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Summary record of the 25th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Wednesday, 30 October 1985, New York, General Assembly, 40th session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/40/SR.25
Convention Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Document Type Summary Record
Session 40th
Type Document

14 p.

Subjects Women, Women's Status, Women in Development, Women's Advancement

Extracted Text

United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY FORTIETH SESSION Official Records* THIRD COMMITTEE 25th meeting held on Wednesday, 30 October 1985 at 10.30 a.m. New York SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 25th MEETING Chairman: Mr. ZADOR (Hungary) CONTENTS AGENDA ITEM 92: UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: EQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (continued) (a) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (b) WORLD CONFERENCE TO REVIEW AND APPRAISE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: EQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (continued) (c) VOLUNTARY FUND FOR THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (d) PREVENTION OF PROSTITUTION (continued) AGENDA ITEM 99: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) AGENDA ITEM 100: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (continued) (a) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (continued) (b) STATUS OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) Distr. GENERAL A/C.3/40/SR.25 8 November 1985 ENGLISH ORIGINAL: FRENCH 85-57111 4672S (E) A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 2 The meeting was called to order at 10.50 a.m. AGENDA ITEM 92: UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: EQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (continued) (A/40/3; A/CONF.116/28 and Corr.l; A/40/188, A/40/239 and Add.1, A/40/365, A/40/703 and Corr.1 and 2, A/40/727) (a) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: REPORT OP THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (b) WORLD CONFERENCE TO REVIEW AND APPRAISE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: EQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (continued) (c) VOLUNTARY FUND FOR THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (d) PREVENTION OF PROSTITUTION (continued) AGENDA ITEM 99: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/40/3, A/40/707) AGENDA ITEM 100: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORKS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (continued) (A/40/3, A/40/45, A/40/623) (a) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (continued) (b) STATUS OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) 1. Mr. MITREV (Bulgaria) said that the world Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for women, which had been one of the major events of 1985, had embodied the hope of women all over the globe to live in a world of peace, equality, social progress and development. Taking a realistic approach, it had managed to highlight the linkage between equality, development and peace and had demonstrated clearly that the prerequisite for enhancing the status of women was the resolution of the major problems of our time, namely, the prevention of nuclear war and the halting of the arms race, in outer space also, the elimination of apartheid and racism, the establishment of just and democratic international economic relations and the elimination of hunger and misery. Document A/CONF.116/12, entitled "Forward-looking Strategies of implementation for the advancement of women and concrete measures to overcome obstacles to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the United Nations Decade for Women for the period 1986 to the year 2000: Equality, Development and Peace", set forth a far-ranging programme of action which might serve as inspiration not only for States but for women's organizations and the United Nations. A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 3 (Mr. Mitrey, Bulgaria) 2. On the international level, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women would, if universally ratified, permit the realization of the objectives of the Decade and the implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies of implementation for the advancement of women to the year 2000. The Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation, adopted in 1982, should also be recalled in that connection. The United Nations Decade had led to greater participation by women in community life and had encouraged millions of them to join the struggle for international peace and security, self-determination and national independence, the elimination of apartheid, social progress and development, as demonstrated in particular by the international meetings organized on the initiative of the women's International Democratic Federation. It must be understood that the reason for the fact that the objectives of the Decade were far from being fully realized was that there could be no true equality so long as the interests of the peoples were sacrificed to imperialist interests, and that there could be no development so long as billions of dollars were spent, not on the resolution of social problems, but on the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction for use on earth and in outer space. The problem of peace was thus paramount among the problems which were of concern to women and men in the world. 3. The experience of a number of countries had provided the evidence: the only way to improve the status of women was by taking account of their triple role in society, as mothers, workers and social agents. Only thus would it be possible to attain the objectives of the Decade and of the Forward-looking Strategies of implementation to the year 2000. The Bulgarian delegation intended to submit to the Third Committee a draft resolution concerning the role of women in society, based on resolution 39/123, and hoped that it would once again be supported by other delegations. 