Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 10 No. 63
Monday, 3 July 2000

SUMMARY OF THE 24th SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
26 JUNE - 1 JULY 2000

The General Assembly held its 24th Special Session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 26 June - 1 July 2000. The session was entitled "World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) and beyond: Achieving social development for all in a globalizing world." It was attended by a total of 35 Heads of State and government, 4,791 government delegates, along with 2,045 NGO representatives.

Delegates negotiated and adopted a three-part outcome document (A/S-24/2/Add.2, Parts I, II and III). The Report includes a political declaration (Part I), a review and assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the WSSD (Part II), and further actions and initiatives to implement the commitments made at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen (Part III).

Despite deep political divisions over issues such as human rights, governance, debt and the nature and scope of globalization, the climate of the negotiations remained mostly positive, despite difficult negotiations until the last minute on a paragraph related to foreign occupation. Many delegates, even those with differing viewpoints on the outcome, noted their appreciation of the humor and constructive guidance of the Chairs of the Special Session’s three working groups. While delegates expressed some frustration over different interpretations of the benefits and drawbacks of prevailing economic structures, by many accounts the final document makes progress, putting forth new references to a World Solidarity Fund, the transparency of international financial institutions, new and innovative sources of funding, and the recognition of the critical importance of access to medicines at affordable prices.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF WSSD+5

In December 1992, the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted Resolution 47/92, which called for the convening of a world summit for social development and set in motion the process of organizing a meeting of Heads of State to tackle the critical problems of poverty, unemployment and social disintegration. A Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) was established, under the chairmanship of Amb. Juan Somavía (Chile), to negotiate the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and a Programme of Action (POA). The PrepCom met three times in February and October 1994, and January 1995.

The WSSD convened in Copenhagen from 6-12 March 1995, bringing together over 118 world leaders. Despite difficult debates, Summit delegates managed to reach consensus on the Copenhagen Declaration and POA. The Copenhagen Declaration assessed the current social situation and reasons for convening the WSSD, listed principles and goals, and spelled out 10 commitments: to enhance the enabling environment for social development and to promote further initiatives for poverty eradication, full employment initiatives, social integration, equality and equity between women and men, universal and equitable access to quality education and health services, accelerated development in Africa and the LDCs, inclusion of social development goals in structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), increased resources for social development and international cooperation for social development.

The POA contained five chapters and outlined actions to be achieved in each area: an enabling environment for social development; eradication of poverty; the expansion of productive employment and the reduction of unemployment; social integration; and implementation and follow-up. It also called on the GA to hold a special session in 2000 for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the WSSD, and to consider further actions.

PREPARATIONS FOR WSSD+5

In 1997, the GA established a PrepCom to prepare for the five-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA. The PrepCom, chaired by Cristian Maquieira (Chile), held its organizational session in May 1998 and its first substantive session in May 1999. It initiated discussions on preliminary assessment of the implementation of the 10 commitments and on further initiatives, and adopted a decision on the role of the UN system, inviting all relevant organs and specialized agencies of the UN system and other concerned organizations to submit review reports and proposals for further action and initiatives. The PrepCom also decided on procedures and preparations for the Special Session, including the convening of open-ended, intersessional informal consultations from 30 August - 3 September 1999 and 21-25 February 2000.

38TH SESSION OF THE CSD

At its May 1998 session, the PrepCom invited the 38th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSD-38), chaired by Zola Skweyiya (South Africa), to consider the "Overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development: Draft agreed conclusions" (E/CN.5/2000/ L.8). The overall review of the outcome of the WSSD was intended to be the Commission’s contribution to WSSD+5 and became Part II of the outcome document. CSD-38 was unable to conclude its negotiations during its 8-17 February 2000 session, and extra sessions were held during 21-25 February and on 6, 9 and 17 March 2000.

PREPCOM II

The PrepCom held its second substantive session at UN Headquarters in New York from 3-14 April 2000. Its main task was to negotiate proposals for a draft political declaration, intended to serve as a statement of affirmation of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA, and to continue work on the further actions and initiatives. Structured around the 10 commitments contained within the Copenhagen Declaration, it is based in part on a set of 26 reports submitted to the Secretariat by organs and specialized agencies of the UN system and other concerned organizations and integrated in the "Compilation of the summaries and proposals for further action provided by the United Nations System" (A/AC.253/CRP.2). Delegates also discussed the draft provisional agenda and organizational matters (A/AC.253/L.16) and the list of speakers (E/CN.6/2000/PC.9) for the Special Session.

Working Group I, chaired by Cristian Maquieira, finished an initial reading of the further actions and initiatives for Commitments 1, 7, 8 and 9. Working Group II, chaired by Amb. Koos Richelle (Netherlands), completed first and second readings of much of Commitments 2-6 and 10. Working Group III, chaired by Amb. Bagher Asadi (Iran), nearly succeeded in finishing negotiations on the draft political declaration, but talks broke down at the end over paragraphs on poverty, workers’ rights, governance, debt and international cooperation. About half of the text was agreed.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: MAY 2000

The PrepCom reconvened from 17-23 May 2000, to resume consideration of Parts I and III of the proposed outcome document (A/ AC.253/L.5/Rev.3). On Wednesday, 17 May, Working Group II Chair Koos Richelle opened the meeting, noting that 32 Heads of State have confirmed they will attend the Special Session. On Thursday, 18 May, PrepCom Chair Maquieira called on delegates to strive to leave, at most, only 10 or 12 highly political paragraphs for the Special Session to negotiate.

By the close of negotiations on Tuesday, 23 May, delegates had agreed on 183 paragraphs and sub-paragraphs, while 127 remained pending. Progress came in fits and starts, with delegates divided over issues such as resources, governance, trade and political will.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: JUNE 2000

Delegates held a final round of consultations on 19-20 June 2000, and discussed text from Commitments 1, 2, 3 and 5 in Part III of the outcome document, further actions and initiatives (A/AC.253/L.5/ Rev.4 Part III). By the close of the session, approximately 40% of the text remained bracketed.

FINAL PREPCOM MEETING

The PrepCom held its sixth meeting on 20 June and agreed to transfer the three-part proposed outcome document, consisting of Part I, the political declaration (A/AC.253/L.5/Rev.2); Part II, the overall review and appraisal (A/AC.253/L.5/Rev.3); and Part III, further actions and initiatives (A/AC.253/L.5/Rev.4).

Chair Maquieira then noted that delegates would reconvene to consider the list of NGOs requesting accreditation to the Special Session. Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Canada, Libya, Pakistan, Cuba, Sudan, China and the Russian Federation expressed concern about the document’s late arrival. Canada and the EU noted this would complicate arrangements for NGOs. On 22 June, the PrepCom met again and adopted the document containing the list of NGOs (A/AC.253/29).

REPORT OF THE SPECIAL SESSION

On Monday, 26 June, the GA opened its 24th Special Session, entitled "World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) and beyond: Achieving social development for all in a globalizing world." Prior to the formal opening of the Plenary, Prime Minister Paul Nyrup Rasmussen (Denmark) and President Adolf Ogi (Switzerland) offered remarks. Prime Minister Rasmussen called on rich countries to ease the debt burdens of poor countries and provide ODA to ensure access to healthcare and education for all. President Ogi stressed empowering citizens to participate in shaping the global economy.

At 11:15 am, Prime Minister Hage Geignob (Namibia) opened the session, and noted a letter from the Secretary-General (A/S-24/6) listing delegations with UN arrears. On the recommendation of the PrepCom, the General Assembly elected the President of the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab (Namibia), President of the Special Session. Gurirab welcomed delegates and pointed out that globalization should have a head, heart and human face. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan emphasized that social and economic welfare are not inseparable concepts, and highlighted the release of a joint UN, World Bank, IMF and OECD report.

PrepCom Chair Cristian Maquieira (Chile) presented the report of the PrepCom (A/S-24/2 and Add. 1 and 2 (Parts I, II and III)), which delegates adopted along with the organization of the session (A/S-24/ 2, paragraph 42). As recommended by the PrepCom, the Special Session established a Committee of the Whole (COW) and then elected Maquieria as its Chair. Following adoption of the provisional agenda (A/S-24/1), delegates heard opening statements on the review and appraisal of progress since the WSSD and on proposals for further initiatives for the full implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA. The Plenary continued to meet in two sessions per day through Friday, 30 June. Thirty-five Heads of State or Government and other delegates from 159 UN member States, two non-member States, 10 observers and nine NGOs addressed the Plenary. Statements from the opening session and the nine plenary sessions that followed can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/ speeches/speeches.htm.

