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Summary report, 24–26 May 2000

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

The PrepCom for Beijing+5 reconvened on Wednesday, 24 May 2000, to continue discussing the proposed outcome document (E/ CN.6/2000/PC/L.1/Rev.3), following negotiations from 28 February to 17 March , and intersessionals on 8, 9, 11, 15 and 16 May. From 24-26 May, Working Group I discussed Section II and Working Group II discussed Section IV. Of approximately 302 paragraphs, 58 have been agreed.



Economy: In paragraph 14, on achievements, delegates accepted references to: maternity, paternity and parental leave; the promotion of womens roles in entrepreneurship; and research on barriers to economic empowerment. In paragraph 15, on obstacles, delegates agreed on language stating, inter alia: the importance of a gender perspective in macro-economic policy is still not widely recognized; many women still work in, inter alia, the informal economy as subsistence producers; progression in professions, in most cases, is still more difficult for women; persistent gender stereotyping has led to insufficient encouragement for men to reconcile professional and family responsibilities; and implementation of legislation and practical support systems is still inadequate. Delegates agreed to JUSCANZ-amended language on women with comparable skills and experience being confronted with a gender wage gap and lagging behind men in income and career mobility. ALGERIA and others requested brackets on "some countries," "many women" and "fully." On national legislation not recognizing womens equal rights to, inter alia, ownership of land and inheritance, PAKISTAN and others opposed "equal" before inheritance. The reference remains bracketed.

Human Rights: In paragraph 20, on achievements, delegates agreed to language noting reforms of laws governing marriage and family relations and womens rights, and added a reference to laws governing all forms of violence. The EU supported, and IRAN, ALGERIA and LIBYA opposed, JUSCANZ language on sexual orientation. It remains bracketed, along with text on awareness campaigns. Delegates accepted reference to CEDAW's ratification, and deleted text on human rights awareness. The EU, opposed by LIBYA and ALGERIA, suggested wording on CEDAW's Optional Protocol allowing women to submit claims on rights violations. The text remains bracketed. Delegates accepted text referring to progress made in, inter alia, mainstreaming a gender perspective into the UN system. Brackets remain on references to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and to NGO support for the Optional Protocol. In paragraph 21, on obstacles, the G-77/CHINA requested brackets remain on a list of forms of discrimination. Delegates agreed that universal ratification of CEDAW by 2000 has not been achieved. Chair Mlacak's compilation of G-77/China, JUSCANZ, Mexico, and EU proposals on CEDAW implementation, legal standards, and harmful attitudes remains bracketed. The G-77/CHINA proposed replacing EU text on countries enforcing gender discrimination through law with language on women having insufficient access to the law in many countries. The text remains bracketed.

Media: In paragraph 22, on achievements, delegates agreed to the paragraph with JUSCANZ amendments on, inter alia, womens media networks contributing to global information dissemination. In paragraph 23, on obstacles, brackets remain on a reference to obscene materials and pornography. Delegates agreed to language on negative and/or degrading images of women, and to deletion of a sentence on male norms. There was no consensus on a reference to areas of journalism, or on a Holy See proposal for a list of issues, including poverty and illiteracy, limiting access to the Internet. A reference to political will and financial resources was dropped following opposition from some Latin American countries (SLAC) and others.

Environment: In paragraph 24, on achievements, delegates agreed on text stating that some national environmental policies and programmes have incorporated gender perspectives. Brackets remain on: a merger of JUSCANZ and Mexico proposals that recognizes, inter alia, the link between gender equality, poverty eradication and sustainable development; and on a JUSCANZ reference to traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous women. Delegates agreed to delete a JUSCANZ reference to womens traditional knowledge. In paragraph 25, on obstacles, CUBA suggested text on the need for addressing the root causes of environmental problems. SOUTH AFRICA proposed a reference to, inter alia, womens lack of technical skills impeding sustainable environmental decision-making. PALESTINE suggested text on foreign occupation. The paragraph remains bracketed.



International Actions: In agreed 120(a), delegates accepted JUSCANZ language on assisting governments to build institutional capacity for, inter alia, PFA implementation. ALGERIA specified assisting governments at their request. In 120(b), on NGOs helping to, inter alia, monitor the PFA, SLAC, with CHINA, advocated reference to following up instead of monitoring. SOUTH AFRICA and the EU supported follow up and monitoring. A number of delegations, including ALGERIA and PAKISTAN, called for relocating the sub-paragraph to national actions, while the EU preferred national and international actions. The text remains bracketed. In agreed 120(b) bis, on national policies, programmes and benchmarks for achieving a gender perspective, the EU added a reference to NGOs, and substituted gender equality for gender perspective. Delegates also relocated the text under national actions.

In 120(c), delegates agreed to language on allocating sufficient resources to regional and national programmes for PFA implementation. Delegates accepted a Russian Federation proposed 120(d), on assisting governments in EIT countries to, inter alia, develop plans for womens empowerment. In bracketed 120(e), delegates could not agree on a G-77/China proposal for a database listing UN programmes and projects. The EU suggested placing Iraqs proposal for 120(e) bis, on economic sanctions, under national and international actions. IRAQ, IRAN, CUBA and ALGERIA supported the current placement. The text remains bracketed.

In JUSCANZ-proposed 121(a), on mainstreaming a gender perspective in the UN system, delegates disagreed on references to, inter alia, participation of women and UN reform. ALGERIA, IRAN and CHINA called for deleting the sub-paragraph, which remains bracketed. Delegates agreed to 121(a) bis, on supporting national efforts, particularly in developing countries, for enlarged access to new information technology. The EU proposed, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, relocating the paragraph under national and international actions. Placement is pending.

