Committee I convened to finalize the Habitat Agenda and Istanbul Declaration. The Committee will have to work simultaneously as a Working Group and a Committee. The meeting proceeded to review bracketed paragraphs in the draft Agenda.
Paragraph 23bis (homeless, disadvantaged, vulnerable) was reformulated to give special attention to the needs of people living in poverty, people who are homeless, women, older people, indigenous people, refugees, displaced persons, people with disabilities and those belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. A reference to street children was also added. The PHILIPPINES added "migrants," but the US said the reference was inappropriate.
Chapter I. PREAMBLE
In 2 (human beings are center of concern), the G- 77/CHINA proposed replacing the reference to harmony with "nature" with "environment." The US said the original reference comes from Principle l of the Rio Declaration. CHINA preferred deletion of a reference to cultural and religious backgrounds and values. The EU preferred retaining the Rio language, and agreed to China's deletion. While considering 2ter (democracy and transparent governance), INDIA suggested the formation of a small group to discuss difficult paragraphs in Sections E and F. Delegations agreed to re-form Working Groups I and II as proposed by IRAN.
Committee I reconvened after fourteen hours of informal consultations (Friday 6 a.m.). The CHAIR announced that certain agreements had been reached, but given the lack of interpretation the Group would have to meet again later.
UGANDA, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, reported that several paragraphs were negotiated as a package. A new chapeau for paragraph 13, which he noted had no relevance to the original 13, notes that the objectives of the Habitat Agenda are in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the UN and international law. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds should be borne in mind, it is the duty of all States to promote and protect all human rights. The implementation of the Habitat Agenda consistent with national laws and development priorities is the sovereign right and responsibility of each State in conformity with all human rights and with full respect for various religious and ethical values, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions of individuals and their communities (sic) contribute to the full enjoyment by all of their human rights.
The bracketed reference in 22ter to reproductive health care was to be deleted. The bracketed reference in 87(a) to reproductive and sexual health care and services was to be deleted. The bracketed reference in 25(g)bis to helping "the family in its" supporting role was to be retained, with a reference to WSSD paragraph 18.
UGANDA thought there had been agreement to retain the bracketed reference in 96(d)bis to reproductive health care, with a reference to paragraph 267 of the FWCW. There was no agreement in his Group on this paragraph, however. Regarding the original 13 and additional references to occupied territories, an another group was negotiating the text.
The US thanked UGANDA for his tireless efforts in facilitating agreement on the package deal. She stated that she would consider another reference than the Beijing text, but said that she would not negotiate a paragraph independent of the package. CANADA also noted that the whole package must be considered together.
EGYPT reported that he had the understanding that paragraphs 13, 27(a), and 27(f), which included references to foreign occupation and holy places, were included in the deal and that the brackets would be deleted. The HOLY SEE suggested that 96(d)bis include a cross-reference to ICPD 7.45. He stated he would make a statement of interpretation in Plenary. The US and the NETHERLANDS urged the CHAIR to not allow negotiations to continue on the elements of the package deal and called for adjournment.
UGANDA stated that when negotiating the package he was informed that, regarding the original 13 (destructive to human settlements), 27(a) (illegal settlements), and 27 (f)bis (foreign occupation), the US had been contacted by a number of countries and she was trying to reach an understanding with them. The G-77/CHINA never gave a mandate regarding these paragraphs. He asked the CHAIR to explain what would happen to the bracketed text if no agreement were reached. The US said that any text remaining in brackets should be deleted. She also noted that the US did not associate whatsoever with the package deal reported by EGYPT. It is a misunderstanding. The US would not accept the references in 13, 27(a), and 27(f)bis. The US called for a vote on the motion to adjourn. The CHAIR agreed that delegates were unable to continue. They could meet at 11:00 am and continue until 2:00 pm. IRAN noted that there are paragraphs to add, including those dealing with landmines. He proposed an adjournment of discussion on particular paragraphs while continuing with the rest. MALTA, on a point of order, said the meeting was informal. It is only fair that the meeting take heed of the fact that all the negotiators are legitimately tired and fatigue is not conducive to a fruitful outcome. The meeting adjourned. SUDAN agreed. He thanked UGANDA for his efforts in the negotiations. He assured the CHAIR on behalf of the ARAB countries and for his colleague who objected to 96(d)bis (reproductive health care services), and stated that the objection to the package could be withdrawn on the condition offered by the HOLY SEE.
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