Summary report, 16–28 January 1995
3rd Session of the 1995 WSSD Preparatory Committee
The third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the World Summit forSocial Development (WSSD) met from 16-28 January 1995 at UN Headquarters inNew York. This session was the last of three preparatory meetings for the Summit,which will take place from 6-12 March 1995, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Summitwill bring together Heads of State or Government from around the world to agree on apolitical Declaration and Programme of Action to: alleviate and reduce poverty;expand productive employment; and enhance social integration.
During the course of the two-week session, delegates negotiated the texts of the draftDeclaration and Programme of Action to be adopted in Copenhagen. After gruelingmarathon sessions of the two working groups and numerous informal consultativegroups, delegates succeeded in reaching agreement on approximately 95% of thedocument. In the Declaration, the outstanding issues to be resolved in Copenhageninclude: debt cancellation; increased ODA; workers" rights; and countries witheconomies in transition. In the Programme of Action, the outstanding issues to beresolved in Copenhagen include: reproductive health; family stability; ratification ofILO conventions; and implementation of previously made commitments.
Despite difficult debates and periodic retreats from consensus language from the EarthSummit in Rio, the Human Rights Conference in Vienna and International Conferenceon Population and Development in Cairo, PrepCom delegates managed to agree onseveral important issues underlying the Summit. For example, this is the first time thatthe international community has expressed a clear commitment to eradicate absolutepoverty. In addition, no other UN documents have ever addressed the need forsocially-responsible structural adjustment and for greater accountability by the BrettonWoods institutions to the UN system. Moreover, despite hard brackets, there has beenconsiderable movement on the debt question and on the 20:20 initiative, which is seenas one of the more innovative sources of funding for social development. Finally,where the Earth Summit legitimated the participation of NGOs in UN negotiatingprocesses, the WSSD PrepCom highlighted the fact that the empowerment of civilsociety is a sine qua non for good, sound social development policy.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WSSD
In December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 47/92,"Convening of a world summit for social development," and set the process in motionfor organizing a meeting of Heads of State or Government to tackle the criticalproblems of poverty, unemployment and social integration.
The WSSD PrepCom held its organizational session in New York from 12-16 April1993. Amb. Juan Somava (Chile) was elected Chair and representatives from thefollowing nine countries were elected to the Bureau as Vice-Chairs: Australia,Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland and Zimbabwe.Denmark, the host country, serves as an ex officio member of the Bureau and asa Vice-Chair. The PrepCom also adopted decisions on the working methods of theBureau, the participation of NGOs, national preparations for the WSSD, mobilizationof resources for the Trust Fund, a public information programme, the tasks of thePrepCom, expert group meetings, and the dates for the Summit and the PrepComsessions.
The first session of the PrepCom met in New York from 31 January - 11 February1994. The objective of PrepCom I was to define the expected output and provideelements for inclusion in the documents to be adopted at the Summit. The first weekof the session was devoted to opening statements from governments, NGOs, UNagencies and other intergovernmental organizations. During the second week, thedelegates drafted a series of decisions to help guide the Secretariat and the PrepComin the preparation of the expected outcomes of the Summit.
By the conclusion of PrepCom I, delegates had agreed on the existence, format andbasic structure of a draft Declaration and draft Programme of Action as well as thepossible elements to be included in these documents. Delegates agreed that the draftDeclaration should contain three parts: a description of the world social situation;principles, goals, policy orientations and common challenges to be addressed by allactors at the local, national, regional and international levels; and an expression ofcommitment on issues relating to implementation and follow-up. The Declarationshould be concise and focused, and reaffirm international agreements, instruments,declarations and decisions adopted by the UN system that are relevant to the Summit.The Secretariat was asked to prepare a draft negotiating text on the basis of thecontents of the objectives and three core issues contained in paragraphs 5 and 6 ofGeneral Assembly Resolution 47/92.
The second session of the PrepCom met from 22 August - 2 September 1994, at UNHeadquarters in New York. During the course of the two-week session, delegatesfocused primarily on the texts of the draft Declaration and Programme of Action to beadopted in Copenhagen. The Secretariat"s initial draft met with much criticism for bothits structure and content. Delegates" comments and drafting suggestions on theProgramme of Action were then incorporated into a new compilation text, which wasdistributed at the end of the first week. Although the Secretariat, the Bureau and thedelegates had hoped that the PrepCom would be able to produce a draft negotiatingtext by the conclusion of this session, this was not to be the case. Instead, the resultwas an unmanageable 200-250 page document containing the compilation text and allthe amendments proposed by delegates during the second week. As a result, theBureau was requested to convene intersessional informal consultations in October tofacilitate the preparation of a new draft text to serve as the basis for negotiations at thethird and final PrepCom.
INTERSESSIONAL INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS
The PrepCom met in New York for a week of intersessional informal consultationsfrom 24-28 October 1994. The purpose of this intersessional session was to givedelegates the opportunity to identify areas of convergence and divergence in both thedraft Programme of Action and the draft Declaration. The specific goal was to provideenough guidance both to the Secretariat and PrepCom Chair Amb. Juan Somava toproduce an integrated negotiating text.