AD HOC COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

On Monday, 26 June, Chair Maquieira opened the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole (COW) and welcomed delegates. He gave the floor to Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who noted that: poverty eradication has gained acceptance as a central theme of social development; rules for managing globalization must reflect a better approach to social cohesion; and development agendas should foster a rights-based approach.

The COW elected three Vice-Chairs: Amb. Bagher Asadi (Iran), Amb. Ion Gorita (Romania) and Amb. Koos Richelle (Netherlands). Chair Maquieira announced that a fourth candidate, Abdallah Baali (Algeria), was unable to attend the meeting and would be replaced by another delegate. He noted three facilitators would assist the meeting: Aurelio Fernández (Spain), Sonia Felicity Elliott (Guyana), and Luis Fernándo Carranza-Cifuentes (Guatemala). Following adoption of the proposed organization of work (A/S-24/AC.1/L.1), delegates heard proposals for further initiatives for social development from UN agencies and NGOs.

The COW reconvened on Tuesday, 27 June, to hear additional statements, and on Friday, 30 June, to elect Kheireddine Ramoul (Algeria) as the fourth Vice-Chair. On 1 July, the COW concluded its proceedings and forwarded the agreed outcome document to the Plenary.

Three working groups completed negotiations of the text. Working Group I, chaired by Cristian Maquieira, focused on Commitments 1 and 7-9. Working Group II, chaired by Koos Richelle, debated Commitments 2-6 and 10. Working Group III, chaired by Bagher Asadi, negotiated the draft political declaration. Contact groups, chaired by Sonia Felicity Elliott, Aurelio Fernández, Ion Gorita and Luis Fernándo Carranza Cifuentes, met throughout the week on issues including debt, the environment, labor rights, globalization, and unilateral sanctions.

SUMMARY OF OUTCOME DOCUMENT

The following is a summary of the outcome document negotiated by the Special Session, as contained in A/S-24/2/Add.2, Parts I, II and III, Add. 1-16, and adopted by the Plenary of the 24th Special Session of the GA on Saturday, 1 July 2000. Paragraph numbers follow the 1 July unedited final outcome document. Editor’s note: Respecting the confidential nature of some of the negotiations, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin does not use names of countries and/or groups in parts of this summary.

PART I: DRAFT POLITICAL DECLARATION

The draft political declaration required multiple rounds of negotiation over several months. Delegates considered a series of package deals that addressed elements of workers’ rights, debt problems and reform of international financial institutions (IFI). References to gender-sensitive social, economic and environmental policies, natural disasters and social justice were also debated.

Paragraph 1 notes five years have passed since the WSSD marked the first intergovernmental gathering to recognize the significance of social development and human well-being and to give these goals the highest priority. Paragraph 2 reaffirms the will and commitment of government representatives meeting at the Special Session to implement the Copenhagen Declaration and POA, including the strategies and agreed targets contained within them. Paragraph 3 notes increased recognition since the Social Summit of the need for an enabling environment and growing awareness of the positive impact of effective social polices on economic and social development. Paragraph 4 notes globalization and technology offer unprecedented economic and social development opportunities, but present serious challenges within and among societies. It recognizes, inter alia, that for developing and some countries with economies in transition (EIT countries), considerable obstacles remain to further integration and full participation in the global economy.

Paragraph 5 reiterates the determination and duty to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive employment, foster social integration and create an enabling environment for social development. Chair Asadi proposed, with support from the US and Japan, deleting all qualifiers and accepting text on full respect for fundamental principles and rights at work. The EU, with Canada, Norway and Switzerland, preferred language on reaffirming the will to respect, promote and realize the principles contained in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up. Chair Asadi proposed text on equitable distribution of wealth within and among nations, maximizing opportunities and guaranteeing social justice, and recognizing the mutually reinforcing linkages among these elements. The EU, with Slovakia, Canada, Mexico and others, proposed replacing "among these elements" with "between economic and social development." The US and the G-77/China preferred the Chair's formulation. Japan, with Slovakia and others, added reference to the benefits of economic growth. The G-77/China, supported by Mexico and opposed by the US, suggested "maximizing opportunities and benefits through the realization of an equitable multilateral trading system." Mexico, with the G-77/China, advocated reference to migrant workers. The G-77/China also supported reference to mobilization of new and additional resources at the international level.

In closed negotiations during the final hours, delegates agreed to language on: full respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and the rights of migrant workers; and reduction in the inequality in the distribution of wealth and more equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth within and among nations, including, inter alia, realization of an open, equitable, secure, non-discriminatory, predictable, transparent and multilateral rule-based international trading system, maximizing opportunities and guaranteeing social justice, recognizing the interrelationship between economic and social justice.

Paragraph 6 calls for, inter alia: full and effective implementation of the Declaration and POA at all levels; renewed political will and additional resources; and reaching the agreed overall ODA target of 0.7% of GNP of developed countries. During the final round of negotiations, delegates agreed to a reference to inviting governments to develop coordinated and gender-sensitive social, economic and environmental approaches in order to close the gap between goals and achievements, originally proposed by the EU and amended by the G-77/China. The US had opposed reference to "approaches."

Paragraph 6 bis, on debt-servicing and relief, was originally proposed by the G-77/China, and recognizes, inter alia, that excessive debt servicing has severely constrained the capacity of many developing and EIT countries to promote social development; and that efforts have been made by indebted developing countries to fulfill their debt-servicing commitment despite high social costs. Delegates debated text on addressing the debt problems of middle-income developing countries with a view to resolving their potential long-term debt-sustainability problem, and financing for the implementation of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. Chair Asadi proposed, and the US, Japan, and the EU accepted, deletion of these references. The G-77/China preferred to retain the text, and added reference to low-income countries. Delegates finally agreed to the Chair’s proposal, deleting all bracketed language.

Paragraph 7 states the fight against poverty requires active participation of civil society and those in poverty. It stresses that achieving Copenhagen objectives requires universal access to high quality education, health and other basic social services and equal opportunities for active participation and sharing development benefits, and stresses strengthening partnerships among the public sector, the private sector and other relevant actors of civil society.

Paragraph 7 bis, originally proposed by the G-77/China, reaffirms the pledge to focus on and give priority to the fight against worldwide conditions that severely threaten the health, safety, peace, security and well-being of people. The paragraph highlights, inter alia, illicit drug problems, corruption, foreign occupation, armed conflicts, trafficking in persons, terrorism, xenophobia, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Delegates agreed to include a contested reference to natural disasters.

Paragraph 8 reiterates resolve to reinforce solidarity with people in poverty and strengthen policies and programmes to create inclusive, cohesive societies for all, particularly the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized, and recognizes that their special needs require specific targeted measures to empower them to live more productive and fulfilling lives.

Paragraph 8 bis, originally proposed by the G-77/China, recognizes that although Africa and the LDCs have striven to implement Copenhagen commitments, widespread poverty remains. Recognizing their internal and external constraints, it reiterates the will to support their efforts by allocating resources, including by fulfilling internationally agreed commitments, and by strengthening initiatives.

Paragraph 9 notes that enhanced international cooperation is essential to implement the Copenhagen Declaration, POA and the Special Session's further actions and initiatives, and to address globalization challenges. Delegates debated text proposed by Japan, with the EU and Canada, recognizing the need for a strengthened and more stable IFIs. The US preferred to delete the entire reference, while Canada noted agreed language from GA Resolution 54/197. Language proposed by Norway and Mexico recognizing the need to continue work on a wide range of reforms to the international financial system was also considered. The G-77/China supported reference to social equity and poverty eradication. Cuba emphasized, inter alia, transparent and responsible governance for international institutions including IFIs. The final text recognizes the need to continue to work on a wide range of reforms for a strengthened and more stable financial system enabling it to deal more effectively and in a timely manner with new challenges of development.

Paragraph 10 notes determination to give momentum to collective efforts to improve the human condition and introduces further initiatives for the full implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA. Highlighting responsibilities towards future generations, it also signals strong commitment to social development and invites all people and the international community to renew dedication to a shared vision for a more just and equitable world. A reference to social justice proposed by Chair Asadi was included.

PART II: OVERALL REVIEW AND APPRAISAL

Part II, negotiated by CSD-38 in February, contains seven sections: an introduction on developments, challenges and priorities since the WSSD; poverty eradication; full employment; social integration; Africa and the LDCs; mobilization of resources for social development; and capacity building to implement social policies and programmes. The document states that the goals of development are to improve living conditions and empower people to participate fully in economic, political and social arenas. It concludes that while efforts have been made, progress has been uneven and further attention is required.

