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Daily report for 31 May 2000

Informal Consultations of the 44th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing+5 PrepCom)

On Wednesday, 31 May, the PrepCom met to continue informal consultations. Working Group I discussed Section II in the morning. Working Group II discussed Section IV in afternoon and evening sessions. The contact group on health and family met in the morning, afternoon and evening. The contact group on trafficking met in the afternoon.



The Girl Child: In paragraph 27, on obstacles, the G-77/CHINA emphasized a reference to poverty. JUSCANZ proposed specifying the worst forms of child labor and the heavy burden of domestic labor on girls. The G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, advocated deleting reference to domestic child labor. The references remain bracketed. The HOLY SEE opposed language on stereotypical roles. The EU supported retaining references to both roles and attitudes. The G-77/ CHINA suggested bracketing "and/or attitudes." The HOLY SEE proposed attitudes and/or roles that limit womens potential. MEXICO, supported by the GAMBIA, called for reference to negative cultural attitudes. The Chair proposed negative cultural and stereotypical attitudes and/or roles that limit womens potential. The text remains bracketed. The HOLY SEE preferred referring to the girl childs "needs" over "situation." Delegates agreed on situation. On obstacles to girls becoming confident, self-reliant and independent, IRAN suggested, and JUSCANZ bracketed, "adults in the future." The HOLY SEE extended brackets to self-reliant and independent. The EU opposed Holy See text on parental support, while ZAMBIA, with LIBYA, called for adding reference to poverty. IRAN suggested language on early sex outside marriage as a cause of unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS. All of these references remain bracketed, and the Chair referred the paragraph to small group facilitation.

Armed Conflict: In paragraph 13, on obstacles, delegates agreed on text stating armed conflicts continue to cause serious obstacles to womens advancement, and to a G-77/China reference to links between peace, equality and development. JUSCANZ called for specifying equality between men and women; the amendment remains bracketed. Delegates did not agree on a G-77/China proposal referring to other kinds of conflict, including, inter alia, alien domination. In a list of causes and consequences, delegates accepted a JUSCANZ reference to denial of human rights. The G-77/Chinas insertion of "all" remains bracketed. The G-77/CHINA questioned EU text on ideological extremism, and inserted new references to the enormous amounts of resources spent on nuclear arsenals and to unilateral coercive measures. The EU, with CROATIA, suggested deleting "political transition." JUSCANZ, with the EU, called for deleting reference to high technology armaments and for adding reference to "forced" recruitment of, inter alia, child soldiers. JUSCANZ suggested deleting reference to economic sanctions. The EU questioned the link in a Holy See proposal between military spending and a weakening of the state. With no consensus, the Chair referred the paragrah to small group facilitation.



Vice-Chair Patricia Flor addressed Working Group II in the afternoon, announcing that results as of Tuesday evening from the contact group on health and family had been distributed. Text has been accepted on health from paragraphs 107, 115 and 138, and on family from 102, 118 and 137. She recommended the group introduce the agreed language into the document to be adopted by the General Assembly next week.

National and International Actions: Chair Bhattacharjee proposed, and all agreed, adding "as appropriate" to the chapeau for national and international actions. Delegates agreed to 126(a) bis, proposed by the G-77/China, on developing a South-South cooperation programme with a view to assisting in the capacity-building of national machineries on women through, inter alia, the sharing of expertise, experiences, and knowledge on womens empowerment, gender issues and gender mainstreaming methodologies.

In JUSCANZ-proposed 126(d) bis, on undertaking appropriate data collection on indigenous women in order to foster appropriate programmes and services, delegates supported deletion of reference to others for whom relevant information is particularly lacking. The sub-paragraph was agreed.

In G-77/China-proposed 126(f), on supporting innovative programmes to enable older women to increase their contribution to development and combat poverty, JUSCANZ proposed, and all supported, replacing reference to enable with empower, and adding language on older women benefiting from development. The EU suggested, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, merging this text with 132(h) and 132(i). Some Latin American countries (SLAC) proposed, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, moving it to national actions. Delegates agreed to retain the sub-paragraph under national and international actions as amended.

In old 129(a) (new 122(b) bis), on involvement of women in decision making at all levels, ZAMBIA specified gender balance in the appointment of women "and men." Delegates agreed, and added reference to full respect for the principle of equitable geographical distribution. They also amended language to provide for inclusion of women as special envoys and special representatives and to pursue good offices on behalf of the Secretary-General, inter alia, in matters relating to peace-keeping, peace-building, and in operational activities, including as resident coordinators.

In 129(b), on developing consultative processes and mechanisms, LIBYA preferred reference to partnership with womens "organizations including NGOs," community and other groups. Delegates agreed. The EU reformulated JUSCANZ language on ensuring all women, including women from ethnic minorities, are fully involved and informed about decisions that impact their lives. SLAC and others preferred that this language list specific categories of women. JUSCANZ, with the EU and SOUTH AFRICA, suggested, and delegates agreed, that the text refer to all women, with attention to those who face particular barriers to their participation in public life. Delegates moved the sub-paragraph to national actions.

