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MAIN COMMITTEE

The Main Committee, chaired by Amb. Wisnumurthi (Indonesia), first outlined the programme of work for the Committee and its informal consultative groups. The Bureau proposed that a consultative group be established under the chair of Amb. Butler (Australia) to address outstanding rights issues, including human rights and the right to development. This group will also take up unresolved issues in the Declaration and Chapter V. The Chair noted Amb. Razali's (Malaysia) contact group on financial resource issues, and Amb. Richelle's (Netherlands) contact group on the family and other issues in Chapters II, III, and IV. The Main Committee's Working Group on Education continues to consider the proposed education and health commitment. Delegates agreed to negotiate text that was outside the mandates of the consultative groups.

In paragraph 10 (benefits of global economic growth), the G-77 preferred: deleting the qualification to ensure [more] equitable distribution; "requiring" actions rather than noting that they were "necessary"; and retaining the reference to the international level. In paragraph 11 (priority needs of Africa and LDCs), the EU supported maintaining the currently bracketed reference to actions at the "national" level. The G-77 wanted to delete the reference to national level actions, and sub-paragraphs 11a (structural reform policies) and 11b (enabling environment in Africa and the least developed countries), restoring the paragraph's emphasis to the international level. The EU, supported by the US and Norway, supported sub-paragraphs 11a and 11b, which then justified retention of "national" level actions in the chapeau. In the chapeau to paragraph 12 (market forces and social development), the EU proposed removing all brackets so that the text would refer to "requiring" actions that "are necessary" at the national "and/or" international level. The G-77 and the US agreed to remove brackets around "requires." The US noted its preference to maintain "and/or," but proposed an alternative: "as appropriate" after "national and international level." Pakistan supported the alternative. The G-77 reserved, pending further consultation. Delegates agreed to remove the brackets around the reference to micro "enterprises" in paragraph 12h (supporting small enterprises).

In the chapeau to paragraph 13 (fiscal systems geared towards poverty eradication), the G-77 retained the bracketed "requires" in the sentence on the actions required to ensure that fiscal systems and other public policies promote poverty eradication. In 13(d) (reducing inequities from wealth accumulation), the EU proposed deletion of "excessive" in the reference to "measures to reduce inefficiencies and inequities arising from [illegitimate/excessive] accumulation of wealth by [speculative or windfall gains]." The EU also objected to the reference to the "use of appropriate taxation" as a means to prevent such accumulation of wealth. The G-77 objected to the EU proposal to replace "by speculative gains" with "illegitimate gains". They argued that the basic thrust is to cover those activities that are illegitimate but which may not necessarily be illegal.

In the chapeau to paragraph 14 (socially responsive political framework), delegates could not agree on whether actions are "required" to ensure that the political framework supports the objectives of social development. The US suggested "called for" instead of "required." In 14(e) (conditions for social partners to organize and function [freely and responsibly]), Canada, supported by the EU, the US and Norway, preferred "freely" and deleted "in accordance with national laws and regulation." The Pakistan objected to the latter proposal. In 14(f) (similar conditions for other organizations), the EU, supported by the US, deleted "including the right to engage in transactions." In 14(k) (refugee movements), Georgia, supported by Canada, requested deletion of [refugees and] and the bracketed reference to "and terrorist interventions." The G-77 agreed with the first suggestion but objected to the latter.

In 16(a) (strengthening educational systems), the US deleted "economic and" in the reference to "socio-cultural barriers to the exercise of the right to education." The G-77 objected strenuously to the deletion. The US compromised with a broader statement "reducing barriers to the exercise of the right to education." The G-77 argued that the US proposal had steered away from the original intent of this paragraph by replacing "remove" with "reduce." The EU and Norway accepted "economic and" in support of the G-77. The US finally conceded to retain the words after it became clear that there was overwhelming support for the G-77 position. In 16(d) (raising awareness regarding social integration), Iraq supported removal of the brackets around "while discouraging the gratuitous depiction of explicit sex, violence and cruelty in the media." The G-77 suggested adding "exhibition of pornography" and deleted "explicit sex." The EU agreed to remove the brackets and suggested "while bearing in mind the influence of violence and cruelty in the media." The suggestion was opposed because it was weaker language than the action-oriented term "while discouraging."

In the chapeau to 17 (international support), Cyprus called for deleting the brackets around "within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations and principles of international law." The EU favored retaining the brackets. The G-77 questioned why delegates would oppose such language. The EU affirmed its support for the UN Charter, but did not agree that it should be brandished to limit the scope of international action. The Central African Republic called for retention of (a). The EU objected. The EU and the G-77 were asked to consult on these two paragraphs. The rest of the paragraph was deferred to the Butler group.

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