United Nations

E/CN.6/1995/5/Add.7


Commission on the Status of Women

 Distr. GENERAL
6 January 1995
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH



COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Thirty-ninth session
New York, 15 March-4 April 1995
Item 3 (c) of the provisional agenda*



       PREPARATIONS FOR THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN:
             ACTION FOR EQUALITY, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE

             Reports from regional conferences and other
                     international conferences

                             Addendum

 Excerpts from the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, 1/ 
adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna
                     from 14 to 25 June 1993


_______________________

     *   E/CN.6/1995/1.

     1/  Report of the World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna,
14-25 June 1993 (A/CONF.157/24 (Part I)), chap. III.


                          INTRODUCTION


     The World Conference on Human Rights was held at Vienna from
14 to 25 June 1993.  The Conference adopted the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action.  The following passages are
excerpts from the Declaration and Programme of Action in which
women's rights, the girl-child, the role of women and of women's
groups and gender equality are mentioned.  The synoptic table
below indicates where those passages are found in the Declaration
and Programme of Action.

Section                                             Paragraphs

 I. ...............................................  8, 10, 18
                                                     21, 22, 30,
                                                     33

II. ...............................................  36-44, 49,
                                                     81


                                  I

8.   Democracy, development and respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

Democracy is based on the freely expressed will of the people to
determine their own political, economic, social and cultural
systems and their full participation in all aspects of their
lives.  In the context of the above, the promotion and protection
of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and
international levels should be universal and conducted without
conditions attached.  The international community should support
the strengthening and promoting of democracy, development and
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the entire
world.

     ...

10.  The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the right to
development, as established in the Declaration on the Right to
Development, as a universal and inalienable right and an integral
part of fundamental human rights.

     As stated in the Declaration on the Right to Development,
the human person is the central subject of development.

     ...

18.  The human rights of women and of the girl-child are an
inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human
rights.  The full and equal, participation of women in political,
civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national,
regional and international levels, and the eradication of all
forms of discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives
of the international community.

     Gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and
exploitation, including those resulting from cultural prejudice
and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity
and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated.  This can
be achieved by legal measures and through national action and
international cooperation in such fields as economic and social
development, education, safe maternity and health care, and
social support.

     The human rights of women should form an integral part of
the United Nations human rights activities, including the
promotion of all human rights instruments relating to women.

     The World Conference on Human Rights urges Governments,
institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations to intensify their efforts for the protection and
promotion of human rights of women and the girl-child.

     ...

21.  The World Conference on Human Rights, welcoming the early
ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by a
large number of States and noting the recognition of the human
rights of children in the World Declaration on the Survival,
Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action adopted
by the World Summit for Children, urges universal ratification of
the Convention by 1995 and its effective implementation by States
parties through the adoption of all the necessary legislative,
administrative and other measures and the allocation to the
maximum extent of the available resources.  In all actions
concerning children, non-discrimination and the best interest of
the child should be primary considerations and the views of the
child given due weight.  National and international mechanisms
and programmes should be strengthened for the defence and
protection of children, in particular, the girl-child, abandoned
children, street children, economically and sexually exploited
children, including through child pornography, child prostitution
or sale of organs, children victims of diseases, including
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, refugee and displaced
children, children in detention, children in armed conflict, as
well as children victims of famine and drought and other
emergencies.  International cooperation and solidarity should be
promoted to support the implementation of the Convention and the
rights of the child should be a priority in the United Nations
system-wide action on human rights.

     The World Conference on Human Rights also stresses that the
child for the full and harmonious development of his or her
personality should grow up in a family environment which
accordingly merits broader protection.

22.  Special attention needs to be paid to ensuring non-
discrimination, and the equal enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms by disabled persons, including their active
participation in all aspects of society.

     ...

30.  The World Conference on Human Rights also expresses its
dismay and condemnation that gross and systematic violations and
situations that  constitute serious obstacles to the full
enjoyment of all human rights continue to occur in different
parts of the world.  Such violations and obstacles include, as
well as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment, summary and arbitrary executions, disappearances,
arbitrary detentions, all forms of racism, racial discrimination
and apartheid, foreign occupation and alien domination,
xenophobia, poverty, hunger and other denials of economic, social
and cultural rights, religious intolerance, terrorism,
discrimination against women and lack of the rule of law.

     ...

33.  The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that States
are duty-bound, as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights and in other international human rights
instruments, to ensure that education is aimed at strengthening
the respect or human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The World
Conference on  Human Rights emphasizes the importance of
incorporating the subject of human rights education programmes
and calls upon States to do so.  Education should promote
understanding, tolerance, peace and friendly relations between
the nations and all racial or religious groups and encourage the
development of United Nations activities in pursuance of these
objectives.  Therefore, education on human rights and the
dissemination of proper information, both theoretical and
practical, play an important role in the promotion and respect of
human rights with regard to all individuals without distinction
of any kind such as race, sex, language or religion, and this
should be integrated in the education policies at the national as
well as international levels.  The World Conference on Human
Rights notes that resource constraints and institutional
inadequacies may impede the immediate realization of these
objectives.

     ...

                               II

     ...

