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WOMEN'S LINKAGE CAUCUS

Recommendations on Bracketed Text in the WCW Draft Platform for Action
(A/CONF.177/L.1) August 30, 1995

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E. Advance Peace, Promote Conflict Resolution and Reduce the Impacts of Armed or Other Conflict on Women

132. [amend & retain: An environment which maintains world peace and promotes [delete: universal] all human rights, democracy and the peaceful settlement of disputes, [retain: upholding the principles of non-threat or non-use of force and of mutual respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty is a precondition for the advancement of women.] [retain: Without peace, there will be no equality or development.] Armed and other types of conflicts have not decreased since the end of the Cold War; aggression, [retain: foreign occupation] ethnic and religious and [retain: other types of] conflicts are an ongoing reality affecting women in nearly every region. Gross and systematic violations and situations that constitute serious obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights continue to occur in different parts of the world. Such violations and obstacles include, as well as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or summary and arbitrary detention, all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, denials of economic, social and cultural rights and religious intolerance. Terrorism is a new and emerging global phenomenon. International humanitarian law, prohibiting attacks on civilian populations, is systematically ignored; [retain: Human rights are being violated by [retain: all] parties in armed conflicts.] Armed conflict has resulted in serious violations of the human rights of women, including murder, torture, including rape and other sexual and reproductive violence, (delete: systematic rape) and [retain: forced pregnancy] especially in ethnic cleansing as a strategy of war and its consequences. Some of these situations of armed conflict have their origin in the conquest or colonialization of a country by another country or state and the perpetuation of that colonial situation through state and military repression.]

134. Violations of human rights in situations of armed conflict and military occupation are violations of the fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law as embodied in the international human rights instruments and in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto. [retain: Humanitarian law, prohibiting attacks on civilian populations, and international human rights law, are systematically ignored and violated by armed and security forces and other parties to armed conflicts.] Gross human rights violations and policies of ethnic cleansing in war-torn and occupied areas continue to be carried out. These practices have created, inter alia, a mass flow of refugees and internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are women, adolescent girls and children. Civilian victims, mostly women and children, often outnumber casualties among combatants. In addition, women often become caregivers for injured combatants and find themselves, as a result of conflict, unexpectedly cast as sole manager of household, sole parent, and caretaker of elderly relatives.

135. In a world of continuing instability and violence, the implementation of cooperative approaches to peace and security is urgently needed. [retain: [retain: In implementing cooperative approaches to peace and security] [delete: this requires that] emphasis [retain: should] be given to preventive strategies and to peace building as a particular prevention oriented concept. The perspectives of women would provide a more constructive approach to the use of power and to the resolution of conflict.] Although women have begun to play an important role in conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and defense and foreign affairs mechanisms, they are still under-represented in decision-making positions. If women are to play an equal part in securing and maintaining peace, they must be empowered politically and economically and represented adequately at all levels of decision-making.

136. While entire communities suffer the consequences of armed conflict, terrorism and [retain: foreign occupation and alien domination women and girls are particularly affected because of their status in society and their sex. [Parties to conflict often rape women (delete: with impunity, sometimes using systematic rape) as a tactic of war and terrorism, sometimes with impunity. The impact of violence against women and violation of the human rights of women in such situations is experienced by women of all ages who suffer from displacement, loss of home and property, loss or involuntary disappearance of close relatives, poverty and family separation and disintegration and who are victims of acts of murder, terrorism, torture, involuntary disappearances, sexual slavery, rape [retain: and its consequences], and other sexual and reproductive atrocities such as forced prostitution, sexual abuse, and [retain: forced pregnancy], especially as are result of policies of ethnic cleansing and other new and emerging forms of violence. This is compounded by the life-long social, economic and psychologically traumatic consequences of armed conflict and [retain: foreign occupation].]

139. Many women's nongovernmental organizations have called for reductions in military expenditures worldwide, as well as in international trade and trafficking in and the proliferation of weapons. Those affected most negatively by [retain: excessive military spending] are people living in poverty, who are deprived because of the lack of investment in basic services. Women living in poverty and particularly rural women, also suffer because of the use of arms that are particularly injurious or have indiscriminate effects. There are more than one hundred million anti-personal land mines scattered in 64 countries globally. [retain: Excessive military spending is one of the main constraints to development.] [retain: At the same time, maintenance of national security and peace [delete: is an important factor] [retain: is essential] for economic growth and development and the empowerment of women.]

140. [retain: International stability and security are prerequisites for economic growth and development. In the new international setting, military strength is no guarantee of security. The effects of mass migration, crime, the drug problem, disease, human rights violations, environmental degradation, pressures of population growth and underdevelopment transcend national borders. These new challenges to peace and security have implications at the local, regional and global levels.]

