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Situation des palestiniennes - réunion et vote de l'ECOSOC - Communiqué de presse Français
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Source: Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
27 July 2012

Economic and Social Council

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

Economic and Social Council
2012 Substantive Session
48th & 49th Meetings (AM & PM)



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On the final day of its 2012 substantive session, the Economic and Social Council was to discuss a number of reports and draft texts that required action by the 54-member body.


Action on Texts

The Council then acted on a number of resolutions and decisions, some of which were contained in reports of its subsidiary bodies.


The Council then turned its attention to the draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, on which a recorded vote had been requested.

Speaking in explanation of position before the vote, the United States’ delegate expressed disappointment with the text, saying her Government was committed to supporting Palestinians in practical and effective ways. It had a deep interest in improving their humanitarian situation, which was reflected in its many programmes and work to create environments that allowed Palestinian women to advance and lead. The United States was the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and contributed significant amounts to bilateral assistance to the entire Palestinian population.

She voiced concern at the situation in Gaza and Hamas’ efforts to limit women’s fundamental rights, including freedom of movement and access to public spaces. She reiterated support for more efforts to ensure the safety of Gazans. The United States also was troubled by the Council’s insistence to consider one-sided condemnations and implored it to refocus its energy towards shared goals. The text did not advance the interests of Palestinian women. The United States President had laid out, in May 2011, his vision for “two States and two peoples”. The goal was a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Only through direct negotiations could the parties achieve lasting peace and she supported all efforts that moved the process in that direction.

Egypt’s delegate asked who requested the vote.

The Vice-President responded that the United States delegation had made the request.

By a recorded vote of 30 in favour, to 2 against (Canada, United States), with 17 abstentions, the Council adopted the resolution, by which it urgedthe international community to continue to give special attention to the promotion and protection of the human rights of Palestinian women and girls, and to intensify its measures to improve the difficult conditions being faced by those women and their families living under Israeli occupation.

Speaking after the vote, Canada’s representative said his delegation had voted against the resolution, as his Government was concerned over unbalanced texts on the Middle East that did not address the issues.

Israel’s delegate said the resolution had no place in the Council. Today, the Council had taken an “unfortunate and destructive detour” and the politically motivated text undermined its credibility. The great irony was that an injustice to Palestinian women had been done. It was true that the situation of Palestinian women was far from ideal, as outlined in many United Nations documents. Gender discrimination was embedded in Palestinian legislation in Gaza and the West Bank. Describing the “dire” situation under Hamas, she said “morality police” harassed men and women who mixed openly. Women were prohibited from riding bicycles. The text was inadequate and misleading, doing nothing to address women’s challenges in Palestinian society. Israel strongly objected to the resolution.

A representative of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine said support in the resolution for Palestinian women under Israeli occupation, and the implementation of international law, came at time when the Palestinian territory was seeing an escalation of illegal Israeli practices, including settlement campaigns and the blockade, which made the resolution’s adoption all the more necessary. Such policies were the real impediment to peace. Palestinian women and girls bore the brunt of those policies, and the resolution called for intensified international measures to improve their situation.

She said the statement by the representative of Israel was intended to shift the Council’s focus away from Israel’s abuses. No other issues facing Palestinian women could compare to the sheer brutality of Israel’s occupation. Palestinians were the only people in the world living under a 45-year occupation that had resulted in untold misery. She urged Israel to focus on the actions of its own Government.


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For information media • not an official record

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