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The first session of the PrepCom met in New York from 31 January - 11 February 1994. The objective of PrepCom I was to define the expected output and provide elements for inclusion in the documents to be adopted at the Summit. The first week of the session was devoted to opening statements from governments, NGOs, UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations. During the second week, delegates drafted a series of decisions to help guide the Secretariat and the PrepCom in the preparation of the expected outcomes of the Summit.

By the conclusion of PrepCom I, delegates had agreed on the existence, format and basic structure of a draft Declaration and draft Programme of Action, as well as the possible elements to be included in these documents. Delegates agreed that the draft Declaration should contain three parts: a description of the world social situation; principles, goals, policy orientations and common challenges to be addressed by all actors at the local, national, regional and international levels; and an expression of commitment on issues relating to implementation and follow-up. The Declaration should be concise and focused, and reaffirm international agreements, instruments, declarations and decisions adopted by the UN system that are relevant to the Summit. The Secretariat was asked to prepare a draft negotiating text on the basis of the contents of the 11 objectives and three core issues stated in paragraphs 5 and 6 of General Assembly Resolution 47/92.