Johannesburg, Sept. 3 (Reuters): Earth Summit negotiators struggled to end a dispute over women’s rights today to complete a plan to slash poverty and safeguard the planet already denounced by environmentalists as too bland.
But in a move likely to please greens, Russia told the conference it expected to ratify the Kyoto pact on global warming soon, which would virtually ensure its implementation.
After months of preparation and more than a week of haggling, 10 words proposed by Canada in a bid to prevent female circumcision and to safeguard abortion rights stood in the way of a global deal on the penultimate day of the giant conference.
Canada wanted to add: “And in conformity with all human rights and fundamental freedoms” to a paragraph on strengthening women’s healthcare to try to prevent governments from arguing that religious and cultural practices were paramount.
“If it’s not (included) the Johannesburg text will be a very bad day for women,” Mary Robinson, United Nations human rights chief, said as dozens of world leaders made speeches at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.