Summary report, 24–28 October 1994
1995 WSSD Intersessional Consultations
At the conclusion of the second session of the PreparatoryCommittee (PrepCom) for the World Summit for Social Development(WSSD) on 2 September 1994, delegates acknowledged the substantialamount of work to be done in the light of the one remaining sessionof the PrepCom before the Summit in March 1995. Thus, delegatesadopted Decision 2/3, which requested the following:
- The Chair and the Bureau should organize intersessional informal consultations, with the participation of all States, during the week of 24 October 1994, in New York, within the framework of the General Assembly. The subjects of these informal consultations will be the Declaration and the Programme of Action;
- The Secretariat should prepare an informal document, by 30 September 1994, based on the documents and discussions held on the draft Programme of Action;
- The Secretariat should prepare, by 30 November 1994, a revised draft Programme of Action for the third session of the Preparatory Committee, which will be held in January 1995, drawn from the intersessional consultations and from the discussions held during the second session of the Preparatory Committee, and the documents that served as a basis for those discussions; and
- The Chair should continue consultations with all interested States and regional organizations on the draft Declaration and prepare a progress report for the intersessional consultations. On the basis of those consultations, a draft Declaration will be submitted by the Chair for negotiation during the third session of the Preparatory Committee.
Thus, the purpose of this intersessional session was to givedelegates the opportunity to identify areas of convergence anddivergence in both the draft Programme of Action and the draftDeclaration. The specific goal was to provide enough guidance bothto the Secretariat and the PrepCom Chair, Amb. Juan Somava(Chile), to produce an integrated negotiating text. During thecourse of the week-long consultations, frustration seemed topervade the Informal Committee of the Whole, which dealt more withthe structure than the substance of the Programme of Action.Meanwhile, the real substantive work was carried out in Amb.Somava's consultations on the Declaration. It was apparent fromthe start of this session that the Declaration must serve as thephilosophical basis for the Programme of Action, and that mattersof substance in the Programme of Action could not be tackled untilsome degree of resolution was reached with the Declaration.
On the Declaration, there was agreement that it must be infusedwith a strong "presidential tone," with strong commitments on theempowerment of women, the special needs of Africa and the LeastDeveloped Countries (which many regard as the true test of theSummit's success) and the need for socially responsible structuraladjustment programmes. The key issue on poverty is how to make therelated commitments clear, credible and realistic. In the area ofemployment, it was felt that there is a lack of appreciation forthe implications of the economic globalization process. The mostdifficult issues were, of course, creation of an enablinginternational economic environment and implementation andfollow-up. While there is general agreement that the substantivecommitments must be accompanied with commitments to make thenecessary resources available, much disagreement remains as to thepossible sources and modalities. Likewise, few concrete proposalswere generated around the issue of implementation and follow-up andthe possible improvement of existing institutions.
The structure of the draft Programme of Action underwent aconsiderable metamorphosis as a result of a proposal by the G-77 onthe first day. Delegates welcomed the G-77's proposedreorganization and, thus, easily agreed to request the Secretariatto reorganize the Programme of Action in line with the G-77'sproposal. Delegates commended the strong language that puts peopleat the centre of development and that calls for economic growth toserve human needs. Nevertheless, since these intersessionalinformal consultations were not intended to be negotiatingsessions, few delegates were prepared with concrete substantiveproposals. This reflected both a lack of clarity and a senseurgency about the problems before the Social Summit.
PrepCom Chair Juan Somava opened the first session of theintersessional informal consultations on Monday morning, 24 October1994. He reminded delegates of their mandate and asked them toconcentrate on clarifying the commitments in the draft Declarationand to reach agreement on the structure of the draft Programme ofAction. He introduced the two documents that would form the basisfor the week's discussions: the working paper on a draft Programmeof Action prepared by the Secretariat (A/CONF.166/PC/CRP.3) and abackground note presented by the Chair on the draft Declaration,which is based on A/CONF.166/ PC/L.18. Somava indicated that hewanted to hear comments on the draft Declaration in the morning andthen he would hold consultations on this matter in the extendedBureau during the remainder of the week. In the meantime, theCommittee of the Whole, under the chairmanship of Amb. KoosRichelle (The Netherlands) would examine the structure of the draftProgramme of Action.