4. Mrs. HORZ (German Democratic Republic), speaking on agenda item 92, said that the World Conference and the NGO Forum held in Nairobi had been the high points of 10 years of efforts. The Decade had encouraged women all over the world to work more vigorously tor peace, economic and social progress and equality, guided by documents adopted at the Conferences at Mexico City and Copenhagen and by the General Assembly, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women and the Declaration on the Participation of women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation. 5. The Forward-looking Strategies adopted at the Nairobi Conference provided guidelines for overcoming problems, such as hunger, illiteracy and disease, which affected millions of women and children, particularly in developing countries. That document also emphasized the role of women in the economies of their countries and stressed their equality in matters of employment and education. Of no less importance for women was their active participation in the struggle for peace and the elimination of apartheid and other forms of racism by which sole means they might ensure that their basic rights were respected, particularly their right to self-determination. The Nairobi Conference had shown that efforts to keep women away from major political issues were doomed to failure. The participating A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 4 (Mrs. Horz, German Democratic Republic) delegations, particularly those of the socialist States, had emphasized that it was imperative to put an end to the arms race on earth, to prevent it from spreading to outer space and to make use of the resources thus released to solve the serious economic and social problems which affected millions of women and their families. 6. The Government and citizens of the German Democratic Republic were prepared to co-operate with all peace- and freedom-loving forces to counter Imperialist circles, which strove to dominate the world by means of military superiority, and were determined to make common sense and realism prevail in the interest of international peace and security. The lesson to bear in mind, 40 years after the victory over fascism, was that peace was more than ever necessary, for, in the nuclear age, peace had become synonymous with survival for mankind. His delegation therefore intended to submit a resolution on the participation of women in the promotion of international peace and co-operation. 7. The Nairobi Conference had considered the fate of women and children who were victims of the imperialist policy of aggression and intervention and of fascist dictatorships; it had expressed its solidarity with women who were fighting against colonialism, racism, fascism and apartheid, had called for the implementation of sanctions against the South African regime and had condemned acts of aggression against the front-line States committed by that regime with the help of mercenaries. The German Democratic Republic was in solidarity with the women of South Africa and Namibia who, under the leadership of ANC and SWAPO, were fighting against racist oppression and for self-determination. That struggle required the continued support of the international community. His country was also linked in solidarity with the Palestinian people which, under the leadership of the PLO, was fighting to exercise its right to self-determination and to establish an independent State in accordance with United Nations resolutions. The German Democratic Republic denounced any interference in the internal affairs of the countries of Central America and the Caribbean and the undeclared war against the courageous Nicaraguan people. 8. The fortieth anniversary of the United Nations was an opportunity to review the Organization's contribution to the implementation of equal rights for women. It could be said in that respect that, although great progress had been achieved, much remained to be done. In many countries, the political and economic situation had created obstacles to the implementation of equal rights and had even, in certain cases, increased discrimination against them. Such frequently-used phrases as "new poverty" often reflected the deteriorating conditions of women's life. Efforts must therefore be redoubled in the struggle for equality, development and peace and women should be increasingly mobilized in support of those objectives. The German Democratic Republic hoped that the Forward-looking Strategies, which could contribute to the achievement of those objectives, would be adopted by the General Assembly at its fortieth session. 9. Mr. HOGUE (Australia) said that, of the three types of discrimination, colonialism, racism and sexism, sexism was the area in which the least had been achieved. The Nairobi Conference had therefore acknowledged the magnitude of the A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 5 (Mr. Hogue, Australia) task by targeting the year 2000 for a further review of the document containing the Forward-looking Strategies. That document put forward some main themes. Firstly, women must be integrated into the development process as agents and beneficiaries. They must be involved in the planning, implementation and review of development projects in order, on the one hand, for their rights to be protected and promoted and, on the other, for the effectiveness of the projects themselves to be enhanced. Then it was necessary to enhance the status of women who belonged to various vulnerable social groups. In that respect, his delegation welcomed the references made in the Strategies to indigenous and migrant women, young women who were disadvantaged in the employment field for one reason or another, older women whose life expectancy, as demographic statistics showed, was increasing and whose social, material and physical needs should be taken into consideration, disabled women, whose difficulties and rights should be recognized, women who were the victims of domestic violence and refugee women. His country was also pleased that a paternalistic or authoritarian approach had been avoided in discussing the problem of prostitution. 