Summary record of the 28th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Thursday, 29 October 1987, New York, General Assembly, 42nd session.
United Nations GENERAL ASSEMBLY
FORTY-SECOND SESSION Official Records*
Thursday, 29 October 1987
at 3 p.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 23th MFETTNG
Chairman: Mr. PITTER (Panama) later: Mr. DIRAR (Sudan)
AGENDI ITEM 95: EIIMINATION or ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
AGENDA ITEM 96: FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN TO THF YEAR 2000 (continued)
AGENDA ITEH 97: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued)
AGENDA ITEM 88: NATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN ACHIEVING FAR-REACHING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOCIAL PPOGRESS (continued)
AGENDA ITEM 89: QUESTION OF AGING: RETORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued)
AGENDA ITEM 90: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES INVOLVING YOUTH: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENTRAL (continued)
AGENDA ITEM 93: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD PROGRAMME OF ACTION CONCERNING DISABLED PERSONS AND THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF DISABLED PERSONS: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued)
87-56575 72185 (E)
Distr. GENERAL A/C.3/42/SR.28 3 November 1987
A/C. 3/42/SR.28 English Page. 2
The meeting was called to order at 3.20 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 95: ELIMINATION OF A[,L FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (continued) (A/42/3, A/42/38, A/42/383, A/42/627)
AGENDA ITEM 96: FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN TO THE YEAR 2000 (continued) (A/42/3, A/42/516, A/42/528, A/42/597/Rev.1)
AGENDA ITEM 97: INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN: REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/42/3, A/42/444)
1. Mrs. RAMOS SHAHANI (Philippines) recalled the difficulties involved in arriving at a consensus on the Foward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, a document which was still relevant because it stressed the inseparability of the goals of equality, development and peace as part of the overriding objective of the advancement of women, thereby making the Strategies a focal point for international co-operation and understanding in that area. The Strategies also stressed the Impact on women of such international developments as programmes to deal with the debt crisis. They also highlighted the different situations facing women in various parts of the world, the need for national machinery to integrate women in development and the potential of informal networking among women's groups. Lastly, they contained a message of hope that would inspire future generations.
2. Her own country was implementing the Strategies by seeking to raise women's consciousness, abolish disc minatory laws, make women economically more productive, improve sex-differentiated data, improve the quality of family life, reduce the fertility rate and remove discrimination in the family code.
3. Her delegation supported United Nations efforts to institutionalize the Strategies and welcomed the central role assigned to the Commission on the Status of Women, whose realistic and action-oriented approach rightly gave priority to realistic goals. She also welcomed efforts to develop a system-wide medium-term plan on women and development in the United Nations as a framework for monitoring the implementation of the Strategies.
4. She regretted the slow progress in the United Nations in giving priority to women's programmes and social policies, particularly in view of the growing crisis for women posed in many countries by deteriorating political and economic conditions resulting in poverty, malnutrition, disease, crime, unemployment and the like. The support for social and women's issues must therefore come not only from delegations but also from the Secretariat, which should make best use of its limited resources to deal more effectively, and without bias, with social issues in co-operation with delegations.
5. she supported the request of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women for additional meetings to help it reduce its *** of reports awaiting consideration, and appreciated the Committee's efforts to rationalize its procedures. She also stressed the importance of action-oriented
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(Mts. Ramos Shahani, Philipplnes)
research, training and public Information *** to increased participation of women in their societies, and greatly **** the activities of INSTRAW in that connection. INSTRAW should further strengthen its network-building capacity in order to enable countries to make full use of the Institute. She welcomed the useful work done by the United Nations Development Fund for Women in helping women in developing countries to fulfil their human and economic potential through 1ivelihood programmes.
6. Lastly, she urged the Third Committee to examine the social cost in many countries, particularly the poor developing countries of adjustment policies formulated to meet debt-servicing, with particular attention to the need for greater self-reliance, better use of limited resources and other factors affecting the quality of human life.
