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UNITED
NATIONS

        Economic and Social Council
E/CN.6/1993/18
E/1993/27

28 May 1993

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Substantive session of 1993
Geneva, 28 June-30 July 1993



REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
ON ITS THIRTY-SEVENTH SESSION*

(Vienna, 17-26 March 1993)




________________________

* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its thirty-seventh session. The final report will be issued as Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1993, Supplement No. 7 (E/1993/27).


SUMMARY


At its thirty-seventh session, the Commission on the Status of Women recommended to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of seven draft resolutions and two draft decisions.

In draft resolution I (Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat), the Council would urge the Secretary-General to fully implement the action programme contained in his report (A/47/508) in order to remove the obstacles to the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat and to achieve the targets set for the participation of women in the Secretariat. It would also request the Secretary-General to further develop policy measures aimed at the prevention of sexual harassment in the Secretariat.

In draft resolution II (Draft declaration on the elimination of violence against women), the Council would urge the General Assembly to adopt the draft declaration, urge Member States to adopt, strengthen and enforce legislation prohibiting violence against women, and request the Secretary-General to report on implementation of the declaration, once adopted.

In draft resolution III (Communications on the status of women), the Council would request the Secretary-General to continue to publicize the communications mechanism of the Commission and to report thereon to the Commission at its thirty-eighth session. It would invite each regional group to appoint, one week before each session of the Commission, a member to the Working Group on Communications.

In draft resolution IV (Women, environment and development), the Council would urge the Commission on Sustainable Development and other bodies to develop appropriate mechanisms to ensure support for the objectives and activities relating to the role of women in sustainable development, request the Secretary-General to include information on the subject in the report on the effective mobilization and integration of women in development, and request the Commission to include the issue in its discussions of preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Council would also agree to review the current and planned activities of the Commission in order to assess the degree to which the recommendations in Agenda 21 were already included in its activities or could be included in future activities.

In draft resolution V (Women and children under apartheid), the Council would demand the immediate and unconditional release of any political prisoners and detainees, urge those involved in the multi-party forum to deal with issues concerning women, request the Centre against Apartheid to strengthen its cooperation with the Division for the Advancement of Women, appeal to the international community to support programmes and projects directed towards women, call upon the Secretary-General to monitor incidents of political and domestic violence directed against women and children, decide that the Commission would remain seized of the issue, and request the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its thirty-eighth session a report on the implementation of the resolution.

In draft resolution VI (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), the Council would support the request of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for additional meeting time for its future sessions, welcome its draft general recommendation on article 16 and related articles 9 and 15, request States parties to the Convention to work to withdraw their reservations to the Convention, and urge the Secretary-General to widely publicize the decisions and recommendations of the Committee.

In draft resolution VII (Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women), the Council would demand that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territory, appeal to Governments and others to provide financial assistance to Palestinian women, request the Commission on the Status of Women to continue monitoring those paragraphs of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies concerning assistance to Palestinian women, and request the Secretary-General to assist in and review the situation of Palestinian women using all available resources, and submit to the Commission at its thirty-eighth session a report containing recommendations and a programme of action.

In draft decision I, the Council would approve the provisional agenda and documentation for the thirty-eighth session of the Commission. In draft decision II, the Council would decide to convene an inter-sessional working group of the Commission for a period of five working days during the first two weeks of January 1994, open to all Member States and observer States, to further develop the structure of the Platform for Action contained in the annex to Commission resolution 37/7.

The Commission also adopted nine resolutions.

In resolution 37/1 (Preliminary proposals for the system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women for the period 1996-2001), the Commission recommended that the Council request the Secretary-General to revise the plan after the Platform for Action and the second review and appraisal of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies had been adopted in 1995; it recommended that any revised system-wide plan be more concise, take into account changes in the United Nations planning cycles and be more concrete. It recommended that the Commission be given responsibility for monitoring progress in implementing the system-wide plan, that all the United Nations entities be held accountable for the components of the plan falling within their competence. It made a series of detailed comments and recommended that they be taken into account in the final version of the plan.

In resolution 37/2 (Inter-agency coordination), the Commission recommended that the Secretary-General further promote and institutionalize coordination of initiatives of United Nations programmes related to women, promote the acceptance of gender-based strategic planning and assign the Division for the Advancement of Women responsibility for coordinating activities leading to the establishment of an official common definition of gender-focused planning for the United Nations system.

