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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


WOM/1281
19 March 2001

Commission on Status of Women
Forty-fifth Session
16th Meeting (AM)* and Round-up

WOMEN’S COMMISSION SUSPENDS SESSION; ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS
ON PALESTINIAN WOMEN, HOSTAGE-TAKING, DISCRIMINATION
IN AFGHANISTAN, AND GENDER MAINSTREAMING


As the Commission on the Status of Women suspended its forty-fifth session at 4:35 a.m., 17 March, it adopted five resolutions –- two by recorded vote, four decisions, its draft-agreed conclusions on one of its thematic issues and its report on the first part of its forty-fifth session.

In adopting a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women by a recorded vote of 31 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Rwanda), the Commission recommended that the Economic and Social Council call upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts towards ensuring the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, and call for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families.

By other terms, the Council would also demand that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the regulations annexed to The Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (12 August 1949), in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.

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Final Meeting Summary

The Commission on the Status of Women met and took action on the draft resolutions before it.

The first to be considered was the Draft on the Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women (document E/CN.6/2001/L.2/Rev.1). The resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 31 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Rwanda).

By the terms of the text (document E/CN.6/2001/L.2/Rev.1), which was sponsored by Iran, the Economic and Social Council would call upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts towards ensuring the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, and call for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families.

By other terms, the Council would also demand that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the regulations annexed to The Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (12 August 1949), in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.

By further terms, the Council would call upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions. The Council would urged Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period.

Explanation of Vote after Vote

MIRTA ALVAREZ (United States) said that she had voted against the draft resolution because it addressed the issue of refugees in Jerusalem. That was an issue that both sides had agreed to address in the permanent status negotiations. She did not think it was appropriate, therefore, to mention it in the resolution.

MOSTAFA ALAIE (Iran) said that he did wish his vote in favour of the resolution to be construed as recognition of Israel.

ALEKSEY ROGOV (Russian Federation) said he had voted in favour because his country attached great importance to the speedy establishment of direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Direct contact between the two sides, he believed, would lead to a normalization of the current situation and renew political dialogue. He was sure that the present complex conditions needed both sides to meet each other half way in the interest of a speedy resolution to the confrontation between the two countries. He believed that security and the achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East was the main basis for alleviating the situation of the Palestinian women.

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* The 15th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women was closed.
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