10. His delegation had followed with interest the important debate which had taken place in Nairobi concerning the tension between the search for equality and certain traditions. Cultural revolution was inevitably slow but legislative measures could accelerate change. Australia had always emphasized the development of national machinery and the adoption of practical measures to improve the status of women, while avoiding establishing mechanisms which achieved few practical results. For that reason, instead of establishing a separate ministry for women's questions, his country had preferred to establish an Office of the Status of women in the Department of the Prime Minister. That Office, which worked closely with a task force constituted by the heads of the 11 major Government departments, held consultations with women through the National Women's Consultative Council. In that way, women were involved in the decision-making process in every area, not merely on narrowly defined "women's issues". He added that an equal opportunity policy could help women to assume positions of responsibility. 11. It was unfortunate that the Nairobi Conference had not been able to reach a consensus on the subjects of apartheid and the Middle East, but it must be recognized that it had been improbable that countries would depart from their positions on those questions. Australia had not withdrawn its support for the Strategies document as a whole because they contained elements of critical importance to the women of Australia and other parts of the world. Australia was certainly not arguing that the major political issues of the day were Irrelevant to women. It simply considered that those issues should be discussed in other forums. Moreover, women should play a more active part in all spheres of society, including the international forums which were discussing, among other topics, the question of disarmament. 12. At its fortieth session, the General Assembly should adopt by consensus a single comprehensive resolution adopting the Forward-looking Strategies and clearly defining the action to be taken by Governments and the United Nations system to implement them. Some of the ideas formulated in numerous draft resolutions A/C3/40/SR.25 English Page 6 (Mr. Hogue, Australia) submitted to the Nairobi Conference should be considered in other appropriate forums. The resolution to be adopted by the Third Committee should, of course, also underline the central role of women in development and the need to adopt other measures at the national level to improve the status of women. 13. The Commission on the Status of women clearly had a central role to play in United Nations deliberations on women's questions. But the role of the Advancement of women Branch rqauired further study and thought. However, the agenda of the Third Committee was too crowded to admit the consideration of those questions at the current session. The most difficult issue to be addressed was the Question of whether further world conferences on the status of women should be convened. In that respect, a compromise must be arrived at between those who wished to see a world conference convened every five years and those who had reservations about the cost of such conferences. Australia proposed that a special session of the General Assembly should be convened every five years to consider the implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies, and that a world conference should be convened in the year 2000. Australia was confident that the Nairobi spirit of consensus would be maintained and that an agreement could be reached on follow-up measures to implement the Forward-looking Strategies. The international community must use that document wisely and well. 14. Mr. VRAALSEN (Norway), speaking on behalf of the five Nordic countries, said that they agreed with the Secretary-General that the United Nations Decade for women was only a beginning. By unanimously adopting the Forward-looking Strategies, the international community had provided a solid basis for the improvement of the status of women around the world. 15. In the period which lay ahead, the Strategies would be implemented. At that stage it was important to continue focusing on the three themes of the Decade: equality, development and peace. As far as equality was concerned, it was not sufficient to improve legislation; further measures must be taken to ensure that it would be effectively implemented. There could be no equality for women without the possibility of exercising their rights and responsibilities and of enjoying the equal opportunities and salaries which they had been denied until now. Governmental machinery, with adequate resources and authority, must be established to monitor improvement In the status of women. 16. He underlined the importance of the theme of development in the Strategies, in particular where education, health, employment, food, water and agriculture were concerned, and the participation of women in decision-making; he pointed out that, in development programmes, women should not be treated separately or considered as simple beneficiaries, but as active participants. 17. On the third theme, peace, he regretted that women played a very limited role in decision-making, and he stressed the importance of education for peace. Peace should not, however, not be separated from the larger question of the relations between men and women in all aspects of life and within the family. A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 7 (Mr. Vraalsen, Norway) 18. The Governments or the Nordic countries were currently considering how to implement the recommendations of the Forward-looking Strategies. The document would be distributed, not only at the government and local levels, but also to the many women's organizations. Special campaigns would be organized in order to create a change of attitude in both men and women. The Governments of the Nordic countries also intended to organize a forum for non-governmental organizations. 