Report of main proceedings for 27 March 1995

39th Session of the CSW

The 39th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) continued itsdiscussions on preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW), tobe held in Beijing, China, 4-15 September.

On Monday, 27 March, delegates resumed negotiations on the draft Platform forAction. The Sub-Drafting Group, chaired by Ms. Patricia Licuanan (Philippines), metin the morning to complete their first reading of Chapter II (Global Framework). TheDrafting Group, also chaired by Ms. Licuanan, met during an afternoon session tocomplete their first reading of Chapter V (Institutional Arrangements). An informal-informal group discussed, in closed sessions, Chapter IV (Strategic Objectives andActions).

On Tuesday and Wednesday, negotiations on all parts of the draft Platform moved intoclosed informal-informal sessions. A Plenary was held both afternoons to considerdraft resolutions under Agenda Items 4 (Programming and Coordination MattersRelated to the United Nations and the United Nations System) and 5 (Monitoring theImplementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement ofWomen).

SUB-DRAFTING GROUP

CHAPTER II. GLOBAL FRAMEWORK

In paragraph 18 (UN conferences and activities), the G-77/China added referencesto several UN conferences and declarations. In paragraph 19 (global challenges),Australia redrafted the paragraph and included its call for the FWCW to be aconference of commitment and action by States. China called for commitments fromGovernments and the international community.

In paragraph 20 (disproportionate impact of economic developments), the G-77/Chinanoted the impact economic situations in developing countries have had on women. TheEU noted that structural adjustment, while "beneficial in the long term," has inducedcuts in social programmes. The EU deleted the reference to declining commodityprices.

Lithuania added a paragraph 20(bis), noting the problem of unemployment in countrieswith economies in transition and that the process of change has caused many womento lose jobs, social services and health and child care. The US added a reference to theloss of employment and reproductive rights.

In paragraph 21 (causes and manifestations of poverty), the G-77/China noted theadverse impact of macroeconomic policies and programmes in the context of SAPs,and the problems of countries in recession. The G-77/China also called forconsideration of the plight of rural women. The US added two sentences noting thatwomen are often driven into undesirable employment situations and face diminishingsocial security systems. The EU deleted the reference to the impact of macroleveleconomic policies and added a reference to the negative impact of economic recession.The Holy See introduced a paragraph 21(bis), regarding the recognition of humanrights of women and girls.

In paragraph 22 (female headed households), the G-77/China added a reference tointernal and external migration. The EU replaced the paragraph, noting that somewomen have reached economic independence, but in other cases, female headedhouseholds can be the consequence of war, HIV/AIDS and family disintegration. TheUS altered the EU"s reasons for the poverty of female maintained households. TheHoly See added a reference to the role the family, the basic unit of society, plays inshaping culture and society. Kenya objected to the implication that the role of womenwould be confined to the family. The Holy See proposed a paragraph 22(bis),regarding the role of religion in the lives of women and calling for a moral and ethicalclimate that would prevent corruption and exploitation.

In paragraph 23 (world population), the G-77/China noted that, by 2025, 70% of thepopulation over 60 years of age will be living in developing countries, more than halfof which will be women. Both the G-77/China and the EU called for short term aswell as long term measures for sharing family responsibilities. Canada called forgender-sensitive based analysis in the design of policies. The US proposed paragraph23(bis), noting the impacts of global trends on women who belong to minority groups.

In paragraph 24 (changes in communications), the G-77/China called for women"sequal participation in media. In paragraph 25 (health effects of environmentaldegradation), the G-77/China added a reference to drought and depletion of soil,coastal and marine resources, and emphasized the impact of these on indigenous andrural women. The EU deleted the references to pollution, toxic wastes, deforestation,desertification and soil depletion. The US added a reference to the threat of "nuclear,chemical, and other forms of pollution." The G-77/China offered a paragraph 25(bis),noting the environmental impact of unsustainable patterns of production andconsumption, especially in industrialized countries.

In paragraph 26 (family survival), the EU added a reference to the sexual exploitationof women. The US added two paragraphs after 26, the first recognizing the challengesfor the world"s adolescents, and the second regarding the concerns and challenges thatyoung women face.

In paragraph 27 (HIV pandemic), the G-77/China added statistics from WHOregarding HIV, and expanded the paragraph to encompass STDs. The EU altered thedraft, and noted that women are twice as likely to be infected than men. In paragraph28 (discrimination over the woman"s life cycle), the G-77/China noted restrictionsimposed by "unjust economic and social" structures and noted that discriminationbegins "even before birth." The EU noted women"s lack of resources "in mostcountries" and added a reference to the practice of prenatal sex-selection.