A primary sticking point during the CSD-38 negotiations of Part II was a reference to economic sanctions and unilateral measures not in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter. The final text sets a precedent by concluding that sanctions and unilateral measures can impede social development. There was also disagreement over three paragraphs related to resource mobilization, with final text acknowledging that official development assistance has continued to decline and only four countries now meet the agreed target of 0.7% of GNP for official development assistance (ODA). The review also notes that ODA has been found more effective when countries are committed to growth-oriented strategies combined with poverty eradication goals and strategies.

PART III: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES

COMMITMENT 1: ENABLING ENVIRONMENT: Commitment 1 refers to creating an economic, political, social, cultural and legal environment that will enable people to achieve social development. It recommends initiatives to:

ensure that people are at the center of development;

commit to governance and institutions that include people and are responsive to their needs;

reaffirm the crucial role of government and the rights set out in relevant international instruments and declarations;

identify development-oriented solutions to the debt burden;

promote coordinated policies integrating the goals of the Summit;

institute systems for continuous monitoring of the social impact of policies at the national and international levels;

develop guidelines for the assessment of social and economic costs of unemployment;

acknowledge there is no universal path to achieving social development;

strengthen the capacity of developing countries to address obstacles;

take steps to avoid unilateral measures with impacts in conflict with the goals of the Summit;

reduce the impact of international financial turbulence;

ensure effective involvement of developing countries in international economic decision-making; in development cooperation, enhance the productive capacity of people and the capacity of the private sector in the global marketplace;

support the Cologne initiative for the reduction of debt, including the HIPC initiative;

encourage corporate social responsibility;

remove obstacles for the realization of the right to people’s self-determination;

enhance international cooperation and coordination of humanitarian assistance;

improve conditions for the voluntary repatriation of refugees;

encourage the UN to address the issue of corruption;

encourage ongoing work on a draft convention against transnational organized crime;

minimize the social impacts of sanctions; and

support EIT countries to develop regulatory and legal frameworks for taxation and resource use that supports social development.

After some debate over the formulation of text in paragraph 1 bis, including reference to religious values, delegates agreed to use language from paragraph 28 of the Copenhagen Declaration, suggesting a series of issues to be balanced for people-centered development, including, inter alia, different economic, social and environmental contexts; peace; security; respect for cultural backgrounds and religious and ethnic values; and in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms. In this context, delegates agreed to reference the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Declaration on the Right to Development, in paragraph 5.

After long debate on language in paragraph 2, delegates agreed to refer to effective, transparent and accountable "governance" and democratic "institutions." Paragraph 6 ter calls for the development of national and, where appropriate, regional guidelines to assess the costs of unemployment and poverty and to facilitate the development of strategies for employment generation and poverty eradication.

In 8(c), language supports increasing access of products and services from developing countries to international markets through, inter alia, reduction of tariff barriers and the elimination of non-tariff barriers that unjustifiably hinder trade. A proposed reference to EITs was deleted. The US, EU, Poland and Australia supported a reformulation using text from Beijing+5, the 23rd Special Session of the GA, held in June 2000. With this language, delegates were able to satisfy the G-77/China’s concerns about the use of unilateral measures and the text of paragraph 9 was accepted. It refers to taking steps with a view to the avoidance of, and refraining from any unilateral measures, not in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, that impede, inter alia, the full achievement of economic and social development.

Addressing international financial markets in 10(a), delegates referred to the need to improve measures to address the excessive volatility of short-term capital flows including, inter alia, consideration of a temporary debt standstill. A reference to transparency of IFIs was deleted. In response to US reluctance to refer to the democratization of IFIs, paragraph 13 calls for countries to ensure the effective involvement of developing and EIT countries in the international decision-making process through, inter alia, increased participation in international economic fora, and transparency and accountability of IFIs to focus more on social development in their policies and programmes.

For the first time in an international consensus document, delegates also agreed to text on corporate social responsibility. With reference to adherence to national legislation, paragraph 16 calls for the encouragement of corporate social responsibility that contributes to social development goals by: increasing corporate awareness of the link between social development and economic growth (16(a)); providing a just and stable legal, economic and social policy framework to stimulate private sector initiatives (16(b)); and enhancing partnership with business, trade unions and civil society in support of the goals of the Summit (16(c)). A reference in this last sub-paragraph to the Secretary-General’s (SG) proposal for a Global Compact was deleted. In related paragraph 17, delegates debated the role of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Commission on Social Development in the development of guidelines for corporate social responsibility, but were unable to reach consensus and the paragraph was deleted.

After much debate and the initial opposition of the US, delegates agreed to language in paragraph 18 referring to self-determination and people living under colonial and foreign occupation. In a last minute consensus, delegates also agreed to delete paragraph 69, under Commitment 4, and insert additional language in paragraph 18. Paragraph 69, originally proposed by the Arab Group, referred to foreign occupation as a serious impediment to the promotion of social and economic development. In the final Ad Hoc COW, delegates agreed to add Beijing+5 language to amend paragraph 18 to state: "Take further effective measures to remove the obstacles for the realization of the rights of people to self-determination, in particular peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, that continue to adversely affect their economic and social development, and that are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combatted and eliminated." Delegates deleted 19 ter, after they were unable to agree to Mexico’s proposed text on burden-sharing for the protection of "and assistance" to refugees and asylum seekers.

COMMITMENT 2: POVERTY ERADICATION: Commitment 2 addresses poverty eradication in the world through decisive national actions and international cooperation. It calls for, inter alia:

placing poverty eradication at the center of economic and social development to halve extreme poverty by 2015;

developing and implementing sustainable pro-poor growth strategies;

incorporating goals and targets for combating poverty into national strategies for socio-economic development; and

giving priority to investments in education and health, social protection and basic social services.

Addressing comprehensive national strategies for poverty eradication, it enumerates ways to integrate policies at all levels in order to help empower people living in poverty. These actions involve, inter alia: data collection, access to productive resources, growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises, acknowledgement of the informal sector, micro-credit, cooperatives and sustainable rural development, technical assistance, institutional capacities, gender equality perspectives, and community participation.

It stresses developing new mechanisms to ensure sustainability of social protection systems, especially in the context of aging populations, and calls for improving national capacity to address hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity at the household level in cooperation with the World Food Programme and other concerned agencies. International support to EIT countries is also encouraged, to assist them in: combining universal coverage of social services with targeted assistance to the most vulnerable groups to ease transition; implementing policies to involve those marginalized by the transition; and maintaining adequate social programmes.

In sub-paragraph 27 bis (o), on promoting participatory poverty assessments, delegates agreed on an EU-proposed reference to social impact assessments, based on previously agreed language. EU and Holy See alternatives were considered for 27 bis (u), on using health policies for poverty eradication modeled on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategy on poverty and health. The EU proposal included taking into account provision of universal access to primary and reproductive health care services, including family planning and sexual health. The Holy See proposal called for developing sustainable pro-poor health systems that focus on reducing major diseases affecting the poor, achieving greater equity in health financing, and promoting responsible health stewardship. The Holy See opposed reference to "services." The G-77/China proposed, and all accepted, language on provision of and universal access to high quality primary health care throughout the life cycle, including sexual and reproductive health care, not later than 2015, as well as health education programmes, clean water and safe sanitation, nutrition, food security and immunization programmes.

Delegates debated sub-paragraph 27 ter (a), on exploring resource-supported and resource-reallocating measures for covering vulnerable, unprotected and uninsured people. The US supported, while the G-77/China opposed, inclusion of reference to support of the ILO and other relevant international organizations in designing and extending social protection systems. Informal consultations produced agreed language on financial assistance from donors and on developing social protection systems for vulnerable, unprotected and uninsured people; and in this context, calls upon the ILO and other relevant international organizations, within their mandates, to render technical assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, upon their request. All agreed to an EU proposal to move 27 ter (c), on devising and strengthening modalities for covering the needs of people engaged in flexible forms of employment, to Commitment 3.

COMMITMENT 3: EMPLOYMENT: Commitment 3 promotes the goal of full employment. It calls for, inter alia: reassessing, as appropriate, macro-economic policies to generate employment and reduce poverty; creating an enabling environment for social dialogue by ensuring effective representation and participation of workers’ and employer’s organizations; expanding opportunities for productive employment and work; supporting the ILO's comprehensive programme of decent work; supporting a World Employment Forum by the ILO in 2001; and inviting the ILO to facilitate a coordinated exchange of best practices in the field of employment policies. Countries are encouraged to, inter alia:

improve the quality of work and level of employment through, inter alia, support of ILO conventions;

eliminate child labor;

call upon relevant UN organizations to provide technical assistance;

improve methods for data collection and analysis;

invite the ILO to help support the informal sector;

protect migrant workers;

address the specific employment issues of those with special needs; and

promote gender equality and eliminate gender discrimination in the labor market.