         3.  The equal status and human rights of women

36.  The World Conference on Human Rights urges the full and
equal enjoyment by women of all human rights and that this be a
priority for Governments and for the United Nations.  The World
Conference on Human Rights also underlines the importance of the
integration and full participation of women as both agents and
beneficiaries in the development process, and reiterates the
objectives established on global action for women towards
sustainable and equitable development set forth in the Rio
Declaration on Environment and Development and chapter 24 of
Agenda 21, adopted by the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-
14 June 1992).

37.  The equal status of women and the human rights of women
should be integrated into the mainstream of United Nations
system-wide activity.  These issues should be regularly and
systematically addressed throughout relevant United Nations
bodies and mechanisms.  In particular, steps should be taken to
increase cooperation and promote further integration of
objectives and goals between the Commission on the Status of
Women, the Commission on Human Rights, the Committee for the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the United Nations
Development Fund for Women, the United Nations Development
Programme and other United Nations agencies.  In this context,
cooperation and coordination should be strengthened between the
Centre for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of
Women.

38.  In particular, the World Conference on Human Rights stresses
the importance of working towards the elimination of violence
against women in public and private life, the elimination of all
forms of sexual harassment, exploitation and trafficking in
women, the elimination of gender bias in the administration of
justice and the eradication of any conflicts which may arise
between the rights of women and the harmful effects of certain
traditional or customary practices, cultural prejudices and
religious extremism.  The World Conference on Human Rights calls
upon the General Assembly to adopt the draft declaration on
violence against women and urges States to combat violence
against women in accordance with its provisions.  Violations of
the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict are
violations of the fundamental principles of international human
rights and humanitarian law.  All violations of this kind,
including in particular murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery,
and forced pregnancy, require a particularly effective response.

39.  The World Conference on Human Rights urges the eradication
of all forms of discrimination against women, both hidden and
overt.  The United Nations should encourage the goal of universal
ratification by all States of the Convention on the Elimination
of All forms of Discrimination against Women by the year 2000. 
Ways and means of addressing the particulary large number of
reservations to the Convention should be encouraged.  Inter alia,
the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
should continue its review of reservations to the Convention. 
States are urged to withdraw reservations that are contrary to
the object and purpose of the Convention or which are otherwise
incompatible with international treaty law.

40.  Treaty monitoring bodies should disseminate necessary
information to enable women to make more effective use of
existing implementation procedures in their pursuits of full and
equal enjoyment of human rights and non-discrimination.  New
procedures should also be adopted to strengthen implementation of
the commitment to women's equality and the human rights of women.

The Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women should quickly
examine the possibility of introducing the right of petition
through the preparation of an optional protocol to the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. 
The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the decision of the
Commission on Human Rights to consider the appointment of a
special rapporteur on violence against women at its fiftieth
session.

41.  The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the
importance of the enjoyment by women of the highest standard of
physical and mental health throughout their life span.  In the
context of the World Conference on Women and the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as
well as the Proclamation of Tehran of 1968, the World Conference
on Human Rights reaffirms, on the basis of equality between women
and men, a woman's right to accessible and adequate health care
and the widest range of family planning services, as well as
equal access to education at all levels.

42.  Treaty monitoring bodies should include the status of women
and the human rights of women in their deliberations and
findings, making use of gender-specific data.  States should be
encouraged to supply information on the situation of women de
jure and de facto in their reports to treaty monitoring bodies. 
The World Conference on Human Rights notes with satisfaction that
the Commission on Human Rights adopted at its forty-ninth session
resolution 1993/46 of 8 March 1993 stating that rapporteurs and
working groups in the field of human rights should also be
encouraged to do so.  Steps should also be taken by the Division
for the Advancement of Women in cooperation with other United
Nations bodies, specifically the Centre for Human Rights, to
ensure that the human rights activities of the United Nations
regularly address violations of women's human rights, including
gender-specific abuses.  Training for United Nations human rights
and humanitarian relief personnel to assist them to recognize and
deal with human rights abuses particular to women and to carry
out their work without gender bias should be encouraged.

43.  The World Conference on Human Rights urges Governments and
regional and international organizations to facilitate the access
of women to decision-making posts and their greater participation
in the decision-making process.  It encourages further steps
within the United Nations Secretariat to appoint and promote
women staff members in accordance with the Charter of the United
Nations, and encourages other principal and subsidiary organs of
the United Nations to guarantee the participation of women under
conditions of equality.

44.  The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the World
Conference on Women to be held in Beijing in 1995 and urges that
human rights of women should play an important role in its
deliberations, in accordance with the priority themes of the
World Conference on Women of equality, development and peace.

     ...

49.  The World Conference on Human Rights supports all measures
by the United Nations and its specialized agencies to ensure the
effective protection and promotion of human rights of the girl-
child.  The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to
repeal existing laws and regulations and remove customs and
practices which discriminate against and cause harm to the girl-
child.

     ...

81.  Taking into account the World Plan of Action on Education
for Human Rights and Democracy, adopted in March 1993 by the
International Congress on Education for Human Rights and
Democracy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization, and other human rights instruments, the
World Conference on Human Rights recommends that States develop
specific programmes and strategies for ensuring the widest human
rights education and the dissemination of public information,
taking particular account of the human rights needs of women.


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