In paragraph 29 (expanding opportunities for women), the G-77/China deleted"reduction and," calling only for the eradication of poverty. The EU proposed deletingthe paragraph. New Zealand added a paragraph 29(bis), which referred to the barriersfaced by indigenous women. Norway proposed diversifying the paragraph.

In paragraph 30 (NGO contributions), the EU added two references to feministmovements and noted that many countries have developed measures to strengthen thepromotion of women. Australia proposed altering the feminist movement references to"women"s organizations and others who support feminist ideals." The US addedreferences to Governments" increasing recognition of NGO"s role and to therestrictions placed in some countries on NGOs" ability to operate freely. The USadded a 31(bis), noting the lack of women"s participation in the growing number ofmultilateral interventions. In paragraph 31 (lack of women decision-makers), the G-77/China noted the "lack of awareness of women"s equality." The EU proposeddeleting the paragraph.

In paragraph 32 (Nairobi Strategies), the EU added a reference to the interdependenceof public and private behaviors and the responsibility of Governments to establish aframework and incentives to achieve equality, and deleted the reference to the home asthe place where girls and boys first learn their rights and responsibilities. The HolySee noted that the home is where, "largely through parental example," girls and boyslearn of the "equal dignity of women and men."

The US added two paragraphs, one calling for commitment to inspire a new generationof leaders, and the other noting the demographics of youth, the need for developinglife skills and the need for intergenerational cooperation. The G-77/China announcedtheir intention to introduce a new paragraph regarding the girl-child.

In paragraph 33 (racism), the EU noted that international solidarity "contributed" tothe end of institutionalized racism. The G-77/China added a reference to colonialism.The US noted that the end to institutionalized racism "is not yet here."

The G-77/China added a new paragraph 34, noting that the Platform conforms with theUN Charter and International Law and that implementation is the responsibility ofeach country, with full recognition for each nation"s situation and background.

The Chair then opened the floor for delegates to return to previously discussedparagraphs. In paragraph 12 (women"s role in peace movement), the Holy See added"women"s role, whether as mothers or in wider roles in society." In paragraph 8(global recession), China noted that the issue of unemployment is not restricted toindustrialized nations. The G-77/China added a paragraph 6(bis)(bis), noting the socialdimension of development and calling for holistic alternatives.

DRAFTING GROUP

CHAPTER V. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS. C. International Level

1. Commission on the Status of Women: The G-77/China proposed areformulation of paragraph 207 (CSW"s role in implementation) which deletedreferences to the CSW as the inter-governmental focal point for implementation and toits mandate. The G-77/China also proposed paragraph 207(bis), referring to financialand staff support for the CSW and the GA, and paragraph 207(ter), referring to theCSW"s role in implementation within the UN system.

In paragraph 208 (review of the CSW"s mandate), the EU proposed givingconsideration to the CSW"s review of gender dimensions of all issues and ensuring asystem-wide approach to implementation and that ECOSOC and the GA should reviewthe Commission"s mandate. The G-77/China and the EU agreed to delete paragraph209 (implementation plans at the CSW"s 40th session). In paragraph 210 (CSWprogramme for 1996-2000), the EU deleted the recommendation for a review of theprogrammes of all the main UN bodies dealing with the Platform. The G-77/Chinadeleted references to specific subsidiary UN bodies. Canada added a reference to"gender analysis."

2. Division for the Advancement of Women: In paragraph 211 (function ofthe Division for the Advancement of Women), the G-77/China, the EU and Canadaoffered similar proposals replacing references to CSW resolution 37/9 with referencesto General Assembly resolution 49/161 and requesting the Secretary-General toprovide the Division with sufficient human and financial support. Norway added areference to the Division"s role in follow-up and the EU added a reference tomonitoring implementation.

In paragraph 212 (action by the Division for the Advancement of Women), the G-77/China added a reference to gender analyses of the problems in the advancement ofwomen and suggested that the Commission prepare the plan for advancement ofwomen. The EU deleted references to ECOSOC, the GA and gender focal pointswithin the UN system. She also proposed that the CSW "play a coordinating role"rather than "take the lead" in preparing the revision of the plan. Norway preferred an"important" role for the CSW.

