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The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, opened the discussion on the draft Declaration with a proposal to clearly distinguish between the two parts of the Social Summit texts: the Declaration and the Programme of Action. Delegates in Working Group I then began a paragraph-by-paragraph consideration of the draft Declaration (A/CONF.166/PC/L.22). The Declaration contained an introduction and three sections (Current Social Situation and Reasons for Convening the Summit, Principles and Goals, and Commitments), which included 22 paragraphs of text and nine commitments. Many amendments were proposed, despite Somav´┐Ża"s exhortations to respect the integrated logic underlying the text.

Delegates began their first reading on Monday, 16 January, and finished Saturday, 21 January, two days behind the original schedule. Issues bracketed by the Working Group were deferred to two informal consultative groups. Amb. Richard Butler (Australia) coordinated the group on the Declaration and Commitments 1 to 6. Amb. Razali Ismail (Malaysia) coordinated the group on Commitments 7 to 9 and Chapter V (Implementation and follow-up). During the second week, Working Group I considered the results of these informal groups and, for the most part, approved their work without any changes. The following discussion describes the Declaration and highlights the issues that remain bracketed and must be negotiated in Copenhagen.