DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Ri Song Il said that his delegation believes that the women's "problem" can be solved only through an integral process of implementing all strategies aimed at establishing equitable international, political and economic relations. Each country must legally guarantee women's equal rights with men.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Kwang-Jae Lee said that achieving gender equality through women's empowerment at all levels is one of the top priorities in the implementation of the Platform. He described the measures being taken by his government to implement the Platform. On the international level, one of the critical areas of concern is the eradication of poverty among women. Mechanisms for the advancement of women within the UN system should be strengthened.
CANADA: Kerry Buck said that the mandates of the CSW and the Division for the Advancement of Women must be reviewed and strengthened. The Commission must play a central role in monitoring implementation of the Platform and assisting ECOSOC in monitoring implementation within the UN system. Canada supports the Secretary-General's proposal to establish a fourth goal-oriented inter-agency task force on the empowerment and advancement of women.
UNITED STATES: Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe said that the UN should focus on three critical actions in implementing the Platform: mainstreaming a gender perspective throughout its work; coordinating the implementation of all recent UN conferences and summits; and monitoring implementation of the Platform. She supported the CSW's review of its work programme and the establishment of a high-level post in the Office of the Secretary-General to act as an adviser on gender issues and help ensure implementation of the Platform.
SLOVAKIA: Karol Mistrik said that the transformation process in his country has had some negative impacts on the social position of women, including an increase in unemployment and crimes committed against women. Although 13 percent of the deputies in parliament are women and three women hold ministerial positions in the Government cabinet, much remains to be done to widely employ women in the sphere of responsible and managerial positions. The outcome of the Beijing Conference confirms that the rights of women represent an indivisible part of human rights.
NETHERLANDS: Lily Hutjes outlined the achievements of Beijing and added that specific measures must be taken to speed up the process of acquiring equal rights for women. The Netherlands Government has agreed to incorporate the Beijing recommendations into a new equal rights policy document.
POLAND: Anna Raduchowska-Brochwicz called for closer cooperation among governments at the regional level to give more consistency to the process of implementing the Beijing Platform for Action. Strengthening or, where appropriate, establishing focal points on women in the regional commissions should serve the same purpose. The future role of UNIFEM in Eastern Europe should be strengthened.
AUSTRALIA: Kathy Wong said that Australia looks forward to reviewing the mandate and the development of a multi-year work programme for the CSW and improving the Commission's capacity to undertake a central role in monitoring the system-wide implementation of the Platform. ECOSOC must ensure effective coordination of the follow-up to recent world conferences. All UN funds and agencies should review and revise policies and procedures to meet the priorities identified in the Platform. She described how Australia is implementing the Platform.
ZAMBIA: Mwila G.B. Chigaga noted that a number of the proposals in the Secretary-General's report do not point in the direction of an integrated, effective follow-up to the Beijing conference. One of the reasons why the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategy by the UN system was not very successful may be due to a lack of a focal point within the system for policy and operations. The Division for the Advancement of Women's focus has been on substantive servicing of the CSW, with minimal involvement in operational activities. The proposed inter-agency task force may not be sufficient. Integrating the functions of the adviser on gender issues into the portfolio of one of the senior advisers in the Secretary-General's office will lead to continued marginalization of gender issues.
ISRAEL: Dr. Daphna Sharfman noted several factors that threaten the effective implementation of the Platform for Action: women continue to be locked out of the halls of political power; gender discrimination, often rooted in cultural, religious, traditional and conservative perceptions; and the actual recognition of women's rights as human rights.
PALESTINE: Somaia Barghouti said that what is required from the international community to meet the new challenges facing women today is the sincere will and the mobilization of new and adequate resources to speed up the advancement of women in all fields and the protection of their rights. Among the priorities of the Palestinian women is to adopt a declaration of principles on the rights of women and translate its stipulations into laws to be drawn up by the Palestinian National Authority.
WORLD BANK: Judy Grayson said that the World Bank plans to allocate US$900 million a year in lending to girls' education, at both the primary and secondary levels. The Bank will also work on reproductive health and population activities, primary healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention. The Bank is also developing a leadership fund that will help to facilitate the role of women as agents of change in both the public and private sectors.
UNESCO: Anita Amorim said that prior to the Beijing Conference, UNESCO set up an agenda for gender equality. The Agenda calls for promotion of education, equal access to knowledge in all fields, and recognition of women's capacity for leadership and their contributions to non-violent conflict resolution. UNESCO's medium-term strategy also focuses on ensuring that women can enjoy their rights and strengthen their equal and effective participation in all aspects of social life.
