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INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS

Due to the large number of outstanding issues in the draft Platform for Action, ECOSOC mandated an additional week of informal consultations, which were held from 31 July to 4 August 1995, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates established the ground rule that agreements made in New York would be respected in Beijing. Delegates used two working groups to address disputed text by issue area, aided by an informal note prepared by the Secretariat that grouped bracketed text into issue "clusters." Working Group I, chaired by Patricia Licuanan (Philippines), addressed issues related to the macro-economic framework, resources and institutional framework. Working Group II, chaired by Irene Freudenschuss (Austria), addressed issues related to human rights and diversity. Progress was made in removing brackets from references to a number of economic and human rights issues, including structural adjustment programmes, sustainable development, international human rights instruments and economic rights. Other issues, such as references to the concepts of equity/equitable, proved more difficult and remained bracketed. All issues related to health were held over for discussion in Beijing. The product of the informal consultations (A/CONF.177/L.3), which noted all text successfully negotiated during the informal consultations and reduced the bracketed text by one-third, was transmitted to the FWCW and adopted at its opening session.