After the initial discussion in Plenary, the Chair convened a "Friends of the Chair" group to discuss elements to be included in the draft Declaration. On Wednesday evening, 31 August 1994, the Chair distributed a progress report, which was later formally introduced to the Plenary as document A/CONF.166/PC/L.18. The progress report reflects the results of the informal consultations and was designed to facilitate the PrepCom's consideration of the elements, tone and style of the draft Declaration.
The draft contains four parts: Introduction; Current social situation and reasons for the Summit; Principles, common values and goals; and Commitments. The principles, common values and goals include:
In general, delegates and NGOs praised the draft Declaration and agreed that it provides an excellent basis for further negotiations. Most of the NGOs felt that this draft infused new life into the preparatory process.
A number of delegates made specific comments on how the Declaration could be improved. Sweden called for references to strengthening the UN. Brazil urged greater emphasis on solutions for peace among nations. Benin identified the special needs of Africa and called for stronger commitments.
Indonesia recommended several changes. In Part I, emphasis should be on the balance between the three core issues. In Part II, the concepts of human security and social development, and the roles of religious leaders and NGOs should be elaborated. In Part III, the relationship between UN agencies and Bretton Woods institutions should be clarified.
The United States and the Russian Federation called for recognition of the special needs of all regions and all peoples. Slovenia and Switzerland called for stronger references to human rights. Indonesia, the Sudan, Morocco and Guatemala underscored the need to recognize the family as the basic unit for social development. Guinea called for a paragraph on children's needs. Cuba called for a new paragraph whereby States would commit to end the use of coercive measures. Belarus noted the special needs of the disabled in finding employment. Pakistan suggested a greater focus on health issues. Nepal wanted the Declaration to reflect the concerns of land-locked countries.
The Chair closed the discussion by stating that delegates have requested him to continue consultations on the draft Declaration. He called for written comments as soon as possible to facilitate preparation of the next draft.
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