Annex I

                                  ATTENDANCE


                                    Members

Algeria              Ramtane Lamamra, Sabria Boukadoum, Amina Mesdoua

Angola

Australia            Elaine McKay, Dianne Hariot, Stephen Lloyd,
                     Shirley Lithgow, Kathy Wong, Jane Connors, Jo Wainer

Austria              Ernst Sucharipa, Aloisia Wo"rgetter, Brigitte Brenner,
                     Ingrid Siess, Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl

Bahamas              Harcourt L. Turnquest, Sharon Brennen-Haylock,
                     Cora Bain-Colebrooke, Allison Christie

Belarus              Nataliya Drozd, Igar Gubarevich

Belgium              Alex Reyn, Dirk Wouters, Lily Boeykens, Nathalie Cassiers

Brazil               Marcela M. Nicodemos

Bulgaria             Ludmila Bojkova, Valentin Hadjiyski

Chile

China                Wang Shuxian, Wang Xuexian, Zhang Fengkun, Zou Xiaoqiao,
                     Liu Zhixian, Du Yong, Shi Weiqiang, Xie Bohua, Li Sangu,
                     Huang Shu

Colombia

Congo                Marie-The're`se Avemeka, Daniel Abibi, Corneille E. Moka,
                     Marguerite Tchimbakala, Gise`le Bouanga Kalou

Costa Rica           Fernando Berrocal Soto, Emilia Castro de Barish,
                     Liliana Herna'ndez Valverde, Ana Isabel Garci'a

Cuba                 Yolanda Ferrer Go'mez, Magalys Arocha Domi'nguez,
                     Ritz M. Pereira Rami'rez, Rodolfo Reyes Rodri'guez,
                     Margarita Valle Camino

Cyprus               Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli

Dominican Republic

Ecuador              Monica Martinez

France               Claire Aubin, Caroline Mechin, Danie`le Refuveille,
                     Sylvie Crouzier, Laurent Contini, Fre'de'ric Desagneaux

Greece               Anna Frangoudaki

Guinea               Camara Hadja Mahawa Bangoura, Coumbassa Hadj Hawaou
                     Diallo, Mafoula Sylla, Fatoumata Diaraye Diaby,
                     Aissatou Pore'ko Diallo, Balla Moussa Camara

Guinea-Bissau

India                Prakash Shah, Sarala Gopalan, Mitra Vasisht, A. K. Sinha,
                     G. Mukhopadhaya, S. Rama Rao

Indonesia            Rini Soerojo, Isslamet Poernomo, Sri Tadjudin,
                     Mubyarto Martodinoto, Sutjiptohardjo Donokusumo,
                     Wiwiek Setyawati, R. A. Esti Andayani, Riyadi Asirdin

Iran, Islamic        Mehdi Danesh Yazdi, Gholam Hossein Dehghani,
Republic of          Farideh Hassani, Afsaneh Nadipour

Japan                Makiko Sakai, Fumiko Saiga, Ahniwa Natori, Eiko Nakamura,
                     Fumiko Suzuki, Junko Uchino, Mitsuko Ito, Jiro Usui,
                     Kayo Fujita, Michiko Iino, Kiyoko Kani, Mika Ichihara

Kenya

Lebanon              Samir Moubarak, Fadi Karam

Libyan Arab          Asmahan Salem Eddib, Jamaleddin A. Hamida
Jamahiriya

Malaysia

Mali

Mexico               Ai'da Gonza'lez Marti'nez, Yanerit Morgan,
                     Socorro Flores Liera

Namibia              Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Maria Kapere, Silba Tjipueja,
                     Hazel de Wet, Frances Matros

Norway               Karin Stoltenberg, Sissel Salomon, Marianne Loe,
                     Sten Arne Rosnes, Anne Havnțr, Guro Camerer,
                     Else Annette Grannes, Turid Leirvoll

Philippines          Patricia B. Licuanan, Maria Lourdes V. Ramiro-Lopez,
                     Ruth S. Limjuco, Imelda Nicolas, Myrna Feliciano,
                     Aurora Javate De Dios, Glen Corpin, Eleonor Conda

