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

22 July 2003


Also Adopts Resolutions on UNAIDS, World Summit on Information
Society, Programme of Action in Favour of LDCs, and Genetic Privacy

(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 22 July (UN Information Service) -- The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this afternoon adopted resolutions and decisions recommended to it by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the Commission on the Status of Women.  One of the resolutions on the situation of Palestinian women was adopted by a vote.  The Council also adopted four resolutions relating to the Joint United Nations Programme on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (UNAIDS); the World Summit on the Information Society; the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs); and genetic privacy and non-discrimination.


Action on Resolutions and Decisions


The ECOSOC also adopted the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2003/27).  One of them concerned a resolution, adopted in a roll-call vote of 42 in favour, with 2 against (United States, Georgia), and with 4 abstentions (Germany, Nicaragua, Peru, Australia), on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women.  Through the resolution, ECOSOC demanded that Israel, the occupying power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called upon the international community to continue to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families.


Comments on Resolution Concerning Palestinian Women

Before the vote, the United States said his delegation was deeply concerned about the impact of the crisis on Palestinian women and Palestinian people.  In fact, the United States was the single largest donor to the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA).  At the same time, no mention had been made of the suffering of Israeli women.  The United States would, therefore, vote against this resolution, since the final settlement of the issue must be negotiated by the two parties.  One-sided resolutions as the one before the Council just made it more difficult for the United Nations to play a credible role in the peace process.

The representative of Morocco, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that his delegation had asked for a vote on this draft resolution.  The draft stressed the economic difficulties faced by Palestinian women as a result of the crisis and occupation.  Members were called upon to support the draft as they had done during the Commission on the Status of Women.

The Australian representative said Australia remained concerned about the situation of Palestinian people, however this draft resolution contained biased language and the Australian delegation would, therefore, abstain.

After the vote, the representative of Morocco, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, thanked the members of ECOSOC for their very broad support and hoped the resolution would help the situation.

The representative of Israel reiterated that the resolution singled out Israel and was one-sided.  It failed to recognize the terror and suffering endured by Israeli women.


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For information media - not an official record