References to ILO conventions concerning basic workers’ rights presented problems for delegates in paragraphs 38(a), 40, and 47(a). A reference to ratifying ILO conventions in 38(a), proposed by the EU and supported by Norway, was opposed by the G-77/China, the US, India and Japan, who preferred reference to "strongly consider ratifying." In paragraph 40, Egypt, with Pakistan, India and Cuba, opposed language on encouraging the private sector to "promote" basic workers' rights as defined in relevant ILO Conventions and in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In 47(a), the same divisions persisted over "ratify/strongly consider ratifying." Japan offered deletion of reference to "promote" basic workers’ rights in paragraph 40 if reference to "make determined efforts to ratify" ILO conventions was agreed in sub-paragraphs 38(a) and 47(a). Following informal discussions, delegates deleted the reference to "promote" in 40, kept reference to "strongly consider ratifying" in 47(a), and accepted language on "make continued efforts toward ratifying — where they have not done so" in 38(a).

Paragraphs 39, on a multilateral initiative to better understand the social dimensions of globalization, and 39 ter, on achieving full employment and rights at work, were referred to a contact group facilitated by Aurelio Fernández. In paragraph 39, some delegates opposed the concept of a multilateral initiative. A group of countries proposed a reformulation of the text, recommending, inter alia, that the ILO establish a dialogue within its mandate with other organizations of the international system. While some accepted this language, others could not support cooperation between the ILO and the World Trade Organization (WTO). One delegate suggested deleting reference to the WTO. Another indicated unwillingness to give the ILO further mandates or roles. Some underscored the need to address how to develop such a dialogue. Although several groups of countries suggested reformulations, a number of countries emphasized their fundamental opposition to the concept of this paragraph, and after extensive informal negotiations, it was deleted.

In 39 ter, one delegate proposed text calling on the ILO, UN agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) to work with governments to develop approaches and strategies, and prepare reports for these international organizations. Other delegates expressed concerns over, inter alia: sovereignty issues; the expertise of the UN and BWIs on labor; and making formal requests of the ILO, an independent body. Another delegate proposed a reformulation without reference to the ILO and calling on BWIs to become more democratic and responsive to LDC needs. Some countries disagreed with the implied message of conditionalities for funding. One delegate proposed new text emphasizing support or assistance by BWIs. Another preferred omitting reference to other international institutions and specifying "in this context, with assistance from the ILO." A few expressed support for Mexico's previous proposal on full employment. The final text calls on relevant organizations of the UN system to provide national governments with technical assistance in a coordinated manner in order to help them in their efforts to promote social development and achieve the goals of poverty eradication, full employment and social integration, including, inter alia, gender equality.

In the chapeau of paragraph 45, on addressing employment issues of specific groups, the G-77/China, with others, supported a Holy See reference to migrant workers. The EU, with Canada, Cyprus and Japan, opposed, and called for a reference to "documented migrants." The US specified documented workers who have acquired the right to long-term residence. The reference to migrant workers was deleted.

COMMITMENT 4: SOCIAL INTEGRATION: Commitment 4 promotes social integration by fostering stable, safe and just societies based on promotion and protection of all human rights, non-discrimination, tolerance, respect for diversity, equality of opportunity, solidarity, security and participation of all people. It provides for strengthening civil society support and participatory mechanisms, promoting cooperation and dialogue among government and civil society, ensuring an enabling environment for civil society organizations, encouraging sustained investment in social institutions and social capital, and enhancing social networks. It calls for promoting voluntarism’s contribution and the participation of the disadvantaged and vulnerable in producing legislation and programmes for poverty eradication and social inclusion. The commitment recognizes the key role of the family in social development, cohesion and integration and calls for appropriate actions to meet family needs. It encourages an inclusive and participatory media role and calls for measures to counter dissemination of obscene and other negative materials. It also calls for elimination of discrimination and ensuring education promotes all human rights and fundamental freedoms, tolerance, peace, appreciation of cultural diversity and solidarity. The text advocates intensified action to combat all forms of gender-based violence, giving indigenous people greater responsibility for their own affairs and promoting the ongoing draft declaration on their rights, and promoting integration, continued participation of and research on the situation of older persons in the development process. The commitment also supports improving employability of persons with disabilities and expanding measures to empower them, promoting measures to prevent illegal trafficking, supporting efforts of the UN International Drug Control Programme and strengthening effectiveness of organizations and mechanisms working on prevention and resolution of conflicts and addressing social roots and consequences.

In paragraph 63, after deleting a reference to consular assistance, delegates agreed to intensify efforts to ensure the human rights and dignity of migrants irrespective of their legal status, to ensure social and economic integration of documented migrants, and to provide effective protection for migrants. In 65 bis, delegates agreed to recognize that stable family relationships supported by communities and professional services can provide a vital shield against substance abuse, with Pakistan specifying professional services "where available." The commitment adopts US language to recognize and support programmes to reduce health threats posed by tobacco consumption and alcohol abuse.

Protracted debates ensued on 66 bis, on comprehensively addressing causes of armed conflict to enhance civilian protection on a long-term basis. Pakistan and Namibia, with others, proposed deleting text enumerating measures for addressing causes of armed conflict. India, Cyprus, Canada and others opposed deletion. Calling for elaboration of causes and adding Beijing+5 text on, inter alia, human rights, territorial integrity, political independence and non-intervention, Cuba, supported by India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Tunisia and Indonesia, specified protection of "all" human rights and added the right to development. Egypt, supported by Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the Philippines and others, and opposed by Australia, advocated substituting "transparent and accountable" governance for "good" governance. A decision to delete the paragraph was made in informal discussions.

In paragraph 67, agreement was reached on strengthening UN capability in promoting social integration in post-conflict management, with the EU agreeing to omit reference to the capability of "other international organizations." After debate on which categories of children should be given greater attention, delegates agreed on children, including unaccompanied refugee minors, displaced children, children separated from their families, those acting as soldiers and those involved in armed conflicts. Paragraph 69, on foreign occupation, was addressed within paragraph 18, in Commitment 1.

COMMITMENT 5: GENDER EQUALITY: Commitment 5 provides for gender mainstreaming of the Summit’s further initiatives, the protection and promotion of women’s human rights and fundamental freedoms through gender sensitive policies and legislation, and prioritizing the elimination of discrimination against women, and their empowerment and full participation in all areas and at all levels.

In paragraph 71, after the US opposed a reference to "upholding" the outcome of Beijing+5, in line with a reservation it made on the Beijing+5 outcome document, delegates agreed to language "taking into account fully and implementing the outcome."

Commitment 5 adopts Beijing+5 language for paragraph 72 bis on strengthening national efforts, including with international assistance, to promote women’s empowerment through, inter alia:

closing the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005 and ensuring free compulsory and universal primary education for girls and boys by 2015;

increasing women’s and girls’ access to education;

achieving, by 2015, a 50% improvement in adult literacy levels, particularly women’s;

increasing women’s participation and attaining a balanced representation of woman and men in all labor market sectors and occupations and closing the gender gap in earnings;

ensuring reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality;

promoting programmes to enable women and men to reconcile work and family responsibilities and encourage men to share household and childcare responsibilities equally with women;

promoting international cooperation to support regional and national efforts in the development and use of gender-related analysis and statistics by, inter alia, providing institutional and financial support to national statistical offices; and

supporting governments in instituting action-orientated programmes and measures to accelerate full Copenhagen and Beijing implementation.

Following debate on whether International Conference on Population and Development, Beijing+5 or new text should serve as the basis for 73 bis, on health, delegates adopted Beijing+5 language on: increasing efforts to provide equal access to health, education and social services, and ensure women’s and girls’ rights to education and enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and well being as well as adequate, affordable and universally accessible health care and services, including sexual and reproductive health; and prioritizing maternal morbidity and mortality reduction.

COMMITMENT 6: EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Commitment 6 focuses on the goals of universal and equitable access to quality education, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and the access of all to primary health care. Issues attracting most debate were HIV/AIDS, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and access to medicines.

The text recognizes government’s primary responsibility for ensuring access to basic social services for all. It underscores developing sustainable, pro-poor health and education, and ensuring appropriate and effective expenditure of resources for universal access to basic education and primary health care. It provides for improvement of health care systems, by broadening health care access, and making basic health care services available to all, including through means to support government efforts. Measures are called for to combat infectious and parasitic diseases. Agreement was reached on inviting the WHO, UNCTAD, the WTO and the UN system to facilitate specified health-related initiatives. On encouraging international action to support national efforts to achieve universal access to basic education and primary health services by 2015, delegates accepted Mongolia’s reference to including the feasibility of proclaiming a UN Literacy Decade.