It was apparent from the start of this session that the Declaration must serve as thephilosophical basis for the Programme of Action, and that matters of substance in theProgramme of Action could not be tackled until some degree of resolution wasreached on the Declaration. There was agreement that the Declaration must be infusedwith a strong "presidential tone," with strong commitments on the empowerment ofwomen, the special needs of Africa and the least developed countries (which manyregard as the true test of the Summit"s success) and the need for socially-responsiblestructural adjustment programmes. The key issue on poverty was how to make therelated commitments clear, credible and realistic. In the area of employment, it wasfelt that there was a lack of appreciation for the implications of the economicglobalization process. The most difficult issues were creation of an enablinginternational economic environment and implementation and follow-up. While therewas general agreement that the substantive commitments must be accompanied bycommitments to make the necessary resources available, much disagreement remainedas to the possible sources and modalities. Likewise, few concrete proposals weregenerated around the issue of implementation and follow-up and the possibleimprovement of existing institutions.
The structure of the draft Programme of Action underwent a considerablemetamorphosis as a result of a proposal by the G-77 on the first day. Delegateswelcomed the G-77"s proposed reorganization and, thus, easily agreed to request theSecretariat to reorganize the Programme of Action in line with the G-77"s proposal.Once agreement was reached on the structure, delegates started to discuss thesubstance of the Programme of Action. However, since these intersessional informalconsultations were not intended to be a negotiating session, few delegates wereprepared with concrete or substantive proposals. Nevertheless, delegates concluded thesession with optimism for the success of the Summit.
PREPCOM III REPORT
PrepCom Chair Amb. Juan Somava opened the session and delegates proceeded toadopt the following: the agenda (A/CONF.166/PC/24); the organization of work(A/CONF.166/PC/L.24); and observer status for IGOs (A/CONF.166/PC/L.23).
The Plenary turned to Agenda Item 2, accreditation of NGOs(A/CONF.166/PC/11/Add.2 and A/CONF.166/PC/11/Add.3). China disputed theinclusion of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples" Organization (UNPO). The Chairasked the Secretariat to examine further documentation on this organization, notingthat the list was provisional. On Agenda Item 3, the status of preparations for theWSSD (A/CONF.166/PC/25), Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination andSustainable Development Nitin Desai highlighted two October 1994 seminars inBeijing and Slovenia. The Chair announced that more than 90 Heads of State orGovernment had confirmed their participation at the Summit. Over 2,000 NGOs havebeen accredited. The Plenary then adjourned and Working Group I, under thechairmanship of Somava, convened to discuss the draft Declaration and Chapter V ofthe Programme of Action (Implementation and follow-up). Amb. Koos Richelle(Netherlands) chaired Working Group II, which addressed Chapters I to IV of theProgramme of Action.
The Philippines, on behalf of the G-77 and China, opened the discussion on the draftDeclaration with a proposal to clearly distinguish between the two parts of the SocialSummit texts: the Declaration and the Programme of Action. Delegates in WorkingGroup I then began a paragraph-by-paragraph consideration of the draft Declaration(A/CONF.166/PC/L.22). The Declaration contained an introduction and three sections(Current Social Situation and Reasons for Convening the Summit, Principles andGoals, and Commitments), which included 22 paragraphs of text and ninecommitments. Many amendments were proposed, despite Somava"s exhortations torespect the integrated logic underlying the text.
Delegates began their first reading on Monday, 16 January, and finished Saturday, 21January, two days behind the original schedule. Issues bracketed by the WorkingGroup were deferred to two informal consultative groups. Amb. Richard Butler(Australia) coordinated the group on the Declaration and Commitments 1 to 6. Amb.Razali Ismail (Malaysia) coordinated the group on Commitments 7 to 9 and Chapter V(Implementation and follow-up). During the second week, Working Group Iconsidered the results of these informal groups and, for the most part, approved theirwork without any changes. The following discussion describes the Declaration andhighlights the issues that remain bracketed and must be negotiated in Copenhagen.
The introduction outlines the need for and goals of the Social Summit. Itacknowledges that societies must respond more effectively to the "material andspiritual needs of individuals, their families and communities." It also highlights therelationship between social development and social justice on one hand, and peace andsecurity among nations, on the other. The introduction also recognizes the importanceof democracy and transparent and accountable governance for the realization of socialand people-centered sustainable development. The only brackets are around thereference to living "in harmony with the environment."
PART I. A. CURRENT SOCIAL SITUATION AND REASONS FOR CONVENING THE SUMMIT
This section elaborates on the need for the Social Summit. It notes the benefits andpossible threats of globalization, identifies areas of progress in social and economicdevelopment, identifies groups that are especially affected by poverty, and calls for thereduction and elimination of sources of social distress. Delegates added separateparagraphs on: the special needs of Africa and the least developed countries (LDCs);the need to support the countries with economies in transition; and the needs of othercountries undergoing political, economic and social transformation.
Brackets remain around the call to address the negative impact from arms productionand trade "whenever/wherever it occurs." A sub-paragraph regarding the socialproblems in countries with economies in transition is also bracketed.
B. PRINCIPLES AND GOALS
This section outlines the necessary framework for action to promote "social progress,justice and the betterment of the human condition." It recognizes the importance of:sound broadly-based economic policies; the family as the basic unit of society; theimportance of transparent and accountable governance; and the importance of respectfor all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Brackets remain around references to:promoting "more" equitable distribution; the right to self-determination of peopleunder colonial or foreign occupation; and narrowing the gap between developed "andother countries in the world, developing countries, and countries with economies intransition."
PART II. COMMITMENTS
This section contains nine commitments and related actions. The G-77/China suggesteda tenth commitment on education and culture. Delegates initially responded positivelyto the addition, but, upon reflection, France, on behalf of the EU, objected onprocedural grounds to the implications of its addition. The issue was sent to Amb.Butler"s consultative group. Although delegates did not have time to incorporate the G-77/China proposal, they agreed to consult further on its wording and placement. Boththe EU and the G-77/China proposed text for this new commitment. The G-77/Chinatext refers to education and culture, and incorporates a US reference to health care.The EU proposal focuses only on education. Delegates will address this issue inCopenhagen.
