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MAIN COMMITTEE - EVENING

The Main Committee re-convened at 7:30 pm to adopt the final texts that had been agreed in the Butler and Razali contact groups. The Butler group had agreed to a new paragraph 28, which states that implementation of social development is the responsibility of each country and should take into account the economic, social and environmental diversity, as well as religious and ethical values of each country. Secondly, new language was agreed on Commitment 9(d), which now refers to refraining from unilateral measures "not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that create obstacles to trade relations among States." And finally, new language was agreed for the chapeau to paragraphs 17 and sub-paragraph 17(a). They were combined into one paragraph, which states that international support for national efforts to promote a favourable political and legal environment must be in conformity with the UN Charter, principles of international law and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations. These new paragraphs were adopted by the Main Committee.

Amb. Razali noted that efforts were made to remove the brackets around sub-paragraph 90(g) (debt relief for middle-income countries). Agreement was also reached on a new paragraph 6 (interdependence of social and economic development). This paragraph states, in part, that "broad-based and sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development is necessary to sustain social development and social justice." The G-77 expressed dissatisfaction with the text but agreed to it in the spirit of cooperation. After the Main Committee formally adopted the draft Declaration and the Programme of Action, Somav´┐Ża opened the floor for delegates to express their reservations to the texts. Iraq reserved on Commitment 9(d), stating that the text as proposed was completely different from the text in the Declaration and was incompatible with the essence of the original Commitment 9. Tunisia removed its reservation on Commitment 9(d). Guatemala reserved on the references to "territorial integrity" in the Declaration, noting its current territorial disputes. Belize registered its protest against Guatemala's comments. Costa Rica reserved with respect to paragraph 21 (reduction of military expenditures). Iraq expressed concern that the social consequences of trade sanctions were not sufficiently reflected in the text. Ecuador, Argentina, the Holy See, the Sudan and Malta reserved on reproductive health.

The floor was then opened for general comments. Amb. Butler (Australia) highlighted the important commitment that governments have made to attack poverty as well as the new relationship between institutions, governments and civil society. The US highlighted the importance of the Commitment on the eradication of poverty, the language on SAPs, the empowerment of women, workers' rights, and the integration of disabled citizens and other marginalized groups. The Netherlands suggested that poverty and social exclusion issues should have been addressed in northern countries. Canada said that the Declaration and Programme of Action form a set of international norms and values that link social development with economic development through the principle of sustainable development. The Russian Federation said that the Programme of Action would aid his government as a basis for domestic social policy. Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, said that the Summit brought together two strands within the UN, one that gives expression to the realities of interdependencies and the other that reflects the shared vision of a just society.

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