141. During times of armed conflict and the collapse of communities, the role of women is crucial. They often work to preserve social order in the midst of armed and other conflicts. [retain: Women make an important but often unrecognized contribution as peace educators both in the family/families and in society.]

[Increase the participation of women in conflict resolution

and protect women in armed and other kinds of conflict and under foreign occupation]

Strategic objective E.1. Increase and strengthen the participation of women in conflict resolution and decisionmaking and leadership in peace and security activities and protect women in armed and other conflicts and [retain: living under foreign occupation]

Actions to be taken

144. By Governments and international and regional intergovernmental institutions:

(a) [amend & retain: Take action (delete: to establish a critical mass) to promote gender balance and to ensure equal participation of women with due regard to equitable geographical distribution (delete: numerically) at all levels, and ensure that opportunities are made available for qualified women to participate in all United Nations forums and peace activities at ambassadorial and decisionmaking levels, including the United Nations Secretariat;]

(b) Strengthen the role of women and [retain: increase the percentage of women at all decision-making levels in national and international institutions which may make or influence policy with regard to matters related to peace-keeping] [retain: including observer missions] [retain: peace-building, fact-finding and preventive diplomacy activities,] and in all stages of peace mediation and negotiations; [retain: in line with the specific recommendations of the Secretary-General in his strategic plan of action for the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat (1995-2000) (A/49/587, sect. IV)];

(c) [retain: [retain: Integrate a [retain: gender perspective] in the resolution of armed or other conflicts [retain: and foreign occupation] and aim for gender balance when promoting candidates for judicial and other positions in such international bodies as [retain: war crime tribunals, including the United Nations International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda,] the International Court of Justice [retain: as well as in other bodies related to the peaceful settlement of disputes;]]

(d) Ensure that these bodies are able to properly address gender issues by providing appropriate training to prosecutors and judges and other officials in handling cases involving rape [delete: and its consequences], [retain: forced pregnancy ], indecent assault and other forms of violence against women [delete: in armed conflicts and foreign occupation and integrate a gender perspective into their work];

Strategic objective E.2. [amend & retain: Reduce military expenditures and (delete: control) the availability of armaments] [delete: Reduce and eliminate the availability of instruments of violence against women]

Actions to be taken

145. By Governments:

(a) Increase and hasten,as appropriate, subject to national security considerations, the conversion of military resources and related industries to [retain: development/peaceful] purposes;

(c) [retain: [delete: Submit data to the United Nations Conventional Arms Register and consider expanding the Register to widen the scope of weapons covered,]. [retain: Improve the universality of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms as an effective measure for building confidence at the global level.] [delete: and include in their annual reports information on military holdings and procurement through national production]. Register, and ultimately eliminate, offensive weapons development, production, deployment and sales and, as a first step, expand the [retain: United Nations Register of Conventional Arms to include production and marketing], making reporting obligatory, and to include all types of weapons, such as nuclear, chemical and biological weapons];

(d) [amend & retain: Recognize and address the dangers to society of armed conflict, the excessive production of and illicit trade in arms, linked to money-laundering and sale of arms that are particularly injurious or have indiscriminate effects, terrorism, violence, crime, the production and use of and trafficking in illicit drugs and trafficking in women and (delete: children) girls.] While acknowledging legitimate national defence needs, the dangers to society of armed conflict and the negative effect of excessive military expenditures, trade in arms, especially of those arms that are particularly injurious or have indiscriminate effects, and excessive investment for arms production and acquisition should be recognized and addressed. Similarly, the need to combat illicit arms trafficking, violence, crime, the production and use of and trafficking inillicit drugs, and trafficking in women and children should be recognized;

(e) [amend & retain: Immediately adopt/ (delete: Consider the adoption of) a moratorium on the export and planting of anti-personnel land-mines, and facilitate the transfer of mine clearance technology without restriction or discrimination; undertake to destroy current stockpiles of antipersonnel land-mines; promote assistance in mine clearance, in particular to promote scientific research aimed at rapid advancement of mine detection and clearance technology; and (delete: consider ratifying) ratify the 1981 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects24/ and the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices24/ (Protocol II);]

(f) [retain: Promote the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction especially nuclear weapons.]

Strategic objective E.3. Promote non-violent forms of conflict resolution and reduce the incidence of human rights abuse in conflict situations

Actions to be taken

147. By Governments and international and regional organizations:

(b) [retain: Encourage diplomacy, [retain: preventive diplomacy,] negotiation and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in particular, Article 2, paragraphs 3 and 4 thereof;]

(c) [retain: Consider the establishment of a special United Nations unit for third party conflict prevention and resolution and the gender composition of any such unit;]

(e) [amend & retain: Declare that rape and other sexual assault in the conduct of armed conflict can constitute a war crime which violates the Geneva Conventions and its Protocols and a crime against humanity and under certain circumstances, may constitute an act of genocide. Take all measures required for the protection of women and (delete: children) girls, and strengthen mechanisms to investigate and punish rape, and other such acts;]

(g) [retain: Call upon the international community to condemn and act against terrorism.]