Somava then gave delegates a progress report on his consultationson the draft Declaration since PrepCom II. Over the past few weeks,he had combined open meetings with meetings with members ofregional groups and had collected written comments. Theintroduction was considered too long and too negative. Delegateslargely accepted Parts I and II (Current Social Situation andReasons for the Summit and Principles, Common Values and Goals). InPart III, Commitments, there were two types of comments --organizational and substantive. Some of these comments wereincorporated into the Background Note.
General comments on the text included the need to: emphasize thehigh political costs of inaction; produce a more explicitformulation of the integrated approach; place more emphasis onequality of opportunity and equity as well as the linkages withenvironment, population and consumption issues; address the issueof reduction of military expenditures; place greater emphasis onyouth; set target dates; and make reference to the spiritualaspects of social development. With regard to the commitments,Somava received comments that Commitment 3 (employment) needs moreemphasis on the rights of workers, social dialogue as well as thestructural needs of the long-term unemployed. Commitment 4 (socialintegration) needs more emphasis on crime and violence as well asa reference to human rights. He noted as well that the Summitcannot take commitments in the name of the Bretton WoodsInstitutions, although recommendations can be made. Commitment 8(allocation of resources) should make reference to militaryexpenditures and the contribution of private organizations infunding social development. Commitment 9 (internationalcooperation) needs more work on the role of the UN and greaterreferences to debt and the situation of middle income countries.
In the discussion that followed, delegates raised the followingpoints with regard to the draft Declaration: the commitments mustbe tied with the Programme of Action (Mexico, Australia andothers); there is a need to establish targets (G-77 and Malaysia);clearer reference must be made to the opportunities brought aboutby the end of the Cold War (Pakistan); more focus is needed onCommitment 9 on international commitments (Pakistan and India);precise definitions are needed for certain terms, including"socially responsible investments" (Pakistan); "sustainable humandevelopment" and "human security" (Brazil); the language must beconsistent with and cannot retreat from previous Conferences(Malaysia, EU, Canada, the Nordics and Austria); there should beexplicit reference to the concept of human security (the Nordics,the Holy See and Canada); the three core issues must be introducedin the beginning of the Declaration (the Nordics and India); thereshould be a separate commitment on education (India); there shouldbe a Part IV on implementation and follow-up (Canada); theDeclaration must include a statement on excessive military build-up(Canada); there should be fewer commitments -- no more than one ortwo commitments per chapter (US); there should be a commitment withregard to human rights (US and Japan); there should be a commitmenton strengthening the family (Holy See); and there should bereference to crime and violence in Commitment 4 (Holy See).
The extended Bureau met throughout the rest of the week under thechairmanship of Amb. Somava. This small group spent most of itstime discussing the nine commitments contained in the backgroundnote produced by the Chair on 20 October 1994. At the conclusion ofthe week's meetings, Amb. Somava produced a revised version of thedraft Declaration (dated 26 October 1994). The following is a briefsynopsis of the discussions on the commitments.
Commitment 1 calls for the creation of an enabling economic andsocial, and political and legal environment conducive to socialdevelopment. The sub-commitments were divided into actions at thenational and international levels, however, most delegates wantedto reorganize the items along economic and social and political andlegal lines. Some delegates were not clear about the use of theterm "sustainable human development" and many wanted to deletereference to a "global compact" for social progress in theintroduction to the section on commitments. There were alsodiscussions on access to markets, human rights and sociallyresponsible enterprises.
Commitment 2 addresses poverty eradication. One of the major issueswas how to make the commitment clear and realistic. Some delegatesraised the point that people living poverty are active contributorsin society and should play an active part in decision-making. Somefelt that the sub-commitment on reviewing national budgets andadjusting them to meet priority needs would be difficult toimplement and is an issue of national sovereignty. Developedcountries disagreed with developing countries on the wisdom ofsetting target dates for the eradication of poverty. Other issuesincluded the need to include a reference to women who often suffermost from poverty and the need for stronger internationalcommitments.