19. It would be useful to consider in addition what measures should be taken to allow the whole United Nations system to implement the Strategies. Measures should first be taken so as to include the needs and concerns of women in the programmes, policies and activities of the United Nations Secretariat and the organizations of the United Nations system. Secondly, inter-agency co-operation in that area should be strengthened. Finally, women's concerns should be given priority at the highest level of the Secretariat. The Nordic countries welcomed the adoption of Economic and Social Council resolution 1985/46, in which the Secretary-General was requested to formulate a system-wide medium-term plan for women and development, and looked forward with interest to the submission of that plan. The Branch for the Advancement of Women and the Commission on the Status of women both needed to be strengthened, and he stressed the role which the Commission could play as a forum for the exchange of ideas and as an evaluating body to follow up the Forward-looking Strategies. 20. The Nordic countries had welcomed the forum held for non-governmental organizations in Nairobi, without a constant dialogue with women's organizations, Governments could not obtain positive and enduring results. The Nordic countries were ready to support proposals endorsed by a large number of Member States for the organization of world conferences before the year 2000. They were, however, of the opinion that it was also necessary to organize regional and subregional conferences as an effective means for ensuring follow-up of the Strategies. Future conferences should focus more on the subthemes of the Decade: employment, education and health. 21. He noted with satisfaction that an increasing number of States had ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women, but remarked that States parties should comply more strictly with their obligations under the Convention. Finally, the Nordic countries were concerned about some of the reservations put forward by a number of countries which had acceded to the Convention, since such reservations were incompatible with the objectives of the Convention. 22. Mrs. BAZAROVA (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) noted that over the past 10 years the world had witnessed great changes which had had repercussions on the situation of women. That situation should therefore be seen in a historical perspective. 23. During the barbaric ages, women had been considered on the same level as cattle or treated as a work tool. The situation had improved later, although for a long time women could obtain only badly-paid work which required no A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 8 (Mrs. Bazarova, USSR] Qualifications, women had, however, struggled for their rights and some of them had managed to enter various areas. Social evolution, moreover, had required women to play an increasingly more active part in economic, social and political life. 24. Contemporary society could not do without the productive and creative capacity of women. The liberation of women had therefore become a need. The United Nations was aware of that and by proclaiming the United Nations Decade for women it had for the first time drawn the attention of world public opinion, parliaments and Governments to the role of women in the present world. 25. Her delegation considered that, overall, the Decade had had positive results to the extent that the number of women participating in social activities had Increased. Moreover, more than 70 States had acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women. Other important documents of the Decade included the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation, adopted by the General Assembly in 1982 at its thirty-seventh session. 26. However, her delegation noted with concern that not all the objectives had been reached during the Decade, In particular those which had been set by the Mexico City and Copenhagen Conferences, women, who were in the majority in the world population, represented only a third of the world's economically active population. It was more difficult for them than for men to obtain education, find work and reap the benefits of socio-economic progress, when armed conflict or aggression occurred, women and children were the first victims and suffered the most from the consequences of capitalist plundering and expansion, colonialism, racism and foreign occupation, women living under the yoke of apartheid or in the Arab territories occupied by Israel were in a particularly tragic situation. 27. In many countries the inequality suffered by women was a direct consequence of the unjust situation of those countries, due to the existing international economic system, women also continued to suffer discrimination in certain developed countries, which was entirely unjustifiable. In many of those countries, even the richest ones, thousands of women were victims of 30b discrimination, unemployment, tailing incomes, the high cost of living, exploitation and sometimes hunger and destitution. 28. In the USSR, the Soviet power had considered the question of women from its very inception, women's rights had been included in national legislation, while socio-economic development, the absence of unemployment, social security. and free medical care, education and vocational training allowed women to exercise their rights. In her country it was neither sex nor age but the quality of work and its results which determined the level of pay and promotion. Soviet women actively participated in State affairs, and the number of women deputies increased with every election. Currently more than half the deputies to the local Soviets and a third of the deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR were women. The republics of central Asia provided a significant example in that regard. In Turkmenistan, for example, women before the October Revolution were practically slaves. Now they A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 9 (Mrs. Bazarova, USSR) were full citizens of their country and In charge of their destiny. Many women were to be found in the areas of science, medicine, education, higher education, culture and art, and they often occupied managerial positions. Sixty per cent of Soviet citizens with a specialized higher or secondary education ware women. 