Report of main proceedings for 2 June 2000
Informal Consultations of the 44th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing+5 PrepCom)
On Friday, 2 June, the PrepCom continued informal consultations. The Plenary met in the afternoon to discuss preparations for the Special Session and adopt the PrepCom report. Working Group I discussed Section II in the afternoon. Working Group II discussed Section IV in morning, evening and late-night sessions. The contact group facilitated by Vice-Chair Patricia Flor met in the morning, afternoon and evening to discuss paragraphs on armed conflict, health and family.
At the sixth meeting of the third session of the CSW acting as the PrepCom for the Special Session, Chair Christine Kapalata invited delegates to consider the proposed outcome document entitled "Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action" (E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.1/Rev.3), Parts I-IV, as well as an informal paper reflecting the results of further informal consultations held on the text. It was decided that the additions contained in the informal paper would be transmitted along with the proposed outcome document to the General Assembly at its 23rd Special Session next week. Delegates also accepted a document listing NGOs accredited to the Special Session in accordance with GA decision 54/467 (E/CN.6/2000/PC/INF/2), and adopted the draft report of the resumed session (E/CN.6/2000/PCL.9). Chair Kapalata then stated that the work of the resumed session was complete, and adjourned the meeting.
WORKING GROUP I
SECTION II: ACHIEVEMENTS AND OBSTACLES
Education: In paragraph 7, on obstacles, in a reference to lack of political will and resources, LIBYA, PAKISTAN, ALGERIA, KUWAIT and EGYPT opposed reference to lack of political will. SADC, with the EU, supported the reference and the EU stressed the relationship between resources and politics and highlighted the qualifier "in some countries." JUSCANZ proposed reference to lack of commitment. SLAC, supported by JUSCANZ, suggested lack of resources and insufficient political will. ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, on behalf of Caribbean countries, preferred lack of resources and insufficient commitment. References to political will and to insufficient political will/commitment remain bracketed.
In language on the application of structural adjustment policies (SAPs) having had a particularly severe impact on the education sector in some developing countries, since they resulted in declining investment in education infrastructure, the EU, opposed by the G-77/ CHINA and supported by JUSCANZ, proposed specifying "inappropriate" application, and cited WSSD language referring to inappropriate design. Delegates bracketed "inappropriate."
Violence: In paragraph 10, on achievements, delegates considered three alternate proposals for the first section of the paragraph. They agreed to use a new EU formulation of the text as a basis for negotiation, incorporating language proposed by the G-77/China and JUSCANZ, who then withdrew their formulations. JUSCANZ proposed: reference to women "and girls;" text on investigating and punishing acts of violence, whether those acts are perpetrated by the state or private persons; and, opposed by the G-77/CHINA, language on accepting that violence against women where perpetrated "or condoned" by the state or its agents constitutes a human rights violation. JUSCANZ also proposed: incorporating all of the G-77/China text; adding a reference to gender-based violence, which the G-77/ CHINA opposed; and deleting text on domestic violence which "violates and" impairs. Further discussion was deferred pending additional consideration of these proposals, and the text remains bracketed.
WORKING GROUP II
SECTION IV: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES
National and International Actions: In the late-night session on Thursday, 1 June, discussion included text under paragraphs 132 and 133. Delegates agreed on: 132(i) bis (former 126(f)), on innovative programmes to empower older women; 133(g), on hostages; 133(h), on protection of children, especially girls, in hostilities; deletion of 133(k), on women in, inter alia, conflict resolution negotiations; and deletion of 133(m), on small arms and light weapons. Text in other sub-paragraphs remains bracketed, including references to, inter alia, human rights education, impunity for violations of international law, the root causes of armed conflict, assistance to internally displaced women, ratification of the Rome Statute, women affected by situations of armed conflict, the involvement of women in the promotion of peace, gender differences in armed conflict, disarmament, and generating financial resources through reduction of excessive military expenditures.
On Friday, delegates referred 133(n), on refugee access to education and health services, to the contact group on health. In new 134(a), merging 134(a), (c) and (d), on ensuring equal access, inter alia, in the area of information and communication technologies, the EU, supported by all, substituted promoting for ensuring. She proposed language on removing gender stereotypes and promoting balanced portrayals of women and men, taking into account the right to freedom of expression. IRAN, LIBYA, NIGERIA and others opposed, and SADC, JUSCANZ and SLAC supported, the reference to freedom of expression. SLAC said that if the reference was retained, they would withdraw proposed 134(f), on encouraging journalists and media specialists, media associations, educational and training institutions to promote balanced and non-stereotyped portrayals of women. JUSCANZ, with EU support, proposed, as a compromise, "consistent with freedom of expression." IRAN underscored that freedom of expression, as opposed to speech, includes pornography. References to "consistency with" and "taking into the account" the right to freedom of expression are bracketed. Sub-paragraph 134(f) was deleted.
