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Informal Consultations of the 44th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing +5 PrepCom)
New York, May 2000
 

BRIEFING NOTE FOR 16 MAY 2000

 

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN ACTING AS THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR BEIJING +5

 

SUMMARY

 

On Tuesday, 16 May, Working Group I met from 10am to 1pm to discuss Section II of the outcomes document, on achievements and obstacles. Working Group II met from 3pm to 6pm and 7pm to 10pm to debate Section IV, on further actions and initiatives.

 

The following covers only text negotiated in the current sessions.

 

WORKING GROUP I: SECTION II: ACHIEVEMENTS AND OBSTACLES

 

In paragraph 12, on achievements in the area of women and armed conflict, delegates considered the streamlined text and a new G-77/China reformulation. All agreed on the chair’s merged version of G-77/China and JUSCANZ text, on recognizing that armed conflict has different impacts on women and men and that a gender-sensitive application of international human rights and humanitarian law is important. They also agreed to text on the importance of steps taken at national and international levels to address abuses against women, including the contributions of international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. A sentence on the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court was agreed but remains in brackets pending placement and clarification of language.

 

Delegates accepted merged JUSCANZ and G-77/China text highlighting women’s contribution to peacemaking and conflict resolution and noting introduction of education and training in this area. In G-77/China language noting progress on the dissemination and implementation of guidelines for the protection of refugee women, the EU, with the HOLY SEE, proposed reference to displaced women. JUSCANZ and the G-77/CHINA opposed, and the text remains bracketed. All agreed to include gender-based persecution as a basis for refugee status.

 

JUSCANZ proposed to move a G-77/China reference to recognition of the need for more financial and other resources to a section of the paragraph on planning, design and implementation of humanitarian activities, and suggested alternate language on recognition of gender-differentiated experiences of humanitarian emergencies. The G-77/CHINA opposed, and the text remains bracketed. In language on humanitarian agencies, the HOLY SEE opposed a G-77/China deletion of religious organizations. The EU opposed deletion of a reference to refugees in conflict and post-conflict situations, and added a reference to displaced persons. JUSCANZ added a reference to refugee and displaced women and girls, and proposed retaining references deleted by the G-77/China on arms reduction and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction. The text remains bracketed.

 

In paragragh 17, on obstacles to women in power and decision-making, delegates agreed to lift remaining brackets on: the gross under-representation of women; the environment and the media; gender sensitive attitudes; the awareness of women to engage in decision-making; social awareness of the importance of balanced participation of women and men; and the willingness of men to share power. They also agreed to a G-77/China deletion of the word “these” before a reference to critical spheres of influence.

 

The G-77/CHINA could not agree to a JUSCANZ proposal to add prevention to text on conflict resolution mechanisms, or to lift brackets from the word “persists” in text on hindering the inclusion of a gender perspective. The G-77/CHINA continued to oppose language on clear and transparent appointment and selection criteria, while JUSCANZ called for retaining the phrase. It remains bracketed. References to sufficient dialogue with women’s NGOs and to the failure to adapt organizational and political structures to make them woman-friendly also remain in brackets. The G-77/CHINA proposed alternative language for the latter phrase, referring to the lack of adequate adaptation of organizational and political structures in order to have more women in all spheres of political decision-making. JUSCANZ suggested including both formulations; the G-77/CHINA could not agree.

 

WORKING GROUP II: SECTION IV: FURTHER ACTIONS AND INITIATIVES

 

Actions to be taken at the national level by governments: In 102 (b), on removing discriminatory legislation, the G-77/CHINA continued to oppose specifying a date, suggesting reference instead to as soon as possible. JUSCANZ continued its support of specifying 2005. The reference remains bracketed. In 102 (e), on reviewing legislation for compatibility with CEDAW and other international human rights instruments, delegates considered a reformulation from the chair. The HOLY SEE proposed inserting text on reviews by state parties; the EU suggested adding reference to policies; and JUSCANZ called for reference to relevant international human rights instruments. The text remains in brackets pending a G-77/China position.

 

In 102 (h), on developing, reviewing and implementing laws, practices and procedures against discrimination on the basis of, inter alia, sex and race, the EU called for removing brackets on practices and procedures because this is POA language. The G-77/CHINA agreed to practices and procedures and a Holy See proposal on developing positive attitudes if a list of forms of discrimination could be deleted. JUSCANZ opposed, and the text remains bracketed. In 102 (l), on immigration and asylum policies, disagreement persisted over language on the  assessment of refugee status and grounds for asylum. JUSCANZ proposed, while the G77-CHINA opposed, moving 102 (n), on incentives to facilitate compliance with non-discriminatory legislation, to 118 (h), on civil society.

 

In 103 (b), on treating violence against women as a criminal offense punishable by law, delegates agreed to add a reference to girls, while a reference to all ages remains bracketed. The G77-CHINA, with the HOLY SEE, supported inclusion of text on violence based on all forms of discrimination. The EU, with JUSCANZ,  preferred  language on violence based on discrimination on the basis of race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. The text remains bracketed. In 103 (c), on mechanisms to handle criminal matters related to domestic violence, delegates did not agree on references to family violence, marital rape, and sexual abuse of women and girls. In 103 (d), a reference to female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honor crimes remains bracketed.

 

In 106 (a), on legislation to protect indigenous knowledge, the EU accepted reference to adopting, where appropriate, national legislation. The paragraph was agreed. Delegates deleted 107 (k), on solutions to the smoking epidemic, as it is being considered in combined paragraphs on health.

 

In 109 (a), on incorporating a gender perspective into the design, development, adoption and execution of all budgetary processes, delegates agreed to a G-77/China reference to as appropriate, and JUSCANZ language on developing necessary analytical and methodological tools and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation. In 109 (b), there was no agreement on language addressing the appropriate increase and effective utilization of investments in the social sector. Debate continued over language on gender equality and women’s empowerment serving as a central strategy for addressing development and poverty eradication. The EU opposed a G-77/China formulation on development and poverty eradication to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equality.

 

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This briefing note was provided by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � enb@iisd.org. It was written and edited by Tonya Barnes <tmb34@columbia.edu> and Gretchen Sidhu <gsidhu@igc.org>. The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree <kimo@iisd.org>. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <info@iisd.ca> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in this briefing note are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from this briefing note may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor.  

 

 
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