The Commitment section contains a single-paragraph introduction on the commonpursuit of social development. This paragraph contains a bracketed reference to fullrespect for "territorial integrity."
This commitment calls for the creation of an enablingenvironment through: a stable legal framework; strengthening civil society; asupportive external economic environment; the promotion of human rights; and theimplementation of international agreements relating to trade, investment, technology,debt and ODA.
Brackets remain around the qualification to provide a stable legal framework "inaccordance with our constitutions, national laws and procedures." A reference to the"provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources forsustainable development" is also bracketed.
This commitment calls for the eradication of poverty. Toachieve this goal, national actors should provide for basic needs, ensure access toproductive resources, ensure adequate economic and social protection, and seek toreduce inequalities. International actors are called upon to evaluate their ownprogrammes and [assist and] support countries to eradicate poverty and ensure basicsocial protection.
This commitment identifies the goal of full employment.Action to be taken on this issue focuses special attention on the problems of structural,long-term unemployment, and underemployment of youth, women, and disadvantagedgroups. It calls for: investment in human resource development; improved access toland, credit, and information; equal treatment of women and men, especially in respectto pay; and protection for migrant workers.
A reference to the right to work and worker"s rights remains bracketed. Languagereferring to quality jobs and respect for ILO conventions is also bracketed.
This commitment calls for "promoting social integration byfostering societies that are stable, safe and just." National-level actions include:promotion of pluralism and diversity; strengthening of anti-discrimination policies;protection of migrants" human rights; and respect for cultural, ethnic and religiousdiversity. International-level actions include implementation of internationalinstruments and enhancement of international mechanisms to assist refugees and hostcountries.
Brackets remain around a qualification that implementation of international instrumentsrelevant to human rights protection be "with full respect for the sovereignty of States."
This commitment pledges States to achieve equality andequity between women and men, and to promote leadership roles of women in alllevels of society. National-level actions include: full access by women to educationand training; measures to combat discrimination or exploitation of women; and supportservices to facilitate women"s participation in paid work. International-level actionsinclude: ratification of international instruments; and recognition of the extent ofwomen"s contributions to the national economy. The reference stressing "theimportance of responsible sexual and reproductive behavior and parenthood by men"and the reference to access to health care services, including reproductive health care,"programmes for which should provide the widest range of services, without any formof coercion," were bracketed.
This commitment calls for accelerated economic, social andhuman resource development in Africa and the least developed countries. To this end,structural adjustment policies should include social development goals. Support shouldbe given to economic reforms and food security programmes, and a solution to thedebt problem should be addressed. Governments are also called on to support reformefforts and programmes chosen by the African and least developed countries.
Brackets in this commitment are confined to a single contentious paragraph, whichcalls for a [realistic], [effective], [equitable, development-oriented, durable] [andsustainable] solution [on all types of debt], through cancellation [or reduction] ofbilateral debt.
This commitment calls on States to ensure that structuraladjustment programmes include social development goals. States agree to: promotebasic social programmes; develop policies to reduce the negative social impacts ofstructural adjustment programmes; and ensure that women do not bear disproportionateburdens from such programmes. International actors are to enlist the support ofregional and international organizations, especially the Bretton Woods institutions, toimplement social development goals. There are no brackets.
In this commitment, States commit to increase and/or usemore efficiently the resources that are allocated to social development. National-levelactions include: economic policies to attract external resources; innovative fundingsources; reliable statistics to develop social policies; fair, progressive taxation systems;and reduction in military expenditures. International-level actions include: mobilizationof new resources; facilitation of the flow of international finance, technology andhuman skills; fulfillment of ODA targets; implementation of existing debt-reliefagreements; and monitoring of the impact of trade liberalization on developingcountries" efforts to meet basic human needs.
Brackets remain around references to: mobilization of resources from all "available"funding sources; facilitation of finance, technology, and human skills transfer towardscountries with economies in transition; cancellation of debt; a sustainable solution tothe difficulties of servicing multilateral debt; and "striving" to increase finances forUN operational activities.
This commitment calls for States to improve the frameworkfor international, regional, and subregional cooperation for social development. Actorsat all levels are called on to implement and monitor the outcome of the World Summitfor Social Development. The General Assembly is also called on to convene a specialsession in the year 2000 to review and appraise implementation. A sub-paragraphcalling on international actors to abstain from coercive measures, which hinder theeconomic and social development of States, remains bracketed.
DRAFT PROGRAMME OF ACTION
Each of the five chapters in the Programme of Action, as contained inA/CONF.166/PC/L.22, has a section on the "Basis for Action and Objectives" and onthe "Actions" that national and international actors should take. In response to theoverwhelming number of amendments proposed on the first day, the Secretariatprepared a working text, incorporating all amendments on Chapters I to IV with theoriginal L.22 text. Nevertheless, the Group made slow progress. At the beginning ofthe second week, Amb. Richelle reported that Working Group II was "proceeding atthe pace of a snail using full brakes while taking a curve." An informal consultativegroup was formed, under the chairmanship of John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) andOscar Avalle (Argentina) to negotiate issues that remained bracketed after the WorkingGroup"s consideration.
Chapter V (Implementation and follow-up) was considered by Working Group I.Delegates participated in a quick page-by-page review of substantive disagreementslate Saturday, 21 January. The actual negotiations took place in an informalconsultative group chaired by Amb. Razali Ismail (Malaysia). Working Group Iconsidered the results of this informal group and approved the majority of its work.The following summarizes each section of the Programme of Action and highlights theissues that remain bracketed.
