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Commission de la condition de la femme/femmes palestiniennes - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
10 March 2006

Economic and Social Council

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

Commission on the Status of Women
Fiftieth Session
13th & 14th Meetings* (AM & PM)



Texts concerning Afghanistan , Discriminatory Laws Also Approved;
Women’s Participation in Development, Decision-making Session Focus



The Commission on the Status of Women met today to take action on draft resolutions and conclude its current session.

Introduction of Draft Resolutions


South Africa’s representative, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the Group was ready to take action on the draft resolution on assistance to Palestinian Women.


Action on Texts


Next, the Commission turned to the draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (document E/CN.6/2006/L.4), by which it would call on the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the full resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, taking into account the common ground already gained, 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.  The Commission would also reaffirm that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development planning of their society.

In a related term, the Commission would demand that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.  It would also call on Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties.

The Commission would also call on the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions.

The representative of South Africa presented a revision to preambular paragraph 8 of the text.  That paragraph should now read “Welcoming the report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that addresses the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints owing to denial of access by Israel to hospitals, with a view to ending this Israeli practice”.

Israel’s representative said she recognized the difficult situation faced by Palestinian women, but the text failed to assess the multiple causes of those difficulties.  She called on the Commission to vote against the text.  The Secretary-General’s report on the situation of Palestinian women was flawed and made unfounded claims.  However, the document did refer to some important social factors in Palestinian society that inhibited the rights of Palestinian women.  The report outlined details of patriarchal biases that had limited the rights of Palestinian women.  For example, women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory were killed or threatened with death for tarnishing family honour.

The draft resolution, year after year, failed to recognize the reality on the ground, she said.  If terrorism did not exist, Palestinian women would live without the detriment of security checkpoints and the security fence.  Israel was troubled by the recent role assumed by Hamas.  Nevertheless, it had not lost hope for dialogue with partners who were genuinely interested in a peaceful political process.  She hoped both Palestinian and Israeli women would be able to work together to lend a woman’s voice to a peaceful outcome.

The representative of the United States requested a recorded vote on the draft resolution.

The Commission adopted the text on Palestinian women by a recorded vote of 41 in favour to 2 against ( Canada, United States), with 1 abstention ( Nicaragua).

In explanation of vote, the representative of the United States said she had voted against the text.  She remained deeply concerned about the impact of the current crisis on Palestinian women and on the entire Palestinian population.  The United States was the largest donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and provided bilateral assistance to needy Palestinians, as well.  At the same time, the United States also grieved for innocent Israelis, including Israeli women, who had suffered and died, a reality many here did not recognize.  The final settlement of the crisis must be negotiated between the two sides, and her Government was committed to working with the Quartet to move both parties towards the vision of two States living side by side in peace.  One-sided resolutions only served to undermine the ability of the United Nations to play a constructive role in achieving peace.

Canada’s representative said he had consistently supported greater international attention to address the situation of women in armed conflict, including Palestinian women.  Canada’s assistance over many years had demonstrated its commitment to alleviating poverty and enhancing the human security of Palestinians, including women and children.  He was deeply concerned that the living conditions of Palestinian women had been severely affected by Israeli operations.  Nevertheless, he had voted against the resolution, in large part because of operative paragraph 4, but also because he had consistently called for more balance in resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Canada had always had difficulties with the text, he said, and the recent changes had not made it more acceptable.  Regarding operative paragraph 4, Canada had an interest in the search for a fair and just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, which should be negotiated between the parties.  It was not helpful to include language in the resolution that was unrelated to its main purpose.  The text should also express the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to protect the rights of Palestinian women and children and improve their living conditions.

Making a general statement, the observer of Palestine expressed appreciation to all those who had voted in favour of the text, saying the resolution sent a strong message of solidarity to Palestinian women living under occupation.  She looked forward to the day when resolutions like this one were no longer needed.  That day would come when the occupation ended and the Palestinian people lived in their own State in peace and security.



Vote on Assistance to Palestinian Women

The draft resolution on the situation of, and assistance to, Palestinian women (document E/CN.6/2006/L.4) was adopted by a recorded vote of 41 in favour to 2 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania.

Against:  Canada, United States.

Abstain:  Nicaragua.

Absent:  Guatemala.

* *** *


*     The 12th Meeting was closed.

For information media • not an official record

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