29. States should also ensure that women with children could take an active part in the social and public life of the country. To that end, the Soviet Government had established a large number of free pre-school establishments and day-care centres, and provided hot meals and supervised evening study. 30. Mothers ware particularly honored in the Soviet Union. In Turkmenistan more than 20,000 women, who had had 10 children or more, had been decorated with the title of "mother-heroines". Soviet women received full pay during pre- and post-natal leave; they were also entitled to part-time paid leave until their child was one-and-a-half years old. Maternity benefits increased with each new birth. Low-income families received an allowance which was adjusted to the number of children. 31. She noted the link between equally, development and peace. The United Nations should continue with its efforts to improve the status of women in the light of those objectives, basing itself, among other things, on the final document of the Nairobi Conference. 32. Mr. PREYBERG (Poland) said that the United Nations Decade for women had not only succeeded in mobilizing Governments and public opinion in behalf of women but had also drawn attention, particularly at the Nairobi world Conference, to the close links between the situation of women and the fundamental political, social and economic problems facing the international community. For that reason, in the Conference's principal document, the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of women, which had been adopted by consensus, women had voiced their full support for peace, co-operation, understanding and the establishment of equitable economic relations between nations and spoken out against war, the arms race and the senseless waste of billions of dollars in the production of deadly weapons. For the same reason, the peace issues dealt with in the Strategies deserved particular attention, especially at a time when the world was commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the victory over fascism and the establishment of the United Nations. 33. The Nairobi Conference not only offered a chance to review the achievements of 10 years efforts, it had provided the opportunity to work out the general directions of activities until the year 2000. The realization of the goals of the Forward-looking Strategies depended primarily on the international situation. The preservation of peace was the first pre-condition for the advancement of humanity. If the immense problems posed by hunger, disease, drought, the economic crisis and other factors were to be overcome, humanity would need enormous financial, material and intellectual resources, which were now being used in preparations for war on earth, and more recently, in space. In so far as women's lives were profoundly affected by the international situation, they were naturally, politicized. If negative factors such as the lack of progress in disarmament negotiations, A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 10 (Mr. Freyberg, Poland) apartheid, the situation of Palestinian woman and the women fighting in Nicaragua. the resurgence of neo-colonialism and inequitable economic relations ware to persist, they would inevitably hamper the realization of the objective agreed upon in Nairobi. 34. The Polish Government took a realistic view of the chances of implementing all the Forward looking Strategies in the years to come; nevertheless, it attached great importance to the document and was determined to Implement its recommendations. Poland had been among the first signatories of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women, and had modified the country's Constitution to improve the position of women in society, particularly that of working mothers and working women in general. Nevertheless, his Government would spare no effort to Improve the situation of Polish women even further. In that connection, the national programme to promote women's Interests in accordance with the Nairobi Strategies was to be debated by the Council of Ministers. 35. As the Polish delegation had stated at Nairobi, the various documents on women's issues adopted during the United Nations Decade for women, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women, the Declaration on the Participation of Women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation and the decisions adopted recently at Nairobi, formed a real international women's charter for the decades to come. The Strategies adopted should, of course, be continually updated and supplemented to take account of developments in the international situation which affected the agreed objectives, namely, equality, development and peace. 36. In respect of the first objective, the Polish delegation was convinced that ratification by more States of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women was tire best way of improving the prospects of equality for women all over the world. 37. As tor development, the Polish delegation considered, as it had stated in May 1985 before the Economic and Social Council, that the world survey on the role of women and development (A/CONF.116/4) was a first step in the right direction, and that further research should be conducted on that subject on an interdisciplinary and multispectral basis. 38. In the same way, the role of women in strengthening international peace and security should be subject to periodic review. The Polish delegation considered that, in 1986, special attention should be paid to the implementation of the Declaration on the Participation of women in Promoting International Peace and Co-operation as part of the commemoration of the International Year of Peace. In that connection, the Polish delegation noted with satisfaction that the draft resolution submitted by Poland at Nairobi on the role of women in the preparation of societies for life in peace, sponsored by 22 countries, had appeared in annex I of the Conference report (A/CONF.116/28 and Add.l and 2). 