Daily report for 11 March 2000

44th Session of the CSW (Beijing+5 Preparatory Committee)

On Saturday, delegates met in Working Group II in the morning to continue negotiation of Section IV on actions and initiatives. The contact group on Section I met in the afternoon. On Monday, Working Group I convened in the morning to discuss Section II of the outcome document on achievements and obstacles and Working Group II convened to continue discussion of Section IV (E/CN.6/2000/L.1/ Rev.1). The contact group on Section I met briefly during the lunch break.


On Monday, delegates resumed discussion on achievements and obstacles in the implementation of the 12 critical areas of the PFA and negotiated text contained in: paragraph 6 on achievements in the area of education and training for women; paragraph 7 and 7 bis on obstacles to education and training; and paragraph 8 on achievements in the area of women and health.

On paragraph 6, JUSCANZ proposed a reference to women's and girls' education. The G-77/CHINA requested, and JUSCANZ opposed, deletion of the reference to sufficient political commitment. The G-77/CHINA proposed deletion of reference to culturally appropriate education, retention of reference to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, and addition of a reference to removing gender bias from training as well as education. JUSCANZ additionally proposed that reference be made to all fields of study. Delegates agreed and the paragraph was adopted.

On paragraph 7, the HOLY SEE proposed reference to economic, social and cultural barriers to girls education. Most delegates agreed on a JUSCANZ proposal noting both low enrollment and retention rates. The G-77/CHINA preferred that the sentence remain bracketed. JUSCANZ suggested reference to efforts to strengthen literacy, and the HOLY SEE preferred reference to efforts to eradicate illiteracy. The G-77/CHINA suggested, and delegates supported, using both formulations. On increasing access to all levels and types of education, JUSCANZ proposed language on pregnant adolescents and young mothers. The HOLY SEE suggested language stating that the remote location of rural and indigenous communities and inadequate salaries and benefits creates obstacles in attracting and retaining teaching professionals and can result in lower quality education. The EU opposed specific reference to indigenous communities and inadequate salaries and benefits. The G-77/CHINA opposed reference to indigenous communities but supported reference to inadequate salaries and benefits. Language on inadequate salaries and benefits and remote communities was left bracketed.

On a G-77/China proposal for paragraph 7 bis, JUSCANZ suggested reference to the application and inappropriate design of economic reform policies. The HOLY SEE proposed language on economic effects aggravating womens inequality. The entire paragraph remains bracketed.

On paragraph 8, delegates agreed on text referring to programmes implemented to create awareness among policy-makers and planners on the need for health programmes to cover all aspects of womens health throughout the life cycle. The G-77/CHINA, supported by the HOLY SEE, called for text on programmes to foster awareness of the positive impacts of breastfeeding and to combat malnutrition of pregnant and lactating mothers. The HOLY SEE suggested reference to the reproductive rights of women ,as outlined in the ICPD Report, in order to include reservations brought forward by countries. MEXICO, supported by the EU, proposed referring to the prevention of cervical and uterine cancer and other cancers of the reproductive system. JUSCANZ called for including references to other kinds of cancer, recognition of womens role as primary health care providers within their families, and participation of women as health care workers. The HOLY SEE preferred reference to the use of family planning instead of contraceptive methods, and the EU noted that contraception does not necessarily involve a family. ALGERIA called for language on sexual and reproductive rights to be bracketed. All proposals remain bracketed.


On Saturday, delegates discussed: paragraph 48 bis recognizing cultural diversity and the value of dialogue among civilizations in international cooperation to implement the PFA; paragraph 49 on the importance of political will and commitment in ensuring the adoption and implementation of comprehensive, holistic and transformative policies in areas critical to gender equality; paragraph 50 on a non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive constitutional and/or legislative framework to ensure womens de jure equality; paragraph 51 on eliminating violence against women; and paragraph 51 bis on womens contribution to the welfare of the family and upbringing of children.

On text proposed by a group of countries on paragraph 48 bis, many delegates opposed references to empowerment and full realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, full recognition of cultural diversity, and the international communitys recognition of dialogue as essential to the achievement of UN purposes, and suggested alternative language on the valuable contribution of dialogue among civilizations toward improved awareness and understanding of common values.

