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UN General Assembly Special Session (Copenhagen+5): World Summit for Social Development and Beyond: Achieving Social Development for All in a Globalized World
Geneva, 26-30 June 2000
   

Highlights from Saturday 1 July

The ENB Summary and Analysis of WSSD +5 is now available in HTML and PDF

Consensus reached and Special Session draws to a close. On Saturday, 1 July, the Committee of the Whole adjourned at 1:45 pmafter delegates reached consensus on the Further Initiatives document following informal negotiations on the issue of foreign occupation; the Closing Plenary adjourned at 4:45 pm On Saturday 1 July, the Committee of the Whole met in the morning to adopt the Further Initiatives document and the Political Declaration. After some debate on paragraph 69 on foreign occupation, and informal negotiations, delegates agreed to delete the paragraph and to strengthen paragraph 18. The Closing Plenary met at 3:00pm and delegates heard closing remarks and statements regarding the document.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs (Above left)), identified a number of important areas in which progress was made, including a clearer connection between globalization and its social impact; HIV/AIDS, and an important advance in the linking of development and health. He also called attention to the new paragraphs on taxation, particularly paragraph 111. John Langmore, Director, Division for Social Policy (above right) reiterated that there were over 30 new initiatives in the Outcome document, including paragraphs related to taxes and AIDS.

During the Special Session, the General Assembly heard 181 statements from: 8 Heads of State; 7 Vice-Presidents; 1 Crown Prince; 11 Heads of Government; 11 Deputy Prime Ministers; 11 Deputy Prime Ministers; 78 Ministers; 18 Vice-Ministers; 26 Chairpersons of delegations; 2 nonmember States; 10 observers; and 9 NGOs.Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: http://www.unog.ch/ga2000/socialsummit/speeches/speeches.htm.

 

Photos: Chair Cristian Maquieira and Chair Bagher Asadi (left); Nitin Desai, Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs and John Langmore, Division for Social Policy

Click here for the updated version of Part III on Further Initiatives

See below for the following coverage: Closing Plenary; Final Session of the Committee of the Whole; and Final Meeting of Working Group III on the Political Declaration on Friday 30 June


 

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Closing Plenary

Theo-Ben Gurirab, President of the General Assembly Special Session,

In his closing remarks, President Theo-Ben Gurirab reaffirmed the list of renewed commitments, including those regarding full employment; debt cancellation, women's empowerment and gender equality; and multilateral trade based on social justice and equity. He underscored the UNGASS addressed in particular the AIDS epidemic and said that apart from nuclear weapons of mass destruction, AIDS represented the greatest danger to the survival of humanity. He underscored the important role of NGOs and said they must be listened to.

Vice-Chair and Rapporteur Bagher Asadi presented the report of the Committee of the Whole to the General Assembly during the Closing Plenary

Australia would have liked to have seen the word illicit as a inserted before narcotic drugs in paragraph 65 and stressed that opiates should be available for medical needs. He was disappointed that paragraph 7 did not explicitly recognize the need for dialogue between all actors, including the Bretton Woods institutions, stating that this would avoid duplication.

Canada, speaking for Canada and Norway

Canada and Norway expressed satisfaction on 111 (e) bis on new and innovative sources of funding for dedication to social development and poverty eradication programmes, and welcomed the opportunity to take a closer look at mechanisms, including a Currency Transaction Tax.

Nigeria, speaking for the G-77/China, in the Closing Plenary

In Closing Remarks, Bangladesh lamented that there was not more explicit reference in the document for the need to assess the gender impact of globalization. He said UNIFEM should take a take the first step in monitoring such impacts.

Listen to Gabon's statement on behalf of African Countries


France, speaking on behalf of the European Union; France took over the presidency of the EU on 1 July

The EU lamented the lack o f explicit reference to good governance in the Political Declaration, He highlighted 6 new points of progress in the initiatives, including those related to the ILO, enterprises and social responsibility, good practices in social development, and access to health care and better access to essential drugs at affordable prices. He also highlighted 4 regrets, stating the EU document did not go far enough on cooperation between major organizations, or on social indicators, and social protection. He would have preferred explicit reference to the Global Compact


The United States said there was much progress made on Commitment 3, highlighting fundamental principles and rights at work, and said that decent work is the surest way out of poverty. He clarified US policy on 3 issues. He said international efforts must concentrate on successful implementation of the HIPC initiative and said 5 bis takes goes outside of the initiative. The US would have preferred the original language in paragraph 18, and regarding paragraph 38, on ratification of conventions, he reiterated that it is the US Senate that ratifies conventions and the executive branch can do nothing more than consider ratification.

The Holy See said it considered references to sexual and reproductive health as applying to a holistic concept of health and did not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of these terms, or endorse any form of legislation which gives legal recognition to abortion.


Final meeting of the Committee of the Whole
Delegates discussed paragraph 69 on foreign occupation. Many supported retaining the paragraph, including Syria, Palestine, Indonesia, China, Sudan, and Egypt. Canada, the US and the France, now speaking on behalf of the EU, opposed this paragraph. Jamaica proposed that delegates compromise by strengthening paragraph 18, on self determination. Delegates met informally and reached agreement to strengthen paragraph 18 with reference to removing obstacles that are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and that must be combated and eliminated. The group agreed to to delete paragraph 69.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, with Chair Maquieira and Pakistan (left); Sudan with Chairs Asadi and Maquieira

Gloria Kan and John Langmore, Division for Social Policy, and Nitin Desai

Syria (right) and other delegations called for retention of paragraph 69 on foreign occupation. The EU, Canada and the US opposed. Jamaica (left) suggested that delegates compromise and strengthen paragraph 18 instead.

The informal negotiations on foreign occupation were led by Vice-Chair Kheireddine Ramoul, Algeria


Congratulations after the ending of the Committee of the Whole


Final Session of Working Group III on the Political Declaration which adjourned at 1:45 Saturday morning
Chair Bagher Asadi reported back to the Working Group after agreement was reached on the text in informal negotiations.
The US consulting with Japan (left) and the Holy See discussion the Declaration with Sudan

Delegates in the final meeting of the Political Declaration
Barbara Adams, NGLS, Jocelyn Dow, WEDO, and Chair Maquieira

Click here for ENB's coverage of the informals, which includes the Summary Report of WSSD+5 Informal Consultations held from 17-23 May 2000 (also in PDF and Text formats)

Click here for ENB coverage of the second PrepCom held 3-14 April in New York.

The results of the consultations can be found in the versions dated 23 May of the two main negotiation documents:
L5 Rev.3 (Part I), as of 23 May 2000, 4:15 PM - Draft political declaration to be adopted in Geneva. Also available in MS Word version.
L.5/Rev.3 (Part III), as of 23 May 2000, 1:00 PM - Further actions and initiatives to implement the commitments made at the Summit. Also available in MS Word version

Secretariat web site for the Special Session, which includes information on the speakers list, agenda and programme, Chairman's panels, practical information and latest news

The Geneva 2000 Forum, held in conjunction with the Special Session, will be a platform for sharing experiences through panels, discussions, exhibitions, video, etc., with new and innovative approaches in social and economic development policies and activities, and provide a fertile ground for new ideas. The Forum is organized and hosted by the Government of Switzerland. No less than 150 side events are being planned as part of the Geneva 2000 Forum.


Linkages Coverage of the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen
A summary of the major issues
Agenda for the Special Session

Secretariat web site with official documents and information for NGO participants
Secretary-general's Report on the Implementation of the Outcome of the WSSD
Summary of the WSSD agreements
Geneva 2000 Forum, to be held in conjunction with the Special Session
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