39. In conclusion, he pointed out that the Conference had shown that women felt responsible for the fate of the world and for its peaceful development. A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 11 40. Miss KHADIJA (Tunisia) said that the United Nations Decade for Women had brought greater awareness of the problems faced by the women of the world, had helped to promote exchanges between them and had broadened the base of their solidarity. At the national level, legislation and regulations had been adopted to give women more rights and safeguards, women's participation in the working world and in public and international life had also increased. 41. After Tunisia achieved independence, legislation had accorded men and women equal rights, but had also given them an equal duty towards the nation and its socio-economic development, while continuing to conform to Islamic law. The thirteenth of August, the National Day, had been renamed Women's Day. The non-discriminatory legislation which had been adopted in all fields and the implementation of a wide-ranging educational and economic and social development programme had paved the way for full and complete participation by women in the life of the nation and in its development, both as agents and as beneficiaries. In Tunisia in 1984, 48 per cent of primary school pupils, 39 per cent of secondary school pupils and 36 per cent of students in higher education were girls. The number of working women had also Increased. At present, Tunisian women worked in agriculture, crafts, manufacturing industries, tourism. Government service and political Institutions, women had been appointed to two ministerial posts. In addition, the Tunisian Government had set up centres where young women who had been unable to attend school or continue their studies could receive training to help them prepare for their role as citizens and enhance their working skills. Other programmes were currently Being implemented, such as the working family programme and the family kitchen garden project involving 40,000 rural families; they were intended to ensure that those families received a regular secondary income and enjoyed a higher level of nutrition. Despite the progress already achieved, women were redoubling their efforts to bridge the gap between legislation and reality. 42. In the effort to achieve equality, the most difficult task was to guarantee the implementation of the laws, which would remain a dead letter unless effective measures were taken and if women remained unaware of their rights. 43. The progress made in the area of women's participation in development was still insufficient; women were still confined to subordinate posts and had not yet entered the field of science and technology in large numbers. Also, because of the escalation of international conflicts, the level of resources available for the implementation of women's programmes had been far lower than expected. The main obstacles to women's participation were the slow pace of change in people's attitudes and their failure to accept the idea of an equitable distribution of roles within the family and society. The Inadequate follow-up mechanisms for monitoring women's situation and the small number of women at various levels of decision making and in the media were also major obstacles to the realization of the established objectives. 44. The 1985 United Nations report on the situation of women in the world stated that women, who represented 50 per cent of the world's population, performed almost two thirds of all types of work, received only one tenth of all income and owned A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 12 (Miss Khadija, Tunisia) less than 1 per cent of the goods produced. By the year 2000, the world female population would have reached approximately 3 billion, outnumbering men by 175 million. It was therefore a pressing necessity to ensure the advancement of women, particularly in developing countries. 45. One of the greatest achievements of the Decade for Women was the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which her country had ratified in July 1985. Tunisia also welcomed the Forward-looking Strategies of Implementation for the Advancement of women which the Nairobi World Conference had adopted by consensus, but it regretted that separate votes had been taken on some paragraphs of that document. In her delegation's opinion, it was hardly possible to speak of the advancement of women or their participation in development and peace at a time when women were suffering hunger in Africa, were victims of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the continued occupation of Namibia, and remained prey to discrimination in all fields, as in the case of Palestinian women. 46. Her delegation reaffirmed its support for the programmes of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of women and, despite its limited resources, Tunisia would continue to contribute to the Institute's budget; the Institute's work should be focused above all on such vital sectors as food, energy sources, water and the environment. Lastly, her delegation thought that It would be desirable for the United Nations further to strengthen its international information campaign on the situation of women in the world in order to highlight the role which women could and must play in social and economic development, -justice, peace and progress. 47. Mrs. WARD-OSBORNE (Guyana) said that the establishment of the Commission on the Status of Women nearly 40 years ago was testimony to the importance which the United Nations had attached since its early beginnings to the fundamental question of equal rights for women and to the elimination of discrimination based on sex. At the end of the United Nations Decade for Women it was essential to review the Commission's activities and equip it with the means to continue its work as defined in the final document of the Nairobi world Conference. 