The Chair, Amb. Richell (The Netherlands), opened the meeting and suggested that delegates progress from expressing their views to making concrete proposals on the text. He stated that the revised draft Programme of Action (CRP.2) would be discussed paragraph-by-paragraph and that the target for completion is Wednesday afternoon. Night sessions may be necessary.
PARAGRAPH 1 (introduction of WSSD): Mexico suggested that the call for examination of "human, economic and social concerns" be shortened to emphasize only social concerns. In response to proposals from Algeria and Australia, delegates agreed to the following language: "social and economic concerns that are common to humankind." Indonesia, supported by Norway, Mauritius and the United States, suggested that paragraphs 1 and 2, which refer to other conferences, would be better placed in the Declaration. Norway called for an introduction that outlined the content of the Programme of Action. The United States commented on the difficulty of discussing paragraphs whose final placement is still under discussion. Switzerland called for changing "peoples of the UN" to "all participating nations," since Switzerland is not a UN member. The Chair bracketed the text, and encouraged interested delegates to consult informally.
PARAGRAPH 2 (relationship of the WSSD with other global conferences): Several delegates suggested references to conferences not already mentioned in the text. In response to a proposal by the Chair, delegates agreed not to mention specific conferences but, rather, to refer to global conferences relevant to social development.
PARAGRAPH 3 (integration of social, economic, environmental and cultural concerns): India, supported by the G-77, proposed language stating that social development concerns must be central to economic decision-making. India also suggested that the text should call for economic policies to respond to social objectives, and that structural changes should contribute to social development and to economic growth. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77, and supported by the EU and others, suggested additional references to the three core themes. The EU supported the first part of India's proposal but objected to the reference to structural adjustment. Poland supported India and proposed the following language: "economic policies should respond to social objectives but necessary structural changes should not deter social progress." Norway called for economic growth to serve people. The US highlighted the insufficient linkages between economic and social policy in the text. She suggested including "sustainable continuous development" in the last sentence. Canada called for reference to sustainable human development.
PARAGRAPH 4 (implementation of priorities in light of domestic circumstances): Germany, on behalf of the EU, suggested deletion of "bearing in mind the domestic circumstances" in the sentence that refers to concentration of efforts on enumerated priorities. Many developing countries objected. The EU also suggested deleting the last sentence, which refers to the value of international cooperation, and added: "all main actors, namely governments, regional and subregional organizations, the international community, the private sector including employers, workers... NGOs and other institutions of society are called upon to work together." Canada, supported by the US, Sudan, and Malaysia, suggested reference to action-oriented goals. Poland, supported by the EU, suggested reference to the specific constraints that result from economic development in each country. The G-77 opposed Poland's proposal on the grounds that it was not comprehensive.
PARAGRAPH 5 (challenges of globalization): Indonesia suggested that each paragraph should contain a call for action. The United States further proposed that each paragraph state: the rationale for action; the objectives for action; and the action required. The United States also suggested combining paragraphs 5 and 6 and adding the following actions: responsible macro-economic programmes; policies that promote opportunities for all; and policies that enhance good governance and participation. Colombia, India and Iran suggested that language in the G-77 text would improve this paragraph. Norway, supported by Sweden, proposed adding a reference to the threats that processes of change and adjustment can pose to ecological systems.
The Chair then attempted to reconcile views on the structure of the paragraphs. He noted that the United States' proposal would require reconstructing text in addition to combining paragraphs. Pakistan stated that a revamping of the document could result in its disintegration, and suggested that the present paragraph-by- paragraph method was useful. He also proposed adding a tabular summary of each proposed action, its rationale, and the means for implementation. Canada inquired how comments on the structure of the draft could be made if the debate was to continue on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. The Chair responded that the current debate should focus on the substance of the Programme of Action, and he requested that amendments be submitted in writing. When the Chair indicated that the discussion would continue into the evening, Algeria requested adjourning the meeting because delegates would be more effective if they could take stock of their progress and organize their work before continuing. Canada supported Algeria and requested that the Bureau consider the magnitude of the task that delegates face with the text. Recognizing the delegates' preference to break for the evening, the Chair adjourned the Committee of the Whole and opened a Plenary session to allow NGO interventions.
The Women's Caucus reiterated its position on the text. Regarding the changing global situation, she pointed to the devastating social consequences of the globalization of world markets and trade liberalization. Regarding the favorable economic environment, she called for: a major redistribution of power and resources between nations and between all social sectors; corporate accountability; enforcement of human rights conventions; mechanisms to support the interests of the least developed nations; social impact assessments; and socially responsible macro-economic policies. Regarding a favorable political environment, she called for: transparent, participatory and accountable national and international social policy structures; gender-based analyses of all institutions and policies; and a stronger UN role in social development.
The Development Caucus also expressed its dissatisfaction with the revised text. He noted the impacts of structural adjustment and trade liberalization and said that sustained economic development must be the primary goal of the WSSD. He further criticized the omissions of: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the critiques of structural adjustment; the responsibility of institutions; and the importance of social responsibility in the corporate sector.
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