Daily report for 23 January 1995
3rd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
While Working Group II worked all day (and night) on Chapter III, ProductiveEmployment, Working Group I met briefly in the afternoon to discuss a newCommitment, proposed by the G-77/China. Amb. Juan Somava also convened a shortmeeting of the Plenary to review last week"s progress and discuss this week"s workschedule.
Amb. Somava reported that Working Group I finished its first reading of theDeclaration and Chapter V (Implementation and Follow-up) on Saturday evening. TheWorking Group is behind schedule since the original plan was to finish first readingsby last Thursday. Two consultative groups have been established to facilitate theGroup"s work. One is chaired by Amb. Richard Butler (Australia) and the other byAmb. Razali Ismail (Malaysia). They are considering bracketed text in the Declarationand Commitments 1-6, and Commitments 7-9 and Chapter V, respectively. The resultsof Amb. Butler"s work as of Saturday evening have been distributed as CRP.1.Somava said that the goal of Working Group I is to finish its work by Tuesday nightso that translated text can be available for the Plenary on Friday.
Working Group II is expected to complete Chapters I-IV by Wednesday evening.Amb. Koos Richelle reported that Working Group II is "proceeding at the pace of asnail using full brakes while taking a curve." The Working Group has finished its firstreading of Chapters I and II, and planned to complete Chapter III by Monday eveningand Chapter IV by Tuesday evening. The Group will consider the work of its informalconsultative group on Wednesday.
Somava also noted that the PrepCom has to consider the organization of work inCopenhagen. Amb. Wlosowicz (Poland), Amb. Ostergaard-Andersen (Denmark), andUnder-Secretary-General Nitin Desai (DPCSD) are conducting consultations on thismatter. Somava noted the short time available in Copenhagen and warned againstleaving work to be completed there.
WORKING GROUP I
The Working Group first considered the G-77/China proposed commitment oneducation and culture. The EU indicated that after evaluation of this proposal, theydecided that incorporation of a new proposal at this late date could open the floodgatesfor new and additional commitments. They also questioned why such an importantcommitment had not been raised earlier. The EU maintained that sufficient referencesto education have been made throughout the Programme of Action and theDeclaration. The G-77/China indicated that no other group intends to propose anyother new commitments and that the dangers perceived by the EU were moreimaginary than real. They asked that their proposal be submitted to the Butler Group.
Numerous G-77 members supported the proposed education commitment. Paraguaysaid that the achievement of social development is impossible without peace oreducation, and that all the commitments contained in the Declaration are secondarycompared with the tragic reality of ignorance. Japan supported the proposedcommitment, while noting the procedural difficulties to include it at this late stage.She suggested strengthening the educational aspects of the existing commitments as analternative. Mali noted that the education deficit is the underlying reason for thedependence of the developing world. Thailand said that education is closely linked tosolutions for the problems of social development. The EU expressed their support forthe substance of the commitment and their understanding of the connection betweeneducation and social development. The EU insisted that consideration of the proposedcommitment would necessitate a fundamental re-evaluation of the entire Declaration,which they were not prepared to do. They proposed re-examination of the SocialSummit documents to assess where references to education could be added orstrengthened. Costa Rica stated that the Rio Group originally submitted this proposalto the G-77/China. Ecuador cautioned against the EU proposal, on the basis that itcould reopen discussion on the entire document. The US supported the commitmentand proposed broadening it to integrate health education issues. The Chair suggestedthat the EU and G-77/China: reach an understanding that no more commitments willbe considered; discuss the possibility of including education-related issues; and reviewthe text and propose strengthened references to education. The G-77/China expressed awillingness to accept these conditions, but the EU cautioned again about the late hourfor such changes.
The Chair noted the need for the G-77/China and the EU to consult with their groupsbefore the Working Group can commence discussions on the report from Amb.Butler"s group. The Working Group adjourned for the night, with the Chair"s requestthat Tuesday"s discussions move ahead and not reopen issues resolved in the ButlerGroup.
WORKING GROUP II
The Chair, Amb. Richelle, announced that the Bureau had decided that by Wednesdaynight all the work of the Working Groups should be completed to allow the documentsto be translated in time for Friday"s Plenary.
CHAPTER III: EMPLOYMENT
Delegates could not reach agreement on the title: "[Productive Work] [The Expansionof Productive Employment] and the Reduction of Unemployment."
BASIS FOR ACTION AND OBJECTIVES
Paragraph 38 (introduction) led to a lengthy debate. Three concepts remainunresolved: whether this paragraph should refer to productive "employment" or"work;" the use of the terms "broadbased" or "sustained" "economic growth;" andwhether to include the G-77"s proposal on the concept of "full and adequatelyremunerated employment" as an effective method of combating poverty and promotingsocial integration. In paragraph 39 (rapid technological change), the USexplained that globalization gives rise to new employment uncertainties as well as toopportunities. Canada said that different forms of non-standard work, rather than justmore work, need to be considered while economies are changing. The G-77/China,supported by Japan, felt the language was ambiguous and the US preferred to use"new employment opportunities." In paragraph 40 (employment growth indeveloped countries), Benin said that the objective is to make the informal economymore dynamic. The G-77/China requested that only some enterprises should be part ofthe informal sector. Benin included "age" in the list of discriminatory practices. TheEU noted that the list was expanding, but nonetheless asked that discrimination relatedto health be included, along with reference to appropriate international regulations andnorms.
