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World Summit for Social Development
PrepCom for Copenhagen +5
New York, 3-14 April 2000

Highlights from Friday, 7 April

In an afternoon Plenary, Chair Christián Maquieira noted that halfway through the PrepCom, delegates must think beyond consensus language and consider the quality of the outcome. He said Working Group 1 made progress on human rights, sanctions and technical assistance for developing countries to participate in international trade discussions, and added that delegates made headway in exploring ways out of remaining issues. Vice-Chair Koor Richelle reported on Working Group 2, noting that much of the text remaining in brackets is due to formulation problems rather than substantive differences. After introducing a proposed package deal on the political declaration in order to reach consensus on the final outstanding paragraphs, which the G-77/China could not accept, Working Group III Chair Bagher Asadi (pictured in photo) implores that the G-77/China not introduce new text. He also regretted that the Group wished to revert back to an early afternoon version of the text of the political declaration. Working Group III adjourned its final meeting.

Click here for coverage of side events on "Bridging Local Realities and Global Strategies," organized by the World Bank and on the Currency Transfer Tax, including photos and RealAudio

Working Group III on the Draft Political Declaration
In the morning, regarding 6 bis, on debt-servicing and relief, delegates debated proposals from the G-77/China, the EU and Japan. On paragraph 5, the G-77/China proposed new text referring to, inter alia: respect for basic workers' rights, non-discrimination, tolerance and diversity; democracy; and transparent and accountable governance. The EU submitted reformulated text containing references to, inter alia: effective state institutions; participation of all citizens in decisions that affect their lives; and attachment to principles of good governance and rule of law. The EU also proposed a new 5 bis, calling for ratification and implementation of ILO conventions addressing workers' rights and child labor. In the afternoon, Chair Asadi asked delegates to negotiate the remaining contentious elements in paragraphs 5, 6 bis and 9, and to consider "package deals."
The EU consults with the US (left) and the G-77/China (right). Groups presented their bottom lines. The G-77/China stated: a reference to good governance in paragraph 5 was unacceptable, preferring a reference to accountable and transparent governments; a qualifying reference to employment with language on workers' rights in 5 bis would be accepted only with additional qualifying language on poverty and social development; a reference addressing debt problems of middle-income countries in 6 bis was essential; and a reference to reform of international financial institutions in paragraph 9 was negotiable. The EU said: the elements of good governance and workers' rights were essential, but remaining text in paragraphs 5 and 5bis was negotiable; agreement was possible on a reference to middle-income countries; and a reference to follow-up conferences and summits in paragraph 9 should be kept.

Nigeria, for the G-77/China (left) and the US, consulting with Chair Asadi: The US favored reference to workers' rights but supported alternative placement; opposed text on middle-income countries; and agreed to negotiate language on reform of international financial institutions.
Chair Asadi consults with Algeria and Portugal: The EU proposed replacing good governance with reference to effective, transparent and accountable governance and including a G-77/China reference to equitable distribution of wealth within and among nations.
In the evening, Chair Asadi proposed a package, using US language on workers' rights as a basis for agreement on paragraph 5; deleting provisions on addressing debt-problems of middle-income developing countries and on financing and implementation of the HIPC initiative in 6 bis; and incorporating Mexico's proposal on continuing work on reforms for a strengthened and more stable international financial system. When the G-77/China said that it could not accept the Chair's proposal and suggested going back to early afternoon text. Chair Asadi, implored that the Group not lose all the work that it had done in the afternoon.

Stressing the political declaration's sensitivity, Egypt, for the G-77/China (right), insisted that if US text on workers' rights was accepted then the reference to middle-income countries must also be included; called for deletion of reference to mutually reinforcing linkages between economic and social development in paragraph 5; and suggested delegates revert to earlier positions to renegotiate.The EU asked that the G-77/China reconsider its proposal to revert back to the early afternoon text and preferred going back to the evening text right before the Chair proposed his package deal. The group decided to resume discussions at a later date based on the early afternoon draft of the declaration. Chair Asadi referred arrangement of further informal meetings to the Chair of the PrepCom.

Plenary to review progress of Working Groups and to hear NGO statements

John Langmore, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, Working Group II Chair Koor Richelle, and PrepCom Chair Christián Maquieira

(Click for RealAudio) The Commission of the Churches on International Affairs for the World Council of Churches (left) said the political declaration does not address a world suffering profound moral and ethical crisis, where social policy initiatives are held hostage by market forces. The Third World Institute (center) expressed grave concern that the political declaration does not address key challenges, and called for reconsidering links between globalization and development. (Click for RealAudio) International Council on Social Welfare (right) called for devising clear proposals and going beyond refinement of social development language and over-intellectualization of the causes of poverty. He proposed a strengthened UN, new social development standards and an international anti-poverty pact. He said this generation was in danger of being the first generation to leave a worse legacy for the generations to come.

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (left) called for a global effort to address feminization of poverty. (Click here for RealAudio) The Women's Environment and Development Organization (center) said millions of women fight constantly to be free of domestic and economic violence. She stated delegates' words translate into access to critical resources, and women must be integral to all development efforts. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (right) highlighted, inter alia, social dimensions to financial architecture, gender equality, poverty eradication, social protection and cooperation between international organizations.


Linkages Coverage of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen
A summary of the major issues
Agenda for the Second Session of the PrepCom

Secretariat web site with official documents and information for NGO participants
Secretary-general's Report on the Implementation of the Outcome of the WSSD
Summary of the WSSD agreements
Information on the WSSD+5 Special Session
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