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. 14 No. 30
Saturday, 11 March 2000

CSW-44 HIGHLIGHTS:
FRIDAY, 10 MARCH 2000

On Friday, 10 March 2000, Working Group I met in the afternoon to continue discussion of achievements and obstacles in the implementation of the 12 areas of concern of the PFA. Working Group II also met in the afternoon to continue negotiation of actions and initiatives. A contact group was established to discuss Section 1 (introduction) of the outcome document (E/CN.6/2000/L.1/Rev.1).

WORKING GROUP I

On achievements in the area of women and poverty, the G-77/ CHINA proposed text referring to: progress in increasing recognition of gender dimensions of poverty; the emergence of micro-credit and micro-financing as successful strategies for economic empowerment; and the relationship between remunerated and unremunerated work.

The EU called for language referring to gender equality as a prerequisite to poverty eradication. Chair Mlacak proposed alternative language referring to both gender dimensions of poverty and gender equality. The G-77/CHINA opposed both proposals.

Clarifying a proposal on policies and programmes implemented to strengthen the role of the family in performing societal and developmental roles, the HOLY SEE noted that language had been taken from the Report of the Secretary-General on implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on Social Development and the Report of the Beijing Conference. The G-77/CHINA, supported by the EU, suggested that this text be considered separately as part of a later section addressing the issue of families. JUSCANZ noted the Secretary-General’s report was not an agreed text, and the EU pointed out that the text from the Beijing Conference does not refer to poverty eradication. The text remains bracketed.

Delegates agreed on language referring to micro-credit and micro-financing as a successful strategy for economic empowerment and on policy development taking account of the particular needs of female-headed households.

On text regarding enhanced global understanding of gender and poverty issues through research and development, the EU preferred placing language on the relationship between remunerated and unremunerated work in the section on women and economy. The text remains bracketed.

WORKING GROUP II

On ensuring women’s participation in development, a regional group presented new text on efforts to include women, which must combine women’s conditions and basic needs with a holistic and systemic approach based on, inter alia, equal rights and partnerships. One group called for including promotion and protection of all human rights, including the right to development, and another added reference to fundamental freedoms. Others proposed including a declaration stating that the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of women and girls, including the right to development, are universal, indivisible, interdependent, and interrelated. Some delegates opposed, noting that the original reference was more action-oriented. Chair Bhattacharjee proposed bracketing both suggestions.

On formulating development policies and programmes, proposed text included reference to adequate social protection measures, control over economic resources, and eliminating poverty. One delegate proposed adding a reference to strengthening family support systems under social protection measures. Many countries opposed, and a group of countries suggested instead reference to strong support systems for families. No agreement was reached, and both formulations remain bracketed.

On text referring to economic policies, institutions and resource allocations containing a gender perspective, delegates agreed to replace reference to macro-economic policies with "all economic policies," and deleted reference to the new economy in a phrase on ensuring that development dividends are shared on equal grounds.

On placement of text referring to health and education, a regional group introduced new text including language from the previous paragraph, and referring to provision of equal access to education, health and social services and ensuring women’s right to the highest attainable standards of mental and physical health throughout the life cycle, as well as to adequate, affordable and universally accessible health care and services. One group suggested, and others supported, inclusion of girls’ rights. One delegate asked for deletion of language on sexual and reproductive health and suggested services be removed from a reference to health care and services. The reference remains bracketed. On the right to health care, particularly in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a delegate suggested modified language on health care, paying particular attention to HIV/AIDS. Others opposed and the original wording was retained.

On the integration of women's knowledge and priorities in the conservation and management of environmental resources through new approaches to human development, a group of countries introduced a new formulation on ensuring sustainability and gender-sensitive infrastructure and suggested deleting a reference to international cooperation in supporting sustainable development. Several delegations noted that language calling for the support of international actors be placed in a later paragraph addressing actions. Delegates agreed to postpone discussion of this issue.

Several delegations proposed adding text on the protection of the environment in states with scarce or limited resources and calling for recognition of women's customary knowledge, management and sustainable use of biodiversity. Delegates further noted that text calling for states to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) would be more appropriately placed in the section addressing actions.

On the maintenance of international peace and security, a group of countries agreed to include reference to promoting democracy and the rule of law in a list of central goals of governments and the international community. A group of countries preferred language stating that global, lasting peace can only be attained with the full participation of women. Another group remarked that the language restricted participation to women only. A regional group suggested moving references to the right to development, foreign occupation, and systematic rape as a weapon of war to other paragraphs addressing these issues. Others opposed and the text remains bracketed.

CONTACT GROUP ON SECTION I

The contact group, facilitated by Christine Kapalata (Tanzania), met in the afternoon to discuss the paragraph on the 12 critical areas for priority action to achieve the advancement and empowerment of women contained on the introduction of the outcome document (E/ CN.6/2000/L.1/Rev.1).

On further progress and accountability to the world’s women and the full realization of the human rights of women and girls and the achievement of gender equality, one delegate asked for clarification on the ground rule for using the reference to women rather than to women and girls, noting that certain contexts, such as trafficking, might call for one and not the other. A regional group suggested reference to women throughout their life cycle. A group of countries opposed deletion of the reference to girls and the original language was retained.

Many delegates supported reference to the elimination of all practices that discriminate against women and one delegate added language on practices that inhibit women’s opportunities for sustainable development. A group of countries accepted both references conditional upon the introduction of language on equal access to productive resources and economic independence. A regional group opposed, stating that reference to productive resources and economic independence would link poverty and equality in an inconsistent manner unless other elements such as, inter alia, education, social development, and health were included. She suggested an alternative formulation referring to access to economic, productive and social resources and services and the role of CEDAW in promoting and protecting the human rights of women for the implementation of the PFA. A group of countries asked that the text remain bracketed pending consultation.

IN THE CORRIDORS

Consistent with the usual PrepCom trend of negotiating outside Working Groups, rumors about the formation of a contact group on the Political Declaration have been circulating. Delegates seem to be placing hopes of progress on smaller negotiating groups, perhaps to follow Chair Bhattacharjee’s advice that "a clean paragraph a day keeps all tensions away."

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

WORKING GROUPS: Working Group II will reconvene at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1 to continue negotiation of text on actions and initiatives.

CONTACT GROUP : The contact group on section I is expected to reconvene at 1:15 pm in Conference Room A to address redrafts and continue discussion of pending paragraphs.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Wendy Jackson <wendy@iisd.org>, Violette Lacloche <violette@iisd.org>, Tonya Barnes <tmb34@columbia.edu> and Gretchen Sidhu <gsidhu@igc.org>. The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree <kimo@iisd.org>. Digital editing by Leila Mead <leila@interport.net>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), 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 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the Government of Australia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and BP Amoco. Specific funding for coverage of the Beijing +5 process has been provided by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Kingdom DFID. 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 New York ©2000 The Living Earth, Inc. http://livingearth.com. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to <enb@iisd.org>.