In paragraph 42 (unremunerated productive work), delegates agreed toinclude the fact that women often face the double burden of remunerated andunremunerated work. The Group bracketed the Holy See and G-77/China"s proposal:"to accord social recognition for such work by reflecting its value in the gross nationalproduct and other economic statistics."
In Paragraph 43 (urgent needs), delegates accepted the chapeau. The 1stbullet in this paragraph now reads: "Placement of [sustainable] employment at thecentre of national strategies and policies, with the full participation of employers andtrade unions and other parts of civil society." In the 4th bullet, delegates could notagree to respect "relevant" or "core" ILO conventions or accept the US alternative thatrefers to "appropriate international conventions." The 5th bullet now reads: "Specialpriority, in the design of policies, to the problems of structural and long-termunemployment and to unemployment amongst women, youth, older workers andpeople with disabilities." In the 9th bullet (migrant workers), the G-77/China,supported by Mexico, preferred the original text. The EU suggested an amendment onprotection of migrants through the continuation of international consultations onmigration and development.
A. THE CENTRALITY OF EMPLOYMENT IN POLICY FORMULATION
The US proposal to remove "intensive growth" from the title of this section wasaccepted. In paragraph 44 (expansion of productive employment in thecentre of sustainable development strategies), the G-77/China and the US didnot agree on whether to "require" the relevant actions. In 44(a) (fullemployment policies), the notion of promoting "adequately remunerated" employmentremains bracketed. The alternative text proposed by the G-77/China was accepted in44(b) on priority to policies to address unemployment and underemployment.
Paragraph 45 (actions for macroeconomic stability and jobs) contains theusual brackets requested by the US around "sustainable/broadbased" and "requires." In45(a), the EU agreed to accept the G-77/China's amendment and vice versa.It now reads "Pursuing the coordination of macroeconomic policies so that they aremutually reinforcing and conducive to [sustained][broadbased] economic growth andsustainable development as well as substantial increases in productive employmentexpansion and a decline in unemployment worldwide." 45(b) now reads:"Giving priority to programmes which most directly promote viable and long-term jobgrowth when budgetary adjustments are required." 45(c) now reads"Removing structural constraints to economic growth and employment creation as apart of national stabilization policies." There were no amendments to 45(d)(competing claims on resources). 45(e) now reads: "Monitoring, analysingand disseminating information on the impact of trade and investment liberalization onthe economy, especially on employment." The EU"s proposed 45(e)bis and 45(e) ter were accepted.
The chapeau to paragraph 46 (actions for stimulating growth) remainsbracketed. The qualifier "as appropriate" in 46(a) (encouraging labourintensive investments) also remains bracketed. In response to lack of agreement on46(a) bis, the G-77/China later proposed: "Promoting technologicalinnovations and industrial policies that have the potential to stimulate short- as well aslong-term employment creation and to consider their impact on vulnerable anddisadvantaged groups." Delegates reached agreement on 46(b), which nowreads: "Giving developing countries the capacity to select specific and suitabletechnologies." In 46(c) (developing country integration of technology), theEU preferred the original text in order to avoid a lengthy debate on the modalities ofassistance. The G-77/China preferred its text on expanded transfer of technology onconcessional and preferential terms. Australia could not accept transfer on such terms.The original and amended texts were both bracketed. China referred to Agenda 21 andsaid that if any core paragraphs are dear to the hearts of developing countries, this isone of them. In 46(c) bis, the G-77/China accepted the RussianFederation"s amendment on programmes for on-the-job training in countries witheconomies in transition. In 46(e)(investment stimulation), the G-77/Chinathought that the paragraph should have the broadest application, and supportedAustralia in deleting the list of areas for investment.
In 47(a), the US suggested compromise language: "Removing regulatoryobstacles faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises and easing regulations thatdiscourage private initiative." In 47(f) ter, the G-77/China said thatopportunities for the retraining of workers should go hand-in-hand with industrialexpansion.
At 6:00 pm, Working Group II adjourned and was expected to reconvene at 8:00 pmto finish its first reading of Chapter III. With 12 pages of text before them, and giventhe current pace of 1.5 pages/hour, Working Group II had a long night ahead of them.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Amb. Butler"s consultative group on the Draft Declaration has made significantprogress. Agreement has been reached on all but a few paragraphs: committingGovernments to enhance social development throughout the world (8); the types ofpeople affected by distress in the world (15); the principle of promoting equitabledistribution of income (23(g)); and the right to self-determination of people undercolonial or foreign occupation (23(k)). In Commitment 1, there is no agreement on astable legal framework including equality and equity between women and men andrespect for human rights, and provision of new and additional financial resources.Amb. Butler"s group reconvened Monday afternoon and is expected to completeCommitments 2-6 by mid-day on Tuesday. Amb. Razali"s group, which also metMonday afternoon, completed discussion of Commitment 7 and hopes to completeCommitments 8-9 by Tuesday as well.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKING GROUP I: Working Group I will begin consideration ofCRP.1, the report of Amb. Butler"s consultative group on the Draft Declaration. TheGroup will then consider Chapter V, Implementation and Follow-up.
WORKING GROUP II: Providing that the Group completed its firstreading of Chapter III on Monday night, the Group is expected to begin considerationof Chapter IV, Social Integration, this morning and work through the day and night tocomplete the first reading of this chapter.