NGO Documents for Earth Summit
to NGO Documents for Earth Summit II ]
DRAFT Women's Caucus' Suggestions for a Political
Statement by Heads of State at UNGASS
February 20, 1997
Powerful vested interests can be discouraging to
envisioned solutions. However, history has indeed shown that large numbers
of disenfranchised and enlightened people can confront powerful
institutions and succeed. Democratic structures must be strengthened, and
private interests must be more accountable, including to governments, even
though the trend is toward less government oversight of private
The vast majority of the private sector, too, must be
infused with the vision of Rio. Policy- makers must differentiate between
the private sector and eliminate the bias towards the largest entities of
the private sector, which are not the biggest employers of people, and
support the small and informal sector which employs large numbers of
people, particularly women. The 200 largest corporations in the world now
control a quarter of the global economy activity but employ less than one
per cent of the global workforce.
As Heads of States and representatives of member states
of the United Nations:
We pledge to enhance all governance structures, global
and national, through the next century by adhering to the fundamental
principles of equal representation and accountability.
We recognise the pervasive and systemic violation of
women's human rights, that women are significant agents for local and
global change, and that gender equality is essential to achieving
sustainable and equitable development.
We pledge to achieve gender balance in governance,
expand, enhance and improve affirmative action programs or other
incentives that will encourage and support the leadership and involvement
of women in political decision-making.
We pledge to apply a gender perspective in all aspects
of the implementation of Agenda 21.
We commit to evaluate the activities of existing local,
regional and national Councils on Sustainable Development for gender
balance and evidence of concern about gender issues and ensure that these
councils are established where they have not yet been.
We commit to promote grass roots women's participation,
particularly those involved in the Habitat process, and gender training
for local Agenda 21 groups.
We commit to expand NGO access to and participation in
the U.N. General Assembly and related committees .
We agree to strengthen the reporting requirements by
governments to the Commission on Sustainable Development and improve links
to corollary Commissions. Widen public dissemination of information on
environmental degradation and government compliance in achieving U .N
.conference goals .
We pledge to create an effective new
process/mechanism/strategy to strengthen links
between the World Bank, IMF, WTO and post-Rio
accountability which includes examination of sovereignty and foreign
investment issues .
We commit to expand efforts to eliminate negative
effects on developing countries by reconciling WTO rule-making and global
trade practices with the post-Rio agenda.
We re-commit to implement the Habitat II agenda which
calls for governments to create "regulatory and legal frameworks
...to promote socially and environmentally responsible .corporate
investment and reinvestment in and partnership with local
We pledge to work for international codes of conduct for
corporations and to govern weapons trade and export subsidies.
We commit to ensure that the code aims to enforce
compliance with ILO agreements and promote an international code of
conduct to protect the rights of workers in developing countries and
prevent their gender-based and economic exploitation by transnational
We commit to evaluate efforts of handling hazardous
wastes such as nuclear waste and plutonium and support the goal to
eliminate nuclear weapons.
We pledge to give greater priority to environmental
health and to use the precautionary principle in regulatory policy.
We pledge to support an international negotiation
process on new financial instruments such as a tax on speculative capital
transactions to reduce market instability and generate resources for
We commit to make major debt cancellation announcements
at the Special Session, as it is a critical centerpiece of the Rio
formula, and we will explain to the public the relationship of debt
cancellation to stemming environmental degradation and ending the cycle of
We pledge to raise $21.7 billion to ensure that l00
million of the world's poorest women and their families receive credit for
self-employment by 2005, and remove legislative, policy, administrative,
and customary barriers to women's equal rights to natural resources,
including access to and control over land and other forms of property,
credit, inheritance, information and appropriate new technology.
As part of the shift from unsustainable patterns of
consumption and production, we commit to enforce the new ILO convention to
protect home-based workers and implement the Beijing commitment to
construct satellite accounts to the gross national product to measure
We commit to a public education process to promote the
ideas and values enshrined in U .N .conferences and conventions to produce
self-empowered, environmentally and", socially responsible citizens.
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