The extended Bureau met throughout the rest of the week under the chairmanship of Amb. Somav�a. This small group spent most of its time discussing the nine commitments contained in the background note produced by the Chair on 20 October 1994. At the conclusion of the week's meetings, Amb. Somav�a produced a revised version of the draft Declaration (dated 26 October 1994). The following is a brief synopsis of the discussions on the commitments.
Commitment 1 calls for the creation of an enabling economic and social, and political and legal environment conducive to social development. The sub-commitments were divided into actions at the national and international levels, however, most delegates wanted to reorganize the items along economic and social and political and legal lines. Some delegates were not clear about the use of the term "sustainable human development" and many wanted to delete reference to a "global compact" for social progress in the introduction to the section on commitments. There were also discussions on access to markets, human rights and socially responsible enterprises.
Commitment 2 addresses poverty eradication. One of the major issues was how to make the commitment clear and realistic. Some delegates raised the point that people living poverty are active contributors in society and should play an active part in decision-making. Some felt that the sub-commitment on reviewing national budgets and adjusting them to meet priority needs would be difficult to implement and is an issue of national sovereignty. Developed countries disagreed with developing countries on the wisdom of setting target dates for the eradication of poverty. Other issues included the need to include a reference to women who often suffer most from poverty and the need for stronger international commitments.
Commitment 3 calls for enabling all people to earn livelihoods through freely chosen productive employment. A number of questions arose about migrant workers, including documented and undocumented migrants, and whether or not to use the definitions in the Cairo Programme of Action. Other issues included workers' rights, youth unemployment, the responsibility of employers to train workers, and recognition of the value of unpaid workers and the informal sector.
Commitment 4 addresses social integration. It was suggested that references to human rights incorporate the wording from the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Other issues included: treatment of the disabled; the role of the family; the fact that nation building often requires assimilation; drug trafficking; organized crime; and the use of the mass media to foster social integration.
In the discussions on Commitment 5 on gender equality, both developed and developing countries agreed that there should be no retreat from the language adopted in the Cairo Programme of Action. Most delegates agreed to retain reference to full "equity and equality" between women and men. Other issues that arose during the discussion: included the need for a section on education for women; the need for men and women to share in family responsibility; greater access for women to political and economic decision-making; and violence against women.
Commitment 6 deals with promoting the economic, social and human resource development of Africa and the least developed countries. Developing countries called for: equitable income distribution; socially-responsible structural adjustment programmes; debt reduction and debt-for-social development swaps; the need for new and additional financial resources; and achieving the UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA. There was disagreement on whether or not the Social Summit is the appropriate forum to deal with debt-related issues and how specific the Declaration should be with regard to these issues.
Commitment 7 addresses the need to make structural adjustment programmes more socially-oriented and to minimize their impact on society's most vulnerable members. Many developed countries felt that this issue should be addressed in the Programme of Action, whereas many developing countries wanted to retain it in the Declaration.
Commitment 8 calls for the generation of sufficient resources to fulfill these commitments. Issues that stimulated discussion included: whether the Declaration should call for cuts in military spending; the need to integrate the informal sector into the formal sector; the need to mobilize resources both inside and outside the UN system; reference to the 20/20 initiative; and how to address the issue of taxation.
Commitment 9 calls for improvement in the international economic environment and international financial assistance. Once again, the major issues were reference to the target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA and debt. Some developed countries preferred the goal of debt reduction rather than debt elimination. Other debt-related issues that were raised include a time-frame for debt reduction and how to deal with countries with economies in transition. On the issue of institutional coordination, there were discussions on: how to strengthen ECOSOC rather than create a new body; the need for improved coordination within the UN system; and how to ensure inter-sectoral treatment of the issues.
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