7. Ms. BORGES (Uruguay) said her delegation was pleased to note that the work of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women had expanded since it had last rsported to the General Assembly at its fortieth session. The programme had been strengthened in three important spheres: improvement of basic statistics and indicators relating to women) questions relating to policy analysis at macro-economic and micro-economic levels; and the role of women in development, including drinking water and sanitation, agriculture and food, industry and new and renewable sources of energy. The work had been carried out in co-operation with United Nations development assistance and with governmental and non-governmental organizations; the programmes were designed to translate the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies into action at international, regional and national levels. The Institute, pursuant to its mandate, had given priority to work on methodologies to improve and expand statistical information with a view to a better evaluation of women's role in development, and to establish a suitable statistical base for the development of policies, planning and programming, including technical co-operation activities.
8. The Institute had carried out research into women's work in rural and urban areas, particularly in the developing countries) the findings had been studied at a meeting of experts on women's earnings and participation in the Informal sector, organized by INSTRAW in co-operation with the United Nations Statistical Office and ECLAC. It was essntial to adopt a pragmatic approach in applying the findings of the experts to development activities, in which women should be fully integrated.
9. An important part of the Institute's activities related to training. The Institute's programme focused on four main groups of activity, summarized in paragraph 64 of the report annexed to document A/42/444, which also set forth the results of the Institute's programme of action during the biennium 1986-1987. The report mentioned, Inter alia, the collaboration with the Latin American Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) and announced that a seminar was to be organized in November 1987 at Quito, for the Andean region.
10. Uruguay had recently formed a national institute for women, pursuant to
Decree 229/1987, with representatives of the various relevant ministries and
institutions, and with the task of appraising the situation of women in Uruguay,
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(MB. Borges, Uruguay)
promoting the adoption of legislative or other measures to enhance women's participation in decision-making and proposing measures required to implement decisions taken at world and regional conferences relating to women's matters.. In addition, the Government had decided to make a symbolic, albeit modest, contribution of $US 800 to the Institute's Fund.
11. Mr. Dirar (Sudan) took the Chair.
1?. Mr. MINET (Observer, International Labour Office) stressed the fact that women wanted to work and that their proportion in the working population was on the rise. ILO had formulated a plan of action to promote equality between men and women in the workplace, particularly in respect of equal opportunity and salary, and ILO's activities were constantly monitored with a view to improving its current policies and programmes in that area. Particular stress was placed on improving the economic and social status of women workers, eliminating discrimination against them, and helping Governments and organizations of employers and workers to strengthen policies geared to increasing equality of opportunity and remuneration.
13. ILO was strengthening its co-operation with the United Nations and its agencies by providing new data to help promote their activities relating to women and employment, to help mobilize public opinion to appreciate women's problems and to participate in the planning and execution of the activities and programmes indicated in the Strategies. ILO's principal objective was to promote employment and training programmes for women at the national level. It was also strengthening relations with other United Nations agencies and the competent United Nations organs dealing with women's issues. It was participating in producing the world survey of women in development to be submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session.
14. Ms. AL-HAMMAMI (Yemen), confining her statement to item 95 on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, said that the pace of development of Yemeni society could be measured by examining women's role in Yemen today. Women enjoyed all rights in accordance with article 34 of the Constitution, which stipulated that women had a right to a life of dignity and to equality with men. Women participated constructively in economic development and offset the reduction in human resources resulting from the emigration of large numbers of Yemeni men.
15. The role of women was not restricted to participation in economic development but extended to the political and social spheres. Women had exercised their right to stand for election to the municipal councils, whose basic task it was to supervise development in the various parts of the country. Women had also participated as members in the the People's Congresses. Proof of the existence of those rights was contained in the National Charter, which stipulated that all citizens, both men and women, were accorded complete freedom within the law and the right to vote, to express their opinions, to participate in public life, to enjoy all political and civil rights and to stand for election. Such achievements had encouraged women to participate more actively in the economic, Social and political development process.
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(Me. Al-Haminami, Yemen)
16. in the context of the agenda item under consideration, it was fitting to consider the situation of women in occupied Palestine and the other occupied Arab territories as well as in Namibia and South Africa. Those women, subject to death, torture and oppression at the hands of the Zionist and the criminal apartheid regime, had been deprived of their fundamental human rights and even found themselves without a shelter in which to live a stable and peaceful family life. Women in Palestine, the occupied territories, Namibia and South Africa must receive support in order to create a climate in which future generations could live free of deprivation and secure against dispersal.