Commitment 3 calls for enabling all people to earn livelihoodsthrough freely chosen productive employment. A number of questionsarose about migrant workers, including documented and undocumentedmigrants, and whether or not to use the definitions in the CairoProgramme of Action. Other issues included workers' rights, youthunemployment, the responsibility of employers to train workers, andrecognition of the value of unpaid workers and the informal sector.
Commitment 4 addresses social integration. It was suggested thatreferences to human rights incorporate the wording from the ViennaDeclaration and Programme of Action. Other issues included:treatment of the disabled; the role of the family; the fact thatnation building often requires assimilation; drug trafficking;organized crime; and the use of the mass media to foster socialintegration.
In the discussions on Commitment 5 on gender equality, bothdeveloped and developing countries agreed that there should be noretreat from the language adopted in the Cairo Programme of Action.Most delegates agreed to retain reference to full "equity andequality" between women and men. Other issues that arose during thediscussion: included the need for a section on education for women;the need for men and women to share in family responsibility;greater access for women to political and economic decision-making;and violence against women.
Commitment 6 deals with promoting the economic, social and humanresource development of Africa and the least developed countries.Developing countries called for: equitable income distribution;socially-responsible structural adjustment programmes; debtreduction and debt-for-social development swaps; the need for newand additional financial resources; and achieving the UN target of0.7% of GNP for ODA. There was disagreement on whether or not theSocial Summit is the appropriate forum to deal with debt-relatedissues and how specific the Declaration should be with regard tothese issues.
Commitment 7 addresses the need to make structural adjustmentprogrammes more socially-oriented and to minimize their impact onsociety's most vulnerable members. Many developed countries feltthat this issue should be addressed in the Programme of Action,whereas many developing countries wanted to retain it in theDeclaration.
Commitment 8 calls for the generation of sufficient resources tofulfill these commitments. Issues that stimulated discussionincluded: whether the Declaration should call for cuts in militaryspending; the need to integrate the informal sector into the formalsector; the need to mobilize resources both inside and outside theUN system; reference to the 20/20 initiative; and how to addressthe issue of taxation.
Commitment 9 calls for improvement in the international economicenvironment and international financial assistance. Once again, themajor issues were reference to the target of 0.7% of GNP for ODAand debt. Some developed countries preferred the goal of debtreduction rather than debt elimination. Other debt-related issuesthat were raised include a time-frame for debt reduction and how todeal with countries with economies in transition. On the issue ofinstitutional coordination, there were discussions on: how tostrengthen ECOSOC rather than create a new body; the need forimproved coordination within the UN system; and how to ensureinter-sectoral treatment of the issues.
DRAFT PROGRAMME OF ACTION
On Monday afternoon, Amb. Richelle opened the discussion on thedraft Programme of Action. He announced that he had recurringnightmares about PrepCom II, which had resulted in an unwieldy256-page text including the Programme of Action and all theassociated comments. Document A/CONF.166/PC/CRP.3, which had beenprepared by the Secretariat on the basis of the discussions atPrepCom II had only 54 pages. Nevertheless, the draft was still toolong and required more focus and consistency with the draftDeclaration. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, announcedthat they had prepared a paper on the structure and contents of thedocument. Other delegates welcomed the G-77's structuralrecommendations and asked if the Secretariat could produce a newdraft in line with the G-77's suggestions. Since this would onlyrequire a rearrangement of paragraphs and not a change in thecontent, the Secretariat announced that it would have a new draftready to distribute on Tuesday morning. Since delegates wanted tostudy the G-77 proposals and wait for the new text to be preparedby the Secretariat overnight, there was no further point indiscussing CRP.3. Thus, the meeting was adjourned until Tuesday.
