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WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 1995

WORKING GROUP OF THE MAIN COMMITTEE

The Working Group on Education and Health completed its second reading of the draft text, based on a revised document from Wednesday's negotiations. In new paragraph (e) (links between labour and education), delegates agreed to replace "promoting employment" with the Norwegian-proposed "job creation" and to include "emphasizing the role of higher education and scientific research in all plans for social development."

In (f) (broad-based education programmes) and a Canadian alternative (f), Iran, supported by India, said that his amendment on respect for "all" human rights and fundamental freedoms, "including the right to development," was Vienna language. Benin, supported by the US and Algeria, preferred the Canadian alternative. The EU preferred the first paragraph (f), with Iran's amendment.

In paragraph (ff) (health education programs), delegates agreed to remove [preventive] in the reference to health issues and to insert language from paragraph (f bis and h combined) (childrens' rights), recognizing the rights and duties of parents, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Delegates agreed to the US-proposed (g) (bis) on access of people with disabilities to rehabilitation and other independent living services and technologies.

In paragraph (m bis) (HIV/AIDS) and alternative (m bis), India supported the alternative, which did not single out one disease. The EU preferred to have two paragraphs, one dealing just with HIV/AIDS, and the alternative to deal with other diseases. The US objected. India, supported by Canada and the US, amended the alternative text to "Provide support for and co-sponsor global action and UN programmes against" major diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, and HIV/AIDS. The US and Canada withdrew the original (m bis).

In the revised new paragraph on technology transfer and education, Mauritius added "prevention and rehabilitation programmes." Brazil, supported by the US and Japan, substituted "substance abuse" for "drug." The US offered "such as by promoting transfer" as a substitute for "particularly through transfer" of technology, noting that private sector ownership of technology implies that governments must not mandate its transfer. The G-77 accepted the change.

The G-77 proposed an amendment to the last paragraph (programmes to protect women and children) that called for programmes "based on respect for dignity of all human beings," and added a reference to child prostitution. The first amendment was altered to refer to "respect for human dignity." Belgium added "trafficking" in women and children. In new paragraph (d) (access to education for girls and women), Norway deleted "lower" fertility and replaced it with "the reduced need for high" fertility. Norway added a general reference in paragraph (i) (maternal and health objectives) to the objectives of reducing child and maternal mortality.

MAIN COMMITTEE

The Main Committee resumed Thursday evening at 9:00 pm to adopt the work of the three contact groups and the Working Group on the proposed education and health commitment. Amb. Somavi'a reported that these four groups had completed most of their work. He noted that the 120 brackets that were deferred to Copenhagen had been reduced to approximately 10 brackets after four days of negotiations.

PROPOSAL FOR A NEW COMMITMENT ON EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Somavi'a noted that on the Bureau's suggestion, the proposed commitment would be incorporated into the Declaration as Commitment 6.

Amb. Shah (India) reported that the consensus document only contained one set of brackets in (b) (ensuring knowledge, reasoning ability, skills and [ethical] values). The brackets remain around "ethical" in the phrase, which refers to the values required to develop full capacities. Some delegates preferred a broader reference to "values" without the qualifier of "ethical." The Holy See, Benin and Iran wanted to retain "ethical." The EU noted that "ethical values" was too vague, and suggested "ethical and social values," which was accepted. In (h) (educational policies), Indonesia noted that "with gender perspective" had been omitted after "develop specific educational policies" in the first line. The Secretary explained that there had not been general support for this proposal. Indonesia objected to the response and reserved on the paragraph. Brazil preferred the paragraph as written in the text, explaining that "gender perspective" was an ambiguous term. India and the US confirmed that the gender language had been agreed in the working group. Tunisia reserved on paragraph (k) (strengthening partnerships) with regard to the reference to "religious groups." In (m) (goals of national Health for All strategies), delegates agreed to a new reference to "preventive health programmes" instead of "prevention programmes." In (w) (support for global actions), Benin said that the paragraph gave the false impression that the same level of programmes for malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and typhoid are being implemented as for HIV/AIDS. The US suggested replacing "relevant UN programmes" with "existing UN programmes." Benin noted that existing WHO programmes were inadequate and proposed alternative language that referred to "stronger, better coordinated global actions against major diseases...." The EU objected to Benin's proposal, preferring the US proposal instead. The education commitment was then approved, with a new (w) "provides support for stronger, better coordinated global actions against major diseases that take a heavy toll on human lives, such as malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid and HIV/AIDS. In this context, continue to support and implement the Joint and Co-Sponsored UN programme on HIV/AIDS."