17. Ms. GEBRE-EGZIABHER (Ethiopia) welcomed United Nations action to promote the advancement of women and to monitor and co-ordinate the implementation of the Strate****, and particularly the measures to improve the effectiveness of the Commission on the Status of Women by convening annual sessions, establishing priority themes and improving reporting procedures. She called upon all those States that had not done so to become parties to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and expressed the hope that the request for additional meetings of the CSW would be granted so that it could deal with the increasing number of reports which could be expected to be produced. She further commended the work done by the United Nations Fund for Women and of INSTRAW, which had greatly benefited her own country.
18. Ethiopia had long recognized the important role played in society by women and was taking practical measures to implement the Strategies by eliminating discriminatory attitudes and practices and removing obstacles to their effective and equal participation. Ethiopian women participated actively in the country's political, economic and social life and equal rights for women both in the community and in the family were guaranteed by law. While much remained to be done, Ethiopian women were increasingly involved in the planning and execution of national policies and programmes and in the agricultural and Industrial sectors of the economy. Peace was essential for national development and women in Ethiopia were being encouraged to play a more active role in national and international efforts to promote global peace and co-operation through **** in peace conferences and educational activities.
19. Ms. BARGHOUTI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the uprooting by the Zionist State of Israel of over 600,000 Palestinians from their homeland had imposed brutal exile on Palestinian women, who, like their counterparts in South Africa and Namibia, had nevertheless continued to confront their oppressors with courage, strength and determination. The emergence of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its integral component, the General Union of Palestinian Women, had been a turning point in the struggle of the Palestinian people in general and Palestinian women in particular. The latter, having twice undergone separation from their families as a resul of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and other Arab territories, had resisted the sub-human conditions, developed strategies for social and national liberation and played a major role in preserving their people's heritage. In the reguee camps in Lebanon, they had defended their people and national identity. During the siege of Beirut
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(Ms. Barghouti, Ohserver, PLO)
in 1962 they had cared for the ***, fed the hungry and borne arms to resist the Zionist force.
20. The destruction of Palestinian institutions and records in the aftermath of the war had hampered the efforts to obtain help, diminished employment opportunities and pension benefits and hampered the operation of bodies such as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and Same Institutions. The continuous attacks on the refugee camps added further misery to the already harsh existence of Palestinian woman. who were deprived of food, electricity, gas and medical supplies. Doctor Pauline Cutting, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the Gaza Hospital during the time of siege, had testified to the dreadful insanitary conditions, aggravated by lack of water and power supplies and the bombing.
21. In the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian women had *** from brutal Israeli attacks on their people. They continued to be tortured in prisons, killed during peaceful protests and subjected to arrests. She recounted cases of Palestinian wives and mothers who had been killed or seriously injured without pretext) such accounts, far from being isolated incidents, were part of a record which had become the subject of growing international concern, especially since the beginning of the United Nations Decade for Women. After the World Conference of the International Women's Year, special attention had been paid to the specific needs of Palestinian women and children and measures to assist them. In addition, the General Assembly, in resolution 38/18 had stated that the World Conference to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace should pay particular attention to the problems of women in territories under racist colonial rule and in territories under Israeli occupation. In fact, the condition of Palestinian women had been noted in the Forward-looking Strategies.
22. Palestinian women, despite the brutal conditions imposed on them, including the constant threat to their children, had not been deterred, in defiance of their refugee status, from becoming a real force in the revolutionary process. In the occupied territories, where the General Union of Palestinian Women was banned by the Israeli authorities, women had formed organizations, charitable societies and committees to face the harsh realities and had become an integral part of the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.
23. Mr. MOHANNA (Saudi Arabia) drew attention to the decision adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its sixth session concerning the United Nations request to undertake studies on the status of women under Islamic laws and customs. However, the Economic and Social Council, at its first regular session of 1987, had adopted a resolution by consensus recommending that the General Assembly at its forty-second session take no action on the decision and review it, taking into account the views expressed by delegations at that session. At that time, The Saudi Arabian delegation had announced its rejection of the Committee's intention of undertaking a detailed study of Islam or, for that matter, any other creed. It was considered a moral, religious and legal transgression in addition to exceeding the mandate of the Committee itself. Even
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(Mr. Mohanna, Saudi Arabia)
without the intervention of the Economic and Social Council, the Committee had, in principle, transgressed its right by involving itself in a matter that affected aspects of the Islamic religion, the creed of one fourth the world's population.