SUMMARY OF A/CONF.166/PC/CRP.3
Based on the work of PrepCom II, the Secretariat drafted a workingpaper on a draft Programme of Action, which intended to serve asthe basis for the informal consultations. CRP.3 contained afour-paragraph introduction and the five chapters that had beenagreed to at PrepCom II -- An Enabling Environment, Reduction andEradication of Poverty, Productive Employment and the Reduction ofUnemployment, Social Integration, and Means of Implementation andFollow-up. Each chapter contained an introduction, which listed therelevant commitments from the draft Declaration(A/CONF.166/PC/L.18). The next section in each chapter orsub-chapter was entitled "Rationale," which was followed by aseries of objectives and a final section on action. Chapter II(Reduction and Eradication of Poverty) contained the followingsub-chapters: A. Integrated strategies for reducing and eradicatingpoverty; B. Access to productive opportunities and resources; C.Access to social services; and D. Enhancing social protection andreducing vulnerability. Chapter III (Productive Employment and theReduction of Unemployment) contained the following sub-chapters: A.Rethinking policy; B. Stimulating employment-intensive growth; C.Creating employment through enterprise; D. Promoting employmentthrough active labour market policies, including education andtraining; E. Establishing and pursuing sectoral priorities; F.Redefining the nature of work and employment; G. Focusing onspecific needs; and H. Enhancing the quality of employment. ChapterIV (Social Integration) contained the following sub-chapters: A.Promoting human well-being and respect for diversity; B. Endingdiscrimination in all its forms and promoting equality ofopportunity; C. Education as an integrating force; D. Goodgovernance and creating new partnerships; E. Responding withspecial measures to special social needs; and F. Equitabletreatment for migrants and refugees. Chapter V (Means ofImplementation and Follow-up) contained the following sub-chapters:A. Guiding principles for implementation; B. Implementation andfollow-up at the national level; C. International cooperation forsocial progress; D. The role of the United Nations and the UnitedNations System; and E. Mobilizing resources for sustainabledevelopment.
DISCUSSIONS ON THE RESTRUCTURED DRAFT PROGRAMME OF ACTION
On Tuesday the Secretariat distributed a new version of CRP.3,which was restructured according to the G-77's proposal. Nolanguage or wording was changed, although some text proposed by theG-77 was included as alternative language. Given the fact that theDeclaration was under discussion in the extended Bureau, allreferences to the commitments in the beginning of each chapter ofCRP.3 were removed.
The new structure of the draft Programme of Action, which waslargely supported by the Committee, contained a 4-paragraphpreamble and five chapters. In the beginning of Chapters I-IV, theoverall goal and a series of objectives are listed. Then, for eachobjective there are two sections: Basis for action and Actions.Chapter V in the G-77 text contains the same basic structure asCRP.3. All paragraph numbers are the same in both documents.
The following is a summary of the restructured version of CRP.3 aswell as the discussions that took place in the Committee of theWhole from 25-27 October 1994.
The four-paragraph preamble noted the historic occasion of theWorld Summit for Social Development and the fact that it builds ona series of global conferences. Actions to address the threecentral issues -- poverty, unemployment and social disintegration-- must integrate social, economic, environmental and culturalconcerns.
Most of the discussion on the preamble focused on paragraph 2,which lists various global conferences upon which the Social Summitshould build. Some countries, such as the US, the EU and Jamaica,supported retaining this list. They maintained that such a listprovides an important context for the Social Summit. Others, suchas New Zealand, Sweden and Australia, preferred a moregeneral reference, arguing that such a list could never beexhaustive and would prematurely date the Programme of Action. TheChair decided that brackets would be placed around three options:retention of the current list; a general reference; and an expandedlist. He invited delegates to submit their suggestions forinclusion in the latter.
CHAPTER I -- AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT
The overall goal of this chapter is "To give the highest priorityat the national and international levels to social development andbetterment of the human condition." The chapter contains nine objectives:
- 1. To create a favorable national political environment for sustained social development.
- 2. To create patterns of development that reduce disparities, promote employment, equity and social justice and respect for human dignity.
- 3. To create a favourable international economic environment.
- 4. To foster international cooperation for social development.
- 5. To make structural adjustment programmes socially oriented and without adverse consequence for the vulnerable groups.
- 6. To give particular attention to the promotion of economic, social and human development in Africa and the Least Developed Countries.