(h) Take action to investigate and punish members of the police, security, armed forces and others who perpetrate acts of violence against women, violations of [retain: international humanitarian law,] and violations of the human rights of women [retain: who violate the human rights of women] in situations of armed conflict.

(j) [retain: Encourage the elimination of and abstain from adopting unilateral coercive measures, in violation of international law and the Charter of the Unit,ed Nations that go against the population of affected countries and, in particular, women and that could provoke situations leading to conflicts;]

(k) [amend & retain: Take measures in accordance with international law [retain: and legitimacy] with a view to alleviating the negative impact of economic sanctions on women and (delete: children) girls.]

Strategic objective E.4. Promote women's contribution to fostering a culture of peace

Actions to be taken

148. By Governments, international and regional intergovernmental institutions and nongovernmental organizations:

(e) Consider establishing educational programmes for girls and boys to foster a culture of peace, focusing on conflict resolution. [retain: These programmes should promote, among other things, positive models for men and boys that encourage them to use non-violent means to settle conflicts].

Strategic objective E.5. Provide protection, assistance and training to refugee and displaced women [retain: including internally displaced women]

Actions to be taken

149. By Governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and other institutions involved in providing protection, assistance and training to refugee women, other displaaced women in need of international protection and internally displaced women, including the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme, as appropriate;

(d) [retain: Take all the necessary steps to ensure the right of refugee and displaced women to a safe and protected return to their homes.]

(f) [delete: Take account of the specific needs and resources of refugee and displaced women and children, especially their access to appropriate and adequate food, water, shelter and health services including reproductive health services, in the provision of emergency relief and longer term assistance] [retain: Ensure that the international community and the international organizations provide financial and other resources to governments in [retain: countries of asylum] in order to provide emergency relief and longer term assistance that takes into account the specific needs and resources of refugee and displaced women and children, especially their access to appropriate and adequate food, water, shelter and health-care services including reproductive health services] [delete: including vaccinations, provisions of basic medicines and medicines related to tropical diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever, full maternity care, including prenatal and postnatal care; dental care; and reproductive health-care;]

(New first alternative for second bracketed text)

delete: Extend adequate international support to countries of asylum to meet the basic needs of refugees and to assist in the search for durable solutions. In providing emergency relief and long term assistance to refugee populations, give special attention to the specific needs of refugee and displaced women and children. Provide refugee and displaced women and children with access to adequate accommodation, education, health services, including family planning, and other necessary social services.
(New second alternative for second bracketed text)
delete: Ensure that the international community and the international organizations provide financial and other resources to Governments concerned in order to provide emergency relief and longer term assistance that takes into account the specific needs and resources of refugee and displaced women and children, especially their access to appropriate and adequate food, water, shelter and health-care services.

(i) [retain: Support and promote efforts] by States towards [delete: Consider] the development of criteria and guidelines on responses to persecution specifically aimed at women, by sharing information on States' initiatives to develop such criteria and guidelines, and by monitoring to ensure their fair and consistent application;

(l) [retain: Adopt special measures, as appropriate, to provide women who have been determined to be refugees with access to vocational/professional training programmes, including language training, small-scale enterprise development training and planning and counselling on all forms of violence against women, which would include rehabilitation programmes for victims of torture and trauma, and substantially increase the international contribution to general programmes for assistance to refugees, particularly in countries which host the largest number of refugees;]

(n) [retain: Provide basic and support services to women who are displaced from their place of origin as a result of terrorism, violence, drug trafficking or other reasons linked to violence situations;]

150. By Governments:

(b) [amend & retain: (delete: Protect) Provide women and (delete: children) girls who migrate as family members with the right to an independent adjudication of refugee status and protect them from abuse or denial of their human rights by sponsors, (delete: and consider extending their stay) and provide mechanisms for continuing their claim for asylum or refugee status should the family relationship dissolve, within the limits of national legislation;] [Subpara. to be moved]

[retain: New Strategic objective E.6: Provide assistance to the women of the colonies

Actions to be taken

151. By Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations should:

(a) [retain: Support and promote the recognition and implementation of the universal right of all peoples to self-determination and ensure that by virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, taking into account the interests of women of the colonies and providing special programmes in leadership and in training for decision-making;]

(b) [retain: Raise public awareness through the mass media, education at all levels and special programmes to create a better understanding of the situation of women of the colonies].]


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