24. The Committee would do better instead to study the exploitation and abuse of women as instruments of propaganda for marketing and sales promotion. Such exploitation was incompatible with the dignified and worthy status which God had conferred on women.
25. His delegation absolutely rejected the decision of the Committees it constituted a challenge to millions of Muslims and a breach of their private
26. Ma. FEXIS (Greece) said that it had taken the United Nations over 40 years to identify the advancement of women as a concern to be given top priority, and it had required world conferences for the inter rational community to achieve consensus on the formulation of future strategies for achieving that objective. Not until two years after the formulation of the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women had the Commission on the Status of Women been enabled to put forward a systematic programme of work for the Strategies implementation.
27. The Commission, at its session held in January 1987, had made an important stride in bringing the Strategies into the Organization's programme and budget cycles. Equally important was the restructuring of its agenda, **** the identification of priority themes, aimed at improving the Commission's work and allowing in-depth consideration of the practical problems faced by women. The Commission's achievements could serve as an example for other functional commissions of the Council. The decision to hold annual meetings of the Commission was welcome, as was the consensus spirit that had prevailed throughout the January 1987 session. It was hoped that the Council's special commission, when reviewing the performance of functional commissions, would bear in mind the particular importance of the unique multidisciplinary, cross-organizational mandate of the Commission on the Status of Women.
28. Her country reiterated its support for a five-year interval for the Commission's tasks, at all levels, in monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the Forward-looking Strategies, and supported the recommendation contained in Council resolution 1987/20 for an extended session in 1990 with high-level representation of Member States. It nevertheless felt that world conferences should be held in the early 1990s and in the year 2000.
29. Mr. Rltter (Panama) resumed the Chair.
30. Ms. FEXIS (Greece), resuming her remarks, said that the decision to hold annual meetings of the Commission had strengthened the letter's role as a focal point. The annual monitoring reports to be prepared by the Branch for the Advancement of Women, with contributions from the United Nations system, as proposed in document A/42/528, should focus on priority themes, using clear statistical and other measurable indicators to assist Member States in identifying
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(Me. Fexis, Greece)
problems and remedies at all levels. The reports, embodying views expressed in the Commission, could be transmitted through the Council to the General Assembly for comment and action.
31. Her delegation was pleased to note that more Member States had ratified or acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It was concerned, however, about certain States parties reservations, which were incompatible with the instrument's aims. Her country had been represented in the membership of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its sixth session, at which Greece's initial report had been favorably received. Her delegation welcomed the Committee's efforts to overcome the delay in examining reports, noted in Assembly resolution 41/108 and Council resolution 1987/3, and supported the request for additional meetings, on an exceptional basis. Her Government, in line with its general policies, broadly encouraged non-governmental initiatives on peace; Greek women from NGOs had participated in the World Congress of Women in June 1987.
32. Her delegation appreciated the activities of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, particularly for the purpose of increasing women's participation and integration in development.
33. A cultural seminar had recently been held to provide information for Greek migrant women on issues relating to work and their role as wives and mothers. An international committee of Greek migrant women had been established with a view to holding an international conference in 1989 to establish an international association of Greek migrant women.
34. Mr. DIRAR (Sudan) said that equality, development and peace constituted the basic foundation upon which mankind could create a better world. The improvement of the status of women was linked with Sudan's liberation from foreign domination and the increasingly constructive role played by women in all fields. Women had been given the right to vote and stand for election 25 years ago. More recently, women had participated in the struggle against dictatorship which had culminated in April 1985. Moreover, women constituted 50 per cent of those attending higher educational institutions and contributed effectively in public service, vocational training and scientific research.
35. In the past, the deterioration of women's statue had been linked to a decline in values resulting from foreign domination. That deterioration had created biases and misperceptions which emphasized the inferior role of women, attributing it to religious practices. In that connection, he expressed his regret regarding decision 4 adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at its sixth session contained in document A/42/38. That decision reflected those biases and constituted a distortion of Islam. His delegation therefore called for the deletion of paragraph 580 which contained decision No. 4 and also paragraphs 511 to 517.
36. With regard to item 96 concerning the status of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, his delegation attached particular importance to the theme of development among the Strategies and
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(Mr. Dirar, Sudan)
recommended that it be a priority theme for the Committee in the forthcoming session. Aspects of development such as the provision of water, health, food, education and shelter were related to the problem of poverty, a condition which was pervasive in many developing countries. In that connection, the Committee must adopt policies designed to cope with poverty using international economic co-operation and international development strategy.
37. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Sudanese delegation praised the Fund's achievements, which had demonstrated the vitality of the role of women in the development process. His delegation welcomed the report of the Administrator of UNDP contained in document A/42/597/Rev.1 regarding new orientations relating to women and development.
38. In connection with the Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women to the Year 2000, he drew attention to the important role of the International Institute on Research and Training in research, training and information in increasing women's participation in development at all levels. The role of the Institute would not be effective and beneficial unless its findings were sent to the competent authorities. The Sudanese delegation recognized that training was fundamental for the Advancement of women and economic development and supported the focus on two major target groups mentioned in paragraph 66 of document A/42/444.
39. He drew attention to the Institute's innovative training techniques in -developing countries. They would benefit all developing countries including Sudan, and promote co-operation between the Institute and those countries. The Sudanese delegation was convinced that the Institute, given its constraints, had proven its effectiveness in the field and had achieved progress in implementing the United Nations mandate.
40. Ms. LUANGHY (Zaire) said that the proclamation of the International Women's Year in 1975 and of the United Nations Decade for Women, having as its main themes equality, development and pence, had marked an important stage in the Organization's efforts to achieve the aims set forth in the Preamble and Article 1 of the Charter. Despite the strides made by the world community since then, much remained to be done. Therefore, it was incumbent on Member States to support the international community's efforts, which must include implementation of the Forward-looking Strategies, in order to combat the existing grave inequalities and ensure women's full integration into the development process; only through such integration was development truly feasible.
41. Zaire attached great importance to women's integration at the national level, and her delegation had on several occasions outlined in detail the efforts made to that end. Following the Nairobi World Conference, the Department for the Status of Women and the Family had organized a number of seminars and symposiums for women, including the seminar held in 1985, with the assistance of USAID relating to women and public administration, to determine action to be undertaken during the subsequent five years. In addition, regional branches of the Department had been mandated to examine the aims and action programmes of local women's organizations.
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(MS.. Luanghy, Zaire)
A number of seminars and symposiums had also been held for the purpose of training women in a number of professional and occupational disciplines.
42. Her delegation expressed support for the valuable activities carried out by INSTRAW, and was pleased to note, in paragraph 40 of the report annexed to document A/42/444, that one of its programmes related to policies for improving women's access to financial and credit facilities, since the lack of such access hitherto had restricted women's contribution to development and had perpetuated in*qualities. It also hoped, with regard to training in matters relating to water supply and sanitation, that the Institute's preparatory action, begun in 1987 in four English-speaking African countries, could be extended to French-speaking African nations.
43. Her delegation supported all United Nations efforts for the advancement of women and their integration in the development process.
44. Mr. LY (Senegal) said that the global and interdependent objective for women, "Equality - development - peace" required concerted world, regional and national efforts, particularly the effective implementation and follow-up of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies.
45. In Senegal women were active in all spheres as rue agents of development and it was clear that one of the major obstacles to the advancement of women, particularly in rural areas, lay in the lengthy and exhausting tasks they had to perform. Government action had therefore been directed towards seeking ways and means of alleviating the *** work of women and establishing structures to care for their specific needs and interests. An office for the status of women had been established within the Ministry for Social Development and village and community structures had developed which took into account the aspirations of women in their areas of competence. The mechanization of agriculture relieved rural women of certain domestic tasks and enabled them to devote themselves to real development activities. Self-sufficiency in food was the central objective of Senegal's new agricultural policy. Women participated in activities relating to agriculture, livestock, fisheries, water management, efforts to combat desertification, and handicrafts. Senegal was developing a number of training facilities supported by a para-school structure in both rural and urban areas. There was also significant development in work on standards and legislation.
46. The policy for the advancement of women was accompanied by a programme involving the media. Women's movements and associations, which were supported by the Government, participated in providing information to the public and increasing their general awareness. Education, training, efforts to combat illiteracy and the dissemination of information were important in promoting the participation of women in development, political life and peace efforts. In the national women's committee, there were discussions and evaluations of the Government's activities for the advancement of women in Senegal. The main objective of that policy was to integrate Senegalese women in the various sectors of economic and social development and public life.
