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CLOSING SESSION

On Friday morning, 28 October 1994, Amb. Somav�a opened the final session of the intersessional informal consultations and invited Amb. Richelle to report on the Committee of the Whole's consideration of the draft Programme of Action, noting the general areas of agreement and subjects needing further negotiations. States agreed that the draft Programme of Action should be closely integrated with the draft Declaration, and should consist of the five chapters covering the enabling environment, the three core issues and implementation and follow-up. Furthermore, the draft Programme of Action should also: have a positive and action-oriented tone; refrain from obligating governments to take specific actions; distinguish proposed action on the national and international levels; and avoid language that treats people or groups as objects rather than subjects of their own development. However, other issues still remain to be resolved, including: the length of the Programme of Action; the range of issues to be addressed; the actions required for each objective; and the final structure of Chapter V on implementation and follow-up.

Richelle then described the discussions on the specific sections of the draft Programme of Action. In Chapter II, States widely agreed that poverty disproportionately affects developing countries and medium-term measures are needed for the elimination of extreme poverty. However, delegates could not agree on a clear definition of the different types of poverty. In Chapter III, delegates agreed on the need to remove impediments to assistance to the informal sector in developing countries. There is still little agreement with regard to migrant workers. In Chapter IV, there appears to be agreement on the concept and underlying values related to social integration.

Somav�a then reported that significant advances were made on the Draft Declaration, however, the questions of resources and follow-up and implementation still present problems. He noted that the meetings of the extended Bureau were productive and that he must now determine which issues should be maintained in the Declaration and those that are most suited to the Programme of Action. Somav�a will now work closely with the Secretariat to draft an integrated document containing both the draft Declaration and the draft Programme of Action to serve as the basis for negotiations at PrepCom III.

Following presentation of these two reports, numerous delegates took the floor to offer their comments and thank the Chair, the Bureau and the Secretariat for their hard work. Many noted that a great deal of progress had been achieved at this session. Others stressed the fact that social and economic issues are very closely linked and should be discussed and analyzed together. Other comments included requests for: specific technical data on poverty and the cost of implementation; acknowledgment of the needs of small island developing States; and opportunities to submit written comments.

The Chair closed the session by thanking the delegations and noting the progress in further defining areas of agreement. He also stated that any written comments should be submitted to the Secretariat before 10 November 1994, and stressed the need for governments to prepare clear positions for the next PrepCom.

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