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WORKING GROUP II

Working Group II considered a number of outstanding issues during morning and afternoon sessions. The EU amended 74 (education environment) to call for equal treatment. In 82(f) (increase enrolment), brackets were removed from freedom of conscience and belief. In 85(k) (barriers), the Group adopted an ICPD formulation on removal of barriers, "where appropriate."

In 246 (environmental situation), delegates accepted a formulation based on Agenda 21, including references to the link between poverty and environmental degradation and unsustainable consumption. In 247 (environmental degradation), delegates retained a reference to urban and low income areas and deleted the reference to the link between poverty and environmental degradation. In 252 (mainstreaming), delegates accepted a US proposal to amend the bracketed text to read "including, as appropriate, an analysis of the effects on women and men respectively before decisions are taken." In 253(c) (indigenous knowledge), Australia added references to national legislation and international law. Canada added "maintained" to keep the language consistent with other paragraphs. The US added "in addition" before a sentence referring to safeguarding intellectual property rights, from which the brackets were removed. The amended text was accepted.

In 183 (democracy), delegates adopted a reformulation identifying equal participation as a prerequisite to providing balanced representation. In 189 (affirmative action), an EU amendment included "equality in decision making is essential to the empowerment of women." Paragraph 192(b) (party representation) addresses measures, where appropriate, in electoral systems. In 193(c) (political leadership), the bracketed text was replaced by text on measures for equal participation in party leadership. In 195(a) (gender and employment), "parity" was replaced by "equality."

In 115 (armed conflict), brackets were removed from "forced pregnancy," "forced abortion," and "pre-natal sex selection and female infanticide." Delegates created 116 (bis) from the second and third sentences of 115. In 125(i) (legislate against violent practices), brackets were removed from "prenatal sex selection." In 126 (j) (media and stereotypes), brackets were removed from "freedom of expression" and "voluntary" codes of conduct was added.

Delegates discussed 9, 46 and the footnote to Strategic Objective C.1, all of which reference implementation in conformity with international law and respect for different cultural backgrounds, together. Namibia, supported by China, the EU and others proposed a reformulation based on Vienna language. Sudan, on behalf of the Arab Group, proposed using Cairo or Copenhagen language and retained the reference to religious and ethical values. No final decision was taken.

The informal group considering references to foreign occupation and alien domination based its proposals on 147, an unbracketed text based on Copenhagen and Vienna language. References in paragraphs 13, 46, 116/117, 132, 136, E.1, 144(c), 144(d), 225 and 247 were amended based on this language. Paragraphs 116, 117 and 122 (vulnerable groups) were combined, with the amendment that women "may be vulnerable."

A reformulated 132 (an environment for world peace) was amended to include "rape including systematic rape" and "terrorism and hostage taking." A call for an effective response was moved to 133. In 145(e) (land mines), a reference to NGOs was added and brackets removed. In 145(f) (weapons of mass destruction), New Zealand presented a new formulation. The EU introduced an amendment on nuclear testing. In 147(b) (encourage diplomacy), "preventive diplomacy" was deleted. In 149(n) (support services for displaced women), brackets were removed. Paragraph 223 (reproductive rights) reaffirms that reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right to free and responsible decision making and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. "Forced pregnancy" was removed from brackets in 136 (impact of armed conflict), 144 (d) (training for judiciary) and 13 (armed conflicts).

A reformulation of 207(e) (ministries), giving ministries the mandate to review policies and programmes, was accepted. A reformulation of 258(e) (hazardous waste) referring to unsafe movements of hazardous waste and various international instruments was accepted, over Panama's objections. Brackets were lifted from 209(i) (gender analysis in research). Belize added a reference to natural disasters in 247 (poverty and environment).

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