Reconciling differences over specific education initiatives, delegates agreed on paragraphs 84 and 84 bis, based on the Dakar Framework for Education for All. In paragraph 84, delegates accepted, inter alia: the G-77/China’s preference to "reaffirm" rather than "recognize" the framework; Canada’s suggestion to refer to developing or strengthening national strategies as well as action plans at the appropriate level to promote Dakar’s education goals; reference to special emphasis on girls and children, in difficult circumstances or with special needs, including children with disabilities; and EU language on assuring girls and women full and equal access to education.

In 84 bis, delegates agreed to adopt the text of paragraph 21 of the Dakar Framework, which recognizes that achieving education for all will require an estimated US$8 billion a year and consequent need for new, concrete financial commitments.

In 75 bis, accepting G-77/China amendments, delegates agreed on taking multi-sectoral measures at the national level for protection from HIV infection. In language introducing a list of included measures to enhance prevention and address transmission consequences of HIV/ AIDS, delegates also accepted the G-77/China’s reference to HIV/ AIDS and "other sexually transmitted infections." On the measure of strengthening campaigns to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to promote responsible sexual behavior, Armenia specified safe sexual behavior. Delegates agreed to this and the Holy See’s proposal to add text on full partnership with youth, parents, families, educators and health-care providers. Other measures are: strengthening health care services, including sexual and reproductive health; training health providers; producing strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission; promoting analyses of different aspects of HIV/AIDS; and providing social and educational support to affected groups.

In paragraph 76, on strengthening international efforts against HIV/AIDS through partnership among UNAIDS and other groups, based on a multi-sectoral approach, delegates agreed to Norway’s preference to strengthen political commitment and efforts at the international and national levels. The EU specified youth organizations as a partner. Regarding elements of a multi-sectoral approach, the G-77/ China added access to affordable medications, to which Sudan specified "and other pharmaceutical agents." The commitment also advocates supporting EIT countries in revitalizing primary health care systems and encouraging commercial investment in research to find affordable remedies.

In paragraph 80, on TRIPs and access to medicines, the EU and US underscored patent rights, while the G-77/China proposed a formulation stressing the precedence of human rights over patent rights. An informal facilitation group met to develop language referring to enabling countries to utilize the options within TRIPs to access needed medication without restrictions or flouting the TRIPs agreement. The consensus formulation reached strikes a balance between protecting intellectual property rights and promoting economic and social welfare. Avoiding specific reference to the TRIPs Agreement, the text:

recognizes everyone's right to the highest attainable health standards as contained in relevant international human rights agreements and the WHO Constitution and the critical importance of access to essential medicines at affordable prices;

acknowledges the contribution of international property rights to research, development and drug distribution, and to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge, which should be in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare; and

agrees on States’ free exercise, consistent with national laws and international agreements acceded to, of available options under international agreements to protect and advance access to life-saving, essential medicines.

COMMITMENT 7: AFRICA AND THE LDCs: Commitment 7 is to accelerate the economic, social and human resource development of Africa and the LDCs. Encouraging an integrated approach to people-centered sustainable development, the commitment advocates assisting Africa and LDC governments in enhancing productive capacity and competitiveness through specified means, and calls upon donor governments and international organizations to encourage investment in critical infrastructure services.

Delegates agreed to encourage interested governments to consider establishing a World Solidarity Fund, financed on a voluntary basis, to contribute to poverty eradication and promote social development in the poorest regions. The World Food Programme and other concerned agencies are called upon to strengthen food-for-work activities in low-income food-deficit countries. The text promotes supporting, inter alia: South-South cooperation to promote development by enhancing investment and technology transfer; government efforts to allocate additional resources to education and improve enrolment ratios; and governments’ steps to encourage skilled and highly educated Africans to remain in the region.

The commitment urges developed countries to strive to fulfill as soon as possible the agreed target of earmarking 0.15 to 0.2% of GNP for ODA for the LDCs. It also encourages the UN to enhance provision of technical cooperation to the LDCs and advocates special attention to the LDCs in implementing the 20/20 initiative. It further encourages the 25 African countries most affected by HIV/AIDS to adopt time-bound targets for reducing infection levels and supports African governments in promoting programmes relating to young people and HIV/AIDS though developing a collective strategy with different actors.

Debt relief was debated in paragraph 87(a) as a means of promoting an enabling environment to facilitate integration of Africa and the LDCs into the global economy and promote their participation in the multilateral trading system. The provision was addressed with paragraph 95, on bilateral debt. In 87(a), delegates dropped a reference to the HIPC initiative, and agreed on implementing appropriate debt relief initiatives that can lead to a sustainable solution to debt burdens. In paragraph 95, Japan accepted language on encouraging creditor countries to implement bilateral debt relief arrangements. After Bangladesh expressed concerns about conditionality, there was also consensus on stressing that debt relief should contribute to national development objectives including poverty eradication. Other means of promoting an enabling environment include improving market access for export products of Africa and LDCs and supporting programmes to assist countries with taking advantage of the multilateral trading regime.

In paragraph 94, on according priority to the LDCs in the allocation of resources on concessional terms for development, the G-77/ China advocated deleting LDCs "committed to poverty reduction and economic and social reform." The EU suggested "committed to implementing poverty reduction strategies." Bangladesh, Sudan, Cuba and Mexico opposed, stating that the language implied conditionality and required judgment on the boundaries of commitment. The EU proposed, and Bangladesh opposed, "in the context of their poverty reduction efforts." With no agreement, the EU withdrew this reference from the paragraph.

In paragraph 97, on the Secretary-General’s recommendations in the report on the causes of conflict and promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (A/52/871-S/1998/318), delegates agreed to support the recommendations and await the outcome of the open-ended ad hoc working group addressing the issue.

In paragraph 99, delegates agreed to invite UNAIDS and its co-sponsors to support countries most affected by HIV/AIDS. The G-77/ China specified support to countries "upon request." Regarding efforts to allocate adequate resources, the EU specified particularly financial, as well as "wider" access to "quality" medication. Delegates agreed to this and text from the 53rd World Health Assembly on access to medicine. Agreement was also reached on furthering technical resource networks and best practices, and developing core indicators and tools to monitor youth programme implementation and infection reduction. The commitment supports governments and civil society organizations in providing HIV/AIDS-related services and initiatives. Regarding supporting responsible sexual behavior, a Holy See reference to "including abstinence" was deleted. Agreement was also reached on supporting research and development centers in the field of medicine and public health, with the EU adding "vaccines," and on assisting in making vaccines and medicines for the control and treatment of communicable and infectious diseases widely available at affordable prices.

COMMITMENT 8: STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMMES: Commitment 8 aims to ensure that poverty eradication, employment promotion and enhancement of social integration are taken into consideration when negotiating structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). The provisions address:

the design of SAPS, specifically, the integration of social and economic issues, engaging in dialogue with relevant actors and safeguarding sharp cuts in social spending during economic crises;

national ownership of poverty reduction strategies;

national policy design that incorporates social development goals;

establishing participatory mechanisms for assessing the social impact of SAPs;

improving information sharing and coordination with ECOSOC, relevant UN agencies and the BWIs; and

engendering SAPs.

Contested issues in the section included: the need for IFIs to improve domestic dialogue in SAPs, taking account of specific country circumstances and incorporating the evolving concept of poverty reduction strategy papers in developing national ownership of the strategies (paragraph 104); whether transparency and accountability was needed in monitoring national budgets or in governments and international financial institutions in the efficacy of SAPs (105(c) and (h)); and whether to introduce a debt-relief arrangement as a component of SAPs or implement the HIPC initiative in countries pursuing poverty reduction strategies (105(g)).

Negotiation of this last sub-paragraph took place in a contact group set up to deal with all debt issues. Some countries preferred linking the references to debt to the HIPC initiative, but others insisted the subject under discussion was debt repayment to IFIs within the context of SAPs, which affected a majority of the developing countries. Following an informal-informal discussion on all the debt issues, facilitated by Sonia Felicity Elliott, delegates deleted the EU and G-77/ China proposals, which were merged and adopted within paragraph 112(a), which emphasizes the HIPC initiative as the main arrangement for debt relief. The G-77/China had proposed the introduction of a debt relief arrangement as a component of SAPs and implementation of poverty reduction strategies, while the EU had wanted the full implementation of the enhanced HIPC initiative to relieve debt among those implementing poverty reduction strategies.

