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Fourth World Conference on Women Informal Consulations

31 July 1995

Briefing Note #1

by Lynn Wagner and Langston James Goree VI

A week long session of informal consultations on the Draft Platform for Action began on Monday, 31 July 1995 in New York at United Nations Headquarters. This meeting has been mandated by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) due to the volume of outstanding issues and the limited negotiating time next month at the Conference in Beijing. The results of this session will be communicated to the Main Committee on the first day of the Beijing Conference as a "non-paper.". Two working groups have been formed to move through several clusters of paragraphs containing bracketed text.

At the opening of the session, Patricia Licuanan (Philippines), Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, reviewed the activities since the end of the last session of the CSW in April 1995. She said that an informal group had met and drafted a definition of the term "gender" in the context of the Draft Platform for Action. They agreed that a statement resolving this issue would be read at the opening of the Main Committee in Beijing.

The Secretariat, at the request of the Bureau, has prepared three informal notes to be used as reference documents by the informal consultations. These include:

Chair Licuanan suggested a number of ground rules for the informal consultations, which were decided by the meeting:

Working Group I, chaired by Patricia Licuanan began work on the cluster of paragraphs dealing with the macro-economic framework for actions. The group spent the entire day on the six paragraphs referring to structural adjustment programmes without significant resolution.

Working Group II, chaired by Irene Freudenschuss (Austria) began work on a cluster of paragraphs that include bracketed text related to Human Rights. They progressed through thirteen paragraphs in Chapter IV, Strategic Objectives and Action, Section I on human rights removing some brackets and leaving many for later, possibly Tuesday, following further private consultations.

The opinions expressed in this briefing note are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from this briefing note may be used in other publications with appropriate citation. �