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(Mr. Ly, Senegal)
47. His delegation welcomed the results of the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women in January 1987 and hoped that the impetus it had given to resolving women's issues would be further developed. It must be borne in mind that the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990, which had stressed the need to promote the role and participation of women in the development process had taken into account the Forward-looking Strategies and recognized that development planning and the allocation of resources must recognize the role of women as agents and beneficiaries of development. His delegation noted the importance of co-operation between UNIFEM and UNDP in that respect, as indicated in document A/42/597/Rev.1. Regional conferences held at Dakar in 1986 under the auspices of FAO, and in 1987, and the African seminar on the access of women to credit held at Abidjan were of great importance. The Commission on the Status of Women, and the secretariat bodies concerned with women's affairs, had an important role to play in respect of international and regional co-operation under the Forward-looking Strategies.
48. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women must be provided with the necessary resources to continue its important work. In considering reports from States parties it must bear in mind the need to develop a constructive dialogue with States, and demonstrate objectivity and non-selectivity. His delegation welcomed the decision of States parties to consider the reservations to the Convention at the next session in 1988.
49. Mr. QUINN (Australia) asked for clarification of the status of the weekly radio programmes on women produced by the Department of Public Information. He recalled that under General Assembly resolution 40/108 the Secretary-General had been requested to provide for the continuation of the programmes in the different languages. While efforts to blend women's issues into the broader programme of DPI were commendable, they should not involve the scrapping of the weekly radio programmes.
50. The CHAIRMAN said that a reply would be given by the Secretariat at the next meeting.
51. Mr. NAVON (Israel) , speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that over the post few days his delegation had once again listened to repetitive slander against Israel regarding the status of Arab women; brazen and unfounded accusations had been *** several Arab and other countries. It was instructive to note how solicitous *** legimes as Libya. Syria and Iran were about the plight of Arab women when over the years those countries had killed hundreds of over thousands of women and children in indiscriminate acts of terror and violence. It was enlightening to compare the current status and opportunities for advancement of Arab women in Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait and Syria, with that of the Arab woman of Israel in the area administered by Israel. According to the 1985 UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, the illiteracy rate among the 90 million women living in Arab countries was 70 per cent, and the figure was much higher in some individual countries.
52. Mr. ABOU-HADID (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking on a point of order, said that it was customary for a right of reply to be addressed to comments made by another delegation. Hi delegation had made no statement on the items under consideration.
53. Mr. NAVON (Israel) said that of was hard to imagine why many oil-rich countries with hundreds of billions of dollars in budgetary reserves were unable to finance education to eliminate the embarrassingly high rate of illiteracy; the reason lay in the basic indifference of those Governments towards women. Statistics on the percentage of women who were economically active in the Arab world further revealed their tragic plight; according to the 1983 ILO Statistical Yearbook only 3 per cent of all adult Libyan women were economically active.
54. Mr. AL-KALBASH (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), speaking on a point of order, said that so far he had rot spoken on the items under consideration. The Israeli entity was referring to something which was outside the scope of the Committee's
55. Mr. NAVON (Israel) said that over 36 per cent of Israeli women were economically active and were a vital part of the work force; Israel encouraged and women to participate in the national development of the Zionist State of Israel. Women were acquiring education, particularly at the post-secondary and university levels. He challenged the delegations which had falsely accused Israel to tell the Committee how their Governments planned to advance the extremely low status of women in their countries.
56. Mr. ABOU-HADID (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking on a point of order, asked whether the representative of Israel was exercising his right of reply or making a statement.
57. Mr. NAVON (Israel) urged the Committee to devote itself to constructive deliberations; baseless accusations were hardly conducive to generating the atmosphere of trust and goodwill needed to promote the prospects of peace in the Middle East or to advance the status of women anywhere.
58. Ms. BARGHOUTI (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) said that
no matter how hard Israel tried to conceal the facts of the impact of its
occupation of the Palestinians, concerned agencies of the United Nations could
always reveal atrocities inflicted on the Palestinians by the occupying
authorities. It could not be claimed that occupation was enhancing the situation
of Palestinian women when they were subjected to torture, imprisonment,
confiscation of land, collective punishment, deportation and denial of their human
and legal rights. Freedom of movement was restricted and allmost all Palestinian
women were locked in or out of their homeland. Palestinian women under house
arrest were prohibited from leaving their towns or refugee camps by day, or leaving
their hones at night. Some had not been allowed to see their children for years.
