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


Economic and Social Council
2004 Substantive Session
44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM)
ECOSOC/6133
20 July 2004

PROPOSALS TO STRENGTHEN VOICE OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND ENSURE SMOOTH
TRANSITION TO DEVELOPMENT DEBATED IN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL

Recommendations of Subsidiary Bodies Considered, along with Proposal
For ‘Bottom-Up Country-Driven’ Strategies for Least Developed Countries


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Background

The 2004 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council today continued its general segment with consideration of economic and environmental questions, for which it had before it several reports, some of which included recommendations to the Council.

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Regarding human settlements, the Secretary-General’s report on the Coordinated Implementation of the Habitat Agenda (document E/2004/70), indicates that governments have continued to increase their support for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Human Settlements Foundation, the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund and the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian people.  The report shows that UN-Habitat has continued to strengthen its cooperation and collaboration within the United Nations system and with women, youth, local authorities, governments and other Habitat Agenda partners, as well as to strengthen its Habitat Agenda monitoring programmes.

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The Secretary-General recommends that governments that are in a position to do so increase the non-earmarked component of their contribution, in order to facilitate the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and the relevant commitments of the Millennium Declaration.  He encourages the international donor community and all financial institutions to contribute generously to the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund and the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian people.

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The Commission on the Status of Women submitted its report on the forty-eighth session (1-12 March) (document E/2004/27, E/CN.6/2004/14), which recommends that the Council adopt a number of draft resolutions, including a text on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan.  By its terms, the Council would urge the Afghan Transitional Administration and future Government, among other things to:  enable the full and equal participation of women and girls in civil, cultural, economic, political and social life throughout the country at all levels; protect the right to freedom of movement, expression and association for women and girls; and to mainstream the gender perspective into the activities of all of its ministries.  The Council would strongly urge the Secretary-General to ensure that the important post of Senior Gender Adviser in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is filled immediately.

According to a text on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, the Council would call upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all necessary efforts to ensure the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, and call for measures for tangible improvement of the difficult situation on the ground and the living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families. 

Under a related term, the Council would 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 IV of 18 October 1907, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.  It would call upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, and upon the international community to continue to provide urgently needed assistance and services.

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For information media - not an official record