The Programme of Action outlines policies, actions, and measures to implement theprinciples and fulfill the commitments enunciated in the Declaration. All therecommended actions are linked. The Programme of Action thus attempts to combinemany different actions for poverty eradication, employment creation, and socialintegration in coherent national and international strategies for social development.
CHAPTER I. AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
This chapter is based on the recognition that social development is inseparable fromthe economic, political, ecological and cultural environment in which it takes place.
A. A FAVOURABLE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT:
This section identifies the actions required to promotemutually reinforcing, broad-based sustained economic growth and sustainabledevelopment. Brackets remain on one paragraph regarding reoriented agriculturalpolicies and adoption of appropriate forms of agricultural support in accordance withthe relevant provision of the Final Act of the Uruguay Round. Brackets also remainaround the need for "more" equitably distributed benefits of global economic growth,whether the actions are "required/necessary" and whether or not they should be takenat the "international level."
There are also brackets around the reference to continuing efforts to reduce "and/oreliminate on a case by case basis" the debt burden of developing countries,"particularly the poorest among them." Paragraphs on implementation of structuralreform policies and creation of an enabling environment that attracts foreign anddomestic direct investment are bracketed. References to an "effective, comprehensive,equitable, development-oriented and durable solution to the external debt problem,"and to increases in ODA for social programmes, are bracketed. The paragraph onmeasures to reduce inefficiencies and inequities arising from illegitimate/excessiveaccumulation of wealth by speculative or windfall gains also remains unresolved.
B. A FAVOURABLE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL AND LEGAL ENVIRONMENT:
This section contains paragraphs thatencourage: decentralization of public institutions: transparent processes; educationalprogrammes; and the development of attitudes and values that promote responsibilityand solidarity. Brackets remain around language on whether or not actions are"required" at the national level to support the objectives of social development. Nodecision was reached on whether social partners should be able to organize andfunction "freely and responsibly" or if their right to collectively bargain would be "inaccordance with national laws and regulations." A parallel sub-paragraph regardingsimilar conditions for professional organizations and artisans" organizations was left inbrackets.
Language dealing with creating conditions for refugees and those displaced as a resultof terrorist intervention for voluntary return to their places of origin was bracketed.Several sub-paragraphs dealing with the right to development remain in brackets.Delegates did not resolve issues such as the removal of "economic" barriers to theexercise of the right to education; discouraging the gratuitous depiction of explicit sex,violence and cruelty in the media; and the removal of obstacles to the realization ofthe right to self-determination for peoples under colonial, foreign or alien occupation.The central role of the human person in sustainable development is also bracketed.
CHAPTER II. ERADICATION OF POVERTY
The basis for action for this chapter refers to the one billion people in the world livingunder unacceptable conditions of poverty. This section notes that poverty has variousmanifestations and origins and can only be eradicated through universal access toeconomic opportunities and basic social services and empowerment. A sentence on theorigins of poverty in political, legal, economic, cultural and social structures remainsbracketed.
A. THE FORMULATION OF INTEGRATED STRATEGIES:
Thissection addresses the ways in which governments should focus public efforts towardsthe eradication of poverty and redesign of public investment policies. A sub-paragraphregarding the promotion of effective enjoyment by all of economic, social, cultural andcivil rights remains in brackets, as well as language on all relevant sectors of theeconomy with respect to their impact on families. Consensus was not reached ondeveloping indicators of poverty and vulnerability that would include "familystability/ stability of families."
B. IMPROVED ACCESS TO PRODUCTIVE RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE:
This section calls for improved financial and technicalassistance for community-based development and self-help programmes. The onlybracketed language refers to protecting the "traditional" rights to land and otherresources of pastoralists, fishery workers, and nomadic and indigenous people.
C. MEETING THE BASIC HUMAN NEEDS OF ALL:
This section callsfor governments, in partnership with all other development actors, to cooperate to meetthe basic human needs of all, including: implementing commitments that have beenmade to meet these needs; and improving access to social services for people living inpoverty and vulnerable groups. Bracketed language includes references to the rightsand responsibilities of parents to ensure that children have access to social services.Delegates also disagreed whether governments should implement commitments thathave been made to meet the basic human needs of all "with the assistance, asappropriate, of the international community." Reference to healthcare access for low-income communities remains bracketed. Delegates also bracketed reference to thepromotion of cooperation among government agencies to develop national strategiesfor improving maternal/reproductive health care. D. ENHANCED SOCIALPROTECTION AND REDUCED VULNERABILITY: This section deals withstrengthened and expanded social protection systems. These systems should be basedon legislation, in order to protect from poverty people who cannot work due tosickness, disability, old age, HIV/AIDS, or who have lost their livelihoods due tonatural disaster. Remaining brackets include references to: social protection systems toprotect people who cannot work due to "language barriers;" providing children thenecessary social and psychological assistance for "family reunification;" and theprovision of adequate social safety nets under structural adjustment programmes.
CHAPTER III. THE EXPANSION OF PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT
The basis for action in this chapter refers to productive work not only as a means ofeconomic livelihood, but as a defining element of human identity. As such, high levelsof unemployment and underemployment require that the State, the private sector andother actors and institutions cooperate to create the conditions, knowledge and skillsnecessary for people to work productively. The reference calling for unremuneratedwork to be reflected in satellite accounts of the GNP, as suggested by the Holy See,remains bracketed.