Millions of Palestinians had been prevented from returning to their country; some
had been expelled for political activities and many had been forced out of the
country in 194 8 and 1967. Any improvement in the educational and health situation
of Palestinian women was not attributable to the Israeli Government but to their
struggle and determination to work for national liberation and social freedom.
A/C.3/4 2/SR.2 8 English Page. 13
AGENDA ITEM 88: NATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN ACHIEVING FAR-REACHING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOCIAL PROGRESS (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.3, L.23 and L.24)
AGENDA ITEM 89: QUESTION OF AGING; REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.16/Rev.1)
AGENDA ITEM 90: POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES INVOLVING YOUTH: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/C.3/47/L.17, L.18, L.19 and L.20)
AGENDA ITEM **: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD PROGRAMME OF ACTION CONCERNING DISABLED PERSONS AND THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF DISABLED PERSONS: REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (continued) (A/C.3/42/L.25)
59. The CHAIRMAN invited the Committee to resume its consideration of the second
cluster of items. Under agenda item 88, he drew the attention of Committee members
to draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.3, and reminded them that the Economic and Social
Council, at its seventeenth plenary meeting on 28 May 1987 had adopted resolution
1987/38, which recommended to the General Assembly the adoption of that draft
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.23
60. Mr. MOTSIK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.23, said that social justice involved the achievement of true equality and the creation of opportunities to ensure the complete well-being of all members of society. Social justice was impossible without the democratization of public life and the full guarantee of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The achievement of social justice was one of the main goals of any democratic society, regardless of its socio-economic system, and should be accorded full attention by the United Nations, which should contribute to an exchange of views and experience on the ways and means of promoting social justice throughout the world, regardless of levels of development in individual countries. All members of the international community should co-operate to achieve that objective.
61. Operative paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 were based on the Secretary-General's paper "Some perspectives on the work of the United Nations in the 1990s" (A/42/512). His delegation believed that it would be wise to revert to the question of defining the concept of social justice at a later stage. It would then be possible to request Governments to submit their views, and on that basis to determine a common approach. His delegation hoped that the draft resolution could be adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.24
62. Mr. BOLD (Mongolia), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.24, said that in
accordance with General Assembly resolution 40/23, the Secretary-General had
submitted to the General Assembly a report containing information on the national
experience of different countries in achieving far-reaching socio-economic changes
(A/42/57). The Economic and Social Council had reaffirmed that the further
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(Mr. Bold, Mongolia)
xchange of national experience would contribute to the implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.16/Rev.l
63. Mrs. ALVAREZ (Dominican Republic), introducing draft resolution
A/C.3/42/L.16/Rev.1, said that it was the fruit of the combined efforts of the three co-sponsoring delegations. She drew the attention of the Committee to operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 5. In the fourth line of paragraph 6, she proposed replacing the words "as well as taking" with the words "and proposed to the thirty-first session of the Commission". Paragraph 6, as amended, would thus read, "Requests the Commission for Social Development to convene an informal open-ended ad hoc working group at its thirty-first session in order to consider adequately the report of the Secretary-General on the second review and appraisal of the implementation of the Plan of Action and propose to the thirty-first session of the Commission appropriate measures to advance further the cause of the aging)".
64. Given the limited amount of meeting time available to the Commission for Social Development, the sponsors considered that the convening of an ad hoc working group was essential to ensure adequate consideration of the Secretary-General's report. In light of the growing magnitude and complexity of the question of aging, her delegation thought the ad hoc working group should propose to the Commission measures designed to promote the welfare of the aging and respect for their dignity.
65. Referring to the ninth preambular paragraph and operative paragraph 11, regarding the United Nations Trust Fund for Aging, she said that the Fund was an invaluable mechanism for the implementation of the International Plan of Action on Aging.
