DEVELOPMENT (IISD)

                  WRITTEN AND EDITED BY:

                        JOHANNAH BERNSTEIN
    LANGSTON JAMES GOREE VI "KIMO" <[email protected]>
       LYNN WAGNER <[email protected]>
            STEVE WISE <[email protected]>
  French translation by MONGI GADHOUM < [email protected]>


Vol. 10 No. 38
6 March 1995



UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali opened the 
Plenary and called on delegates to send a clear message that 
the international community is taking a stand against social 
injustice, exclusion and poverty. He noted the necessity of 
a new social contract at the global level. In recent 
conferences, the international community has considered the 
needs of the individual human being. Now it is incumbent on 
the UN to provide specific responses to those needs. 
Boutros-Ghali outlined three priority objectives: providing 
social protection, assisting social integration and 
maintaining social peace. 

Delegates then unanimously elected Danish Prime Minister 
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen as President of the WSSD. Rasmussen 
noted that the security of the State has been more important 
than security of the people; however security of the people 
is now the main topic on the international agenda. He urged 
delegates to use the Summit to turn the analysis of problems 
and possibilities into concrete commitments and actions, as 
was done in Rio. The true significance of the Social Summit 
will be measured by what happens after the Summit. 

Delegates then dealt with a number of procedural matters, 
including the rules of procedure (A/CONF.166/2), adoption of 
the agenda (A/CONF.166/1), and information for participants 
(A/CONF.166/INF.1). As recommended in A/CONF.166/3, 
delegates elected 27 vice-presidents and an ex-officio vice-
president (Denmark). H.E. Mr. Sadok Rabah (Tunisia) was 
elected Rapporteur General, and Amb. Juan Somavi'a (Chile) 
was elected Chair of the Main Committee. 

The recommendation in A/CONF.166/3 (General Exchange of 
Views) for suggested themes during the Plenary was adopted. 
The March 11 and 12 schedules in the Annex to A/CONF.166/3, 
proposed timetable, were extended to provide time for the 
more than 140 speakers: Saturday 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 3:00 
pm to 6:30 pm, and Sunday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm 
until the conclusion of speakers' list. Delegates adopted 
documents A/CONF.166/6 and A/CONF.166/4 regarding 
accreditation of NGOs. The Credentials Committee 
(A/CONF.166/3) will consist of representatives from China, 
Fiji, Honduras, Namibia, Portugal, Suriname, Togo, the US, 
and the Russian Federation. 

Rasmussen then turned to Agenda Item 8, general exchange of 
views. Dr. Cielito Habito (Philippines) opened this five-day 
exchange, speaking on behalf of the G-77. He welcomed 
delegates' agreement on the priority target of poverty 
eradication. Habito called for greater emphasis on the 
participation of women, the needs of the disadvantaged, and 
the role of the family as the nuclear unit of society. He 
also called for an International Fund for Social 
Development, adoption of the 20:20 formula, and adequate, 
predictable, new, and additional sources of funding for 
sustainable development. 

Simone Veil (France) then spoke on behalf of the EU. She 
noted the important role of women in development, outlined 
essential elements of an educational programme, and stated 
that the family is the basis of society. She also identified 
the essential role of the ILO. 


Amb. Somavi'a opened the Main Committee and announced its 
programme of work. He announced that Amb. Shah (India) will 
chair a Working Group of the Main Committee to negotiate the 
new commitment on education. Amb. Koos Richelle 
(Netherlands) will conduct informal negotiations on 
outstanding issues in Chapters II (Eradication of Poverty), 
III (Expansion of Productive Employment) and IV (Social 
Integration) of the draft Programme of Action. The Main 
Committee will consider the bracketed text in the draft 
Declaration and Chapters I (An Enabling Environment for 
Social Development) and V (Implementation and Follow-up). 
Somavi'a then asked delegates to begin negotiating the 
outstanding issues in the draft Declaration, beginning with 
paragraph 16(c) (countries with economies in transition). 
The G-77 objected to inclusion of the paragraph, stating 
that it was adequate that paragraphs 18 and 19 refer 
exclusively to those nations. Hungary and the Russian 
Federation noted that paragraph 16(c) was different than the 
others because it distinguished between the vague group of 
countries in Eastern Europe. The EU and the US supported 
retaining the paragraph. The Chair asked that delegates from 
the G-77 and the countries with economies in transition 
consult further on this issue. 

The US reported that it was conducting informal 
consultations on paragraph 26(k) (right to self-
determination), and stated that a solution might be reached 
by Tuesday. The EU proposed language from the Vienna 
Conference. In paragraph 26(s) (participation of women), 
delegates agreed to delete the brackets around "ensure" in 
the first line. The sentence now refers to strengthening 
policies and programmes that "ensure and broaden the 
participation of women in all spheres of political, 
economic, social and cultural life...." In paragraph 
27(narrowing the inequality gap), delegates agreed to 
postpone consideration of the bracketed text on countries 
with economies in transition, pending the outcome of the 
discussion of paragraph 16(c) (social problems in countries 
with economies in transition). In paragraph 28 (global drive 
for social development), delegates agreed to remove the 
brackets around the phrase "and territorial integrity" in 
the chapeau to the commitments section, which addresses the 
global drive for social development in "full respect for 
national sovereignty [and territorial integrity]." The US 
originally suggested that this paragraph be dealt with 
alongside Commitment 1(a) (stable legal framework). After 
appeals from Nigeria and Egypt, who pointed out that the 
language reflects recognized principles in UN resolutions, 
delegates agreed to remove the second set of brackets in the 