- 7. To achieve full equality between men and women and to enhance the contribution of women to social progress and development.
- 8. To mobilize the required resources for social development.
- 9. To ensure the provision of employment, health, education, gender equality, non-discrimination and equality of opportunity.
Germany, on behalf of the EU, supported objective 1 (favourablenational political environment), but felt that referring only tonational policies was too restrictive. Other countries, includingIndonesia, requested reference to the social and economicenvironment as well. Switzerland suggesting merging objective 1with objective 3 (favourable international economic environment).Most G-77 countries opposed this merger on the grounds that theobjectives referred to two separate ideas. China insisted that theright to freedom of association, referred to in paragraph 41,should be applied in accordance with national situations.
Under objective 2 (patterns of development), the EU requestedinclusion of "sustainable" as a qualifier for development. Malaysiacalled for reference to "sustainable consumption." Norway preferred"respect for human rights" instead of "human dignity." The G-77felt that such a reference was unduly restrictive. Zimbabwe calledfor an action paragraph on the right to self-determination. NewZealand expressed concern that reference to cooperatives, farmersand trade unions restricted the scope of civil societyorganizations who have a role to play in social development.
Many delegates felt that the reference to the internationalenvironment in objective 3 (favourable international economicenvironment) should be restricted to economic dimensions. The EUsuggested merging objective 3, with objective 4 (internationalcooperation for social development). The G-77 preferred keepingthem separate since objective 4 deals with broader issues such aspoverty alleviation. Japan objected to any references to structuraladjustment, debt relief and ODA in this chapter. New Zealand alsosuggested moving all references to resources to Chapter V. Bycontrast, the G-77 proposed including reference to resources at theend of each chapter. The Ukraine highlighted the omission ofreference to countries with economies in transition.
CHAPTER II -- ERADICATION OF POVERTY
The overall goal of this chapter is: "To eradicate poverty in theworld, in the shortest period possible, by decisive nationalactions and international cooperation as a moral, political andeconomic initiative of humankind." The four objectives in thischapter are:
- 10. To develop an integrated approach for the goal of eradicating poverty in the shortest period possible.
- 11. To develop the human resource and economic potential of the poor through access to economic and social infrastructure.
- 12. To provide access to productive opportunities and resources.
- 13. To ensure standards of living consistent with human dignity through accelerated economic growth with social justice, promotion of the right to food, to work, to education, to health, to shelter and measures to alleviate vulnerability.
There appeared to be general agreement to refer to the eradicationof extreme poverty and the reduction of overall poverty.Switzerland suggested restructuring the chapter to clarify thecommitments. He preferred a stronger emphasis on the provision ofhealth care and education. The Holy See called for reference to theneed to explore bilateral agreements on social insurance andsecurity. New Zealand supported acknowledgment of the differentforms of poverty in the first Basis for Action paragraph, but feltthat there was a contradiction between the first and the secondparagraphs in this section, which refers to the concentration ofpoverty in Africa and the LDCs. He suggested reference to theexistence of poverty in all countries. The US highlighted the needfor the poor to have access to credit, shelter and land tenure, andto be supported in the pursuit of their own livelihoods. Chile saidthat poverty eradication measures must be realistic and accompaniedby clearly defined target dates. There was considerable discussionregarding the need for definitions and indicators. The G-77 saidthat poverty must be defined according to national conditions andcircumstances. Many delegates called for linguistic consistencywith the Cairo Programme of Action.
CHAPTER III -- PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OFUNEMPLOYMENT
The overall goal of this chapter is: "To promote and protect theright of all people to earn livelihoods through freely chosenproductive employment and other forms of work with full employmentas the general goal." The five objectives in this chapter are:
- 14. To put employment creation at the centre of the strategies and policies of governments and international organizations and to reinforce international cooperation to that effect.
- 15. To develop, select and adopt at the country level a mix of technologies compatible with national resource endowments and aimed at encouraging absorption of labour and the encouragement of job creation.
- 16. To expand work opportunities and productivity by creating enabling legal frameworks and policies, infrastructure and access to resources for all, particularly small and medium enterprises in all sectors and encouraging diversification of economic activities.
