Daily report for 23 August 1994
2nd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
CHAPTER II. REDUCTION AND ELIMINATION OF WIDESPREAD POVERTY
Germany, on behalf of the EU, called for additional emphasison urban and other sectors of the poor, not only the rural poor.Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, requestedthat their document be considered as an official document. Hemaintained that the mobilization of financial resources is criticalto the eradication of poverty. Austria stressed: economiesin transition; poverty in industrialized countries; povertyreduction programmes aimed at children and youth; and the plight ofrefugees.
The Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysisdescribed poverty as "social apartheid" and declared democracyits only antidote. Morocco noted the importance of theissue of crime. Senegal discussed the link between healthand development, and called for the participation of the BrettonWoods institutions. Chile stated that priority must be givento the most needy.
Benin proposed a new title for Chapter II, "Struggle againstpoverty," and emphasized poverty resulting from drought anddesertification. Sri Lanka called for the creation of aninternational structure to manage and coordinate poverty reductioninitiatives around the world and to implement follow-up to WSSD.The Holy See emphasized the role of social development infostering political stability and accelerating economic growth.
The Russian Federation suggested adding specificrecommendations for the transitional, developing, and developedcountry blocs. Namibia recommended that the special socialsituations of African nations be reflected in the text.India recommended collaboration between governments and NGOsto deliver services to the poor. Croatia stated that thewell-being of the forcefully displaced should be addressed in thetext.
Japan recommended that poverty reduction policies include:food security; the participation of women in decision-making; ruralemployment policies; and the centrality of education. Chinaencouraged: harnessing local resources while ensuring environmentalprotection; development of information and communication systems;and voluntary curbing of population growth. Cuba emphasized:the need for equitable distribution of wealth within and amongnations; universal and equitable access to public health care; NGOparticipation in regional and international organizations; and theeconomic and social exploitation of children.
Norway, on behalf of the Nordic countries, noted theimportance of peoples' participation in development and preventiveand decentralized health care systems. Egypt called foremphasis on international cooperation and action. The LatinAmerican Social Sciences Council called for poverty reductionmeasures and reductions in military spending.
The Working Group of Social Leaders for the WSSD proposed asix-point action plan to: strengthen community action; ensure theaccountability of multilateral institutions; foster people-centeredeconomies and policies; build social capital; ensure real equalityfor women; and strengthen the contribution of transnationalcorporations. The United States called for a revised, morefocused document that would: explicitly link poverty, employmentand social integration; promote new partnerships and theparticipation of marginalized groups; and devote greater attentionto economies in transition.
Australia explained that economic growth must be accompaniedby human resource development and institution- building. Effectiveanti-poverty efforts must involve the full participation of thepoor. Malawi requested greater specificity in the draft andsuggested the example of the World Summit for Children's actionplan. Swaziland made an impassioned plea for arms-exportingnations to provide Africa with productive rather than destructiveresources.
Switzerland noted that a lack of power -- exclusion fromservices, legal defense and participation in public life --contributes to poverty. Latvia emphasized the differentforms of poverty. Iran emphasized: job-creation; investmentin basic education and training; acceleration of rural development;linking development assistance to poverty reduction; new andadditional financial resources; family planning; and technologytransfer.
Bangladesh highlighted the role of women and NGOs indemonstrating the resourcefulness of the poor. He also called foradequate disaster relief programmes. Pakistan recommendedstrengthening research institutes and increasing the participationof the poor in decision-making. Guinea emphasized the roleof regional economic and subregional activities in tacklingpoverty. Malaysia stated that too large a role has beengiven to national governments in poverty reduction. NGOs, theprivate sector and international actors also have a role.
Uruguay emphasized the importance of educational investmentsand the provision of free legal assistance. Cte d'Ivoireendorsed UNDP and UNICEF's proposed 20/20 compact. Antiguaand Barbuda noted that crises in the developing world areaffected by reduced migration opportunities. The Republic ofKorea questioned the land redistribution and pricediscrimination provisions in the draft. Peru called forparticipation at all levels and of all organizations connected tothe issue of poverty. Ethiopia called for completeeradication of poverty.
Indonesia supported the paragraphs on targets andmonitoring. Belize called for a more concise document, withprescriptive rather than declaratory language. Belarusproposed UN-assisted regional seminars to address issuesparticular to economies in transition.
Canada suggested a new document framework that wouldinclude: a definition of terms; a strategy and timetable toeradicate poverty; and measures to address the disproportionatepoverty of youth, women, the disabled and indigenous people.Poland said that the organization of conferences, asproposed in paragraph 39, is not the best way to reduce poverty.Ghana noted that the provision of social services should bea right of citizenship, however, economic conditions make thisdifficult to achieve.
Burkina Faso said that the WSSD must provide guidelines forpoverty elimination, and governments should then develop their ownprogrammes. The Philippines identified the need for minimumbasic needs indicators. Uganda noted the deterioration ofthe economic and social situation in Africa. New Zealandsaid the empowerment of women, children and people withdisabilities must be emphasized. Fiji, on behalf of theSouth Pacific islands, questioned the level of political will toaddress poverty.