On paragraph 49, a group of countries introduced a new formulation referring to mainstreaming a gender perspective to reach gender equality through the adoption and implementation of comprehensive and action-oriented policies in all areas. A regional group proposed alternative text referring to: womens equal access to and control over economic and financial resources; the partnership of men and women in democracy and policy-making processes; and the active involvement of men in efforts to achieve the goals of the PFA. A delegation suggested reference to encouraging the active involvement of men and boys in the implementation of the PFA. A group of countries preferred, and others conceded to, deleting the reference to democracy. With these changes as well as a reference to the goals of the PFA, the paragraph was adopted.

On paragraph 50, delegates expressed concern over consistency of the text with various national legal systems. Delegates suggested language referring to a non-discriminatory constitutional and/or legislative framework. The paragraph also emphasizes equality and equal protection before and under the law, together with, inter alia, a supportive law enforcement system and judiciary will to accelerate achievement of womens full enjoyment of all human rights, fundamental freedoms and gender equality. It further recognizes that appropriate regulatory measures and legislative reform processes should address globalization. A group of countries suggested adding language on ensuring equal access to and control over economic benefits, rights and opportunities. In text listing economic issues, a group of countries called for adding access to basic resources such as, inter alia, land and water. Text was left in brackets.

On paragraph 51, delegates could not agree on whether the paragraph should remain a general statement or list forms of violence and it remains bracketed.

On paragraph 51 bis, one delegation called for adequate recognition of women's contributions to social development and equal sharing of family responsibilities. Other groups underscored the social significance of maternity and the role of parents in the family. One delegate questioned placement of references to family as an addendum to a paragraph on armed conflict and emergency situations. Text remains bracketed.

On Monday, delegates discussed: paragraph 53 bis on disabled women and girls; paragraph 54 on monitoring progress through research, targets and other mechanisms; and paragraph 55 pertaining to the allocation of resources supporting the realization of gender equality, development and peace.

Delegates supported placement of paragraph 53 bis in text on actions in Section IV, noting the chapeau should remain broad. Delegates agreed to replace "development" with "society" in a reference to special measures used to mainstream disabled women and girls. The paragraph remains bracketed.

On paragraph 54, a regional group introduced a compilation text that refers to, inter alia, disaggregated data by sex and follow-up mechanisms to assess progress. On a reference to taking action at the national level, a regional group maintained that the wording was too restrictive. The reference remains bracketed.

On paragraph 55, a regional group agreed on references to: the full realization and achievement of the goals of gender equality; necessary human, financial, and material resources; and inclusion of support at all levels. Delegations supported referring to women-specific programmes and gender mainstreaming. One delegation proposed retaining the call for increased international cooperation, but another asked that this phrase remain bracketed for further discussion. The paragraph remains bracketed.


On Saturday, delegates discussed a redraft text of paragraph 2 on the 12 critical areas for priority action to achieve the advancement and empowerment of women.

On the inclusion of a reference to CEDAW, one delegate expressed concern about drawing a parallel in the same paragraph between the PFA, a political commitment, and CEDAW, a legal obligation. Another delegate stressed the link between the PFA and CEDAW and the importance of referring to both in the introduction. A regional group agreed to omit the reference to CEDAW if a reference to the full realization of the human rights of women and girls was included. She opposed a reference to access to productive resources and economic independence introduced by a group of countries and suggested inserting a broader reference to equal access to resources or placing the reference in a different Section of the outcome document. References to CEDAW and access to resources remain bracketed.

On Monday, delegates continued discussion of paragraph 2 based on a redrafted text introduced by a regional group. The text includes references to: the full realization of the human rights of women and girls; the elimination of all practices that discriminate against women; access to economic, productive and social resources and services; and CEDAW as a key legal instrument for the promotion and protection of womens human rights. Most delegates supported the new formulation, but one group of countries continued to advocate reference to access to productive resources and economic independence and to oppose language on CEDAW.


As the Working Groups maintain their one-a-day rate for clearing paragraphs, real progress continues among smaller parties of delegates huddling behind the scenes. The contact group on the Draft Political Declaration is reputedly "deal-making" on language regarding targets for ODA, and references to CEDAW and follow-up to UN conferences. Rumor has it that certain countries may be holding out on CEDAW as a last minute bargaining chip for resources.


WORKING GROUPS: Working Group I will reconvene at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Conference Room 6 to discuss Section II. Working Group II is expected to meet at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1 to continue discussion of Section IV.

CONTACT GROUP: The contact group on Section I is expected to meet at 2:00 pm in Conference Room A.

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