ENB:06:29 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

PLENARY

V. THE FAMILY, ITS ROLES, RIGHTS, COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE (A/CONF.171/PC/L.5)

Confusion regarding the use of family as the basic unit of social life was resolved by Canada, who proposed language from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Delegates agreed to use "the family" in 5.1 (basis for action), instead of "families," provided that the rest of the chapter remains as negotiated. As was decided on Wednesday, discussion of [reproductive] in 5.3 (action) was held in abeyance until resolution is reached in Chapter VII.

VI. POPULATION GROWTH AND STRUCTURE (L.6)

In 6.12 (youth participation in development activities), "confidentiality and privacy of reproductive health services" was bracketed. The consensus language used in 7.6 was applied here. The new language reads: "with the support and guidance of their parents and in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Throughout Section D (Indigenous People[s]), the "s" is bracketed. Australia insisted on "peoples," while Canada and others argued that "people" is accepted UN language. Since there was no agreement, delegates agreed that the text will remain bracketed pending Secretariat consultations with a UN working group addressing this issue.

In 6.27 (needs of persons with disabilities), the phrase "international migration" was bracketed. The Philippines and Cameroon argued that limiting the movement of people with disabilities is discriminatory. The Chair pointed out that this issue is also addressed in Chapter X (International Migration) and it should be discussed there.

IX. POPULATION DISTRIBUTION, URBANIZATION AND INTERNAL MIGRATION (L.9)

Delegates accepted new language for 9.7 bis: "Population distribution policies should be consistent with such international instruments as, when applicable, the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949), including Article 49." All other brackets were removed, with the exception of 9.18 (solutions to the problem of internally displaced persons). India said that this issue had already been discussed in 9.17 bis and 9.15 and emphasized that international measures may jeopardize national sovereignty. The US, supported by Croatia, Turkey, the Holy See, Guatemala, Pakistan, Egypt, the EU and Switzerland, asked to delete the brackets around 9.18. It was agreed to bracket reference to national and international measures instead of the entire paragraph.

X. INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION (L.8)

Paragraph 10.3 (remaining in one's country) initially read as follows: "to ensure that the [human] rights of [individuals belonging to] minorities, indigenous people[s] [and political opponents] are respected." The G-77, China, the Holy See, Hungary and Canada wanted "human" and "individuals" deleted. The US and the EU supported their retention. Uganda, Hungary and Canada wanted "political opponents" retained. The EU and Mali disagreed. Since there was no convergence on positions, the brackets were retained. The following was also bracketed in 10.3: "[increased/full] access to world markets." China and India wanted the term "full;" however, most delegations preferred "increased." India finally agreed to accept "increased," with reservations.

In 10.10 (integration of documented migrants), the right of family reunification was bracketed. The US expressed concern that there is no definition of the family and proposed "the importance of family reunification" and removal of the reference to "right." Turkey ardently supported retaining "right." The brackets remain. In 10.11 (rights of documented migrants), the brackets around "age" discrimination were removed. In 10.12 (basis for action--undocumented migrants), the US suggested deletion of "some economic sectors of receiving countries need migrant labour," noting that it had not been discussed by the Working Group and was better addressed elsewhere. In 10.14 (reducing undocumented migration), delegates deleted the brackets and amended the text to read: "including the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution." In 10.16 (return and reintegration of undocumented migrants), the bracketed text "in accordance with international law" was deleted. In 10.20 (support activities on behalf of refugees), delegates accepted the EU's proposal to replace the bracketed text regarding regional and international mechanisms to promote appropriate shared responsibility. 10.23 (forced migration) remains bracketed, pending consultations.

XII. TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (L.7)

In 12.7 (basis for action), the Holy See expressed reservations on the term "contraceptives," and retained brackets around "fertility regulation," until it is discussed in Chapter VII. Delegates accepted the EU's proposal to delete the brackets around "barrier methods." In 12.9 (government support for research), brackets were removed from the phrase referring to barrier methods against diseases. In 12.11 (involvement of the private sector), the term "fertility regulation commodities" was changed to "contraceptive commodities," with the Holy See's reservation. In 12.15(c) (objectives), the Holy See agreed to unbracket "sexual and reproductive behavior."

XIV. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (L.11)

14.3(a) bis (favorable macroeconomic policies) was completely bracketed and led to a protracted debate. India reminded delegates of the brackets it requested around sub-paragraph (e) (human rights standards). No progress could be made and the Chair called for further consultations.

In 14.4, 14.10(a), 14.13 and 14.14, the problem of reference to countries with economies in transition was raised. Argentina attempted to propose compromise text in 14.13, eliminating the need for special reference to these countries, but the proposal was rejected by the Russian Federation. Estonia proposed a new paragraph on these countries, which was rejected by the G-77. In 14.4 (national capacity-building), the Holy See deleted one set of brackets and added another. The text now reads: "including information and education of [family planning programmes]." In 14.6 (international funding and cooperation), the EU agreed to remove the brackets around the phrase on transfer of technology. In 14.8 (basis for action), there are still problems with increasing ODA for population programmes. The G-77's original proposal (...to increase their contribution from 2% of ODA to 4%), remains in brackets at the EU's request. In 14.10(b) (objective), the EU requested brackets around "while ensuring no reduction in the resources available for other development areas." The US and the EU proposed compromise texts, but the G-77 insisted on retaining the brackets.

The figures on resource flows from donor countries in 14.11 is bracketed because they are derived from bracketed figures in Chapter XIII. Norway proposed new language derived from UNICEF's statement in the morning about devoting 20% of ODA funds to meeting such priority needs in basic education and primary health care. Australia and the EU requested brackets. Norway agreed to withdraw the amendment since it would, in effect, reopen the entire paragraph for negotiation.

In 14.14, India said that the text should always read "population and development" to be consistent with the heading of this section. This was accepted. Tunisia proposed a new paragraph 14.15 bis on innovative financing for population and development programmes.

XI. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (L.12)

In 11.1 (basis for action), the brackets were removed and new language proposed by the US was adopted. It now reads "At the most basic level more adequate and appropriate information is conducive to informed and responsible decision-making concerning health, sexual and reproductive behavior, family life and patterns of production and consumption." In this particular instance, the Holy See unbracketed "sexual and reproductive behavior." In 11.2 (information and behavioral change), Barbados proposed new text that reads: "Indeed this begins with the recognition that decisions must freely and responsibly be made on the number and spacing of children and in all other aspects of life, including sexual and reproductive behavior." The EU wanted time to examine this proposal before accepting it. In 10.5(b) (objective), the Holy See unbracketed the word "reproduction." Brackets in 11.4, 11.6 and 11.9 remained until the discussion on Chapters XII and XIII. The Chair asked for submission of written alternatives for 11.5(d) (objective) and 11.11 (interpersonal communication). Although 11.7 (the role of leaders) was not bracketed, the US questioned the phrase "specialists of recognized morality." Brazil and Colombia implored Honduras, who had originally proposed this phrase, to reconsider it.

[Return to start of article]