The World Bank said governments must invest in humandevelopment and empower the poor in decision making. The WorldFood Programme noted that the text does not place enoughemphasis on the productive use of food aid. IFAD stressed:household-level indicators; access to land, water, credit andtechnology; population stabilization; and environmental protection.
UNCTAD said that the GATT provides an important vehicle forpoverty reduction. UNESCO said that economic growth mustserve social development and that cultural factors and popularparticipation must be fully integrated in human resourcedevelopment. The FAO stressed the relationship betweenpoverty and depletion of natural resources, food insecurity andmigration.
The Danish Association for International Cooperation saidthat poor people need land tenure. The NGO Committee onAgeing called for the participation of older persons inanti-poverty and employment generation efforts. EmmasInternational called for a world council on economic security.ActionAid said that hunger elimination and employmentgeneration are keys to empowerment. The International Federationof University Women said that no progress can be made in socialdevelopment without a discussion of the obstacles faced by womenand girls.
CHAPTER III. PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT
The ILO said a global strategy for full employment requiresimproving the international economic system, the commitment ofgovernments, and restructuring international institutions. TheICFTU said that full integration of women in the labourforce and protection of children are essential to resolving socialdisintegration. The International Chamber of Commerce saidthat training must be better adapted to changing needs.Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, said that thesolution to unemployment lies in the development of productivecapacities, and that economic cooperation can prevent conflict andwar.
Germany, on behalf of the EU, said that countries shouldexpand productive employment, increase training, and eliminatethose jobs that violate human rights. Sweden, on behalf ofthe Nordic countries, said that while the main responsibility forgenerating employment lies with governments, internationalcooperation can facilitate national initiatives. Cameroonstressed the linkage between employment policies and social andinvestment policies. Chile emphasized: reduction of youthunemployment; training and education; ratification of laboragreements; and the impact of technology. India said thatwomen's unpaid work must be recognized and that increased wagesshould accompany the expansion of employment. Cuba calledfor explicit reference to the barriers to employment generation.
Bangladesh noted the serious problem of unemployed youth indeveloping countries. Singapore said that many of the ILOstandards for workers rights do not reflect the social and economicrealities of developing countries. Fiji called for greaterreference to the linkages between unemployment and poverty.Ecuador called for greater market access for developingcountry commodities.
Japan emphasized vocational training and increased attention tothe disabled. Austria called for greater reference to thespecific labour needs of women. Burkina Faso requestedgreater concern for the young and the elderly, especially in ruralareas. China said that governments should developlabour-intensive means of production. The Women's Caucusstated that unemployment is a symptom of a market system that putsprofits before people, with women bearing a disproportionateburden.
The International Cooperative Alliance called for referenceto the role of cooperatives in creating and maintaining employment.The United States emphasized: job creation; training andeducation; employment safety-nets; better integration of the formaland informal sectors; and the role of the ILO. Australiarecommended: recognition of the role of the service sector;education and training; and informal-sector employment growth.
Benin stressed the need for adequate training programmes,creation of positive employment and the role of the informalsector. Iran said that job creation is an important means ofachieving policy goals as well as an end in itself. Canadacalled for the removal of obstacles that prevent people fromparticipating in their own domestic markets and access to credit.Switzerland called for concrete measures for the generationof productive employment.
Malaysia expressed concern about the efforts of developedcountries to impose protectionist economic and social norms ondeveloping countries that erode their competitiveness.Namibia suggested that the relatively weak Africanmanufacturing sector should be developed. Kenya said thatprovision of adequate education and training cannot beoveremphasized. He also stressed expanding opportunities forself-employment and developing micro-enterprises, cooperatives andsmall-scale agriculture.
The Russian Federation proposed that the UN examine thesocial aspects of industrial conversion. The Republic ofKorea noted that general education promotes access to betterjobs. The Trickle-Up Programme recommended enhancedcollaboration between international organizations.Rehabilitation International called for increased referenceto disabled people. Indonesia stated that manpower shouldnot be treated as a commodity in the development process.Antigua and Barbuda stated that work done by women in thehome must be recognized. The United Nations Universityrelated insights from a recent conference, including theobservation that there is no universal solution to these issues.
The World Bank tabled a number of concrete recommendations.The International Steps Foundation made a series ofrecommendations based on a conference convened in May on the issueof employment. Mexico called for more active ILOparticipation in the drafting of the chapter on employment.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The Secretariat is expected to incorporate delegates' proposalsinto the existing draft, which will provide the basis fornegotiations next week. The current plan is to distribute thisannotated negotiating text on Friday for delegates to review overthe weekend. However, given continuing opposition to the existingstructure and content of the document, a change of plans ispossible.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will finish its first reading of thedraft Programme of Action today. The morning session will focus onChapter IV, Social integration. Delegates will address theircomments to Chapter V, Means of implementation and follow-up, inthe afternoon. An evening session is likely.
OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP: This working group, under thechairmanship of Amb. Zbigniew Maria Wlosowicz (Poland), will meetfor the first time today. The morning session will address AgendaItem 3, Status of the preparations for the WSSD (A/CONF.166/PC.15).The afternoon will focus on Agenda Item 5, Draft provisional rulesof procedure of the Summit (A/CONF.166/PC.L.6).