A. THE CENTRALITY OF EMPLOYMENT IN POLICY FORMULATION:
This section identifies actions to place the expansion of productive employmentat the center of sustainable development strategies, and economic and social policies.It also highlights the need to minimize the negative impact on jobs of measures formacroeconomic stability. The alternatives to "maximize employment creation" and"stimulate both economic and employment-intensive growth" both remain bracketed.
B. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND LABOUR POLICIES:
This sectiondeals with access to productive employment in a rapidly changing global environmentand development of better quality jobs. These goals are to be accomplished byestablishing well-defined educational priorities and investing effectively in educationand training systems. Delegates could not agree on whether helping workers to adaptand enhance their employment opportunities under changing economic conditionscould best be done by "required actions."
C. ENHANCED QUALITY OF WORK AND EMPLOYMENT:
Thissection calls on governments to enhance the quality of work and employment byobserving and fully implementing the human rights obligations that they have assumedand by removing exploitation and abolishing child labor. The issue of whether to"consider ratification," "encourage ratification," or "enforce" ILO conventions remainsbracketed.
D. ENHANCED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROUPS WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS:
This section highlights the need for programmes that areequitable, non-discriminatory, efficient and effective, and which involve groups inplanning, design, management, monitoring and evaluating of these programmes. Thebrackets remaining in this section refer to promoting or requiring comprehensiveemployment, educational and training programmes that consider the needs ofindigenous people.
E. A BROADER RECOGNITION AND UNDERSTANDING OF WORK AND EMPLOYMENT:
This section notes that a broader recognition of workrequires a more comprehensive knowledge of work and employment through, interalia, efforts to measure and better understand the type, extent and distribution ofunremunerated work, and promotion of socially useful volunteer work. The bracketedlanguage refers to efforts to incorporate unremunerated work in national accountingsystems.
CHAPTER IV. SOCIAL INTEGRATION
The basis for action in this chapter notes that the main aim of social integration mustbe to enable different groups in society to live together in productive and cooperativediversity. Bracketed language deals with: early integration of migrants into society;strengthening the role and the participation of civil society in the design,implementation and evaluation of public policies; and the "excessive" production and"illicit trade of arms/sale of arms that are particularly injurious or have indiscriminateeffects."
A. [PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, CULTURAL DIVERSITY,] RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT AND FULL PARTICIPATION IN SOCIETY:
This section calls on governments to promote and protect all humanrights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development. In addition to thetitle, there are brackets around references to: "encouraging/recommending/considering" ratification of human rights treaties; removing reservationsand full implementation of international human rights "treaties/instruments;" andgiving special attention to institutions of civil society representing the disadvantaged.
B. NON-DISCRIMINATION, TOLERANCE AND MUTUAL RESPECT FOR AND VALUE OF DIVERSITY:
This section notes that elimination ofdiscrimination and promotion of tolerance and mutual respect can be accomplished byenacting and implementing [as appropriate] laws and other regulations against racism,racial discrimination, religious intolerance, and xenophobia. No other brackets remainin this section.
C. EQUALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE:
This section calls ongovernments to promote equality and social justice by: ensuring that all people areequal before the law; regularly reviewing health and education policies, and publicspending from a social and gender equality and equity perspective; and promotingtheir positive contribution to equalizing opportunities. A sub-paragraph on minimizingthe negative impact of structural adjustment policies on vulnerable and disadvantagedgroups is the only unresolved issue.
D. RESPONSES TO SPECIAL SOCIAL NEEDS:
This section calls ongovernments to identify the means to encourage institutions to adapt to the specialneeds of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. No brackets remain in this section.
E. RESPONSES TO SPECIFIC SOCIAL NEEDS OF REFUGEES, DISPLACED PERSONS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS, DOCUMENTED MIGRANTS AND UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS:
This section states that,in order to address the special needs of refugees, displaced persons and asylumseekers, governments should address the root causes, which lead to the movements ofrefugees and displaced persons. The only unresolved item is whether or not "otherrelevant actors" should, in cooperation with governments, create conditions that allowfor the voluntary repatriation of refugees and the voluntary and safe return ofinternally displaced persons.
F. VIOLENCE, CRIME, THE PROBLEM OF ILLICIT DRUGS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE:
This section notes that solutions to the problems createdby violence, crime, substance abuse and production, use and trafficking of illicit drugs,and the rehabilitation of addicts can be achieved by introducing and implementingspecific policies and public health and social service programmes to prevent andeliminate all forms of violence in society. The only bracketed text in this section iswhether or not the problems created by violence, crime, substance abuse andproduction, use and trafficking of illicit drugs and the rehabilitation of addicts"requires" specific actions.
[G. STRENGTHENING OF FAMILY TIES]:
This section promotes therole of the family in social integration. All three sub-paragraphs in this section, as wellas the title, have been left in brackets, pending reformulation by the Republic ofKorea. These sub-paragraphs refer to the importance that social and economic policiesmeet the needs of families and the need for family services to enhance understandingand mutual respect in families.
CHAPTER V. IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP
The basis for action in this chapter highlights several essential requirements forimplementation: protection of human rights; new partnerships; recognition of theworld"s diversity; empowerment; mobilization of new and additional resources; andrecognition of the moral imperative of mutual respect among individuals, communitiesand nations. Brackets remain around references to "new and additional" resources andaround "available" funding sources.
A. NATIONAL STRATEGIES:
This section enumerates the elements to beaddressed in an integrated approach to national-level implementation of theProgramme of Action. These include: review of economic policies and their impact onsocial development; national and international coordination; measures to eradicatepoverty and increase employment and social integration; integration of socialdevelopment goals into national development plans; and definition of goals and targetsfor poverty reduction. Actions to be taken in bilateral and multilateral agenciesinclude: assisting countries to develop social development strategies; coordinatingagency assistance; and developing new social development indicators. The onlybrackets remain around the reference to poverty "eradication."
B. INVOLVEMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY:
This section outlines theactions required to strengthen civil society, which include: supporting the creation andinvolvement of community organizations; supporting capacity-building programmes;and providing resources. The section also highlights the actions needed to enhance thecontribution of civil society to social development, which include: facilitating ofpartnerships with government; stimulating private investment in social development;and encouraging the participation of trade unions, farmers and cooperatives. Nobrackets remain in this section.
C. MOBILIZATION OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES:
This sectionidentifies the actions needed to augment the availability of resources for socialdevelopment at the national and international levels. No brackets remain in theparagraph on national-level actions, which include: socially-responsible economicpolicies; military expenditure reductions; high priority to social development spending;an increase in the effective and transparent use of resources; and innovative sources offunding. Brackets remain in the paragraph on development assistance for developingcountries and around references to: countries with economies in transition; the ODAtarget; and the 20:20 initiative.
In the paragraph on debt reduction, brackets remain around references to debtelimination and/or reduction. The paragraph on international cooperation and financingneeds of countries with economies in transition is also bracketed.
D. THE ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM:
This sectiondescribes: the role of the General Assembly and ECOSOC in social development; thescope of UN assistance needed for developing countries and countries with economiesin transition; the coordination required within the UN system; and the strengthening ofUNDP. On the role of ECOSOC, brackets remain around references to: convening asecond WSSD; the role of ECOSOC in making recommendations for improving thecapacity of the UN to respond to economic and social crises; and development of acommon framework for the implementation of conference outcomes. The entireparagraph on UN technical assistance to countries with economies in transitionremains bracketed. Brackets also remain around references to ILO consideration of thesocial dimensions of the liberalization of international trade and to strengthening UNcapacity for gathering information and developing social development indicators.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE SUMMIT
The Plenary, chaired by Amb. Wlosowicz (Poland), met on Friday, 27 January 1995,to finalize the organization of work for Copenhagen. The Summit will consist of threeparts: a Plenary from 6-10 March for statements of high-level representatives; a MainCommittee from 6-9 March for final negotiations; and the Summit of Heads of Stateor Government on 11 and 12 March. The provisional agenda and organization of workfor the Summit (A/CONF.166/PC/L.26) was adopted after some debate regarding thescheduled "themes" for each day of the Plenary and whether representatives of Headsof State or Government could speak during the Summit.
Delegates agreed at PrepCom II to focus on gender issues in Plenary speeches on 8March, International Women"s Day. Suggested "themes" for statements on other daysduring the Plenary follow the Programme of Action chapter titles: "enablingenvironment" on 6 March; "eradication of poverty" on 7 March; "gender andparticipation of women" on 8 March; "employment and problems of unemployment"on 9 March; and "social integration" on 10 March. Delegates also added"implementation and follow-up" for 10 March. The recommended time limit for allstatements is seven minutes. Delegates also adopted the recommendation to elect 27vice-presidents.
On the question of representatives of Heads of State or Government speaking duringthe Summit portion, delegates agreed to the guidelines as presented in Annex II ofA/CONF.166/PC/L.26: "On 11 and 12 March, statements will normally be presentedby Heads of State or Government on the basis of a speaker"s list to be drawn up bythe Secretariat in accordance with established procedure." The Secretariat will open thelist for speakers on 1 February.
Amb. Somava then gave the floor to several NGO representatives. Bella Abzug(WEDO) challenged the Heads of State or Government to make headlines at theSummit by announcing initiatives to implement the Programme of Action. RobertoBissio (Development Caucus) stated that the Summit draft text contains manyimportant seeds, and expressed hope that the Summit process will nourish these seeds.Bawa Jain (Values Caucus) noted NGO efforts to integrate fundamental shared valuesinto the texts. Dirk Jarr‚ (International Council on Social Welfare) welcomed the useof target dates. Susan Parker (Rehabilitation International) noted the work of theDisability Caucus and stated that changed attitudes are critical for effective action.Andre Varchaver (Inter-Parliamentary Union) encouraged States to develop timetablesto eradicate poverty.
The closing Plenary met on Saturday, 28 January 1995, to adopt the draft Declarationand Programme of Action and forward them to Copenhagen. The Chair noted that theparallel negotiation process resulted in some inconsistencies in language between thetwo documents, and stated that the Secretariat would rectify any problems. Delegatesdrew attention to missing text, discussed some of the bracketed text, and approved thedocuments, with minor changes and with all brackets.
Delegates then considered Agenda Item 6, Adoption of the Report of the PreparatoryCommittee (A/CONF.166/PC/L.25). The Holy See suggested a correction to reflectthat delegates" work extended to 28 January, rather than the originally scheduled 27January, and delegates approved the report.
Amb. Somava concluded the Plenary with an assessment of the road to Copenhagen.He congratulated delegates on what they had done in 30 working days and one weekof informal consultations, highlighting the potential for UN efficiency. He noted thevery encouraging mood of political seriousness that had pervaded this PrepCom. Heconcluded that societies based on values and ethical principles are needed to achievethe goals of the Summit, and that the texts contain language to that effect.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF PREPCOM III
The World Summit for Social Development represents the first time in history thatHeads of State or Government will gather to collectively address the problems ofpoverty, unemployment and social disintegration. In preparation for this event, theWSSD PrepCom met three times for only six weeks over a 12-month period tonegotiate the draft Declaration and Programme of Action for the Summit. Now that thepreparatory process is complete, it is possible to evaluate the work of the PrepCom,the treatment of some of the major issues and the challenges that remain forCopenhagen and beyond.
