Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

Commission on Status of Women
Forty-third Session
9th Meeting (AM)
5 March 1999


Former Director Says INSTRAW Cannot Function Beyond August 1999;
USG for Economic and Social Affairs Stresses Need for Immediate Support


Work Programme

The Commission on the Status of Women met this morning, as part of its follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), to discuss the review of mainstreaming in organizations of the United Nations system. It had before it three reports of the Secretary-General.

The report on follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (E/CN.6/1999/2 and Add.1) contains a joint work plan for the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. It emphasizes efforts undertaken by the Secretariat in support of mainstreaming a gender perspective and follow-up activities, including activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations and other United Nations bodies.

It states that the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women has continued to work with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in the development of a project on mainstreaming a gender perspective in multidimensional peacekeeping operations. A draft project proposal was made available to interested delegations in mid-1998, and pledges of support were subsequently received from a number of Governments. The project has four major objectives: to analyze the extent to which a gender perspective is reflected in all stages of peacekeeping operations, with a view to strengthening that perspective; to increase the number of women in multidimensional operations at all levels; to assess the impact of peacekeepers on the local population, in particular women; and to review the contribution of local women to peacekeeping and peace support activities. It is anticipated that implementation of the project will commence in early 1999. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations has also stepped up its efforts to improve gender balance at Headquarters and in the field.


In reviewing specific mandates with regard to women, the report also discusses progress made in relation to the situation of Palestinian women. The Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 1998/10, requested a report on the situation of Palestinian women and assistance provided by organizations of the United Nations system. The present report covers the period from September 1997 to September 1998 and is based on information from United Nations bodies monitoring the situation of Palestinians in the occupied territories as well as in refugee camps.

Based on those reports, the Secretary-General found that daily life of women continues to be adversely affected by the Israeli occupation, particularly by the imposition of security-related measures, such as closures, which had a detrimental impact on their socio-economic condition. As in the past, Palestinian women were experiencing the gender-specific impact of those measures, which was reinforced by existing inequalities in society between women and men. Frequent Israeli closures have been a major factor behind the 18 per cent drop in the gross national product (GNP) of the West Bank and Gaza and the 35 per cent drop in per capita GNP between 1992 and 1996.


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