UNHCR: Ann Howarth Wiles described the UNHCR's Policy and Guidelines for Refugee Women. The UNHCR will be implementing the Beijing Platform with a renewed emphasis on the participation and integration of refugee women in all aspects of its protection and assistance programmes. Four new field staff will provide advice and monitor progress at the regional level. A recruitment policy aimed at ensuring greater representation of women, particularly in senior positions, is already in place.
BOTSWANA: Pholile E. Legwaila spoke on behalf of the SADC countries (Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana). The SADC countries cannot endorse the Secretary-General's recommendations because the general thrust of his report is at variance with the Platform for Action. Implementation should be at two complementary levels: national and international. The mandate of the CSW must be reviewed and strengthened to ensure that its central role of mainstreaming gender concerns into the work of the UN will be successful. ECOSOC should dedicate one high-level segment in the next two years to the advancement of women and the implementation of the Platform for Action.
BURKINA FASO: Awa Ouedraogo noted the actions taken by her government to support rural women, such as providing them with loans and improving health and educational services. She did not support the merging of INSTRAW and UNIFEM.
PARAGUAY: Ana Mar�a Biairdi Quesnel said increased education could change the existing inequalities between men and women. In Paraguay, a programme for equal opportunities for women in education has been established, which seeks a non-sexist educational system and promotes education for all.
VENEZUELA: Lyda Aponte de Zacklin said that in order to bring about the changes recommended in the Platform for Action, there is a need for intense collaboration between governments, the Secretariat, organizations in the UN system, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. The Government of Venezuela has concentrated its activities in areas that deserve immediate attention: poverty and the eradication of violence against women.
CUBA: Dulce Mar�a Buergo said that the success of the Beijing Conference will be measured by the fulfillment of the promises made there. Conference follow-up must take an integrated approach and the Platform must be implemented throughout the UN system. She was not pleased with the late submission of the report of the Secretary-General that says, under the pretext of a lack of resources, that he cannot establish the high-level post for the integration of a gender perspective in the work of the UN.
IRAQ: Khaled S.H. Al-Hitti described the progress that Iraq has made in increasing the participation of women in politics and the workforce. Even so, the cumulative effects of the embargo have reached catastrophic levels and have affected the most vulnerable segments of society.
ROMANIA: Victoria Sandru described the actions taken in Romania that are improving the status of women, including a special programme on women in development; appropriate measures to fight women's unemployment; active social protection; a programme for elderly women; and upgrading women to senior management and decision-making positions. She recalled two Romanian proposals made in Beijing to set up an international NGO center for countries with economies in transition in Bucharest, and to organize a regional meeting for assessing the outcome of the Beijing Conference.
INDONESIA: Hamid al-Hadad said that the efforts of the international community to place people at the center of development must also include the equality of rights between women and men as a fundamental principle. Indonesia is concerned about the constraints under which the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women operates, and the backlog of its consideration of country reports. While the status of women in the Secretariat has improved modestly, the target of 35% has yet to be reached.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Azra Kalajdzisalihovic said that the future for the women in Bosnia and Herzegovina faces many challenges in light of all the problems that the country is now facing in the political, economic, social and cultural fields. The direct participation of women in rebuilding society, reconstruction, restoration of the rule of law and reconciliation is essential.
MALI: Coulibally Sira Cisse said that the emergence of a multiparty system in Mali has allowed many women to contribute to Mali's development. She welcomed the creation of the post of special rapporteur on violence against women and urged the international community to support the activities of INSTRAW.
JORDAN: Manar Dabbas said that poverty and unemployment is still a major obstacle in the advancement of women. In this regard, the Jordanian National Committee for Women was established in 1992. The Committee formulated a national consensus, which was adopted by the government, that defines the needs and priorities of women in key areas such as education, health, employment and legislation.
NIGERIA: Sam Otuyelo stressed the importance of UNIFEM and INSTRAW and called for international support for both organizations. The Secretary-General's proposal to establish a high-level advisory board on gender issues is not satisfactory and many would prefer the post of a senior adviser to the Secretary-General, as proposed in Beijing.
UKRAINE: Nina Kovalska described the activities taken in Ukraine to prepare for the Beijing Conference and noted the large number of Ukrainian NGOs that participated in the Forum. The major task of national policy at this stage is to disseminate information about Beijing and involve grassroots organizations in the process of discussing and elaborating a national programme.
NEPAL: Sushama Acharya said that the newly formed government in Nepal has initiated several programmes to promote the status of women, such as the promotion of education of the girl child and the provision of a financial allowance to widows over 60 years of age and to all men and women over 75. She welcomed the Secretary-General's recommendation to review the implementation of the Platform on a biennial basis and for ECOSOC to review and strengthen the mandate of the CSW.
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