Portugal

Republic of          Kim Jang-Sook, Hahm Myung Chul, Hwang In-Ja, Lee Kwang
Jae,
Korea                Park Bok Soon, Park Enna, Oh Huun-Joo, Lee Jeong-Shim,
                     Kim Yung-Chung, Kang Sun-Hye

Russian              L. F. Byezlepkina, A. V. Aparina, G. N. Galkina,
Federation           B. G. Stepanov, O. Y. Sepelev, U. V. Chriskov,
                     M. O. Korunova

Slovakia             Zuzana Jezerska

Sudan

Swaziland            Moses M. Dlamini, Joel M. Nhleko, Audrey L. Nhlabatsi,
                     Nonhlanhla P. Tsabedze, Melusie M. Masuku

Thailand             Asda Jayanama, Saisuree Chutikul, Thakur Phanit,
                     Sriwatana Chulajata, Karn Chiranond, Vanida Suwankiri,
                     Sweeya Santipitaks

Togo                 Kissem Tchanghai-Walla, Katoa Nignigaba Takouda

Tunisia              Slaheddine Abdellah, Rafika Khouini, Saida Agrebi,
                     Wahid Ben Amor

United States        Linda Tarr-Whelan, Melinda L. Kimble, Victor Marrero, 
of America           Maria Antonietta Berriozabal, Mary Purcell, Ann Bookman,
                     Iris Burnett, Kathleen Hendrix, Gracia Hillman,
                     Sharon Kotok, Theresa Loar, Nigel Purvis, Lucy Tamlyn,
                     Bisa Williams-Manigault


         States Members of the United Nations represented by observers

     Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina
Faso, Canada, Co^te d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic,
Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania,
Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland,
Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and
Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Zambia, Zimbabwe


                  Non-member States represented by observers

     Holy See, Switzerland


                                United Nations

     United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Development Fund for
Women, United Nations Development Programme, Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic Commission
for Europe, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women,
Centre for Human Rights


                Specialized agencies and related organizations

     International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, United
Nations Industrial Development Organization


           Intergovernmental organizations represented by observers

     Commonwealth Secretariat, European Community, Organization of African
Unity, Organization of American States


                 Other organizations represented by observers

     Palestine


                        Non-governmental organizations

     Category I:  American Association of Retired Persons, Association for
Progressive Communications, Inter-Parliamentary Union, International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions, International Council of Women, National
Council of Negro Women, Inc., Soroptimist International, World Federation of
United Nations Associations, Zonta International

     Category II:  All-China Women's Federation, Anglican Consultative
Council, Baha''i' International Community, Education International,
International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centres,
International Federation of University Women, National Council of German
Women's Organizations - Federal Union of Women's Organizations and Women's
Groups of German Associations, E.V., Pan-Pacific and South-East Asia Women's
Association, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, World
Information Transfer

     Roster:  International Women's Anthropology Conference, Inc., Women's
Environment and Development Organization

