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        Economic and Social Council
23 December 2004

Original: English

Substantive session of 2004

Provisional summary record of the 51st meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 23 July 2004, at 3 p.m.

President: Mr. Kunjool (Vice-President) ............................................. (Mauritius)
later: Ms. Rasi (President) ..................................................................... (Finland)



Social and human rights questions (continued)

(a) Advancement of women ( continued)


In the absence of Ms. Rasi (Finland), Mr. Kunjool (Mauritius), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.


Social and human rights questions (continued)

(a) Advancement of women (continued) (E/2004/27)

Draft resolution II: Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women

46. The President drew the Council’s attention to the report of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2004/27) and invited it to take action on draft resolution II.

47. Mr. Fox (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that the United States remained deeply concerned about the impact of the current crisis on Palestinian women, as evidenced by the fact that it was currently the largest national donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and participated in other multilateral and bilateral assistance programmes. However, the United States also grieved for the innocent Israelis, including women, who had lost their lives following attacks by Palestinian terrorists. His Government was making every effort to cooperate with the Quartet and the States concerned in order to move towards President Bush’s vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, but the final settlement of issues relating to territory and refugees should be left up to the parties to the conflict. Unfortunately, draft resolution II was one-sided and served only to undermine the ability of the United Nations to play a constructive role in the peace process. Consequently, his delegation would be voting against its adoption.

48. Mr. Choi (Australia) said that Australia remained concerned about the humanitarian situation of those living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly women. However, draft resolution II politicized those concerns in an unhelpful and unbalanced fashion, and he would therefore be abstaining from the vote. He also expressed concerns about the potential encumbering of the United Nations agenda with similar items.

49. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution II.

In favour:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.


United States of America.


Australia, Canada, Nicaragua.

50. Draft resolution II was adopted by 49 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.

51. Mr. Sermoneta (Observer for Israel) expressed regret at the adoption of the draft resolution. While Palestinian women undoubtedly deserved protection, he wondered how Israeli women, who were suffering at the hands of the Palestinians, could be regarded as any less deserving. He reiterated the comments made by his delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women: the draft resolution not only undermined the Organization’s professed impartiality but also represented a politically motivated attempt to hijack the agenda of the Commission. In that connection, he urged all delegations to refrain from such shameless attempts to politicize the work of the subsidiary bodies and undermine their credibility.


The meeting rose at 7 p.m.

Corrections to this record should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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