of poverty and the reduction of poverty by at least 50% by a target date, which is to be specified by each country; information on the effects of population and demographic factors on poverty; a call for promotion of economic growth in low income countries; recognition of the different forms and factors underlying poverty; and a call for enhancing the economic and cultural opportunities for poor youth. Some of the key proposals included: mechanisms for national-level monitoring (India); recognition of the feminization of poverty and the special situation in Africa (G-77); full participation of women and girls in decision-making, and reference to violence against women (EU); equal access to economic opportunities and work at a "living wage" (Canada); and elimination of female infanticide and selective abortion (Holy See).

B. Access to productive opportunities: This section refers to the range of responsibilities of Governments to improve access to productive opportunities, such as: the strengthening of rural cooperatives; agricultural training; low-cost housing; and women's access to productive resources. Some descriptive text was removed, but no major calls for action were added or deleted. Some of the key proposals included: emphasis on the rural poor's need for sustainable livelihoods (Finland); development of effective marketing systems for small farmers (EU); and affordable rural housing (Canada).

C. Access to public services: This section describes the range of public services that should be improved and expanded for people living in poverty. These services include: universal access to education; primary health care; safe water and sanitation; low-cost housing; and child care. The major changes included: removal of the call to implement commitments in the Programme of Action adopted by the International Conference on Population and Development; and removal of the reference to organized programmes and community facilities for poor youth. Key proposals called for: reference to the role of teachers (El Salvador); elimination, rather than reduction, of school fees (Uruguay); education for the disabled (Sierra Leone); free legal assistance (G-77); reallocation of military spending (Canada); and reference to maternal mortality (EU).

D. Reducing vulnerability: The underlying thrust of this section is that poverty prevention is essential to any anti-poverty strategy. It calls on Governments and the international community to ensure food security, provide for famine and disaster management, and integrate anti-poverty programmes and resource measures in accordance with Agenda 21. Certain descriptive passages were deleted from the earlier version of this section, but major calls for action remain. Key proposals included: food as a human right (G-77), special reference to Africa (Ethiopia); the effect of war on food security (Switzerland); special references to the disabled (Belarus); the UN role in coordinating emergency responses (Austria); prevention of the sale of food aid (Burkina Faso); and an international volunteer corps to respond to emergencies (Argentina).

E. Enhancing social protection: This section identifies the range of social protection programmes that Governments should provide. These include: programmes targeted to those in need; universal programmes to provide basic protection; and contributory social insurance programmes for those who can afford them. Several references to social assistance programmes were deleted in this version of the text. New proposals included: references to social insurance (Sweden and Finland); reference to international drug trafficking (EU, C“te d'Ivoire and the G-77); and the role of NGOs in social protection (Switzerland).

III. PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT

A. Rethinking policy: This section recommends the development of a broader concept of employment and work. It recognizes unemployment problems in all nations, notes the urgency of these problems in light of growing populations, calls for expansion of opportunities for work, and recommends that national economic policies strive to reduce unemployment. The key change was the deletion of a paragraph referring to structural impediments to job growth. Delegates called for reference to: under-employment in developing countries (EU); full employment (India); and sustainable livelihoods with equitable remuneration (Canada). Delegates also called for labour-intensive and environmentally- sound technology (India); savings and investment (El Salvador); and labour-market information systems (Indonesia).

B. Stimulating employment-intensive growth: The second section calls on countries to adjust their macro-economic policies to stimulate growth and investment. The text also urges: cooperation in international trade; stable legal and regulatory environments; use of labour-intensive technologies; and research aimed at employment expansion. The key change was a call for removal of structural impediments affecting international economic growth and employment creation. Important proposals included: India's call for trade liberalization to include safeguards for developing countries; the EU's opposition to the reference to facilitating technical adaptation for developing countries; the G-77's request for technology transfer on preferential terms; and El Salvador's call for clean technology.

C. Creating employment through enterprises: This section calls for: national regulatory policies that take into consideration the competitiveness of small enterprises; Governmental support for cooperatives; attention to the needs of informal-sector enterprises; and international cooperation to supplement national policies. A call for international cooperation to supplement national policies in fostering and supporting enterprise-creation was added to this section. Key delegate concerns were: the role of women in paid and unpaid activities (Canada); elimination of discrimination in granting credit to women and minorities (EU); and the fact that informal-sector enterprises can be construed as "black labour" (Austria).