Delegates agreed on new 134(b), merging 134(b), (e) and (i), on developing programmes that support women in networking. They also deleted 134(g), on implementing campaigns emphasizing the equal value of boys and girls in society.
In JUSCANZ-reformulated 134(h), on capitalizing on new information technologies to improve the global sharing of information, research, strengths, lessons learned and best practices related to achieving gender equality, IRAN specified, and all agreed to, gender equality, development and peace. LIBYA, opposed by others, advocated substituting experiences for best practices. The PHILIPPINES called for a reference to "herstories." Several delegations noted this would present translation difficulties and that the concept was implied. JUSCANZ suggested reference to womens experiences. References to "herstories" and "best practices and womens experiences" are bracketed.
In 135(a), on the 20/20 initiative, delegates agreed to promote and accelerate the implementation of the 20/20 initiative that integrates a gender perspective to fully benefit all, particularly women and girls. In 135(b), on ODA, delegates integrated agreed language from the Political Declaration to call for continued international cooperation, including the reaffirmation to strive to fulfill the yet-to-be-attained internationally agreed target of 0.7% of the GNP of developed countries for ODA as soon as possible, thereby increasing the flow of resources for gender equality, development and peace.
IRAN amended its proposed 135(b) bis, on facilitating transfer of technology, to specify this transfer as an effective means of further acceleration in achieving goals of gender equality, development and peace. CHINA supported the text. PAKISTAN, with NIGERIA, proposed adding reference to encouraging development partners to facilitate, and replacing a reference to current patterns with one on developing countries. GHANA suggested amending the text to refer to transfer of technology, particularly new and modern technology. EGYPT, with IRAN, proposed language on encouraging international efforts to eliminate obstacles to technology transfer. SLAC, with ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, preferred the Chairs formulation on facilitating the transfer of technology, particularly new and modern technology, as an effective means of further acceleration. The EU added references to EITs and appropriate technology. JUSCANZ noted it would require further time to consider all of these proposals, and the sub-paragraph remains bracketed.
In EU-proposed 135(c), on integrating a gender perspective in all activities and documents related to the Millennium Assembly and Summit, BANGLADESH, supported by SLAC, PAKISTAN, NIGERIA and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, proposed its deletion due to concerns about the intersection between different UN processes. CROATIA, JUSCANZ and SADC supported the text. Delegates agreed on a reformulation recommending to the Preparatory Committee for the Millennium Assembly to make an effort to, inter alia, integrate a gender perspective, including in the consideration of poverty eradication.
In EU-proposed 135(d), on assessing the impacts of poverty eradication programmes on the empowerment of women living in poverty, delegates agreed to amended language on: intensifying efforts to implement poverty eradication programmes; evaluating the extent to which these programmes have an impact on the empowerment of women; introducing improvements to such programmes; housing; health care; basic social services; participation of women; and microcredit and other financial instruments and services. A reference to "quality" training and education remains bracketed.
In 135(e), on establishing social development funds, SLAC proposed redrafted text to establish social development funds and elaborate and implement, in consultation with civil society, gender-sensitive poverty reduction strategies in order to mitigate the effects of SAPs and trade liberalization policies as well as reduce the social costs of the transition process. CHINA suggested it be placed under national actions. ALGERIA, EGYPT, IRAN, LIBYA, NIGERIA, and PAKISTAN preferred the original text. JAMAICA suggested an amendment on establishing, "in a timely manner," social development funds. The EU suggested a reformulation of 135(e) based on the SLAC proposal, and called for moving elements of their original redraft to a new 135(e) bis. After protracted debate, the EU withdrew their reformulation of 135(e), suggested amendments to the SLAC redraft, and proposed keeping 135(e) bis. The original text, the SLAC proposal as amended by the EU, and 135(e) bis remain bracketed.
The contact group facilitated by Vice-Chair Patricia Flor discussed text on armed conflict, including debating the issue of targeted sanctions. The group also looked at paragraphs on health, including language on adolescent reproductive health information services.
IN THE CORRIDORS
At weeks end, delegates reported that the spirit of consensus had worn into a thin groove of frustration. One observer noted the behavior of the delegations now says more than the language of the document. Another worried that the imminent arrival of thousands of NGOs could either move the process forward, or hold it back because so few have been able to stay on top of the issues through five weeks of preparations. In the meantime, some delegates are reportedly not only bravely negotiating for four sessions a day, but also fending off hostile reports back home from newspapers holding different views on certain contentious topics. And dont plan that well-deserved vacation. Additional Social Summit intersessionals are about to be announced
Things to Look For
WORKING GROUPS: Working Group I will discuss Sections II and III at 10:00 am in Conference Room 2. Working Group II will debate Section IV at 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm in Conference Room 2.
CONTACT GROUPS: Contact groups will meet at 10:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.