- 17. To specifically enhance the employment opportunity of groups of people with special needs.
- 18. To upgrade the quality of employment in the spirit of the ILO Conventions.
The G-77 affirmed the importance of paragraph 132, which calls oncountries to create the appropriate economic framework for thestimulation of employment. Japan acknowledged the improvement inthe reorganized text, but stressed the need for active labourmarket policies. Japan also opposed the reference to theliberalization of inter-country movement of workers. China feltthat trade liberalization and inter-country movement of workersshould be solved bilaterally. Canada favoured a broader concept ofwork.
Sweden appreciated the G-77's omission of reference to the multipleroles of women, arguing that it was an outdated phrase that doesnothing to advance the cause of gender equality. TheUkraineexpressed concern regarding the omission of all the references tocountries with economies in transition that had been incorporatedthroughout the previous text.
India said that expansion of the informal sector (includingself-employment) is key to the attainment of full employment. Thisrequires market information, skills training and the removal ofinfrastructural impediments. The G-77 said that Section F (in theoriginal CRP.3) on the expansion of the concept of work is useful,but does not apply to developing countries. Other countriesdisagreed and requested that this section be included in the nextdraft. Austria called for a more truthful pricing of labour.
CHAPTER IV -- SOCIAL INTEGRATION
The overall goal of this chapter is: "To promote social integrationby fostering inclusive participatory, just, safe and stablesocieties for all people, while maintaining and promoting respectfor diversity." The five objectives in this chapter are:
- 19. To eliminate discrimination in all its forms and to achieve social integration based on equality and respect for diversity and human dignity.
- 20. To ensure universal access to basic education and literacy and equal access to advanced education, particularly for women and girls to mitigate existing social inequalities.
- 21. To ensure the integration of disadvantaged and marginalized groups in social, economic and political activities, while responding to their specific needs.
- 22. To promote political and institutional arrangements which enhance social integration while maintaining respect for diversity.
- 23. To promote the integration of migrants in the host societies.
Indonesia referred to the family as the basic unit of society andcalled for an additional action to refer to the government's rolein strengthening the family and inter-generational cohesion. NewZealand welcomed paragraph 207 regarding discrimination againstwomen and called for further reference to prevent discriminationagainst indigenous women. Malaysia objected to the strong languagein paragraph 207 regarding the implementation of the Convention onthe Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.Canada called for greater linkage between social integration andthe issues addressed in the other chapters. The Sudan said thatsocial justice must be based on economic justice. He said that inparagraph 198, which deals with mass communication, some referencemust be made to the fact that most information in the world ismonopolized by multinational corporations. China felt thatparagraph 198 had nothing to do with social integration and, assuch, should be deleted. He said that paragraph 205 (promoting aclimate of tolerance) should be revised to enable governments toadopt measures that are suitable to national conditions.
The Holy See called for reference to the problems linked withorganized crime, since reference is only made to drug trafficking.The G-77 challenged the requirement in paragraph 205 to ratify theVienna Convention, on the grounds that human rights are a matter ofnational sovereignty. The EU called for a clear reference to theneed to respect all human rights and the importance of democraticparticipation. The EU also called for action on internationalcooperation against the production and illegal trafficking of drugsand action relating to international cooperation in the struggleagainst crime in all its forms and to improve the system of penaljustice.
CHAPTER V -- MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
When the Chair opened the discussion of this chapter, the US andJapan stated that it was premature to discuss implementation beforethe Committee reached agreement on the objectives and actions. TheUS added that while international assistance can help, nationalgovernments have the primary responsibility for developing fundingand sustaining social programmes. Canada supported the existingstructure and highlighted the need to spell out a basis for actionin each section since the Programme of Action as a whole should beaddressed in the implementation section. Canada also called for asection on information systems along the lines of the Chapter XIIin the Cairo Programme of Action. Chile also supported the existingstructure. Australia suggested developing a list of priorities,however, Canada, Chile and the G-77 did not feel this was the rightplace to set priorities because every State is sovereign and shoulddevelop its own priorities.