D. Reviewing sectoral priorities: This section calls attention to: the needs of rural areas; environmentally-sound production methods; the potential of export expansion; the importance of retraining and maintaining social protection when industrial plants close; and opportunities in the service sector. Several paragraphs were shortened, but the essence of this section remains the same as in L.13. Few delegates addressed this section, although the G-77 emphasized the need to remove protectionist trade barriers.

E. Redefining the nature of work and employment: This section recommends the need to broaden the concept of work to include sustainable livelihoods; voluntary work-sharing arrangements; and examination of personal taxation and social security legislation, with the goal of allowing greater work flexibility. The two paragraphs in this section were shortened, but not altered substantively. The major change was the removal of the first paragraph, which called for greater financial recognition of women's multiple roles so as to improve their status. Sweden objected to the underlying paternalistic tone of the paragraph.

F. Focusing on specific needs: The sixth section addresses specific groups with special needs in relation to livelihoods (youth, the elderly, women, the long-term unemployed, migrant workers and indigenous people). Among the recommended actions to redress the problem were: employment-related programmes; quality education; job training; non-discriminatory regulations; occupational health policies; facilitation of the migrant reintegration process; maternity leave and child care; and strengthening of public services. Key changes included the addition of paragraphs calling for: alleviation of youth unemployment; quality education; and occupational health provisions.

During the discussion, the EU and Japan proposed adding the disabled to the list of other sectors that have special needs. The G-77 added reference to the role of NGOs in providing youth employment training. In reference to the multiple roles of women, proposals included reference to: equal responsibilities between men and women (Japan); the underlying forces that create the social needs of women (Sweden); and professional training for women (Mali). Colombia proposed a new paragraph on providing long-term work, labour opportunities and special facilities for workers.

G. Enhancing the quality of employment: The last section in this chapter calls for safeguarding the basic rights of workers. More specifically, the text called for: labour organizations and NGOs to seek protection for working children; protection of migrant workers' rights; basic labour standards in the informal sector; education and training; and appropriate national policies. Canada recommended protection of indigenous livelihoods and stressed the rights of street children.

IV. SOCIAL INTEGRATION

A. Social integration, respect for diversity based on shared values: The aim of social integration is described as the enabling of diverse groups to live in productive and cooperative harmony, and the accommodation of differences within a context of shared values and common interests. The key change in this section was the paragraph calling for measures to reduce violence in society. Major proposals included: increased attention to the needs of marginalized groups (Switzerland and Canada); emphasis on ethical principals in the formulation of social policies (Slovenia); the role of spirituality and moral values (Iran); decreasing the need to resort to violence and physical force in conflict resolution (Norway); and social integration of indigenous communities (Peru).

B. Ending discrimination in all its forms and promoting equality of opportunity: This section identifies a range of measures to counter discrimination, including appropriate legislation, administrative codes and public ordinances. Specific reference is made to measures to end both de jure and de facto discriminatory practices against women. There were no major changes from L.13. Key proposals included reference to the disabled (Norway and Zimbabwe) and to the importance of implementing economic, social and cultural rights (Canada).

C. Education as an integrating force: This section identifies equal access to education as one of the primary responsibilities of Government, civil society and the international community. It emphasizes the role of primary education in enhancing equality of opportunity and in mitigating existing social inequalities. A new paragraph highlighting the importance of the mass media in promoting harmonious co-existence among social groups was added. Some of the other major proposals included: human rights education (India, Morocco, the Philippines, Slovenia and Canada); reference to children who are vulnerable to drug abuse and drug trafficking (Pakistan); and educational incentives for girls, including tuition exemptions and scholarships (Bangladesh).

D. Equal access to the institutions of the State: This section highlights the need for an integrated society to be based on the principle of equal treatment in matters of law, taxation and the provision of public services, while recognizing the need for specialized treatment. The main change to this section was recognition of the need for social policy to contribute to community life and to integrate those who are not "economically active." Other proposals included Antigua and Barbuda's reference to reproductive health.

E. Responding with special measures to special social needs: This section emphasized the need to guarantee opportunities for those who traditionally have been excluded from the community. References were made to: affirmative action programmes; equal opportunities for the disabled; public resources for older persons; and measures to include young people. This section was entirely revised and revitalized based largely on the contributions made during the first week's debate. Key comments included: proposals for new paragraphs on the re-integration of criminal offenders (Holy See), and drug abuse (Norway); concern that affirmative action programmes may lead to reverse discrimination (Japan); and increased recognition of indigenous people (Canada and New Zealand).