3. International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement ofWomen: The EU, with support and input from Canada, proposed deletingparagraphs 213 (the review of INSTRAW"s work to implement Platform) and 214(UNIFEM"s role in implementing the Platform), and added a 214(bis), suggesting thatthe future roles of INSTRAW and UNIFEM be considered in light of the GA"sdecision on the proposal to merge the two organizations. The G-77/China preferredamending paragraph 213, suggesting that INSTRAW identify priority researchmethodologies and strengthen national capacity to carry out gender research, anddevelop research networks. Delegates added further areas of research, includingwomen"s studies (Slovakia), human rights (Holy See) and education (Turkey).

4. United Nations Development Fund for Women: In paragraph 214, theG-77/China proposed that UNIFEM, with UNDP, provide technical and financialcapacity to incorporate the women"s dimension at all levels. Mali, Venezuela andMexico objected to deleting the paragraph.

5. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: Inparagraph 215 (CEDAW review of implementation), the G-77/China reformulated thefirst sentence to recommend that CEDAW take the Platform into account whenconsidering reports submitted by the States parties. Israel preferred monitoring byStates parties, but Algeria objected. The EU proposed deleting the recommendationthat CEDAW give priority to certain articles and added, with Canada, paragraph215(bis), calling on other treaty bodies and mechanisms of the Commission on HumanRights to take account of Platform implementation and to ensure the equal status andhuman rights of women. The G-77/China reserved.

In paragraph 216 (coordination with other human rights treaty bodies), the G-77/Chinaadded references to strengthening the Committee through human and financialresources.

6. General Assembly: In paragraph 217 (GA), the EU proposed deletingreferences to the cross-sectoral nature of women"s issues, the follow-up at the 50thGA session and resolution 49/161. She added references to the fact that the GA is thehighest inter-governmental mechanism and the principal organ in follow-up. The G-77/China supported the EU amendment. Japan proposed that the GA include follow-upas part of its continued work on the implementation of the Nairobi Strategies. Canadaadded a reference to integrating gender concerns throughout GA work.

7. Economic and Social Council: In paragraph 218 (role of ECOSOC), theEU added two sentences, referring to ECOSOC"s role in overseeing system-widecoordination of implementation and review of the CSW"s mandate. The G-77/Chinapreferred paragraphs 218-221 as drafted. Australia added a reference to the Council asa coordinating body.

In paragraph 220 (ECOSOC coordination of gender-related activities), the EUproposed that the Council "consider dedicating" at least one operational segment togender activities. The G-77/China preferred the original text. In paragraph 221(monitoring by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC)), the EU calledon the ACC to consider how the participating entities might coordinate their activitiesto implement the Platform. In paragraph 221, the EU added paragraph 221 (bis),calling for existing and new linkages to be developed throughout the UN Secretariat toensure that the gender perspective is introduced in all activities.

8. Other units of the UN Secretariat: In paragraph 222 (implementation bythe UN Secretariat), Norway called on the Secretariat to "contribute to the coordinatedimplementation" of the Platform rather than "implement" the Platform. In paragraph223 (recruitment by the Office of Human Resources Management), the G-77/Chinaagreed with the EU proposal to delete the target of 50% women in posts and to addreferences to the 1995-2000 strategic plan of action for the improvement of the statusof women and GA resolutions 45/125 and 45/239C. Japan and Australia made furtherreference to relevant GA resolutions. In paragraph 224 (expansion of the Departmentof Public Information), the G-77/China objected to an EU proposal that expansion takeplace "within existing resources." The G-77/China, supported by the US, suggestedadditional programmes for the girl-child. Algeria warned against limiting the DPI"sresources. The EU proposed deleting paragraph 225 (Statistical Division of theDESIPA role), but the G-77/China objected.

9. Specialized agencies and other organizations of the UN system: Inparagraph 226 (action-plans of UN organizations), Norway proposed strengtheningagency roles in supporting national action and enhancing their contributions tocoordinated follow-up by the UN. The G-77/China objected to an EU proposal toremove the reference to "time-bound" targets. The EU inserted clear delineation ofresponsibility "and accountability." Australia called for each organization to develop aplan, setting out specific actions, including goals and targets.

In paragraph 227 (enhance role of focal points on women"s issues), the EU proposedthat each organization "commit itself at the highest level" and take steps to enhance"and support" focal points. The EU added paragraph 227(bis) calling for increasedcooperation among specialized agencies. In paragraph 228 (organizational recruitmentof professional women), the EU called for greater priority to women"s recruitment.The G-77/China supported the EU amendment, adding "subject to geographicaldistribution." Japan inserted "in order to achieve the" GA goals, because theresolutions apply only to the UN Secretariat.