PROBLEMS DURING THE PREPARATORY PROCESS
One of the major problems faced by the WSSD preparatory process was the difficultyin defining the Summit"s main issues. Despite General Assembly Resolution 47/92,which set out the objectives and the core issues to be addressed by the Summit,delegates arrived at PrepCom I in February 1994, ill-prepared for substantivediscussions. While there was agreement that poverty, unemployment and socialexclusion were of central importance, there was no consensus as to how they shouldbe addressed within the overall context of the Summit. As a result, the Secretariat wasgiven little guidance for the preparation of the draft Programme of Action andDeclaration for PrepCom II.
PrepCom II, which was held in August 1994, should have marked the commencementof substantive discussions on the two texts, however, instead there was widespreaddissatisfaction with the draft documents. In response, delegates generated 250 pages ofamendments, ideas and definitions in their attempts to operationalize the core issues inthe Programme of Action. While PrepCom II succeeded in generating a draftDeclaration that could serve as the basis for future negotiations, governments wereunable to produce anything that resembled a negotiating text for the Programme ofAction. Delegates did manage to reach agreement on the structure of the Programmeof Action during the intersessional informal consultations in October 1994. However,since it was not a negotiating session, delegates could only table general comments onthe substance of the draft Programme of Action.
Given this checkered history, the level of frustration experienced during most ofPrepCom III was to be expected. This was the first opportunity for delegates toidentify the central issues and actually commence negotiations on the details of thedraft texts. Yet, many felt that two weeks was insufficient time for the dialogue andnegotiations that were necessary to fully understand the complexity of the issues andproduce comprehensive, forward-looking texts for Copenhagen. As a result, there aremany who are dissatisfied with the substance of the final texts that were adopted bythe PrepCom on 28 January 1995.
TREATMENT OF KEY ISSUES BY THE PREPCOM
Situating the third PrepCom in terms of the overall "U-curve" of UN PrepCommeetings " where the beginning of the second week saw the bottom of the curve " many had observed by the end of the session that some concrete, although qualifiedadvances had been made. As with any negotiating session, the perception of success orfailure is determined by the lens through which one assesses the outcome. Thefollowing examines several key issues that arose during PrepCom III and the advancesand/or retreats surrounding these central themes.
COMMITMENT TO POVERTY ERADICATION:
There has been somemovement towards agreement on the need to eradicate, and not just reduce, absolutepoverty. This political shift represents a breakthrough since the internationalcommunity has never before actually committed to poverty eradication.Notwithstanding these gains, concerns remain about the lack of specific interim targets(or definitions) for the eradication of poverty.
RECOGNITION OF THE CENTRAL ROLE OF WOMEN:
Anotherimportant gain is the strong support for women in the context of social development.Despite the efforts of certain delegations to dilute language on gender equality, therehas been a discernable shift away from addressing gender issues in a narrow context,to considering the empowerment of women in society as a key precondition to socialdevelopment. Some have observed that social development has never been definedwith such a close relationship to women, while others have commented that thelanguage in the Social Summit texts is stronger than the language in the Beijingdocuments. Despite these gains, many have commented that the true test of thecommitment to women will be the development of clear indicators to measure thecontributions of women's work in society.
EMPOWERMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY:
Historically, developmentpolicy has been dictated by the forces of the state and the market, neither of whichhave succeeded in solving social problems on their own. As a result, governmentshave come to recognize that the full involvement of civil society is critical toachieving social development goals. This recognition was clearly visible in the role ofNGOs at the PrepCom. Several NGOs and delegates alike observed that this PrepComdemonstrated that NGOs, more than ever, are exerting their democratic influence onglobal processes. The high visibility of NGOs teeming throughout the basement of theUN infused accountability, energy, and innovation into the negotiations.
In the Declaration, language on the empowerment of civil society is quite strong andsupports the idea that empowerment is an essential tool for promoting the participationof civil society and that only when individuals, families and communities areempowered through education, health and other ways to take control of their ownlives, can they contribute maximally to society. Once again, despite the positiverhetoric, the true test will be the extent to which governments commit tooperationalizing these principles.
COMMITMENT TO AFRICA AND LDCS:
The commitment on Africaand LDCs represents an important expression of solidarity with these countries, whichis especially important in light of the recently concluded DesertificationConvention. However, African countries and LDCs are concerned that theirspecial needs will not be properly addressed unless the resource and implementationissues are adequately dealt with.
SOCIALLY RESPONSIVE SAPS:
The Social Summit texts are the firstUN documents ever to address the adverse social consequences of structuraladjustment programmes (SAPs) and the need for socially responsive and responsiblestructural adjustment. While some NGOs had hoped for stronger language on the needto redesign SAPs, developed countries have agreed for the first time that social effectsmust be addressed in the implementation of SAPs. Several other outcomes of the SAPsdebate reinforce the positive step forward on this issue: the acknowledgement thatincreased coordination is needed between the UN and the Bretton Woods institutions;the recognition that the involvement of both NGOs and the UN system in SAP designis essential; and the acknowledgement that social safety nets are not enough and thatsocial services should be protected from "across the board budget cuts." However,despite the agreement that SAPs should not undermine social services, there is still nodefinition of what actually constitutes social spending, and thus it is unclear howthese services are to be protected.
