PrepCom to close with "work in progress" - role of observers strengthened
  Geneva, 27 February 2003. On Thursday, the working group of Subcommittee 2, which had spent the week working on drafts for the final declaration and the plan of action under the Chairmanship of Lyndall Shope-Mafole from South Africa, presented its outcomes. The documents presented have the status of "work in progress" and do not represent final drafts. On their basis, Ms Shope-Mafole will create a full draft until 21 March. In addition, the working group proposed to strengthen the role of the "observers" from civil society and private sector, to include their statements directly in the drafts, and to thereby end the exclusion of civil society from the negotiations. Even critical delegations, such as Pakistan, seemed to weaken their blockade towards civil society participation and agreed to open meetings to observers. However the proposals by the working group are still to be discussed by Subcommittee 2.

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