The US proposed a paragraph 228(bis), noting that coordination at the country-levelshould be improved through the resident-coordinator system. Japan added a referencenoting that the system applies only to developing countries.

10. Other international institutions: In paragraph 229 (international NGOs),Japan proposed that NGOs "be invited to prepare" implementation plans rather thanhave them "consider presenting" such plans. Norway suggested deleting the reference.In paragraph 230 (international financial institutions), the EU proposed "encouraging"the institutions to revise their policies and to "consider" increasing their ratios ofwomen in high-level positions. The G-77/China called for the institutions to reviewtheir policies "with a view to providing new and additional resources."

In paragraph 231 (support from UN system and others), the G-77/China called for newand additional financial resources, to which the EU reserved. The EU added a231(bis), noting the Secretary-General"s responsibility for coordinating action on thePlatform and for mainstreaming a gender perspective into all UN activities.

PLENARY

The Plenary, chaired by Natalia Drozd (Belarus), met Tuesday afternoon to hear draftresolutions on Agenda Items 4 (Programming and Coordination Matters Related to theUnited Nations and the United Nations System) and 5 (Monitoring the Implementationof the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women).

Australia introduced the first draft resolution, E/CN.6/1995/L.6, "Improvement of thestatus of women in the Secretariat," the only draft resolution under Agenda Item 4.The text urges the Secretary-General to implement the strategic plan of action forimproving the status of women in the Secretariat and urges Member States to supportUN efforts to increase the percentage of women in professional posts.

Azerbaijan introduced E/CN.6/1995/L.7, "Release of women and children who havebeen taken hostage in areas of armed conflicts." He stressed that the nature of thedraft resolution was humanitarian, rather than political. He noted that, as hostages,women and children have suffered torture, sexual violence and other violations of theirhuman rights. The draft calls for the Secretary-General and other international agenciesto use their influence to get women and children hostages released and for theSecretary-General to inform the FWCW on the situation.

The Russian Federation introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.9, "Integration ofwomen in the Middle East peace process," and welcomed progress in the peaceprocess and the roles that the UN and other parties have played in that process. Theresolution calls on governments, intergovernmental bodies and NGOs to involvePalestinian women in the peace process.

Pakistan introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.10, "Rape and abuse of women inthe areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia," noting documented cases ofrape as a strategy of war and ethnic cleansing and urging punishment through theInternational War Crimes Tribunal. The resolution calls for adequate resources, theappointment of female experts and an end to the victimization of women.

Australia introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.11, "Mainstreaming the humanrights of women," to further the mainstreaming of the UN"s work on women"shuman rights, and welcoming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.Amendments drawn up in consultation with Canada were introduced in paragraph 15,requesting the UN Secretary-General to prepare a joint work plan on the human rightsof women on an annual basis, and to report on the implementation of the draftresolution to the 40th session of the CSW.

The G-77/China introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.12, "Palestinian women,"noting that Israeli occupation poses a major obstacle to the advancement of Palestinianwomen, and calling on Israel to return all refugees, displaced and political deporteewomen and children. The delegate noted that the text should state that occupationrepresents "a," not "the," major obstacle to advancement.

Finland introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.13, "Convention on the Eliminationof All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," which focuses on: additionalmeeting time for the CSW through revision of Article 20; and the right of petitionthrough an optional protocol to the Convention. The proposed optional protocol wouldaddress the problem of inadequate mechanisms to ensure women"s human rights.

The Philippines introduced the draft resolutions on "Traffic in women in girls"(E/CN.6/1995/L.14) and "Violence against women migrant workers"(E/CN.6/1995/L.15). On the first resolution, she noted that the problem affects thelives of thousands of women and young girls, and noted the "human rights crisis" forthose living in situations of sexual exploitation. The resolution calls for humanitarianassistance and rehabilitation for victims of trafficking of women and children.

In introducing the second draft resolution, the Philippines called attention to theexecution of Flor Contemplacion and to the CSW"s initiative to intervene. Theresolution calls on the Secretary-General to submit to the 40th session of the CSW acopy of his report to the GA on violence against women migrant workers.

