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PLENARY

PrepCom Chair Juan Somav´┐Ża called the delegates to order and commenced discussion on the draft Declaration. He thanked delegates for their brevity during the last three days, and noted that 249 interventions were made on the draft Programme of Action, due, in part, to the effectiveness of the blue light strategy.

During the course of the debate that followed, there appeared to be an emerging consensus that the draft Declaration, as contained in A/CONF.166/PC/L.13, must be completely redrafted. Most delegates called for a Declaration that is more concise, concrete and consistent. Other areas of emerging consensus included: the need for the Declaration to express strong political commitment on the part of nations to achieve social progress; the need for a definition of social development; and a link between the Declaration and the Programme of Action. While delegates agreed on the benefits of a shorter document, many, nevertheless, proceeded to list numerous priority issues to be included in this "shortened" document.

The Development Caucus emphasized the NGO commitment to ensuring the rights of all people. Education International called for the empowerment of citizens.

The Commission on Global Governance called for a framework for global governance into the next century, democratization of the UN System and respect for international law.

The Women's Caucus called for a redistribution of power and resources, including a redirection of military resources to meet human needs.

Australia recommended a Declaration with three parts: identification of the reasons for and importance of the Summit; call for new commitments and action to be undertaken by actors at all levels; and a statement of principles.

The United States noted four priorities: indication of the shared socio-economic challenges faced by nations; the empowerment of people; the protection and promotion of human rights; and a global compact committing both governments and NGOs to meet development goals.

Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, called for the recognition of: political commitment to employment and social integration; international commitments; and the principles of solidarity and non-discrimination.

Mexico noted the need for a clear definition of social development.

Chile emphasized the high political cost of inaction, the interdependence of security, solidarity and peaceful co-existence.

Germany, on behalf of the EU, proposed a three-pronged structure: the state of social development, showing the positive and negative trends; a strategy based on principles and consisting of concrete objectives along the structure of the Programme of Action; and incorporation of the main commitments that will be agreed upon in the Programme of Action.

China expressed concern regarding uncurbed population growth and consumption.

Senegal emphasized the importance of health. Poland underscored equality of opportunities for all.

Croatia called for the commitment of all States to peace and security through respect of sovereignty and uninterrupted socio-economic development.

Benin emphasized the problems facing young democracies and noted that social integration should not be predicated on uniformity and mediocrity.

Cuba recommended a more explicit recognition of the role and linkages between social and economic growth.

Canada called for a more media-friendly and visionary document inspired by the declarations of the Children's Summit and the Earth Summit.

Burkina Faso noted the importance of education.

Slovenia suggested a declaration with three elements: a statement of global problems and trends; strong commitments to social diversity and the eradication of poverty; and identification of the means of implementation.

Pakistan called for: a clear definition of social development; inclusion of issues such as debt relief, immigration laws, social development funding, and the abolition of trade barriers; and time-tables for action.

Tunisia recommended a two-part text that would include a discussion of the social development situation and the identification of objectives. Other priority issues include the debt crisis, terms of trade, health and the role of the family.

The Russian Federation noted the need to focus on post-Cold War possibilities and developments such as the end of apartheid and the trend toward nuclear disarmament.

Lebanon deplored deteriorating living standards and a widening wealth gap, despite technological progress.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) noted the role of trade unions in achieving and sustaining democracy through workers' rights and employment.

Bangladesh emphasized the importance of a supportive environment for free trade, the abolition of all tariffs imposed by developed countries, and the special situation of the poorest nations.

India called for: the elimination of poverty; condemnation of terrorism; support for female-headed households; elimination of child labour; debt reduction; education and empowerment; and attention to the special problems of Africa.

Vietnam noted the link between economic and social development.

Iran called for a more balanced treatment of the Declaration's main themes. A starting point should be the recognition that over one billion people are deprived of basic rights.

Belarus called on Heads of State to express their gratitude to those who fought for freedom and democracy in World War II.

Kenya noted the commodity trade and debt problems in Africa.

Japan called for: a commitment to human resource development; expansion of productive employment; promotion and protection of civil and political rights; integration of the most vulnerable in society; equal partnership between men and women; and the protection of cultural diversity.

New Zealand emphasized: fundamental human rights and gender equality; international commitment to better standards of life; sustainable human development; recognition of human diversity; and the creation of conditions for full human development.

The Holy See emphasized the centrality of the human person, with emphasis on human security, solidarity and the role of the family in society.

Malaysia said that the Declaration must emphasize the means of implementation through the mobilization of resources.

The Philippines emphasized: the eradication of absolute poverty and employment generation through the realization of peoples' potential; gender equality; the need for an NGO forum; and the role of regional commissions in monitoring.

Switzerland called for inclusion of principles promoting fairness, equity, cohesion, respect for basic human rights, a favorable economic environment, full popular participation, access to education, and livelihoods that are freely chosen.

Jamaica called for a statement of the fundamental moral principles on which the Summit is to be based, as well as the political commitment needed to operationalize the agenda.

Bulgaria suggested that the Declaration should contain a global description of the current state of social development as well as a list of main principles based on the Programme of Action.

Indonesia suggested reference to: the world social development situation; principles, goals, and commitments; and reaffirmation of international agreements.

Brazil suggested that lists and commitments to time-tables be avoided. The Republic of Korea called for protection of human rights, the promotion of equality and the right of all to participate in policy planning.

The Sudan stated that the Declaration must include: an analysis of the humanitarian situation; a framework of principles on which the conceptual approach is to be based; and a reiteration of the commitments made in the Programme of Action.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development identified several key elements, including: the endorsement of other relevant agreements; a shift of focus from employment to sustainable livelihoods; and a commitment to empowering the poor.

The National Association of Gerontology emphasized social integration at every age.

The United Nations Volunteers noted the need for commitment to human solidarity and support for volunteer action and service.

Kuwait proposed the development of a small drafting committee with representatives from the regional groups and other nations. He also recommended an additional paragraph to call on all States to renounce recourse to war and to resolve the problems of disappeared and detained people.

People-to-People Aid noted the need for: a shift in the development paradigm; a transformation in global strategies toward equality between South and North; and identification of the primary actors in bringing about social development.

The International Council for Social Welfare identified several key actions, including strengthening the human rights regime, monitoring the WSSD commitments and developing national strategies.

Sweden suggested that the Secretariat redraft the text to serve as a basis for negotiations next week.

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