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UN General Assembly Special Session (Beijing +5): Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century
New York; 5-9 June 2000

BNT (version française)

 

Highlights from Thursday 8 June

The deadline is missed for the document to be translated for adoption by the General Assembly and delegates meet into the morning hours of Friday to continue negotiating text . . Delegates met all day in working groups, contact groups and informally. The Committee of the Whole held an informal meeting shortly after 5:00 pm to deliberate how to move forward in negotiating the rest of the document. Delegates intervened individually and representing groups of countries to suggest how to move ahead. The bureau then met and determined it could continue negotiations until 1:00 am CSW Chair Christina Kapalata said the working groups would continue working until 10:00pm and that the COW would continue at 10:30 pm to finish negotiating the outstanding issues. She set the following ground rules: interventions should only be one minute and that if new language could not be agreed on, then the Beijing+5 language should be reverted to. She emphasized that we cannot have Beijing minus 5. The COW reconvened at Midnight and at 1:00 am, the interpreters left. The COW continued its work until the early morning hours without interpretation. Negotiations continued into the early morning hours and are expected to continue on Friday.

Above Photo: Angela King, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, at the COW

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent a message to delegates urging them to continue negotiatons in a spirit of cooperation (pictured left with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Head of the US delegation to the Special Session)

 

Plenary speeches can be found at: http://www.un.org/ga/webcast/stat.htm

See below for the following coverage:

Building on Beijing: Challenges for Realizing Women's Human Rights
Press Conference: Assessing progress made, particularly in the area of women's reproductive and sexual health and rights, at Beijing+5
New Information and Communications Technologies: Building Partnerships for Women's Education and Training
Study on Women's Participation in the Electoral Process
Faces at Beijing+5

 


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-- 7 June
6 June 5 June

 

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Negotiations: Informal meeting of the COW and Working Groups
The COW met informally to continue negotiations into the early morning hours on Friday. . . . .
US Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke in the COW speaks with US delegates; the COW before the convening of the late night session

Photos (left to right):CSW Chair Christine Kapalata, Tanzania, and Working Group II Chair Asith Bhattacharjee, India; Chair Bhattacharjee speaks with the US; and Working Group I Chair Kirsten Mlacak, Canada, with Chair Kapalata

Vice-Chair Patricia Flor (Germany) chaired the contact group and took over negotiations in the COW, which reconvened at Midnight. Paragraphs on the following were left pending from the contact group: diversity, family issues, sexual rights, violence against women and marital rapes, pornography, armed conflicts, peace, inheritance, girlchild, NGOs, governance, monitoring, national machineries, abortion, labor, trafficking, religious leaders, sovereignty, health, foreign occupation, unilateral measures and sanctions.
The Australian delegation consults (left); Chair Asith Bhattacharjee talks to SADC delegates

Photos (left to right): The Sudan; Guatamala, representing SLAC (Some Latin American Countries and the Holy See; and JUSCANZ

Panel Discussion: "Building on Beijing:Challenges for Realizing Women's Human Rights". Organized by UNIFEM, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Division for the Advancement of Women. Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights (left), discussed the nature and extent of state responsibility in securing human rights. She expressed concern that some delegates were moving away from state responsibility in the final document. She said human rights of women, including right to education, property rights, and political involvement, must be enforced in national laws. She lamented deletion of a paragraph regarding homosexuality. She lamented that many countries do not condemn marital rape or honor killings or support reproductive rights. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UNIFEM, emphasized that, in addition to state responsibility, the corporate sector should be held responsible and what happens across boundaries is extremely important. She highlighted the training of women in the use of CEDAW and all aspects of life and highlighted the importance of the Optional Protocol. She called for the engendering of government budgets. She discussed women's economic rights, reiterated that in the context of globalization, governments alone cannot be held accountable and pointed to financial institutions and corporations. She said corporations should adopt codes of conduct based on CEDAW and the UN systems. The event was moderated by Zelmira Regazzoli, member of the CEDAW Committee.

Other Panelists (left to right): Navanethem Pillay, Judge, International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, Gay MacDougall, member of the Committee for Racial Discrimination, and Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.

For more information visit: www.unhchr.ch or www.unifem.undp.org


Press Conference: Assessing progress made, particularly in the area of women's reproductive and sexual health and rights, during the Beijing+5 review process

The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CLRP) held a press conference calling on governments to stop waffling on reproductive an sexual health and rights. Kathy Hall Martinez, Deputy Director, International Program, CRLP, said the pace of the week's negotiations has been frustratingly slow and that "a small group of conservative extremists are still singing the same song--refusing to recognize women's reproductive rights." Shanthi Dairiam, International Women's Rights Action Watch, Malaysia, said that although CEDAW has been in effect for twenty years and has been ratified by 165 countries, some governments this week have called it "old business." She said the CEDAW is the foundation of the Platformfor Action. Bene Madunagu, Girls Power Initiative, Nigeria, said their is some misconception that rights are a Western concept being imposed on developing countries and referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Righ. She said reproductive rights are not just a Western concept and that they are vital to women in Africa. Amparo Claro, Latin America and Caribbean Women's Health Network, Chile, said the Beijing Platform for Action has encouraged the women's movement in Latin America to press governments for legal and policy reforms and urged a strong reaffirmation of the Platform.

Above photo (left to right): Shanthi Dairiam, International Women's Rights Action Watch, Malaysia, Bene Madunagu, Girls Power Initiative, Nigeria, Amparo Claro, Latin America and Caribbean Women's Health Network, Chile, and Kathy Hall Martinez, Deputy Director, International Program, CRLP

Listen to Kathy Hall Martinez's statement

Listen to Bene Madunagu's statement

Listen to Amparo Claro's statement

 


Panel Discussion: "Study on Women's Participation in the Electoral Process" Organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The panel addressed, inter alia, a report released today (June 8) by the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES). The study found that women with greater levels of education had more access to political and economic information information, and were more interested and willing to participate in political and economic transition. The unique date was taken from five national surveys conducted in Belarus, Indonesia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. The survey also analyzed gender-specific responses to numerous questions on topics such as the meaning of democracy, trust in social institutions, assessment of corruption, and attitudes toward NGOs. To obtain a copy of the report, email: torie@ifes.org Panelists included Pamela Reeves, Director, Development and New Initiatives, IFES (left), Khairat Abdul-Razaq, Senator, Nigeria (left center) and Khadija Al-Dubai, Permanent Representative of Yemen to the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO) (right)


Faces at Beijing +5


ENB Summary of CSW-44 and the Informal Consultations
Linkages FWCW page
UN Division for the Advancement of Women Beijing +5 Site with official documents and information for participants

Special Events during the Special Session
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