The 12th session of the CSW was called to order by the Chair, Ms. Licuanan(Philippines), on Wednesday to consider adoption of draft resolutions, as revised orallyon Tuesday. Delegates adopted E/CN.6/1995/L.6, "Improvement of the status ofwomen in the Secretariat," without comment. The Russian Federation and Indiarequested postponing consideration of E/CN.6/1995/L.7, "Release of women andchildren who have been taken as hostages and imprisoned in armed conflicts, to beprovided by the beginning of the FWCW," until Friday. The Russian Federation alsorequested that consideration of E/CN.6/1995/L.9, "Integration of women in the MiddleEast peace process," and E/CN.6/1995/L.12, "Palestinian women," be postponed. TheG-77/China amended E/CN.6/1995/L.12 so that the resolution is addressed toECOSOC instead of the CSW. Decisions on draft resolutions E/CN.6/1995/L.11,"Mainstreaming the human rights of women," and E/CN.6/1995/L.13, "Convention onthe Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," were alsopostponed.

The CSW adopted draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.14, "Traffic in women and girls,"with two amendments. The G-77/China replaced institutions for rehabilitation with"protection," and the Russian Federation introduced an amendment to have theSecretary-General submit a report to ECOSOC, for inclusion in a preliminary report tothe 50th session of the GA, on implementation of the resolution, to bring theresolution into line with standing procedures.

The Philippines introduced a number of amendments to E/CN.6/1995/L.15, "Violenceagainst women migrant workers." The preambular references to the negative effects ofSAPs, debt-servicing and armed conflict were deleted. The reference stating that"citizenship status is dependent on their spouses" now states that "residence status isdependent on their spouses or employers." The references to ILO Conventions andthe Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation ofthe Prostitution of Others were deleted. Slovakia added "countries with" before"economies in transition." The Russian Federation altered the reference to theConvention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of theProstitution of Others, calling on States to "consider the possibility of ratifying" theConvention rather than calling on them to ratify it. The Philippines accepted therephrasing and requested postponing acceptance.

In resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.10, "Rape and abuse of women in the areas of armedconflict in the former Yugoslavia," the Russian Federation requested a postponementbut Pakistan noted that co-sponsors were ready for action. The Russian Federationrequested a vote on paragraph 8 in the preamble, which describes the "heinouspractice" of rape and abuse of women as a "deliberate weapon of war in fulfilling thepolicy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbian forces in the Republic of Bosnia andHerzogovina." Pakistan reminded the Russian Federation that it supported a consensuson the same text during the 49th session of the GA. The Russian Federation respondedthat the preamble distorted the current situation because the practices were no longerbeing perpetrated. Pakistan asked for a roll-call vote. Delegates voted to keepparagraph 8 in the preamble, with 35 delegations voting in favor, 1 voting against, andfive abstaining. Four countries did not participate. Delegates proceeded to adopt theresolution.

INFORMAL-INFORMALS I

The informal-informal group discussing Chapters I (Mission Statement) and II (GlobalFramework) met into the night on both Tuesday and Wednesday. During discussionson Tuesday, there seemed to be agreement to identify the aim of the Platform, asnoted in its first sentence, as women"s empowerment, rather than as the accelerationof the implementation of the Nairobi Strategies or the removal of obstacles toparticipation, as suggested in earlier proposals. Delegates also discussed the purpose ofthe chapters and identified misplaced paragraphs.

On Wednesday, progress continued on several paragraphs. Paragraph 7 (world-widemove towards democratization) includes a reference to the fact that participation ofwomen as full and equal partners in decision-making has not yet been achieved. It alsonotes that, in some Eastern European countries, the transition to parliamentarydemocracy was marked by violence. In paragraph 8 (global economic situation),delegates added a reference to SAPs and their effect on women. The reference to anoverall decline in development assistance remains bracketed.

In paragraph 9 (search for solutions), references to unemployment, absolute povertyand the feminization of poverty were added as reasons for the need to find solutionsseeking to ensure people-centered sustainable development. The text also calls for atransformation to one of equal partnership between women and men. Paragraph 9(bis)(human rights and full and equal participation) was accepted, with a bracketedreference to the universal nature of human rights.

Paragraph 12 (women and peace) now begins by recognizing that the achievement andmaintenance of peace and security are preconditions for social and economicdevelopment, and notes women"s increasing role in the peace movement. A referenceto women"s role as mothers in the achievement of peace was bracketed. The referenceto foreign occupation and ethnic conflicts was bracketed and moved to paragraph 6(end of the Cold War). The paragraph also notes that women"s participation indecision-making, conflict prevention and resolution and all other peace initiatives isessential.

