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SUB-GROUP ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE CAIRO DOCUMENT

At Thursday morning's meeting of this sub-group, the Chair, Tauno K„„ri„ of Finland, introduced his draft outline of the chapter titles for the Cairo Document. This attempt by the Chair to consolidate the concerns expressed by the participants at Wednesday's session was praised by the delegates. The first notable difference between Wednesday and Thursday's drafts was a re-ordering of the chapters into four groups: Choices and Responsibilities; Means of Implementation; Partnership in Population - Actors and Resources; and From Commitment to Action. This new formulation was based on suggestions made by Sweden and the EC. The first chapter title was changed to better reflect the ECOSOC decision on the themes of the Conference. The title now reads, "The interrelationships between population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development." The title of Chapter IV was changed to "The family, its role and composition." This last change was a response to the call of many delegations for a separate chapter on the family.

The US expressed concern over the removal of the word "environment" from the title of Chapter I. Others argued that the phrase "sustainable development," which is a concept widely understood in the UN system, incorporates concern for the environment. Egypt, Nicaragua and India called for a separate chapter on education.

France, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US, the UK, and Denmark, on behalf of the EC, expressed concern that inclusion of the article "the" in the title of Chapter IV implies a narrow and limited concept of "family". Egypt pointed out that 1994 was the year of "The Family". Several countries argued that the reference to "the family" had been widely used in reports from the regional conferences. Several delegates argued that the titles would be further refined as the sub-titles were added. This would provide the governments with the option of further defining "families". The US reiterated its strong concern on this issue. Morocco said that "the family" as a concept represented a general notion of "family". He appealed to the group to adopt the Chair's text by consensus. He added that if there was no agreement, he would reopen the entire text even if this meant complicating the work of the Chair. Governments were not able to reach consensus on this point.

The Chair then explained his rationale for some of the choices he had made in his draft outline, stressing that he was striving for a middle ground. He said that the phrase "the family" in the title of Chapter IV was based on formulations in PC/11 and the reports of the regional conferences. He noted that, in his opinion, the title was quite "neutral". He suggested that governments might discuss this among themselves.

The sub-group then discussed how its work should be transmitted to the ICW and on to the Plenary. Colombia suggested that the Chair prepare a summary for presentation to the Plenary where governments would have the opportunity to express their reservations. The UK suggested that the two formulations for the title of Chapter IV be left in brackets. Morocco requested that the Chair's text be transmitted to the Plenary where countries could vote on this issue. The Chair decided to consult with the Chairs of the ICW and the PrepCom on this point.

The Chair then circulated two other papers: an outline for the Cairo Document with sub-titles, prepared on the basis of Wednesday's discussions; and a set of guidelines for the Secretariat on the structure of each chapter, based on the discussions in the sub-group. The Chair said that these two papers might be used by the Chairs of the ICW and the PrepCom in the preparation of their summaries.

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