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Economic and Social Council
21 May 1992
Substantive session of 1992
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN ON ITS
(Vienna, 11-20 March 1992)
At its thirty-sixth session, the Commission on the Status of Women recommended seven draft resolutions and two draft decisions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council.
In draft resolution III, entitled "Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women", the Council would demand that Israel, the occupying power, accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention, demand an end to the Israeli violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including an immediate halt to the Israeli settlement activities, and request the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in monitoring the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the mission of experts.
MATTERS CALLING FOR ACTION BY THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
OR BROUGHT TO ITS ATTENTION
A. Draft resolutions
1. The Commission on the Status of Women recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft resolutions:
DRAFT RESOLUTION III
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women*
The Economic and Social Council,
Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General
/ and the notes by the Secretary-General
/ concerning the situation of Palestinian women living inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territory,
Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women,/5/ in particular paragraph 260 thereof,
Recalling also its resolutions 1988/25 of 26 May 1988, 1989/34 of 24 May 1989, 1990/11 of 24 May 1990 and 1991/19 of 30 May 1991,
Deeply alarmed by the deteriorating condition of Palestinian women and children in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of the continued Israeli violation of Palestinian human rights and oppressive measures, including collective punishments, curfews, demolition of houses, closure of schools and universities, deportation, confiscation of land and settlement activities, which are illegal, and controversies over the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relevant to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,
1. Reaffirms that the basic improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian women, their advancement, full equality and self-reliance, can only be achieved by an end to the Israeli occupation and the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people;
2. Demands that Israel, the occupying power, accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relevant to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to respect the Convention provisions;
3. Also demands an end to the Israeli violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, including an immediate halt to the Israeli settlement activities that have harmful effects on Palestinian women and their families;
4. Calls upon governmental, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, including organizations of the United Nations system, to assist Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory in developing small-scale industry and creating vocational training and legal consultation centres;
5. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to monitor the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning assistance to Palestinian women;
6. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in monitoring the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the mission of experts to Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic to investigate the condition of Palestinian women and children
/ in order to improve the condition of Palestinian women and children;
7. Also requests the Secretary-General to review the situation of Palestinian women and children in the occupied Palestinian territory and in the refugee camps, and to submit a report to the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-seventh session, using all available sources.
* For the discussion, see chap. III.
MONITORING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NAIROBI FORWARD-LOOKING
STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
24. Many representatives and observers referred to the prevailing difficult situation of Palestinian women in the occupied territories. A few representatives expressed concern that the occupying power had not accepted the visit of a consultant to study the actual conditions of Palestinian women, thus impeding the preparation of the report requested by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1991/19. One representative stated that the occupying power should be called upon to review its position and join the current international efforts to improve the situation of Palestinian women and to bring peace to the region. Another representative considered that the issue should be addressed in accordance with the United Nations practice of addressing violations of human rights, which included, for example, the appointment of a special rapporteur, the establishment of a group of experts or hearings. One observer stressed the need for more information on the situation.
ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
41. At the 6th meeting, on 16 March, the representative of the Sudan, on behalf of Algeria,
/ Bangladesh, Cuba,
/ Cyprus, Egypt, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon,
/ Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, the
Philippines, the Sudan, Tunisia,
/ the United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen,
/ Zambia and Zimbabwe, subsequently joined by Uganda, introduced a draft resolution (E/CN.6/1992/L.6) entitled "The situation of and assistance to Palestinian women".
42. At the 13th meeting, on 20 March, it was announced that the draft resolution (E/CN.6/1992/L.6) had been submitted by Nigeria, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77.
43. At the same meeting, the Commission adopted the draft resolution, by a roll-call vote of 29 to 1 with 11 abstentions (see chap. I, sect. A, draft resolution III). The voting was as follows:
Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt,
Finland, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of),
Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru,
Philippines, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of
Tanzania, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: United States of America.
Bulgaria, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan,
Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, Rwanda.
44. Before the draft resolution was adopted, statements were made by the representative of the United States of America and the observer for Israel; after it was adopted, statements were made by the representatives of the Netherlands, Japan, Italy and France.
45. The representative of Brazil, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean States that are members of the Commission, expressed their support for the process of negotiations on peace in the Middle East and emphasized that they would have liked an explicit reference to that effect included in the resolution.
C. Peace: Equal participation in all efforts to promote international cooperation, peace and disarmament
96. Many representatives referred to new dimensions and major changes in international relations. They were characterized on the one hand by disintegration of political systems, formation of new States, emerging problems related to external debt, threats to the environment, unemployment, unusual numbers of refugees, AIDS, prostitution of minors, drug trafficking, terrorism, armed conflicts, and poverty, and on the other hand by democratic changes in some parts of the world, optimism accompanying the end of the cold war and peace efforts in the Middle East, and attempts to establish a just new international order, based on law, peace, stability and social progress. Women should be fully involved in ongoing processes, reforms and democratization.
98. Attention was drawn by many representatives to the situation of women and children in the areas affected by armed conflicts, foreign occupation, civil unrest, violations of human rights, oppression and drought. One representative expressed concern about the fact that women local leaders, administrators and social workers were victims of direct acts of violence related to drug trafficking. Many representatives stated that women's rights could not be realized under foreign domination as it hindered women's advancement. One representative referred to the situation of Palestinian women and children, and women and children in South Africa and southern Lebanon. One representative addressed the shortage of food and medicine in Iraq, owing to economic sanctions, and its consequences for women and children. One representative requested the Secretary-General to send a group of experts to southern Lebanon and to report on the situation of women and children to the Commission at its thirty-seventh session. Some representatives referred to the new roles that women were assuming under emergency situations: assisting their families, contributing to the national economy, and participating in political life, including decision-making bodies and negotiations at a high level.
/ E/CN.6/1990/10, E/CN.6/1991/9 and E/CN.6/1992/6.
/ Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A.
6/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
/ In accordance with rule/69 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council.
* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its thirty-sixth session. The final report will be issued as Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1992, Supplement No. 4 (E/1992/24).