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The draft Declaration, as presented in document A/CONF.166/ PC/L.13, contained 43 paragraphs. It noted the current social situation and called for action on many fronts, including: development of strategies to eliminate extreme poverty; assurance of the rights of workers; respect for diversity; and mobilization of financial resources. Most of the 49 participants who spoke during the discussion noted the need for a short, concise statement of political will. Other areas of consensus included the need for a definition of social development and the need for a link between the Declaration and the Programme of Action.

A few delegates made recommendations on the structure of the Declaration. Australia, for example, suggested a Declaration with three parts: identification of the reasons for and importance of the Summit; new commitments and actions to be undertaken by actors at all levels; and a statement of principles. Germany, on behalf of the EU, also proposed a three-pronged structure: the state of social development; a strategy based on principles and consisting of concrete objectives; and incorporation of the main commitments from the Programme of Action. Tunisia recommended a two-part text that would examine the social development situation and identify objectives.

While delegates agreed on the benefits of a shorter document, many proceeded to list numerous priority issues to be included in the redraft. Among these issues were: protection and promotion of human rights; provision of health services; equality of opportunities for all; abolition of trade barriers; immigration law reform; elimination of child labour; integration of the most vulnerable in society; and support for the role of the family.

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