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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
13 October 2008


General Assembly
GA/SHC/3918

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Sixty-third General Assembly
Third Committee
8th & 9th Meetings (AM & PM)
 ‘NEW PARADIGM IN OUR POLICIES’ NEEDED TO ENSURE WOMEN INVOLVED AT EACH STAGE
OF PEACE, DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES, THIRD COMMITTEE TOLD
 

Special Adviser Says ‘MDG 3’ – Gender Equality - Key to Achieving
All Other Development Goals, As Debate Begins on Advancement of Women


As the multiple global crises facing the world –- financial, food and energy -– cast a “psychological shadow” on the day’s debate and threatened achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, an immense untapped resource -- women, more than half the world’s population –- had been excluded from the strategies of international development and security, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) was told today.

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Background

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The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to begin its general discussion on the advancement of women and the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

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The representatives of Sudan and Syria, and from the observer mission of Palestine, remarked that the Secretary-General had made no mention of women experiencing violence under foreign occupation.  The representatives of Syria and the observer mission of Palestine further added that it was necessary to address actions taken by occupying powers through international law.  The report had not contained any statistics regarding actions taken by the State of Israel in relation to women living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  In addition, the representative of Syria asked to hear more from the United Nations’ specialized agencies that were on the ground, and wondered if the Secretariat was considering setting up an agency to monitor the situation of women and children in the occupied Golan Heights, noting that there was currently no international agency in that region.

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Ms. ALBERDI, with regards to comments by representatives of Syria and Palestine regarding women living in occupied territories, stressed that UNIFEM was increasing its work in Syria and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in collaboration with local and regional actors.  UNIFEM was also working to support economic programmes in those regions, to ensure the presence of women in the field.  In particular, UNIFEM was working with the International Women’s Coalition -- a group of Palestinian, Israeli and other international leaders -- to move forward collectively to defend peace in the Israeli and Palestinian territories.

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Following the responses by panellists, the representative of Algeria spoke once more to reiterate her delegation’s demand for a corrigendum to explain the unacceptable situation.  The representative of Syria noted that Ms. HANNAN had said, in her response, that the Secretary-General’s reports were based on contributions by Member States.  She suggested that the reports should reflect the inputs of both independent States and occupied territories.  She also repeated her question regarding the occupied Golan Heights.

Statements

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IDREES MOHAMED ALI MOHAMMED SAEED (Sudan)...

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He went on to encouraged UNIFEM to expand its donor base, so as to enable it to better carry out its mandate.  He added that the international community must act to uphold the rights of Palestinian women living under Israeli occupation.  Further, countries should honour their official development assistance, and end economic embargoes in favour of more inclusive economic policies.

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SAMIRA ABU BAKAR (Libya), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and China, said violence against women was a serious human rights infringement.  The international community and the United Nations system must enforce existing international laws in situations of armed conflict, to ensure that perpetrators were persecuted and that victims were given adequate assistance and rehabilitation.  It was particularly true in terms of Arab women living in the Palestinian Territories being occupied by Israel.  Similarly, she expressed concern for the deteriorating situation faced by African women, who were beset by hunger, disease, poverty and exposure to armed conflict.  She also called for unity among Member States to eradicate the trafficking of women and children.

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For information media • not an official record


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