66. The CHAIRMAN advised the Committee that, in view of the statement by the representative of the Dominican Republic, draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.4 on the same subject would not be acted upon.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.17
67. Miss BROSNAKOVA (Czechoslovakia), Introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.17,
said that Cameroon had become a sponsor. Her delegation and the co-sponsors
considered that unemployment could be eliminated by the creation of appropriate
social and economic conditions. Education and employment made it possible for
young people to work creatively towards the spiritual and material development of
their societies. Otherwise, youth were pushed into hopeless and degrading
activities, such as alcohol, drugs, crime, prostitution, etc. She drew attention
to paragraphs 1, 3 and 4. Her delegation and the co-sponsors believed that the
draft resolution deserved adoption without a vote.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.18
68. Mr. WOTAVA (Austria), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.18, said that
operative paragraph 5 had been changed to read:
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(Mr. Wotava, Austria)
"Recommends that the Secretary-General explore the possibilities for the
United Nations Office at Vienna/Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian
Affairs, to support, within the framework of its activities, the work of the
Institute of HOPE 87, including, if appropriate, the question of affiliating,
on the basis of the relevant regulations of the United Nations, the Institute
of HOPE '87 to the United Nations Office at Vienna/Centre for ***
Development and Humanitarian Affairs, on the understanding the financial
resources for the Institute would be raised exclusively from *** voluntary contributions."
69. The draft resolution focused specifically on the possibilities for eliminating unemployment among youth, since insufficient education and unemployment limited their ability to participate effectively in the development process. Suitable education and access to appropriate technical and vocational guidance and training programmes ***** of fundamental importance. Member States should endeavour to *** awareness of the need to accord the highest priority to the elimination *** among youth. He drew attention to paragraphs 1 and 2 in that regard.
70. Manifold approaches were possible *** preserve and increase work opportunities for young people, with particular emphasis on equal opportunities for girls and young women. The contribution of young people to the development of the economy could not be neglected. In many Member States the existence of social welfare systems and social economic development was based on the presumption of full employment for youth.
71. In the context of the International Youth Year, Austria had launched an initiative to promote youth employment within the United Nations, and had also organized an international competition for youth employment projects called HOPE'87. As a follow-up to that competition the Austrian Government had established the Institute of HOPE'87.
72. Paragraph 5 of the draft resolution contained the recommendation that, after a trial period, the Secretary-General should explore the possibility of affiliating the Institute of HOPE'87 to the United Nations Office at Vienna/Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. He emphasized that such an affiliation would have no financial implications for the United Nations.
73. Given the fundamental importance of eliminating unemployment among youth, the sponsors were confident that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.19
74. Mr. CONSTANTINESCU (Romania), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.19, said
that Cameroon and Peru had become sponsors. He drew attention to operative
paragraphs 1 and 2, as well as paragraphs 3-9, which highlighter! actions which
should be undertaken at the regional, national and international levels for the
implementation of the guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up in the
field of youth. In that respect the sponsors stressed the role of the
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(Mr. Constantinescu, Romania)
Secretary-General, the Commission for Social Development and the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. MB delegation hoped that, in keeping with established tradition on the agenda item under consideration, the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.20
75. Mr. GALAL (Egypt), Introducing draft resolution A/C.3/2/L.20, said that
Cameroon had become a sponsor. It was similar to the resolution of the previous
year, except for two points: the current resolution had been updated and drafting
improvements had been made, and the concept of the importance of freedom of
association for youth and youth organizations, contained in the fifth preambular
paragraph, had been added. That new concept responded to the eagerness of all
nations for freedom; however, as with any other concept, principle or right, it
must be organized and regulated in accordance with the national legislation of each
country. His delegation was pleased that three new co-sponsors had been added as
compared with the previous year, and hoped that the draft resolution would be
adopted by consensus, in accordance with previous practice.
Draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.25
76. VALDERRAMA (Philippines), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/42/L.25, said
that Kenya, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Guatemala and Sudan had become sponsors. There
was general agreement that during the first half of the United Nations Decade of
Disabled Persons, considerable progress had been made in bringing the needs of the
disabled to the attention of Governments and peoples; however, much remained to be
done in order to ensure the full participation of the disabled in the life and
development of their societies. The draft resolution was essentially the same as
in previous years. The new elements were contained in operative paragraphs 2, 4,
5, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 17. He also drew attention to the ninth and tenth preambular
paragraphs and operative paragraph 11, regarding the pivotal role of the United
Nations in publicizing and promoting the interests of the disabled and the United
Nations Decade of Disabled Persons. His delegation hoped that the draft resolution
would be adopted by consensus.