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BRIEFING for Friday, 5 March

The meeting commenced at 10:00 am with a statement by Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, who spoke about the status of the UN International Training and Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW). He drew attention to INSTRAW'S lack of money, which he said is threatening its ability to be financially functional. Noting that funding for its core activities comes from Member States, he observed that the level of support has been steadily declining, with only $374,000 pledged to the Trust Fund this year. He outlined attempts to mitigate the effects of this problem, including undertaking joint activities and seeking alternative sources of funding for project work. But he cautioned that there must be a final resolution on the future of this institute at the intergovernmental level at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July. (RealAudio of Nitin Desai's statement)

Yakin Ert�rk, former Executive Director of INSTRAW, addressed the meeting and discussed in detail the lack of funding. She described briefly some of the research programmes that INSTRAW has been involved in despite its financial difficulties. Stating that INSTRAW's status is similar to that of women in general - invisible and under emphasized - she said preserving the mandate for research and training for the advancement of women is a historic responsibility we all share. She is confident the collective efforts of Member States, the INSTRAW Board of Trustees, the Host country and the Secretariat will help produce a viable solution to the current problem. (RealAudio of Yakin Ert�rk's statement)

The Chair thanked the two speakers for their comments, noting that it was useful for the CSW to be aware of the situation, although the decision on INSTRAW's future was within the purview of ECOSOC rather than this Commission. She then opened the floor to questions and comments from delegates.A number of country-representatives contributed to the discussion, with most expressing support for INSTRAW and its role, which they said is important. Several said they did not support suggestions made in the past that INSTRAW be merged with UNIFEM.Nitin Desai and Yakin Ert�rk responded to the comments made. Desai said the message from this meeting was that INSTRAW is supported by many delegates and the funding issue needs to be resolved at ECOSOC.

Following this, the meeting considered briefly agenda item 3[a], on the "Review of mainstreaming in organizations in the UN system". The Chair said this had been covered in part by yesterday's discussion on institutional mechanisms. There were no speakers on this matter, so the Chair adjourned the meeting at 11:40 am.

At 3:00 pm the Commission began closed informal consultations on the proposals arising from its panel discussion on women and health.

The Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group (WG) of the CSW met informally at 10:00 am today to continue discussion on agenda item 6, namely the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to CEDAW. Negotiations on the bracketed sections of the text continued with redrafted proposals for Articles 4, 5, 14, 7, and 12 set down for discussion. The meeting continued in the afternoon in closed session.

Much of the week starting on Monday, 8 March will be taken up with informal consultations on the various agenda items, although there will be a joint meeting of CSW and the Working Group on Monday afternoon. The CSW's 43rd Session is scheduled to close on the afternoon of Friday, 12 March. Before this happens, it will carry out several tasks on Friday, including: receiving the Report of the Working Group on the Optional Protocol (item 6); recommending action on draft proposals and on the proposed agreed conclusions on item 3(c); approving a provisional agenda for its next session; and adopting the report of the Commission from this session.

Today's photo and RealAudio highlights

RealAudio of Nitin Desai's statement
Scenes from Conference Room One, location of CSW-43

Return to ENB's CSW-43 home page

Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1999. All rights reserved.