In resolution 37/3 (Rape and abuse of women in the territory of the former Yugoslavia), the Commission condemned rape and abuse of women in the territory, welcomed the request of the Commission on Human Rights to the Special Rapporteur to pursue an investigation into the situation, urged that the team of experts include a representative of the Division for the Advancement of Women, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women or both, urged the Security Council to reflect gender balance in any international criminal tribunal that would be established, urged development of long-term, action-oriented plans and programmes for rehabilitation, urged that counselling and other support form an integral part of health and welfare services, and requested the Secretary-General to make the reports of the Special Rapporteur available to the Commission at its thirty-eighth session.
In resolution 37/4 (World Conference on Human Rights), the Commission decided to present a contribution to the Preparatory Committee for the World Conference on Human Rights.

In resolution 37/5 (Women and legal literacy), the Commission made recommendations to Governments and other institutions to promote legal literacy, and requested the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit for Social Development to include in its agenda consideration of education for all, the eradication of illiteracy, and the promotion of legal literacy, particularly among women, and urged the World Conference on Human Rights to address the issue.

In resolution 37/6 (Women and development), the Commission made recommendations to Governments and other institutions to take a number of specific steps to improve the integration of women in development, requested the Secretary-General to include policy and programme recommendations on the basis of gender analysis in his biennial monitoring report on the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies and to ensure that the issues of women and development and of the integration of women in development programmes were an integral part of the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade.

In resolution 37/7 (Preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace), the Commission urged Governments to establish national preparatory committees and requested the Secretary-General to ensure that documentation was accessible and that Conference facilities catered to the needs of people with disabilities. It requested a series of steps to permit non-governmental organizations not in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council to participate in the Conference. It requested the Secretary-General to present a first draft of the Platform for Action to the Commission at its thirty-eighth session, taking into account the structure of the Platform agreed on at the thirty-seventh session and the results of the inter-sessional working group. It made a series of recommendations on the process and content of the second review and appraisal of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies. It suggested that steps be taken to strengthen an information campaign about the Conference. Finally, it requested that the Secretary-General prepare for the Commission at its thirty-eighth session a report on institutional arrangements for the implementation of the Platform for Action containing options for considering that item at the Conference.

In resolution 37/8 (Women in extreme poverty), the Commission made a series of detailed recommendations to governmental and other institutions on measures to alleviate the situation of women in extreme poverty.

In resolution 37/9 (Work programme on the advancement of women and the proposed restructuring of the economic and social activities of the United Nations), the Commission called upon the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to strengthen the structure for the advancement of women and maintain its identity with adequate resources, urged that in making decisions on the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, due consideration be given to the long-and short-term impact of the decisions on the priority, substance and visibility of the United Nations commitment to women and to social development, requested the Secretary-General to ensure that any institutional arrangements strengthened the work programme on the advancement of women and improved coordination, and encouraged Member States to send high-level representation to future sessions of the Commission.

DRAFT RESOLUTION VII

Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women*

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of Palestinian women in the occupied territory and previous reports concerning the situation of Palestinian women inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territory,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 1/ in particular paragraph 260 thereof,

Recalling also its resolution 1992/16 of 21 July 1992 and its other relevant resolutions,

Deeply concerned about the additional suffering of women and children living under occupation,

Expressing special concern about the tragic situation of the Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory, which has been dangerously deteriorating at all levels,

Deeply alarmed by the deteriorating condition of Palestinian women and children in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of the continued Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights and oppressive measures, including collective punishments, curfews, demolition of houses, closure of schools and universities, mass deportation, confiscation of land and settlement activities and denial of family unification, which are illegal and contrary to the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,

1. Reaffirms that for Palestinian women, equality, self-reliance and integration in the national development plan can be achieved only through the termination of the Israeli occupation and the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to respect the provisions of the Convention;

3. Appeals to Governments, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to provide financial assistance to Palestinian women towards the creation of specific projects for them, in support of their attempts to achieve full integration in the development process of their society;

4. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue monitoring the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning assistance to Palestinian women;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to assist in and review the situation of Palestinian women using all available resources, including missions of experts to the occupied Palestinian territory and to submit to the Commission, at its thirty-eighth session, a report on the implementation of the present resolution, containing recommendations and a programme of action aimed at improving the condition of Palestinian women under Israeli occupation.


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