Albeit bracketed, the Programme of Action containslanguage on the 20:20 proposal. Seen as one of the more innovative ways to mobilizeand re-allocate funds for human development expenditures, it is estimated that ifimplemented, the initiative could make available close to US$30 to US$40 billion inadditional resources. While it has gained currency throughout the two weeks ofPrepCom III, there is continuing resistance among certain developing countries basedon the perception that 20:20 might establish a cap on existing ODA or impose newconditionality on existing funds. Developed countries, on the other hand, resist theconcept partially out of the fear that it will tie them closer to commitments at a timewhen only four countries are meeting the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA. On thedebt issue, some of the important language remains bracketed. At the heart of thedebate is the extent to which governments will agree to alleviate multilateral debt.While progress has been made in the area of bilateral and commercial debt relief,there has been considerable resistance around multilateral debt relief, especially forlower-middle and middle income developing countries.
CHALLENGES FOR COPENHAGEN AND BEYOND
In the year commemorating the UN"s 50th anniversary, it is especially important thatthe Social Summit seize the opportunity to begin a determined process of rethinkingand reform not only about social development, but also about the system that the UNCharter put into place a half a century ago. One of the central challenges forgovernments will be to give practical effect to the new vision of people-centereddevelopment that is emerging from this process. Efforts at the national level will haveto ensure that civil society is empowered to participate in economic, social andpolitical decision-making processes.
Another important challenge for governments will be to "operationalize" theProgramme of Action. Many NGOs fear that the commitments that will be agreed to atthe very highest political level in Copenhagen will not result in the concrete actionsneeded to bring about real change "in the field." This fear is fueled by the fact that thelanguage in the Programme of Action is considered by many to be too weak, vagueand ambiguous, with few concrete targets and timetables for action, let alone criteriafor measuring success. Translating the Programme of Action it into real action willnecessitate the reorientation of national budgets towards social development. In the eraof fiscal restraint and dwindling aid flows, governments will have to increase theeffectiveness of existing monies, clarify human development priority concerns, anddevelop suitable programmes as well as the means for measuring the impact of thoseinitiatives.
International responses are also essential. The extent to which the Bretton Woodsinstitutions reform their practices in adherence to the principles enshrined in theDeclaration will be a key basis for evaluating the success of the Social Summit. UNsystem follow-up is also of central importance. Several NGOs are concerned that plansfor UN system implementation and follow-up are too fragmented. With responsibilitiesto be discharged to many different UN bodies, it is feared that follow-up could fallthrough the cracks of the UN.
With 95% of the draft Declaration and Programme of Action already agreed to, andthe participation of more than 90 Heads of State or Government already confirmed, thesymbolic success of the World Summit for Social Development is all but guaranteed.However, it may take years to determine if the Summit will be a success in the field.Delegates can negotiate and Heads of State or Government can give animatedstatements, but unless the commitments are fulfilled and the Programme of Action isimplemented, the World Summit for Social Development will be no more than a mereblip on the UN radar screen. Effective implementation and follow-up is the truechallenge for Copenhagen and beyond.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN COPENHAGEN
The Social Summitwill take place at the Bella Center (Center Boulevard 5, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark)from 6-12 March 1995. Delegates may begin registering at 9:00 am on Friday, 24February 1995, at the "Pavilion" in front of the Bella Center. Registration is alsopossible at UN Headquarters in New York starting in February.
WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT:
The Social Summitwill take place at the Bella Center (Center Boulevard 5, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark)from 6-12 March 1995. Delegates may begin registering at 9:00 am on Friday, 24February 1995, at the "Pavilion" in front of the Bella Center. Registration is alsopossible at UN Headquarters in New York starting in February.
NGO FORUM "95:
NGO Forum "95 will take place from 3-12 March 1995,at the former naval base on Holmen in Copenhagen. For further information, contact:NGO Forum "95, Njalsgade 13C, DK-2300, Copenhagen S, Denmark, Tel: +45-32-961-995; Fax: +45-32-968-919.
The Values Caucus will schedule daily meetings inCopenhagen, with co-sponsorship by the Temple of Understanding, the WorldConference on Religion and Peace, and the World Council of Churches. The Caucuswill sponsor daily meditations from different religious and spiritual traditions, and aninterfaith service is planned for 10 March 1995. The Peace Caucus plans tohold a series of meeting in New York in February on the connection betweenmilitarization and the core issues addressed by the Summit. The Coalition of Caucuseswill hold regular meetings in Copenhagen, beginning Thursday, 2 March 1995, the daybefore the official opening of the NGO Forum.
SOCIAL SUMMIT HOMEPAGE:
The International Institute forSustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin,has created a "point of presence" on the Internet for the WSSD, called the "SocialSummit Homepage," which is accessible through Mosaic or similar World Wide Web(WWW) software. The Social Summit Homepage contains a searchable index to theissues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, links to the official documents, full-text versions of government, NGO and UN statements from the PrepComs, backgrounddocuments, photos of participants and (soon) audio and video clips. If you haveMosaic installed on your computer, point your WWW browser at<<http://enb.iisd.org/wssd.html>>. If you have access to the Internet and donot have Mosaic software, telnet to <<cern.ch>>, where you can download thesoftware and configure your system.<F"Times">
VOICES OF YOUTH:
UNICEF and the UN Secretariat, in collaborationwith IISD, have created a special on-line forum where young people can exchangeideas on the themes of the Social Summit and forward them to world leaders. Thisinteractive resource is available on the World Wide Web at the following address:<<http://enb.iisd.org/un/youth.html>>. These young people"s comments andviews will be displayed at the Social Summit. For more information and details onhow to participate by e-mail, send a request to: <<firstname.lastname@example.org>>.