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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
23 October 2009


General Assembly
GA/SHC/3958

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

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Third Committee
26th & 27th Meetings (AM & PM)

THIRD COMMITTEE HEARS PRESENTATIONS FROM SIX UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERTS,

AS DEBATE ON PROMOTION, PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS CONTINUES

Address Religious Freedom, Adequate Housing, Extreme Poverty,
Violence against Women, Human Trafficking, Human Rights Defenders


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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) met today to continue its discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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Statement by Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

RASHIDA MANJOO, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, ...

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...  She had also reviewed the situation of violence against women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the aftermath of the most recent military attacks.  ...

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Question Time

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The representative of Syria, calling attention to the Special Rapporteur’s comments regarding the situation of women in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, asked for her opinion on the serious violations by Israel against women in Gaza.  Could she provide a detailed report on the situation of women in the Occupied Territories, including the occupied Syrian Golan?

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The representative of Israel said the protection of women’s rights in the context of all forms of violence should remain a major priority.  His delegation was concerned by the lack of national efforts and the general unwillingness to address the unequal access of women to resources and violence against them.  Israel was also particularly concerned by the ongoing instances in which women were recruited for terrorist acts.  Could she provide more information on that topic and share anything she had learned on it during any of her country visits?

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Ms. MANJOO then took the floor to respond to questions put to her by States.  ...

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On the report regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territory, reflecting her predecessor’s visit in 2005, she said resource constraints were limiting the mandate to two missions a year.  There was a continuum of violence there, where oppression that resulted from patriarchy was feeding into the occupation.  There was follow-up work to be done to study violence before, during and after conflict, and to discover what the impacts of continued occupation were on women and children.

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To the representative of Israel, she said failure to take action at the national level was of serious concern.  The very first Special Rapporteur had sent a questionnaire to Governments to seek information on laws to prohibit violence against women, and had received 29 responses.  That seemed to indicate non-responsiveness at the national level, which needed addressing.  The second Special Rapporteur had asked about due diligence practices, receiving responses from 63 States.  One of the expected outcomes of the Secretary-General’s campaign was the development of national action plans.  The Division for the Advancement of Women had a website collating that information, and had received 83 responses regarding national initiatives.  She encouraged Committee members to urge their Governments to respond.  Non-governmental organizations were a useful resource, but the challenge lay in clarifying their data with Governments, which was hard to do if Governments were not responding.

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For information media • not an official record

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