CHAPTER I. AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Amb. Butler (Australia) introduced this chapter, noting that sub-paragraph 14(k) on refugees had been resolved but that the contact group had not yet concluded all its work. The three remaining items: paragraphs 17 (chapeau); 17(a) (sovereignty); and Commitment 9(d) (unilateral coercive measures), are still under consultation and are expected to be resolved during the contact group's final meeting on Friday morning. Butler noted that Friday's consultations may result in new amendments to paragraphs 2 (framework of sustained economic growth), 8 (people-centered enabling environment), and 9 (overriding goals of the international community). A proposal for a new paragraph to follow paragraph 28 is also outstanding. The US reserved on 11(h) (ODA). Bangladesh, supported by Egypt and Pakistan, said that there is more than one way to address inequalities of wealth and that the term "inter alia" should be retained. Chapter I was approved, subject to the formal reservation of the United States on 11(h) and the outstanding issues in 17 (chapeau), 17(a) and Commitment 9(d).

CHAPTER II. ERADICATION OF POVERTY: Richelle introduced the contact group's text for Chapter II, explaining that all brackets had been lifted. Delegates questioned whether the reference to indicators of national causal factors in 29(a) should be changed. Australia suggested changing "causal factors" to "causes." The US recommended adding references to disabilities as an aggregation category in the same paragraph.

Saudi Arabia, supported by the United Arab Emirates and the Sudan, requested a reference to cultural values and religious beliefs in 37(d) dealing with health care consistent with the International Conference on Population and Development. The US noted that these issues were covered elsewhere. Pakistan said he had authored the language in other sections and did not believe a repeated reference was necessary. The Sudan said there was a history of concern on matters related to the ICPD, so that this paragraph warranted additional emphasis on religious and cultural beliefs. The Chair noted that the overall reference to ICPD already recognized those reservations. Jamaica said 37(d) should refer to reproductive health services, not just reproductive health. Saudi Arabia recommended deleting portions of the paragraph. The US, Norway, Malta, Iran, the Holy See and Egypt said the Cairo language was an exact reference and should remain. The text was adopted.

CHAPTER III. THE EXPANSION OF PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYMENT AND THE REDUCTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT: Delegates approved the agreements reached on Chapter III in the Richelle contact group, with no substantive changes and few comments. All outstanding issues were resolved.

CHAPTER IV. SOCIAL INTEGRATION: Delegates also approved the agreements reached on Chapter IV in the contact group chaired by Richelle, with few comments. In paragraph 75(f) (structural adjustment programmes), delegates agreed to the G-77 proposed change from "improving" the positive impact of Structural Adjustment Programmes to "ensuring" their positive impact.

CHAPTER V. IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP: Amb. Razali (Malaysia) said that the new language in document CPH/INFORMAL/20 reflects a balanced compromise. He added that many of the contentious resource issues are being dealt with in other fora and, therefore, cannot be advanced any further here. On 88(d) (UN decade for poverty eradication), the US and Canada questioned whether it was appropriate for the Social Summit to instruct the General Assembly to declare the first UN decade for poverty eradication. In 90(g), the US was prepared to accept the paragraph if the bracketed phrase "sustained economic growth and sustainable development" was deleted. Since no agreement could be reached on this point, the US maintained a reservation to this sub-paragraph. All the outstanding resource issues in Chapter V were approved, subject to the US reservation on 90(g).

RESOURCE ISSUES IN THE DECLARATION AND CHAPTER I: Somavi'a noted the advances made on debt cancellation, the work on 20:20 and the innovative language on new and additional resources that incorporates private resources. All the resource issues in the Declaration, as amended in document CPH/INFORMAL/22, were approved, subject to the US reservation to Commitment 6(e) (ODA). The resource issues in Chapter I were also approved, subject to the US reservation on 11(h) (ODA). Somavi'a noted that while paragraph 88(c) (International fund for social development) had been deleted, the issue would be raised during ECOSOC's consideration of the Social Summit.

RIGHTS AND OTHER ISSUES IN THE DECLARATION: Amb. Butler reported that the one unresolved issue in the Declaration was Commitment 9(d) (unilateral coercive measures). He also said that paragraphs 6 (interdependence of social and economic development) and 14 (consequences of globalization) may be revised subject to Friday's consultations. The outstanding rights issues in the Declaration, as set out in document CPH/Informal/22, were all approved, pending resolution of Commitment 9(d). Cuba, supported by the G-77, threatened to call for a formal vote in the Summit Plenary if no suitable solution is found for 9(d). On 16(c) (countries with economies in transition) and 17(social problems of developing countries and countries with economies in transition) Egypt, on behalf of the G-77, said that countries with economies in transition should not be treated on an equal footing with developing countries. He proposed deleting the reference to "while these problems are global in character and affect all countries" in paragraph 17. Somavi'a said this reference reflects the fact that these problems affect all of humanity and that Egypt's proposal would alter the thrust of paragraph 17. Butler noted that in paragraph 17, developing countries are clearly not treated on an equal footing with countries with economies in transition. Egypt, on behalf of the G-77, agreed to withdraw its proposal.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The general exchange of views will continue with suggested themes of "Social integration" and "Implementation and follow-up."

BUTLER CONTACT GROUP: The Butler contact group will meet today at 10:30 am to complete its work on Commitment 9(d) and paragraphs 17 (chapeau) and 17(a).

MAIN COMMITTEE: The final Main Committee will meet today at 3:00 pm to approve the outstanding issues.