Press Release

10 April 2003


Debate Continues on Human Rights of Women
(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 10 April (UN Information Service) -- The Commission on Human Rights was addressed this afternoon by its Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, who said such populations continued to suffer from high levels of discrimination, racism, and economic and social disadvantages.


General Debate on Indigenous Issues


HUSSEIN ALI (Syria) said world civilization was the result of continued conflict and divisions.  Some powers felt the ends justified the means used to reach to those ends.  The means had been severe.

Indigenous people had been taken away from their lands in the Americas.  They had also been the victims of acts of genocide which continued today.  Acts perpetrated against indigenous peoples had been carried out in search of resources; and such acts were considered justified as long as the end was satisfied.  The Israeli occupying forces had continued to do the same to the Palestinians and to the Arabs whose territories they occupied.


General Debate on Human Rights of Women


LOURDES CERVANTES VASQUEZ, of Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, speaking on behalf of National Union of Jurists of Cuba, in joint statement with the National Union of Jurists of Cuba, said exclusion and gender inequality were worsened by poverty, despair and social injustice.  Women were the main victims of neo-liberal globalization.  Women accounted for the largest number of civilian victims of military conflicts.

Palestinian women were heroically resisting the colonization of their territory, the confiscation and destruction of their property and land, massacres, targeted assassinations and Zionist genocide.  Iraqi women had been victims of the war of aggression by the United States and its allies which had led to the death of 1,300 civilians and the injuring of 5,000.  The women of Cuba also suffered from all kinds of aggressions, from constant hostility and from the blockade imposed by the United States. 


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For information media - not an official record