A. Guiding principles for implementation: This sectioncontains a list of eleven principles. The EU called for referenceto human rights and equality of the sexes in this list. Inprinciple (vi), which calls for greater coherence of internationalactions to support national efforts, the EU questioned the meaningof the phrase "global compact." The G-77 and Chinaquestioned the use of the phrase "Regional and subregionalcooperation based on common values."
B. Implementation and follow-up at the national level: TheEU supported the identification of quantitative and qualitativeindicators for social development, but the G-77 said it was notclear what type of indicators can be provided. Japan questioned thereference to equitable taxation systems in paragraph 255. Canadastressed the need to include civil society and local communities innational follow-up activities.
C. International cooperation for social progress: Uruguay,Mexico and Argentina expressed concern about the mobilization ofvolunteers to implement social programmes (paragraph 259). Germany,Japan and New Zealand expressed concern about the call for theharmonization of donor agency assistance procedures (paragraph260).
D. The role of the United Nations and the United NationsSystem: Canada, supported by Australia, stressed the need toreflect the ongoing work on the Agenda for Development in thissection. A number of delegates, including the EU, Mexico, the G-77,New Zealand and Japan, expressed concern with a proposed additionalparagraph on the establishment of a high-level inter-agencycommittee to monitor follow-up. Mexico, Malaysia and Cuba allsuggested deletion of paragraph 266, which refers to joint orparallel consideration of security and development issues. The EU,Mexico and Japan proposed deletion of a proposed additionalparagraph that recommends the convening of a summit meeting everyfive years to evaluate the results achieved in the implementationof the Declaration and Programme of Action. Iraq, Libya and Cubasupported a proposed additional paragraph on mitigating the adverseconsequences of economic sanctions, but the EU felt that this wasa political issue that oversteps the boundaries of the SocialSummit.
A number of countries commented on paragraph 271, which refers torespect for the reporting mechanisms established by certain humanrights mechanisms. Malaysia and Cuba called for its deletion, whileSurinam thought that all human rights instruments should beincluded. As a potential compromise, Algeria, on behalf of theG-77, proposed mentioning the Declaration and Programme of Actionof the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights. Finally, there wassome question about the role of the ILO in follow-up activities.China wanted to delete paragraph 265 on this issue, whereas the EUinsisted that the ILO has an important role to play.
E. Mobilizing resources for social development: The EU andJapan suggested deleting paragraph 279 (expanding the ad hocworking group of the Commission on Sustainable Development toinclude social development). Australia and China also expressedconcern about this paragraph. The EU, Japan, Australia, Mauritiusand Uruguay felt that the proposed additional paragraphestablishing an "International Fund for Social Development" shouldbe deleted. Malaysia, Iran and the Philippines wanted to retainthis paragraph.
Members of the G-77 preferred the original language in paragraph273 that calls for new and additional resources, whereas developedcountries preferred the alternative that only calls for "adequate"resources for social development. Many G-77 members supported theproposed additional paragraph on debt conversion for Africancountries. Jamaica, supported by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados andBangladesh, suggested amending this paragraph to also includenon-African heavily indebted countries. The G-77 said that thereshould be a time-frame established for debt cancellation andproposed the year 1996. Japan preferred reference to "debtreduction" instead of "debt cancellation."
Delegates appeared divided on the issue of the 20/20 concept. Indiapreferred the alternative to paragraph 281 that does not mentionthis initiative since 20/20 introduces conditionality withoutmobilization of additional resources. Uganda, Tanzania, Surinam andZambia wanted reference to the 20/20 concept retained.
On Friday morning, 28 October 1994, Amb. Somava opened the finalsession of the intersessional informal consultations and invitedAmb. Richelle to report on the Committee of the Whole'sconsideration of the draft Programme of Action, noting the generalareas of agreement and subjects needing further negotiations.States agreed that the draft Programme of Action should be closelyintegrated with the draft Declaration, and should consist of thefive chapters covering the enabling environment, the three coreissues and implementation and follow-up. Furthermore, the draftProgramme of Action should also: have a positive andaction-oriented tone; refrain from obligating governments to takespecific actions; distinguish proposed action on the national andinternational levels; and avoid language that treats people orgroups as objects rather than subjects of their own development.However, other issues still remain to be resolved, including: thelength of the Programme of Action; the range of issues to beaddressed; the actions required for each objective; and the finalstructure of Chapter V on implementation and follow-up.