48. That document stated clearly what the women of the developing countries had always said - that there could be no equally without development and peace and that the present unjust international economic system hindered the integration of women in the development process. That was why the Nairobi Conference could not but discuss issues such as the debt crisis, which compelled countries already threatened by famine to use their meagre resources to repay their debts, cut their health and education programmes and reduce their labour force, moves which affected women most of all. The Conference also had to discuss the illegal occupation of Namibia by South Africa and the perpetuation of the inhuman system of apartheid, for the women of South Africa and Namibia could not speak seriously of equality between the sexes and equality of opportunity without reference to the context in which they lived. A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 13 (Mrs. Ward-Osborne, Guyana) 49. The implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies over the next 15 years required concerted action at all levels and greater collaboration among the agencies in order to make optimum use of the scarce resources available for programmes concerning women and development. It was at the national level that the improvement in the living conditions of women ought to be felt, and national and international institutions must play a support role to that end. work at the regional and international levels should be designed primarily to strengthen the economic independence of women, their participation in decision-making, and the establishment of social services for women. Women had already taken initiatives with regard to income-generating activities, especially in her own country, where they took an active part in the production of ceramics and textiles and the processing of food products. 50. The Nairobi Conference had given woman an opportunity to consider areas or common concern, including teen-age pregnancy, violence against women, and adjustment of economic structures. On that last point in particular women were rarely consulted, but the decisions taken in that field at the national level affected women most of all. 51. Her country was justly proud of the appointment of a larger number of its women to decision-making posts and of the increase in the numbers of women employed in industry. Nevertheless, those jobs were mainly for unskilled labour, and much remained to be done in Guyana to help working mothers and to provide women with training in fields other than those they traditionally held. Her country recognized the need to strengthen its Women's Bureau by equipping it with the necessary staff to reach out to women in rural areas and support the work of non-governmental organizations. The establishment of a data base on women would be very useful in that regard. 52. In order to get things done at the national level in the various fields in which the need tor new measures had been recognized, her country needed support, in particular from the International Training and Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. The Institute's research work in such areas as violence against women, the situation of women who were heads of households, and the economic value of women's work were particularly useful. Her delegation also welcomed the fact that the Milan Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders had addressed the question of women both as offenders and as victims. Experience showed that there were many prejudices against women victims of violence and that law enforcement officers often acted out those prejudices. 53. Her delegation wished to stress the Importance of the training of women in middle and upper management. A country had everything to gain economically by ensuring that women themselves took the initiative in projects for women. The lack of women managers was a severe limitation on the number of such projects. The United Nations Development Fund for Women played a major role in that connection, and her country therefore intended to increase its collaboration with the Fund, particularly in the Caribbean region. The Fund's support could play a critical role in strengthening the self-employment of women and ensuring their increased participation in agricultural production and the processing of food products. A/C.3/40/SR.25 English Page 14 (Mrs. ward-Osborne, Guyana) 54. Her delegation wished to draw attention to the universal scope of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its usefulness as a source of inspiration after the Decade. The reports presented by States parties concerning the application of the Convention offered a means of evaluating the measures taken in that field. Guyana's report was being drafted and would be available shortly. 55. Finally, on the question of peace, the great Powers certainly had a special responsibility, but women in Guyana also recognized the role which everyone had to play both in the family and within the nation, as well as at the international level. 56. Mrs. WARZAZI (Morocco) said that she wished to comment on the draft resolutions submitted by Nigeria in documents A/C.3/40/L.7 and A/C.3/40/L.9. with regard to the first draft resolution, her delegation had had no difficulty in joining in the consensus reached on the text in the African Group. Draft resolution A/C.3/40/L.9, by contrast, had been the subject of lengthy negotiations. Despite the repeated representations which her delegation had made to the Group of African States with regard to paragraph 26 of that draft resolution, which Morocco found unacceptable, agreement had not proved possible. Since there had been no consensus on draft resolution A/C.3/40/L.9, her delegation did not understand how that text could have been submitted on behalf of the Group of African states, of which Morocco was a member. She requested that the clarification she had presented should be included in the report on the work of the Third Committee. She also requested a separate vote on paragraph 26 of the draft resolution. She regretted the situation all the more since. if the disagreement had not arisen, her delegation would have been a sponsor of the draft resolution. 57. The CHAIRMAN assured the representative of Morocco that the point she had made would be included in the relevant report. 58. Mr. ONONAIYE (Nigeria), speaking as Chairman of the Group of African States, said that when he had reported to the Committee Secretary on the result of the negotiations in the Group of African States, he had merely been carrying out the instructions given to him by the Group. He requested that his statement should be included in the Committee's report. The meeting rose at 1 p.m.