Delegates integrated 129(c) with 129(d), on applying positive measures to give equal access to capacity-building programmes to enhance womens participation in decision making. ZAMBIA specified apply and support. SLAC, with ST. KITTS AND NEVIS speaking on behalf of Caribbean countries, favored a general reference to enhancing participation in decision making in all fields and at all levels. LIBYA, PAKISTAN and IRAN expressed difficulty with a JUSCANZ reference to participation of the full diversity of women. JUSCANZ proposed deleting "full." Delegates accepted language on applying and supporting positive measures to give all women, particularly indigenous women, equal access to capacity-building and training programmes to enhance their participation in all fields and at all levels. The sub-paragraph was agreed.

Delegates agreed to delete 129(e), on increasing participation of indigenous women in decision making. In 129(f), on gender-balanced participation in civilian police forces and the military, delegates considered reformulations proposed by JUSCANZ and the EU. PAKISTAN preferred to work on the JUSCANZ text, and opposed, while ST. KITTS AND NEVIS supported, reference to representation of women in the military. JUSCANZ proposed, with the EU, merging text on identifying women candidates for assignment to UN peacekeeping missions with EU language on participation in the civilian police forces. BANGLADESH, with ALGERIA, NIGERIA, and ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, proposed: retaining separate formulations; replacing reference to gender-balanced participation with reference to enhanced participation of women; and moving language on civilian police forces to the national level. Delegates agreed to postpone discussion pending consultation with their delegates in the Fourth Committee.

In 130(a), on measures aimed at eradication of violence against women, delegates agreed to references to: effective "national" legislation; "elimination" of violence against women; and the worst forms of child labor. The EU, with JUSCANZ and the HOLY SEE, and opposed by IRAN, preferred that the paragraph focus on girls. The EU proposed inclusion of reference to sale of children and deletion of reference to forced marriages, honor crimes and dowry-related violence. JUSCANZ suggested agreed CHR language on crimes committed in the name of honor and in the name of passion. PAKISTAN proposed text on racially-motivated crimes. The text remains bracketed.

In JUSCANZ-proposed 130(b), on measures aimed at elimination of sexual and economic exploitation of girls, ALGERIA, with CHINA, called for its deletion. The paragraph remains bracketed. In 130(c), on rape and other acts of sexual violence against women and girls used as a weapon of war, the HOLY SEE suggested an amendment referring to gender-related crimes and crimes of sexual violence as defined in the Rome Statute of the ICC, which affirms that rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other forms of sexual violence constitute, in defined circumstances, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The paragraph remains bracketed.

In 130(d), on financial and other support to NGOs and other actors in civil society to fight gender-based violence, ALGERIA suggested, and ST. KITTS AND NEVIS opposed, placement under national actions. Delegates agreed to text referring to: providing support to NGOs; womens organizations; "all forms of" violence; and women "and girls." References to other actors in civil society and race-based violence against women and girls remain bracketed.

In 130(e), on prosecution of perpetrators of all forms of violence against women and girls, SLAC suggested placement under national actions. ALGERIA proposed deletion. JUSCANZ called for deletion of "all forms." The paragraph remains bracketed. In 130(f), on ensuring education and training for all actors in contact with victims of violence, JUSCANZ supported an EU redraft on establishing guidelines for and providing training to all actors. ST. KITTS AND NEVIS proposed reference to the judiciary. The sub-paragraph is pending.

In JUSCANZ-proposed 130(g), on organization of public campaigns on the unacceptability of violence against women, delegates agreed to PAKISTANs suggestions on text stating "encourage" public campaigns, "enhance" public awareness, and, supported by many delegations, "the social costs" of violence. Delegates also agreed to a SLAC proposal to delete reference to a GA resolution.


The contact group on family and health continued making progress on more contentious issues. Delegates debated definitions of trafficking in a second contact group, and two countries presented new text for the groups consideration.


Some observers note that perhaps delegates should begin drafting a definition of progress. Does it mean clearing the document, or leaving it strewn with brackets? At least one group is now actively importing language from the PFA, on the theory that this may be the only route to an agreed outcome. For those needing to ease the argumentative edge still further, the UNs Consensus Building Institute is holding a special workshop today will they start by debating why the presentation is in English only? Meanwhile, some women delegates express concern over the dominance of vocal negotiators without a vested interest in the issues at hand. They say its time to break the bloc. Regional groups, restless under the New York regime, are pondering the path of SLAC. The more the merrier

Things to Look For

Working Group I will discuss Sections II and III at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1. Working Group II will debate Section IV at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm, pending the availability of services, in Conference Room 1.Contact groups will meet at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in Conference Room 6, and at 7:00 pm in Conference Room 9.

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