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Fourth World Conference on Women Informal Consulations

1 August 1995

Briefing Note #2

by Lynn Wagner and Langston James Goree VI

On 1 August 1995, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, delegates continued their informal consultations on the draft Platform for Action for the Fourth World Conference on Women, which is to be held in Beijing, China 4 to 15 September, 1995. The week long consultation was called to begin to resolve issues that remained bracketed after the CSW/PrepCom in April, 1995. Delegates in two working groups worked from the draft text (A/CONF.177/L.1), with the assistance of an informal note prepared by the Secretariat that groups outstanding text into issue clusters.

Working Group I, chaired by Patricia Licuanan (Philippines), continued its discussion of the outstanding text related to structural adjustment programmes. Delegates sought language to balance the positive and negative impacts of such programmes. Based on informal-informal consultations held late 31 July, delegates reached agreement on a bracket-free text Tuesday morning. The Working Group then took up those passages related to debt and debt burden and sustainable development and Agenda 21. A night meeting was scheduled to continue consideration of the outstanding issues related to the macro-economic framework.

Working Group II, chaired by Irene Freudenschuss (Austria), completed its consideration of the introductory paragraphs to Chapter IV. Strategic Actions, Section I (human rights), and began its consideration of the bracketed text according to the issue specific clusters related to human rights. Discussion of the text related to "terminology such as universal human rights of women, universally recognized human rights, basic rights" was postponed, pending ongoing informal-informal consultations. Delegates removed many of the brackets from the cluster of text referring to violations of human rights of women, including rape and trafficking and some of the brackets referring to international instruments, including Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. On Wednesday, delegates will continue to examine text related to the latter cluster, and will proceed with the remaining text related to human rights.

Delegates requested representatives of the People's Republic of China to provide information on the visa situation. It is expected that the Chinese will hold a briefing either Wednesday or Thursday, 2-3 August 1995.

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. �