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December 10, 2003US backtracking? At UN meetings, agreement is a relative term. Even though draft summit documents have been agreed by all countries, there's still room for wriggle room - or in UN jargon, "interpretative statements."
An interpretative statement allows a state to express reservations about parts of an agreement it is unhappy about (and does not intend to hold to!). They caused chaos at the end of WSSD, where no-one really knew whether last-minute US attempts to water down the text on corporate social responsibility had been successful. The signs are that they plan something similar here in Geneva...
Tucked away in any other business a few minutes ago, the US delegation checked with the summit chair that provision had been made for entering interprative statements in the record. It has replied, the organisers. But text must be submitted by Thursday 6 o'clock.
Daily Summit wonders which reservations the US wishes to express...