On the question of design, implementation and reform of SAPs, delegates agreed to negotiate on the basis of Chair Maquieira’s proposal. They discussed a US proposal that both governments and IFIs would improve dialogue on SAPs, instead of the G-77/China proposal for IFIs only. Japan also wanted transparency in the SAPs, while the EU suggested specifying consultations with actors, including civil society. The G-77/China suggested that IFIs take into consideration specific circumstances of developing countries in SAPs design. There was resistance by some developed countries to have transparency in the IFIs, while developing countries resisted a requirement to consult with civil society organizations. The references to civil society and country-specificity were retained. However, references to good governance, transparency and accountability in monitoring budgets and of IFIs in sub-paragraphs 105(c) and (h) were deleted, but retained in 105 bis, with respect to governments and IFIs, with a view to improve efficacy of SAPs.

COMMITMENT 9: RESOURCE ALLOCATION: Commitment 9 concerns methods of resource mobilization and the efficient utilization of existing resources, including, inter alia, public resource re-allocation, cost-effectiveness, attracting investment, partnerships with civil society, resolving the debt problem and domestic resource mobilization.

At the start of the Session, delegates had agreed on:

a recommendation to the 2001 High-Level Governmental Forum to consider strategies of national and international resource mobilization for social development;

strengthening national information systems for data generation;

a range of methods for domestic resource mobilization; and

assistance to governments in establishing guidelines for generating domestic revenue to pay for social services.

The pending paragraphs were on:

whether governments should promote the mechanisms to mobilize additional resources or resources mobilization itself (paragraph 110);

instability of prices of commodity exports (111 chapeau and (c));

references to bribery, corruption, tax concessions or deductions for multinational corporations, money laundering and illegal transfer of funds (111(d));

the currency transaction tax to deter speculative finance (111(e));

the HIPC initiative (112(a)) and long-term debt of middle- and low-income countries (112(b) bis);

the yet unfulfilled 0.7% target for ODA (112(c));

concessional financing for social development (112(e));

assistance to land-locked countries and economies in transition to implement the Summit outcomes (112(f));

transparency and accountability on development assistance (paragraph 114); and

cooperation among development agents in resource use in the sectoral implementation of health and education initiatives (114 bis).

The reference in sub-paragraph 112(a) to the HIPC initiative was discussed in the contact group on debt, at which some delegations sought to expand the scope of the HIPC initiative, while others preferred narrowing it down to the "enhanced HIPC." One delegate objected to attempts to introduce new debt-relief initiatives. The Chair was mandated to prepare compromise text on the basis of paragraph 135(i) from Beijing+5, which was then discussed and adopted. The language stresses action on the HIPC initiative and urges countries to channel resources obtained from debt cancellation and reduction to poverty reduction, consistent with GA Resolution 54/202, and also calls on national and international action to redress the long-term debt sustainability problem of low- and middle-income developing countries.

Delegates agreed on references to: international support to prevent corruption, bribery, money laundering, illegal transfer of funds and funds repatriation to the countries of origin (110(d)); improving existing mechanisms to help stabilize commodity export earnings (111(c)); and to prevent tax avoidance and double taxation (111(d)). In 111(e), they resolved to conduct a rigorous study for developing new and innovative sources of funding, instead of the reference to a currency tax. They added 114(e) ter, on ways and means to promote the micro- and small-enterprise sector as a vehicle for development, and re-affirmed the need to attain the 0.7% ODA target. Language in 112(e) provides concessional financing for social development and in 112(f) supports appropriate technical and financial assistance to land-locked countries and economies in transition. Delegates also agreed, in paragraph 114, to promote greater efficiency and effectiveness in resource use; and, in 114 bis, they invited governments to consider sector-wide resource use approaches.

COMMITMENT 10: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION: Commitment 10 addresses issues relevant to the promotion of an improved and strengthened framework for international, regional and sub-regional cooperation for social development, in a spirit of partnership, through the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. Paragraph 115 calls on countries to develop national indicators for assessing and guiding social development in collaboration with, inter alia, civil society. An EU-formulated paragraph 116 invites the relevant UN bodies, including the ACC and, as appropriate, in cooperation with other international organizations, to identify commonly used social development indicators, in particular, the social and gender impact of policies. Delegates also refer to strengthening cooperation at the regional level, in paragraph 117. In 118(c), delegates debated the scope of cooperation with the BWIs, the WTO and UNCTAD, before agreeing to language supporting, not strengthening, the continuation of existing cooperation between ECOSOC and the BWIs so that they give due consideration to the outcomes of UN conferences and summits.

In paragraph 119, EU-proposed text was deleted that suggested strengthening cooperation within the multilateral system to develop sound principles of social policy and to share information on internationally-developed standards and good practice in social policy. In paragraph 121, delegates supported text referring to promoting South-South cooperation and donor-assisted triangular mechanisms, after having deleted reference to a generalized trust fund. In paragraph 122, language was accepted promoting the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on the Right to Development, after having been amended to conform with existing POA text.

In paragraph 123, language on reform of the international financial system was extensively debated, and a variety of formulations were proposed, including: the G-77/China’s reference to reforming the international financial "structure" including, inter alia, a re-examination of current voting rights; US-proposed text suggesting further reform to the "system," including weak policies and institutions in developing countries and inadequate focus on risk in developed countries’ financial communities; and Norway’s suggested language on continuing to work on a wide range of unspecified reforms to create a strengthened "system." Delegates agreed on text referring to a wide range of reforms to create a strengthened system, enabling it to deal with the new challenges of development.

In paragraph 124, which included an itemized list of issues that should be addressed to promote people-centered development, Cuba compromised and accepted deletion of the text after delegates failed to reach consensus on the definitions of, inter alia, good governance, the trading regime and the relevance of existing frameworks for the promotion of social development. In paragraph 126, after some wrangling over language referring to adoption of "legislative measures" or "legislators should adopt measures" necessary for the implementation of the commitments of the WSSD, delegates agreed on the former, and also accepted text on encouraging contribution by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. In paragraph 129, delegates adopted text committing and encouraging the UN and others to take further sustained action to implement the commitments of the Copenhagen Declaration and POA and the results of the Geneva Special Session.

CLOSING SESSIONS

AD HOC COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

On Saturday, 1 July, Chair Maquieira opened the final meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole at 10:55 am. The COW adopted the Political Declaration (A/S-24/2/Add.2 (Part I)), and the "Review and assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development" (A/S-24/2/Add.2 (Part II)). Considering the proposals for further initiatives (A/S-24/2/Add.2 (Part III)), debate centered on the text of paragraph 69, on foreign occupation. Syria and 30 other countries supported existing text; Canada, the US and the EU proposed deletion. After informal consultation, a compromise text was accepted to delete paragraph 69 and amend paragraph 18 (See discussion of Chapter 1).

Delegates then agreed to entrust Vice-Chair and Rapporteur Bagher Asadi with submission of the COW’s report and the text of the outcome document to the Plenary of the Special Session.

France, on behalf of the EU, hailed the agreement and the spirit of openness shown by all. Canada, on behalf of JUSCANZ, expressed satisfaction at the Special Session’s achievements and reaffirmed commitment to translate the goals of Copenhagen into concrete action. Chair Maquieira thanked delegates for their efforts and flexibility over the course of the two-year process. He commented that the most striking issue is that delegates have agreed on very specific measures, which shows that the commitments made in Copenhagen are still alive. In closing, he thanked the Secretariat staff for their tireless efforts. At 1:45 pm, Maquieira gaveled the meeting to a close, and delegates proceeded to the closing Plenary.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY PLENARY

GA President Theo-Ben Gurirab opened the closing Plenary at 3:15 pm. Asadi presented and orally amended the Report of the Ad Hoc COW (A/S-24/8), the Draft Report of the Ad Hoc COW (A/S-24/ AC.1/L.2) and the Draft Resolution on Proposals for further initiatives for social development (A/S-24/AC.1/L.3). President Gurirab noted Rule 66 of the GA Rules of Procedure, and delegates agreed to discuss the report without objection.

Gabon, on behalf of the African Group, stated that although Africa has demonstrated progress in attaining some of the Copenhagen goals, the continent is overshadowed by worsening poverty, the decline of ODA, the debt burden, the impact of HIV/AIDS, and continued civil strife, all further compounded by globalization and liberalization. He hoped commitments made during the Special Session will help resolve these issues.

Delegates then adopted the outcome document by acclamation, and President Gurirab invited delegates to present explanations or reservations on the outcome document. Nine delegations noted reservations and three gave explanations.

Australia noted that it interprets paragraph 65 to refer only to illegal narcotics, noting that narcotics should be available for legitimate research and medical needs. It also expressed disappointment that paragraph 7 does not recognize all relevant organizations.

Iraq thanked delegates for their hard work and committed itself to implementing the outcome document.