In Commitment 1 (enabling environment), delegates could not 
agree on whether a stable framework should be provided "in 
accordance with our constitutions, national laws and 
procedures" or "in accordance with international obligations 
and constitutional laws and procedures." The G-77/China 
preferred the former, while the EU opted for the latter. The 
US suggested merging the two formulations, but no agreement 
was reached. In Commitment 1(i) (supportive external 
environment), Somavi'a noted that consultations were 
underway on the financial resource issues, and suggested 
that negotiations on all related bracketed language be 
postponed, pending the outcome of these consultations. In 
Commitment 3 (ILO conventions), no agreement was reached on 
the two proposed formulations. The first one refers to the 
goal of ensuring quality jobs and respect for relevant ILO 
conventions. The second formulation enumerates several of 
the relevant ILO conventions. Some countries, such as 
Norway, felt that the first formulation was too vague, while 
others noted the potential problem of binding governments to 
specific conventions, which they have not yet signed or 
ratified. The EU suggested an alternative text that 
simplified the second variant, which also referred to "other 
instruments." New Zealand highlighted the importance of 
referring to human rights conventions. No agreement was 

In Commitment 4(n) (ratification of human rights 
instruments), the EU called for deletion of the bracketed 
reference to "with full respect for the sovereignty of 
States." The G-77/China objected.

Iran added a reference to "territorial integrity." In 
Commitment 5(d) (universal access to health care), delegates 
agreed that the relevant language from the Cairo document 
should be used.

Discussion on bracketed resource language in Commitments 6 
(Africa and LDCs) and 8 (increase in human development 
resources) was postponed pending the outcome of the resource 
consultations. No agreement was reached on Commitment 9(d) 
(coercive measures which obstruct economic and social 
development of States).

In Chapter I (An Enabling Environment for Social 
Development), disputed language in paragraph 8 (people-
centered approach to development) was deferred to the 
Richelle group. The US suggested retaining paragraph 9(f) 
(reorienting agricultural policies in accordance with the 
Uruguay Round), while Benin and others challenged the 
reference to the "new opportunities" created by the Uruguay 
Round, citing the problems for African countries.

In paragraph 9 (promotion of mutually reinforcing broad-
based economic growth), delegates could not agree on whether 
the promotion of sustained economic growth "requires" 
specific actions, as enumerated in paragraph 9.


The working group met Monday afternoon under the chair of 
Amb. Shah (India) to consider the new commitment on 
education. Delegates worked from document A/CONF.166/L.2, 
which included draft commitments from the G-77 and the EU. 
The EU withdrew its proposal and agreed to use the G-
77/China proposal as the basis for negotiations. The EU 
suggested that the preamble commit countries to promoting 
and attaining goals in education and health, but not those 
related to culture. He recommended dividing the preamble 
into three bullets: education, health services, and 
sustainable development. He also suggested adding the 
present paragraph (m) (requesting greater UN emphasis on 
Summit goals) to the preamble. The US recommended including 
disability as a criteria for consideration. Indonesia 
offered a text that combined the EU and G-77/China 
proposals, separating language on education and health. 
Canada proposed "the highest standard of mental and physical 
health" to balance stronger language on education.

In paragraph (a) (national strategies), France recommended 
deleting national languages and non-formal education. In 
paragraph (b) (lifelong learning), the Holy See suggested 
"knowledge and skills which foster ethical values and 
attitudes." France suggested deleting values and attitudes. 
The US recommended changing "ensure" to "encourage" and 
adding environmental values to those considered. Benin and 
Egypt suggested that the group use a UNESCO revision of the 
G-77/China proposal. Several delegates said the amendments 
could not be considered unless they were written, and that 
the lack of translation prohibited effective discussion. 


Despite the fact that this Summit has been billed as "The 
People's Summit" and that delegates and high-ranking UN 
officials often refer to the important role that civil 
society will play in its implementation, many NGO delegates 
felt excluded from Monday's proceedings. NGO access was 
limited for both the Plenary and Main Committee activities. 
Other meetings were held in areas accessible to delegates 
only. The explanation offered by conference spokespeople was 
that space was limited and that delegates needed areas in 
which they could conduct uninterrupted informal 
consultations. NGO delegates, however, have expressed 
concern about issues of transparency. Conference officials 
promised that on Tuesday, tickets would be distributed for 
250 seats in both the Plenary and the Main Committee 
sessions. Tickets will be available at the NGO Information 
Desk beginning at 9:00 am for the morning session and 1:00 
pm for the afternoon session.


PLENARY: The exchange of views will continue in the Plenary. 
Statements during the afternoon are suggested to focus on 
the theme of eradication of poverty.

MAIN COMMITTEE: The Committee will continue its 
consideration of the draft Programme of Action. It will 
resume its work on Chapter I.

amendments to the education commitment in the morning 
session, which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am in Room 1. 
The afternoon session is expected to review a compilation 
document of suggested amendments from Monday and Tuesday 

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (C) 
<[email protected]> is written and edited by Johannah 
Bernstein, Langston James Goree VI "Kimo" 
<[email protected]>, Lynn Wagner <[email protected]> 
and Steve Wise <[email protected]> with French translation 
by Mongi Gadhoum <[email protected]>. The Sustaining Donors 
of the Bulletin are the International Institute for 
Sustainable Development ([email protected]), the United 
Nations Environment Programme and the Pew Charitable Trusts. 
General support for the Bulletin during 1995 is provided by 
the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland and the World Bank. 
Funding for the Bulletin at the Social Summit has been 
provided by UNDP and UNICEF and ACCT. Special thanks to 
macKeenzie Copy Center for photocopying services and Dknet 
for our Internet feed. The authors can be contacted at their 
electronic mail addresses and by cellular phone during this 
meeting at +45 401 38818 or 331 47797. The opinions 
expressed in Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the 
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