In JUSCANZ-proposed 121(b), on training on gender mainstreaming and the human rights of women for UN personnel, SLAC preferred text on training on a gender perspective and including human rights of women. The EU supported language on gender mainstreaming. SLAC agreed to JUSCANZ amendments referring to personnel receiving training in order to mainstream a gender perspective in their work. PAKISTAN and LIBYA called for deletion of the sub-paragraph, which remains bracketed. In 121(d), on analysis of links between the PFA and relevant UN conferences, PAKISTAN, with ALGERIA, LIBYA, PAKISTAN and SUDAN, called for deletion. The sub-paragraph remains bracketed.

SLAC, with others, proposed deleting 121(e), on the CSW. The EU suggested calling on the CSW to, inter alia, further develop its role. The sub-paragraph remains bracketed. In agreed 121(f), on development planning, delegates accepted wording on gender perspective as a "key" dimension of development. In 121(g), on CEDAW, SLAC suggested deleting a reference to the CEDAW Committee's comments and recommendations. JUSCANZ noted the language reflects a GA resolution. It remains bracketed.

In 122(a), on gender-sensitive responses to humanitarian crises, SLAC suggested assisting governments, upon request, to develop these responses. PAKISTAN, with IRAN, questioned reference to environmental degradation, and, with CUBA, supported language on humanitarian "emergencies." ST. KITTS AND NEVIS and ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA highlighted natural disasters. The text remains bracketed. In 122(a) bis, on UNHCR assistance to refugees, GUINEA suggested CHR language. JUSCANZ preferred a gender-specific focus. The text remains bracketed.

In 122(b), on women's participation at all levels of decision-making in development activities and peace processes, SLAC preferred reference to promoting participation. The EU proposed language on all stages of design, planning and implementation. PAKISTAN added text on supporting and ensuring full and equal participation. LIBYA suggested distinguishing language on development and peace-keeping activities, and BANGLADESH proposed, with support from others, splitting the sub-paragraph. Delegates agreed, but the text remains bracketed. In 122(c), on empowering women and their organizations in, inter alia, conflict prevention, SLAC, with CUBA, proposed deletion. The EU opposed. PAKISTAN, with LIBYA and CUBA, proposed deleting a reference to funding. JUSCANZ preferred text on strengthening capacity for involvement in conflict prevention. PAKISTAN, with LIBYA, called for replacing a reference to transformation with reconstruction. The text remains bracketed. In 122(d), on international tribunals, the EU preferred reference to encouraging the International Criminal Tribunals, and the future ICC, in, inter alia, fully implementing the gender-based provisions of the respective statutes. She opposed MEXICOs specification of "existing" tribunals. SLAC, with the HOLY SEE , preferred supporting the work of the international tribunals. ALGERIA and CHINA suggested deletion. The text remains bracketed.

In 123(a), on supporting womens networks working to eradicate violence against women, JUSCANZ suggested reference to strengthening activities aimed at eradication, including supporting womens networks. Delegates agreed on this formulation with amendments including text on: elimination instead of eradication, supporting instead of strengthening, and networks and organizations. Brackets remain on IRAN's proposal to support activities "within the UN system." In 123(b), delegates agreed to language on considering launching an international "zero tolerance" campaign on violence against women. They accepted a proposal by the EU, with others, not to specify the year 2001.

The EU, with others, supported combining 124(a), on 50/50 gender distribution in posts, and 124(b), on women staff, but amended JUSCANZ language, inter alia, to encourage implementation of measures designed to achieve the goal of 50/50 gender balance in all posts, and report thereon as appropriate.

National and International Actions: Delegates agreed to delete "other actors" from the chapeau to actions taken at the international level and place it in the chapeau to actions taken at the national and international level. The HOLY SEE bracketed the reference.

Delegates merged 125(a), on gender-related analysis and statistics, and 125(c), on national statistical offices. They agreed to language on promoting international cooperation to support regional and national efforts in the development and use of gender-related analysis and statistics by, inter alia, providing national statistical offices, upon their request, with institutional and financial support. SLAC bracketed "national" in a reference to gender-sensitive statistical indicators. In 125(b), on compiling statistics, delegates agreed to: replace text on taking a leadership role with text on assisting countries upon their request; delete reference to UN statistical services; and place this sub-paragraph under international actions. Delegates agreed to place 125(d), on gender perspectives in policies and programmes, under national actions.

Delegates deleted 125(e), on an international task force developing consensus on common indicators on violence. Sub-paragraphs 125(f)-(h) remain bracketed. In 125(f), on developing indicators on violence, the EU proposed, while the PHILLIPINES opposed, deleting references to migrant workers and issues of importance to women. In 125(g), on crime statistics and law trends, the EU supported text on transparency and awareness. CHINA, with PAKISTAN, proposed deletion. SLAC, PAKISTAN and ALGERIA suggested deleting 125(h), on a statistical database on violence. The EU and JUSCANZ preferred reformulation.

In 126(a), on developing national capacity to undertake policy-oriented research to enable knowledge-based policy-making, the EU, CUBA and ALGERIA supported placement under national actions. JUSCANZ proposed, while CHINA opposed, deleting national capacity. The EU proposed reference to policy-making towards gender equality. The text remains bracketed. Delegates deleted 126(d), on analyses of measures on violence. In 126(e), on emerging trends creating new gender disparities, delegates adopted an EU reformulation on continuing research on all current trends, in order to provide a basis for policy action. Brackets remain on 127(g), on gender-sensitive development of, inter alia, sustainable consumption patterns, and on 127 (j), on eliminating the worst forms of child labor.


Working Group II will discuss Section IV at 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. Working Group I will discuss Sections II and III at 3:00 pm.

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