     Other non-governmental organizations:  3HO Foundation, African Women's
Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), AGORA, Agrupacio'n de Mujeres
Tierra Viva, Ain O Salish Kendra, Al-Khoei Foundation, Alliance des femmes
haitiennes, Alliance for Life, American Jewish Committee, The, American Jewish
Congress Commission on Women's Equality, Armenian International Women's
Association, Armenian Relief Society, Inc., Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger
Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College, Asociacio'n
Espan~ola de Mujeres Juristas (A.E.M.J.), Associacao Nacional das Empresarias,
Association de lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes, Association of
Interbalkan Women's Cooperation Societies, Association of Women of Kyrgyzstan
for Nuclear World and Ecological Security, Association of Women's
Organizations of Jamaica, Association Seve savoir et vouloir entreprendre,
Associazione Delle Donne Democratiche-Iraniane Residente in Italia, Bangladesh
Nari Progati Sangha, Banulacht, British Association of Women Entrepreneurs
(BAWE), Business and Professional Women's Club, Camino Foundation, Caribbean
People Development Agency (CARIPEDA), Center for the Advancement of Women,
Center for Women's Global Leadership, Center of Arab Women for Training and
Research (CAWTAR), Central Committee for Women's Rights Movements in
Gothenberg/Sweden, Centre d'e'tudes et de recherche sur la population et le
de'veloppement, Centre for International Studies/University College of Cape
Breton, Centre for Women, the Earth, the Divine (CWED), Centro de
Investigacio'n para la Accio'n Femenina, Centro de Investigacion Social,
Formacio'n y Estudios de la Mujer (CISFEM), Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora
Tristan, Centro di Cooperazione Familiare, Children and Mothers Welfare
Society, China Association of Women Entrepreneurs, China Population Welfare
Foundation, China Society for Human Rights Studies, Chinese Education
Association for International Exchange, CLADEM - Peru, Coalition of Australian
Participating Organizations of Women (CAPOW), Coalition on Women and Religion
(CWR)/Church Council of Greater Seattle, Collectif 95 Maghreb egalite, Comite
national d'action pour les droits de l'enfant et de la femme, Committee on
Family, Women and Demographic Policy to the President of the Republic of Sakha
(YAKUTIA), Confederacao das Mulheres Do Brasil (Brazilian Women
Confederation), Congregations of Saint Joseph, Congregazione di Nostra Signora
di Carita del Buon Pastore, Congress of Black Women of Canada, Coordination
francaise pour le Lobby europe'en des femmes (C.L.E.F.), Council of Nordic
Trade Unions, Departmento de la Mujer de la Asociacio'n Trabajadores del
Estado, Dialogue on Diversity, Inc., Ecological Rights Association (ERA),
Educacio'n, Cultura y Ecologi'a A.C., Emakunde/Instituto Vasco de la Mujer,
Environmental Women's Assembly, European Union of Women (British Section),
Family Care International, Inc., Federacio'n Espan~ola de Asociaciones Pro
Vida, Federacio'n Nacional de Asociaciones de Mujeres para la Democracia,
Federally Employed Women, Inc., Femme de'veloppement entreprise en Afrique,
Femme et monde rural, Ford Foundation, The, Franciscans International,
Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, French
Confederation of the Catholic Families Association, Friendship Ambassadors
Foundation, Fundacio'n 8 de Marzo, Fundacio'n de Mujeres Profesionales,
Fundacio'n Grupo de Estudios Sobre la Condicio'n de la Mujer en el Uruguay,
Girls Incorporated, Global Alliance for Women's Health, Grail, The
(International Presidency Team), Groupe de recherche d'e'tudes et de formation
femmes action (GREFFA), Groupement des femmes d'affaires de Guine'e, Harvard
Institute for International Development/MIT Women in Development Group,
Humanitarian Law Project, Indian Women's Group of Trinidad and Tobago,
Institut africain pour la de'mocratie, Institute for the Study of Women/Mount
Saint Vincent University, Institute for Urban Research/Morgan State
University, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Instituto
Ecuatoriano de Investigaciones y Capacitacio'n de la Mujer (IECAIM),
Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development,
International Center for Research on Women, International Coalition on Women
and Credit, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,
International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group, International Women
Count Network, International Women's Rights Action Watch, Islamic Women's
Institute of Iran (IWII), Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA),
Karamah:  Muslim Women Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Inc., Korean
American Coalition on Jungshindae, Inc., Korean Association of Women
Theologians, Korean Institute for Women and Politics (KIWP), Leadership
Conference for U.S. Dominican Religious, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic,
Inc., Medical Association in Jamaica, Mira Med Institute, Mobility
International U.S.A., Moral Rearmament, Inc., NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, Naripokkho, National Action Committee on the Status of
Women, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs,
Inc., National Committee of Women for Democratic Iran, National Council for
Research on Women, National Council of African Women, National Council of
Women of Canada (NCWC), National Council of Women of the United States, Inc.,
National Federation of International Organizations for Immigrant Women-Sweden,
National Institute of Womanhood (NIW), The, National Spiritual Assembly of the
Baha'is of the United States, New Zealand Federation of University Women, NGO
Commonwealth Women Network, Nizhny Novgorod League of Business Women, North
America Taiwanese Women's Association, Office of Women in Higher
Education/American Council on Education, Organisation de la femme
istiqlalienne, Organization of Turkish Childrens' Rights Summit, Organizing
Committee/People's Decade of Human Rights Education, Pacific Rim Institute for
Development and Education (PRIDE), Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends, Programme Support Unit Foundation, Red Nacional
de Promocio'n de la Mujer - Peru', Republican Counsil of Women's
Organizations, Research Action Information Network for Bodily Integrity of
Women, Reseau femmes africaines et droits humains (REFAD), Ribbon
International, SACH-Struggle for Change, Sahaja Yoga International, Scottish
Education and Action Development, Sewa-Nepal, Shanghai Women's Studies
Association, Slovak Women's Social Democracy Community, Society for
Interbalkan Cooperation of Romanian Women (SICRW), Sociologists for Women in
Society, Soroptimist International - Bangladesh, Temple University
(Commonwealth), Tunisian Mothers' Association, Ugnayas Ng Kababaihan Sa
Politika (Philippines), Union nationale pour le soutien et la promotion de la
femme au foyer "Femmes actives au foyer", United Nations Women's Guild,
US-China People's Friendship Association (USCPFA), Voice of Women for Peace
(Canada), WIN Visible - Women with Visible and Invisible Disabilities, Women
Convention Watch Indonesia, The, Women Empowering Women of Indian Nations,
Women in International Security (WIIS), Women of Reform Judaism, The
Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Women's Alliance for Democracy, Women's
Caucus, International Aids Society (NYS State Psychiatric Institute/HIV Center
for Clinic and Behaviour Study), Women's Council of the University of
Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), Women's Health in Women's Hands:  a Community
Health Centre for Women, Women's Network of the International Health Futures
Network, Women's Society (Zhinocha Hromada), Working Women National Committee
of the Puerto Rican Labor Central, World Association of Community Radio
Broadcasters (AMARC), World Organization for the Family, YWCA of Australia
(Young Women's Christian Association of Australia), Zigen Fund, Zonta Club
Bratislava-Slovakia (National Network of Zonta International)