Richelle then described the discussions on the specific sections ofthe draft Programme of Action. In Chapter II, States widely agreedthat poverty disproportionately affects developing countries andmedium-term measures are needed for the elimination of extremepoverty. However, delegates could not agree on a clear definitionof the different types of poverty. In Chapter III, delegates agreedon the need to remove impediments to assistance to the informalsector in developing countries. There is still little agreementwith regard to migrant workers. In Chapter IV, there appears to beagreement on the concept and underlying values related to socialintegration.
Somava then reported that significant advances were made on theDraft Declaration, however, the questions of resources andfollow-up and implementation still present problems. He noted thatthe meetings of the extended Bureau were productive and that hemust now determine which issues should be maintained in theDeclaration and those that are most suited to the Programme ofAction. Somava will now work closely with the Secretariat to draftan integrated document containing both the draft Declaration andthe draft Programme of Action to serve as the basis fornegotiations at PrepCom III.
Following presentation of these two reports, numerous delegatestook the floor to offer their comments and thank the Chair, theBureau and the Secretariat for their hard work. Many noted that agreat deal of progress had been achieved at this session. Othersstressed the fact that social and economic issues are very closelylinked and should be discussed and analyzed together. Othercomments included requests for: specific technical data on povertyand the cost of implementation; acknowledgment of the needs ofsmall island developing States; and opportunities to submit writtencomments.
The Chair closed the session by thanking the delegations and notingthe progress in further defining areas of agreement. He also statedthat any written comments should be submitted to the Secretariatbefore 10 November 1994, and stressed the need for governments toprepare clear positions for the next PrepCom.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR DURING THE INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD
REVISED DRAFT DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION: TheSecretariat has asked interested delegates to submit any writtencomments on either the Declaration or the Programme of Action by 10November 1994. The next draft of the documents, which will serve asthe basis for negotiations at PrepCom III, should be available inall languages by 30 November 1994.
PREPCOM III: The third and final session of the PreparatoryCommittee is expected to meet from 16-27 January 1995 at UNHeadquarters in New York. Delegates will have to reach agreement onthe Programme of Action, the Declaration and the programme of workfor the Summit itself. The basis for negotiations will be therevised draft Programme of Action and Declaration.
NGO ACCREDITATION: The deadline for NGO accreditation toPrepCom III is 30 November 1994. The Secretariat has established atrust fund to support the participation of NGOs from the leastdeveloped countries. For more information, contact NGO Unit/DPCSD,United Nations - Room DC2-1372, New York, NY 10017, USA. Fax:+1-212-963-3892.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE NGO FORUM: The Danish NGO community hasestablished a secretariat to facilitate NGO participation and toorganize the parallel NGO Forum. The Forum is scheduled for thefirst two weeks of March and will take place at the Holmen NavalBase. The deadline for NGO registration is 1 December 1994. Forfurther information, contact NGO Forum '95, Njalsgade 13C, DK-2300,Copenhagen S, Denmark, Tel: +45-3296-1995; Fax: +45-3296-8919.
SOCIAL SUMMIT HOMEPAGE: The International Institute forSustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the EarthNegotiations Bulletin, has created a "point of presence" on theInternet for the WSSD, called the "Social Summit Homepage," whichis accessible through Mosaic or similar World Wide Web (WWW)software. The Social Summit Homepage contains a searchable index tothe issues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, links to theofficial documents, full-text versions of Government, NGO and UNstatements from the PrepCom, background documents, photos from theintersessional informal consultations and (soon) audio and videoclips. If you have Mosaic installed on your computer, point yourWWW browser at <<http://enb.iisd.org/wssd.html>>. If youhave access to the Internet and do not have Mosaic software, telnetto <<info.cern.ch>>, where you can download the software andconfigure your system.