The Plenary, chaired by Natalia Drozd (Belarus), met Tuesday afternoon to hear draft resolutions on Agenda Items 4 (Programming and Coordination Matters Related to the United Nations and the United Nations System) and 5 (Monitoring the Implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women).
Australia introduced the first draft resolution, E/CN.6/1995/L.6, "Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat," the only draft resolution under Agenda Item 4. The text urges the Secretary-General to implement the strategic plan of action for improving the status of women in the Secretariat and urges Member States to support UN efforts to increase the percentage of women in professional posts.
Azerbaijan introduced E/CN.6/1995/L.7, "Release of women and children who have been taken hostage in areas of armed conflicts." He stressed that the nature of the draft resolution was humanitarian, rather than political. He noted that, as hostages, women and children have suffered torture, sexual violence and other violations of their human rights. The draft calls for the Secretary-General and other international agencies to use their influence to get women and children hostages released and for the Secretary-General to inform the FWCW on the situation.
The Russian Federation introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.9, "Integration of women in the Middle East peace process," and welcomed progress in the peace process and the roles that the UN and other parties have played in that process. The resolution calls on governments, intergovernmental bodies and NGOs to involve Palestinian women in the peace process.
Pakistan introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.10, "Rape and abuse of women in the areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia," noting documented cases of rape as a strategy of war and ethnic cleansing and urging punishment through the International War Crimes Tribunal. The resolution calls for adequate resources, the appointment of female experts and an end to the victimization of women.
Australia introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.11, "Mainstreaming the human rights of women," to further the mainstreaming of the UN"s work on women"s human rights, and welcoming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Amendments drawn up in consultation with Canada were introduced in paragraph 15, requesting the UN Secretary-General to prepare a joint work plan on the human rights of women on an annual basis, and to report on the implementation of the draft resolution to the 40th session of the CSW.
The G-77/China introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.12, "Palestinian women," noting that Israeli occupation poses a major obstacle to the advancement of Palestinian women, and calling on Israel to return all refugees, displaced and political deportee women and children. The delegate noted that the text should state that occupation represents "a," not "the," major obstacle to advancement.
Finland introduced draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.13, "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," which focuses on: additional meeting time for the CSW through revision of Article 20; and the right of petition through an optional protocol to the Convention. The proposed optional protocol would address the problem of inadequate mechanisms to ensure women"s human rights.
The Philippines introduced the draft resolutions on "Traffic in women in girls" (E/CN.6/1995/L.14) and "Violence against women migrant workers" (E/CN.6/1995/L.15). On the first resolution, she noted that the problem affects the lives of thousands of women and young girls, and noted the "human rights crisis" for those living in situations of sexual exploitation. The resolution calls for humanitarian assistance and rehabilitation for victims of trafficking of women and children.
In introducing the second draft resolution, the Philippines called attention to the execution of Flor Contemplacion and to the CSW"s initiative to intervene. The resolution calls on the Secretary-General to submit to the 40th session of the CSW a copy of his report to the GA on violence against women migrant workers.
The 12th session of the CSW was called to order by the Chair, Ms. Licuanan (Philippines), on Wednesday to consider adoption of draft resolutions, as revised orally on Tuesday. Delegates adopted E/CN.6/1995/L.6, "Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat," without comment. The Russian Federation and India requested postponing consideration of E/CN.6/1995/L.7, "Release of women and children who have been taken as hostages and imprisoned in armed conflicts, to be provided by the beginning of the FWCW," until Friday. The Russian Federation also requested that consideration of E/CN.6/1995/L.9, "Integration of women in the Middle East peace process," and E/CN.6/1995/L.12, "Palestinian women," be postponed. The G-77/China amended E/CN.6/1995/L.12 so that the resolution is addressed to ECOSOC instead of the CSW. Decisions on draft resolutions E/CN.6/1995/L.11, "Mainstreaming the human rights of women," and E/CN.6/1995/L.13, "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women," were also postponed.
The CSW adopted draft resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.14, "Traffic in women and girls," with two amendments. The G-77/China replaced institutions for rehabilitation with "protection," and the Russian Federation introduced an amendment to have the Secretary-General submit a report to ECOSOC, for inclusion in a preliminary report to the 50th session of the GA, on implementation of the resolution, to bring the resolution into line with standing procedures.
The Philippines introduced a number of amendments to E/CN.6/1995/L.15, "Violence against women migrant workers." The preambular references to the negative effects of SAPs, debt-servicing and armed conflict were deleted. The reference stating that "citizenship status is dependent on their spouses" now states that "residence status is dependent on their spouses or employers." The references to ILO Conventions and the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others were deleted. Slovakia added "countries with" before "economies in transition." The Russian Federation altered the reference to the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, calling on States to "consider the possibility of ratifying" the Convention rather than calling on them to ratify it. The Philippines accepted the rephrasing and requested postponing acceptance.
In resolution E/CN.6/1995/L.10, "Rape and abuse of women in the areas of armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia," the Russian Federation requested a postponement but Pakistan noted that co-sponsors were ready for action. The Russian Federation requested a vote on paragraph 8 in the preamble, which describes the "heinous practice" of rape and abuse of women as a "deliberate weapon of war in fulfilling the policy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbian forces in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzogovina." Pakistan reminded the Russian Federation that it supported a consensus on the same text during the 49th session of the GA. The Russian Federation responded that the preamble distorted the current situation because the practices were no longer being perpetrated. Pakistan asked for a roll-call vote. Delegates voted to keep paragraph 8 in the preamble, with 35 delegations voting in favor, 1 voting against, and five abstaining. Four countries did not participate. Delegates proceeded to adopt the resolution.
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