The US announced a reservation on paragraph 5 bis, noting concern that the text might remove the international community’s rightful focus on the HIPC initiative. It also pointed out that it preferred an earlier version of the language in paragraph 18, on foreign occupation, and added, in reference to paragraph 38, that it is the prerogative of the US Senate to ratify treaties.

Costa Rica clarified that its commitment to ensure universal access to health care services does not include abortion.

Malta also disassociated itself from language that might conflict with national anti-abortion legislation, and noted that it could only commit to the implementation of those international agreements that it has ratified.

In a joint statement, Canada and Norway indicated that the UN should, in response to paragraph 111(e) bis, assess existing innovative financing proposals including, inter alia, an international currency tax.

Bangladesh indicated disappointment that the outcome document does not include stronger references to the gender-specific impacts of globalization, and called on UNIFEM to monitor such impacts.

France, on behalf of the EU and some Eastern European and Mediterranean countries, approved of the reference to the work of the ILO and suggested that this might help reduce the use of labor rights as a protectionist measure. He also noted that the group had hoped for a stronger reference to "good governance," more reference to cooperation with civil society, and more focus on improving cooperation between international organizations in order to avoid duplication of effort.

Nigeria, on behalf of the G-77/China, commended delegates on their flexibility and expressed thanks to Switzerland for financial support of the Special Session and, in particular, attendance of developing country representatives.

The Holy See explained that its acceptance of the document should not be interpreted to suggest a change in its anti-abortion policy, or its assertion, supported by Article 26, paragraph 3 of the Declaration on Human Rights, that the primary right and responsibility for the education of young people rests with parents.

Switzerland thanked delegates, the Chairs and the Secretariat for their tireless effort, but noted that it had hoped for a more marked leap forward.

In his closing statement, President Gurirab affirmed that the outcome document was an indication of the General Assembly’s deep concerns about economic growth and democratization, debt cancellation, women’s empowerment, and multilateral trade based on social justice and equity. Calling it a "human disaster," he indicated the central importance of addressing HIV/AIDS, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. With a clear call to developed countries, Gurirab stated that industrialized countries are in an ideal position to profit immensely from globalization and should acknowledge and assume responsibilities towards the least fortunate. He called on governments to heed the concerns of NGOs and recommit to action. At 4:30 pm, President Gurirab gaveled the 24th Special Session to a close.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF WSSD+5

As the gavel came down at the closure of the Special Session, delegates streamed out of the Plenary, one day after its scheduled closure. The mood was alternately somber and exuberant, not in the least because months of grueling work, compounded for many by the proximity of Beijing+5, had come to a close. Delegates could claim an outcome document with many steps forward, even as some G-77/ China members contended that this was a session that lacked political drive and had not done enough to address the disparities that tilt the global playing field against much of the world. Still, 35 Heads of State had come to call, and if the Special Session didn’t leak the feel-good, save-the-world mystique of the WSSD, it did take some of the more abstract notions of the first round and ask governments to start plotting out more concrete strategies for action.

WHO WINS THE WORLD

The controversial heart of the negotiations was globalization: who benefits from it, who suffers from it, and how economic systems and institutions should be structured to work with it. Delegates on one side maintained that globalization cannot be defined or controlled, and that it is up to national governments to find ways to reap benefits from it. Other delegates pointed out that the current world economic order is extremely unjust – a notion reiterated by GA President Theo-Ben Gurirab in his closing Plenary speech. They noted that the overly heavy emphasis on social rights at the Special Session by some developed countries was taking attention away from discussion of critical economic issues.

The Beijing+5 controversy over the role of globalization in poverty spilled over to WSSD+5, and whereas there was open acknowledgement that a majority of the world’s population had been impacted negatively, there were few constructive steps forward on addressing the problem. A lone proposal calling for a study on the impacts of globalization was dropped after long debate. One delegate noted the outcome was expected in light of the fight the US put up to exclude deliberations on globalization during the definition of the Session’s mandate. Some participants said the least the Session should have done was consider a mechanism to monitor the differentiated impact of globalization on women, children and special groups.

Strongly divergent points of view resulted in long debates on issues such as the transparency and accountability of international financial institutions, conditionality, governance, debt, labor, and mechanisms to monitor the flow of global capital. One short reference that was contested from the beginning was a Canadian proposal to study the feasibility of a currency transaction tax. By some accounts, the United States, which flatly refused to agree to the reference, had said privately that including it would threaten the status of its arrears payments. Delegates finally agreed on softer language about studying new and innovative financial resources. Some proponents of the tax welcomed this starting point as a victory, and one key EU country noted that such a mechanism was an inevitability.

IDEAS WHOSE TIME HAS COME…

Developing countries expressed mixed impressions of progress made on debt, with some suggesting the agreements were nothing new. One weary intervention from the G-77/China noted flourishing references to poverty reduction strategy papers, which the EU supported, and requested flexibility in dropping some of them. Other delegates noted their belief that the debt language will result in the mobilization of resources for the HIPC initiative, which more countries can access. There was further attention drawn to the debt situation of middle-income countries, and the outcome document also offers a historic first reference to a temporary debt standstill, in the context of addressing short-term capital flows.

Some developed countries were also pleased with debt agreements, in particular the reallocation of resources freed through debt cancellation and reduction to poverty reduction, the emphasis placed on poverty-reduction strategy papers and the emphasis on consultations with relevant actors, private and non-governmental. However, the US placed a reservation on paragraph 5 bis, on development-oreinted and durable solutions to external debt and debt-servicing problems, after expressing concern that it goes beyond the HIPC initiative.

On the issue of labor, developed countries noted reference to the Fundamental Principles on Labor and the Right to Work marks the beginning of recognition of labor standards in international agreements, including on the issue of child labor. Others interpret the reference to offer sufficient mandate for the ILO to start addressing issues of full employment within the framework of social development, and one observer noted that full employment has now been placed more squarely on the international economic agenda than ever before.

There was also a first reference in an international consensus document to corporate social responsibility. Several delegates noted that the lack of precedent language led to confusion about the definition and scope of this issue, including among the G-77/China, which viewed it suspiciously as a Trojan horse for labor rights. The final language allows a G-77/China reference to corporations abiding by national legislation, as well as references to promoting increased corporate awareness of the inter-relationship between social development and economic growth. While some delegates noted this formulation is weaker than what was originally intended, it marks a point of departure for further debate on the issue.

Some delegates were pleased with references to the transparency and accountability of international financial institutions, and the outcome of the discussions on HIV/AIDS. Despite initial difficulties and complex legalistic interpretations, agreement was reached on bridging fundamental human rights and trade-related intellectual property rights to enable developing countries to access medicines at affordable rates. Delegates noted that the information provided by affected countries on the gravity of the problem was compelling even to hard line supporters of a more liberal trade regime.

Developing countries softened their stance against guidelines to monitor progress toward social development, once agreement was reached that these should be facilitated by the UN, instead of by other international organizations. They also spent considerable political capital to secure a reference to a World Solidarity Fund, which they perceive as a potential international version of the Marshall Plan. However, there was a lack of enthusiasm for the concept among developed countries, even those that currently meet their ODA levels. They consider it "an empty shell," and prefer reforming existing institutions.

OFF THE AGENDA

Despite the Special Session’s achievements, many delegates agree more could have been done. There was disappointment at the cursory attention given to gender issues, as well as concerns of children and other special interest groups such as the disabled.

Some indicated that the commitment to poverty reduction at the international level seems to have waned, with more emphasis being placed at the national level. This was manifest in the lack of progress on issues of market access and concessional financing. Little attention was also paid to trade. Some developing countries expressed concern that their responsibilities were growing, while commitment to provide resources was shrinking. This fueled speculation that some key developing countries, most noticeably India, had failed to take the usual leadership roles because they considered the WSSD process ineffective.

THE MARKET MANTRA

One of the low points of the week, according to many different sources, was the launch of a joint OECD/UN/World Bank/IMF report called A Better World For All. The report explicitly propagates a market economy, lays out social development targets without a corresponding discussion of resources, and blames developing countries for their poor programmes and policies. At a press conference, infuriated NGOs dumped copies in a trash bin, charging that the UN was selling out.

One disgusted delegate noted that Kofi Annan, in aligning the UN so closely with donor country priorities, was probably seeking re-election as Secretary-General. The report, issued early in the week, stirred some concerns that it might have a negative impact on the negotiations, although this did not come to pass. Developing countries in general expressed their disappointment that the UN, currently the most democratic and independent of the international institutions, would associate itself with the positions outlined in the report. Some African delegates noted it could undermine support for Annan in the region.

FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

For the most part, delegates maintained traditional negotiating blocs, despite rumors early in the session that there could be some new relationships. A regional alliance of developing countries that came together during Beijing+5 stayed with the G-77/China, but was overheard discussing support for human rights with a delegate from a developed country. It spoke once as a group in a contact group on labor issues, and was conspicuously absent in an informal informal on foreign occupation. This generated speculation that the group had removed itself from the debate as a way of supporting new alliances with the developed world.

In negotiations on Commitment 5, on gender, the G-77/China broke into national delegations, as it did during Beijing+5. While the group stayed together on nearly all other issues, and successfully maneuvered around divisions between low- and middle-income categories propounded by the developed world, one inside observer noticed that the bloc has reached a point of divisiveness that restricts its ability to function strategically, and limits its effectiveness. By some accounts, the regional groups that emerged so strongly during Beijing+5, including the Latin Americans and the Southern Africans, are the wave of the future. One account predicts a future marriage between Americans of the north and south.

NGOs made some important inputs at the Session, providing technical expertise on issues such as the currency transaction tax, and convincing the US to soften a reservation it placed on globalization references in the Beijing+5 outcome document. They started the meeting on a high point, with a march through Geneva that called for a positive and proactive vision of social development, and reported a greater sense of unity between previously disparate groups, including social welfare groups, development caucuses, women’s NGOs and trade unions. However, some observers noted that the ability of NGOs to intersect and influence the intergovernmental negotiating process was still limited, and pointed out that activists had fallen far short of the leadership they demonstrated at the Seattle WTO meeting.

A TRULY BETTER WORLD FOR US ALL…

The WSSD agenda is broad, reflecting the nature of the issues it deals with, particularly poverty. This not only raised the number of potential areas of divergence, but also left some delegates without a clear sense of the course the Session had taken or the nature of the impact it would make. However, as one observer noted, the negotiation did provide an opportunity for assessing the rapid changes of the past five years, and confronting the need to contend with them. The outcome document offers some forms of concrete action for the next five years. Whether the stakeholders – governments, the international community and civil society – choose to implement them is the challenge for the future.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION TRIPS COUNCIL: The World Trade Organization's Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) will meet from 26-30 June, 21-22 September, and 27 November - 1 December 2000. All meetings will be held in Geneva. Meeting dates are provisional and subject to change. For more information, contact: Peter Ungphakorn, WTO Information and Media Relations Division, World Trade Organization, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland; tel: +41-22-739-5412; e-mail: peter.ungphakorn@wto.org; Internet: http://www.wto.org/ english/tratop_e/trips_e/trips_e.htm. For schedule updates, visit: http:/ /www.wto.org/english/news_e/meets.doc

G-7 and G-8 Meetings: The G-7 Finance Ministers Meeting will be held on 8 July 2000, in Fukuoka, Japan. This will be followed by the G-8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, to be held from 9-10 July in Miyazaki, Japan. Finally, the Okinawa G-8 Summit will be held from 21-23 July. For more information, see: http://www.virtualokinawa.com/ (click on icon at top of page).

UNCTAD Expert Meeting on the Impact of the Reform Process in Agriculture on LDCs and Net Food-Importing Countries, and Ways to Address their Concerns in Multilateral Trade Negotiations: UNCTAD’s Commission on Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities will convene this meeting from 24-26 July 2000, in Geneva. For more information, contact: UNCTAD Secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; tel: +41-22-907-5007; fax: +41-22-907-0056; e-mail: correspondence@unctad.org; Internet: http://www.unctad.org/en/special/ c1em11no.htm

Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries: This meeting will take place in New York, from 24-28 July 2000. A second five-day event will take place in March 2001. For more information, contact: Secretary of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee, UNCTAD Secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Services, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, tel: +41-22-907-4054; fax: +41-22-907-0056; e-mail: correspondence@unctad.org; Internet: http://www.unctad.org/en/ special/ldc3p1no.htm

FOURTH MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: This conference will be held in Kitakyushu, Japan, from 31 August - 5 September 2000. For more information, contact: Rezaul Karim, Chief, Environment Section, UN ESCAP; tel: +66-2-288-1614; fax: +66-2-288-1059; e-mail: karim.unescap@un.org; Internet: http:// www.unescap.org/mced2000/index.htm

NINTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS – CHALLENGES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AT THE DAWN OF THE 21ST CENTURY: This meeting, hosted by the World Federation of Public Health Associations, will be held from 2-6 September 2000 in Beijing, China. Issues for discussion include: family planning, education, telecommunications, urban migration, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. For more information, contact: APHA, 1015 Fifteenth Street NW, Suite 3000, Washington, DC 20005, USA; tel: +1-202-789-5696; fax: +1-202-789-5661; e-mail: allen.jones@apha.organization; Internet: http:/ /www.wfpha.org/.

55TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS - THE MILLENNIUM ASSEMBLY: The 55th Session of the UN – designated the "Millennium Assembly" - will open on 5 September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. It is expected that the meeting will be attended by a large number of world leaders and provide an opportunity to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations in meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. The role of the UN in promoting peace and sustainable development in the era of globalization has been identified as one of the key themes for the session. For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/millennium/

26th Session of the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS): The 26th CFS will meet in Rome, Italy, from 18-21 September 2000. For more information, contact: Barbara Huddleston, FAO; e-mail: Barbara.Huddleston@fao.org; Internet: http://www.fao.org/unfao/bodies/cfs/default.htm

UNHCHR WORKING GROUP ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT: Operating under the auspices of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, this working group will meet from 18-22 September 2000, in Geneva. For more information, contact: OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, tel: +41-22-917-9000; fax: +41-22-917-9016; Internet: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/10/e/wgrtd.htm

10TH SESSION OF THE FAO ECA WORKING PARTY ON WOMEN AND THE AGRICULTURAL FAMILY IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT: This meeting of the FAO European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) will take place from 4-7 October 2000, in Austria. For more information, contact: Tomasz Lonc, ECA Secretary, FAO Regional Office for Europe, Rome; tel: +39-06-570-52898 or 570-55631; e-mail: Tomasz.Lonc@fao.org; Internet: http:// www.fao.org/regional/europe/eca.htm

FACING THE NEW MILLENNIUM: GENDER IN AFRICA AND THE AFRICAN DIASPORA – RETROSPECTION AND PROSPECTS: The Third International Conference on Women and Africa & the African Diaspora (WAAD III) will be held from 6-13 October 2000, in Antananarivo, Madagascar. For more information, contact: the Convenor, Third WAAD Conference, Women�s Studies Programme, Cavanaugh Hall Room 001C, Indiana University, 425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA; tel: +1-317-278-2038 or +1-317-274-0062; fax: +1-317-274-2347; Internet: http:// www.iupui.edu/~aaws/ (click on "Action Alert").  

International Conference on Health Research for Development: This meeting will be held from 10-13 October 2000, in Bangkok, Thailand. The primary aims of the conference are to elaborate a vision, an agenda and action plan for health research for development in the first decade of the new millennium. For more information, contact: Conference 2000 Secretariat, COHRED c/o UNDP, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; tel: +41-22-917-8554; fax: +41-22-917-8015; e-mail: Conference2000@cohred.ch; Internet: http:// www.conference2000.ch/eventscalendar.html

INCLEN XVII - Research Network of The New Millennium: Developing Countries� Contribution to Global Knowledge: The 17th Global Meeting of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) will be held from 15-18 October 2000, in Bangkok, Thailand. INCLEN XVII will focus on how to improve research and development of solutions for developing countries� health problems, both inside and outside developing countries. For more information, contact: INCLEN Executive Office, 3600 Market Street, Suite 380, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2644, USA; tel: +1-215-222-7700; fax: +1-215-222-7741; e-mail: Dr. Visanu Thamlikitkul at sivth@mucc.mahidol.ac.th; Internet: http:// www.inclen.org/mtg.html

 

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Tonya Barnes <tonya@iisd.org>, Richard Campbell <richard@iisd.org>, Wagaki Mwangi <wagaki@usa.net>, Tom Rotherham <trotherham@iisd.org> and Gretchen Sidhu <gsidhu@igc.org>. The Digital Editor is Leila Mead <leila@interport.net>. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA and DFAIT), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-ENV). General Support for the Bulletin during 2000 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Finland, the Government of Australia, and BP Amoco. Specific funding for coverage of the WSSD+5 process has been provided by United Kingdom DFID. Logistical support has been provided at this meeting by UNOG and the DESA Secretariat. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at <enb@iisd.org> and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <info@iisd.ca> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at http://www.iisd.ca/ linkages/. The satellite image was taken above Geneva �2000 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to the Managing Editor at <kimo@iisd.org>.

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