Press Release

Commission on Status of Women

Forty-seventh Session

12th Meeting* (PM)



The Economic and Social Council would ask the Secretary-General to highlight in his next report measures taken and progress achieved in following up and implementing the Fourth World Conference on Women and the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, according to a resolution approved by the Commission on the Status of Women this afternoon.

According to the text, on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system (document E/CN.5/2003/L.3), the report should assess remaining gaps in frameworks for gender equality policies and strategies, and the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into all policies and programmes of United Nations bodies, as well as proposals for addressing such gaps; and assess the role and effectiveness of existing institutional mechanisms.

The report should also include an overview of monitoring mechanisms for gender mainstreaming currently in place in United Nations entities; assess the impact of policies and strategies designed to draw attention to gender perspectives in all policies and programmes of the United Nations; and assess the most pertinent gaps in sex-disaggregated data and gender-specific information across all policy and programme areas.

Following approval, the representative of Argentina pointed out that his delegation had rallied around its consensus.  However, he maintained that gender equality must refer to men and women alike, and as defined by their natural gender distinctions.

The Commission also approved a draft decision taking note of the preliminary report of the Working Group on the future operation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), and recommending that the Economic and Social Council consider the reports of the Working Group during its substantive session in 2003.

In addition, the Commission decided to send a letter to the President of the Council concerning a Commission conference room paper that provides an overview of actions in the Beijing Platform for Action, the outcome document of the twenty-


*     The 11th Meeting was closed.

third special session of the General Assembly and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, and agreed conclusions of the current session aimed at the situation of women in rural areas.

Following those actions, the representative of Argentina introduced a draft resolution on communications concerning the status of women (document E/CN.6/2003/L.8).  The draft proposed that the Commission consider the future work of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women at the next session.  To help in that consideration, it also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report providing insights on various existing communications mechanisms and procedures on women within the United Nations; an elaboration of each mechanism’s mandate; and types of complaints that could not be addressed by any of the existing mechanisms.

Prior to the introduction, speakers raised procedural and substantive concerns about the draft.  Many stressed the importance of the issue and regretted that it had not been placed on the current session’s agenda, which would have allowed them time to consult with their capitals on its content.

Several speakers suggested that consideration of the matter be taken up at the Commission’s next session in an informal consultative capacity, before requesting the Secretary-General to submit a report on the Working Group.  Others felt that a report of the Secretary-General could only benefit the Commission’s consideration of the Working Group’s future operations.

The representatives of Egypt, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, China, Argentina, Iran, Pakistan, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Brazil, Greece (on behalf of the European Union), Croatia, and India participated in the debate.

The Committee will meet again on Friday, 14 March, at a time to be announced.

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