F. A shared concern: fair treatment outside one's country of origin: This section refers to attitudes towards migrants, and called for: Government measures to shape positive attitudes; special attention to the needs of migrant children; and protection of refugees. This section was not substantially altered. Important proposals included: emphasis on protecting migrants' human rights (Mexico); international assistance for refugee host nations (Guinea and Belize); and action to prevent the creation of immigrants and refugees (Pakistan).

G. Bringing Government closer to the people: This section calls for transparent, accountable and participatory public institutions at all levels. Few delegates commented on the two paragraphs in this section. Indonesia called for greater emphasis on decentralization and community empowerment.

H. Creating space for civil society: This section notes that NGOs, professional associations and cooperatives, among others, can facilitate interaction between the individual, communities and Governments. It recommends allowing the full participation of civil society. Few delegates commented on the three paragraphs in this section, although the Holy See highlighted the role of cultural and religious associations in facilitating interaction between the individual, communities and Governments.

V. MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP

This chapter was the only one that was not discussed section-by-section. Many delegates had not anticipated the Committee's speed and could not present detailed amendments on this chapter. Others felt that this chapter could not be adequately discussed until agreement was reached on the goals and actions in other chapters. Some of the more significant additions to this chapter are references to: the social dimensions of structural adjustment programmes; innovative financing mechanisms; and a strengthened role for the World Bank. Other notable additions include reference to: the private sector; endogenous capacity building; indicators; a strengthened role for the UN; coordination between the UN System and the Bretton Woods institutions; and the participation of all actors in the field of social development.

Significant deletions include reference to: the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures; the overall monitoring of national-level strategies; consultative mechanisms in developing countries; the Youth Voluntary Service to the Community; and the relationship between financial resources for the achievement of the Summit's objectives and for overall development.

A. Guiding principles for implementation: This section calls for increased international cooperation and support for social development, and stresses the importance of the State in shaping an enabling environment. Indonesia underscored the notion of partnerships and the role of religious and informal leaders.

B. Implementation and follow-up at the national level: This section stresses the need for: endogenous capacity building; broader and more integrated strategies for human resource development; and national strategies for social progress. Norway called for national participation in setting priorities for action. China stressed grassroots-initiated local action plans. Finland called for the use, internationalization and standardization of quantitative and qualitative indicators of social development.

C. International cooperation for social progress: This section calls on Governments, NGOs, the academic community, trade unions and others to cooperate for social and economic development. Regional and subregional approaches should be explored and Governments should identify a certain number of appropriate indicators. Bilateral cooperation is also stressed. Few amendments were made to this section.

D. The role of the United Nations and the United Nations system: This is the longest section of the chapter and it generated the most comments. It focuses on the actions that the UN system must take to coordinate an effective follow-up strategy to the WSSD. Austria called for reference to the ongoing process of UN reform and to policy dialogues on social development between the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions. Regarding follow-up, she noted the need for: effective regional initiatives; targets and timetables; clear policy recommendations by the Secretary-General for monitoring; country strategies; and clear priorities and procedures for the Commission on Social Development. The G-77 stressed that UN agencies should not act outside their existing mandates. Other proposals included international monitoring of lending agencies (Pakistan) and improved coordination and cooperation among and within UN agencies (Indonesia). Canada provided detailed comments on the need for strong institutional follow-up.

Many proposals were made with regard to the focal point for follow-up within the UN system. Possibilities included: a strengthened ECOSOC (Norway); the Commission for Social Development (Poland and Mexico); the establishment of specialized organizations to promote and implement activities related to social development (Morocco); and the Secretary- General (Finland).

E. Mobilizing resources for social development: This section suggests various means to provide assistance from the rich to the poor countries for promoting social development. The G-77 stressed the need for new and additional financial resources. Other proposals included: ODA levels that are higher than 0.7% and untied funding for social development (Pakistan); support for the 20:20 Compact (C“te d'Ivoire and Senegal); debt reduction, cancellation and conversion schemes (C“te d'Ivoire); establishment of a new development fund (Iran and Malaysia); and a stronger statement on debt and mechanisms to assure adequate funds for social progress (Indonesia). Senegal and Benin stressed the special problems of Africa, while Bangladesh said that the needs of all the least developed countries should be addressed.

F. Organization participation and empowerment: This section notes that organization and empowerment of the poor is essential for any successful poverty alleviation strategy. Indonesia called for reference to the right to development.

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