INFORMAL-INFORMALS II

The informal-informal group discussing Chapter IV (Strategic Objectives and Actions),Critical Area D, "Violence against women," met Tuesday and Wednesday. A text hadbeen compiled from amendments submitted last week, but the working document wasan eleven page text, shortened from the original thirty-one page compilation text.Because the room was very small, the Wednesday sessions were closed to all non-delegates.

On Wednesday, several delegates noted that the process seemed to be progressingmore smoothly and that more effort was being made to reach consensus. Negotiatorstried to use language from previous documents, particularly the Declaration on theElimination of Violence Against Women. One delegate noted that an issue ofdiscussion was whether to use "domestic violence" (which had not yet been defined),"violence in the family" or "spousal abuse." Another problem area was the paragraphreferring to other examples of violence against women, including forced sterilizationand abortion, and female infanticide. By the end of the morning session, the delegateshad defined violence and where it occurs. The G-77/China tried to present a commonposition, but several of its members presented their own amendments. For instance,"and equity" appears throughout the text in brackets following references to"equality," and in paragraph 89 (violence in the family), a large amendment referringto family, values and morals was introduced and bracketed. The afternoon sessionprogressed fairly smoothly until paragraph 93 (trafficking in women and girls), where,although the main points were agreed, there were disputes over language. Manyamendments were considered throughout the negotiations, and text was pulled in fromthe first draft document. The session met again in the evening, "hoping" to finish theStrategic Objectives and Actions on section D by Wednesday night.

IN THE CORRIDORS I

The section of the draft Platform dealing with access to health was expected to giverise to contentious debate. Since the attempt to conduct a first reading has beenabandoned, Western delegations have been trying to amalgamate their positions, the G-77/China has continued to draw up amendments, and two UN agencies (WHO andUNFPA) have been called in to facilitate the drafting. The absence of a first reading ofthis section, however, has led to strong criticism from NGO representatives who fearthat it may be referred to Beijing without returning to the Drafting Group.

IN THE CORRIDORS II

The lack of early progress in the first reading of the Platform, resulting in aproliferation of informal-informals, has combined with the accreditation issue to raisequestions about conference procedures. With the "group of ten" due to report onaccreditation to the Bureau Thursday morning, it appears that a review of accreditationprocedures, and of the UN"s working relationship with global civil society, may beone of the significant outcomes of the 39th CSW session. The "group" is expected tosuggest that it will not be possible to open the procedure to new applicants.

A number of senior delegates have offered explanations for the lack of early progress,including "conference overload" in the UN system and a lack of adequate technicalback-up to facilitate early drafting by the Secretariat, a problem also identified at theWSSD. The close proximity of a set of UN conferences has placed practicalconstraints on some delegations" ability to prepare and co-ordinate positions. At thepolitical level, the close proximity of meetings has encouraged attempts to re-opendebates for which the global consensus has been difficult to achieve and remainsfragile. Some ambiguous language adopted at WSSD has also encouraged this. Theresulting difficulties have been particularly acute for the G-77/China delegations, whohave the added difficulty of working, often for the first time, to build consensus onissues related to the advancement of women"s status. One senior delegate has pointedout that the opportunity an international conference presents for a national delegationto develop new positions must be recognized, even if the process proves timeconsuming. The G-77/China communication difficulties were resolved this week whena new team of translators was hired. With no UN resources available to extend theTuesday deadline to complete the work of the 39th CSW session, delegates arepreparing for weekend and evening sessions to continue work on the draft Platform.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY

PLENARY: The Plenary is expected to meet this morning to hearintroductions of draft resolutions under Agenda Item 5 (Monitoring the Implementationof the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women). Anupdate on the progress of the informal-informal groups may also be given.

COMPILATION TEXTS: The compilation texts on many of the StrategicObjectives and Actions sections have begun to circulate, albeit in limited quantities.

EVANGELIUM VITAE: Look for copies of "Evangelium Vitae" (TheGospel of Life), Pope John Paul II"s statement on human life issues, which isreleased today. A number of the topics addressed, e.g. abortion, have a bearing onimportant sections of the draft Platform, including health. Members of NGOs havebegun examining advance copies and discussing its significance.

Further information

Participants

National governments
US
Negotiating blocs
European Union
Group of 77 and China
Non-state coalitions
NGOs

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