                                   Annex II

        LIST OF DOCUMENTS BEFORE THE COMMISSION AT ITS FORTIETH SESSION


Document symbol        Agenda Item       Title or description

E/CN.6/1996/1           2           Provisional agenda

E/CN.6/1996/2           3 (a)       Mandate, methods of work and multi-year
                                    work programme of the Commission:  report
                                    of the Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/3             3         Ways to enhance the capacity of the
                                    Organization and of the United Nations
                                    system to support the ongoing follow-up to
                                    the Conference:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/4             3         Elimination of stereotyping in the mass
                                    media:  report of the Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/5             3         Child and dependant care, including the
                                    sharing of work and family
                                    responsibilities:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/6             3         Education for peace:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/7           3 (b)       Improvement of the status of women in the
                                    Secretariat:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/8             3         Situation of and assistance to Palestinian
                                    women:  report of the Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/9           3 (b)       Extent to which violations of women's
                                    human rights have been addressed by human
                                    rights mechanisms:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/10 and        5         Elaboration of a draft optional
  Corr.1 and Add.1                  protocol to the Convention on the
  and 2                             Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
                                    against Women:  report of the Secretary-
                                    General

E/CN.6/1996/11            3         Implementation of General Assembly
                                    resolution 50/166 on the role of the
                                    United Nations Development Fund for Women
                                    in eliminating violence against women: 
                                    note by the Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/12            3         Violence against women migrant workers: 
                                    note by the Secretary-General

Document symbol        Agenda Item       Title or description

E/CN.6/1996/13           3 (b)      Joint work plan of the Division for the
                                    Advancement of Women and the Centre for
                                    Human Rights:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/14            3         Proposals for the medium-term plan for the
                                    period 1998-2001:  note by the Secretary-
                                    General

E/CN.6/1996/L.1           3         Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia
                                    and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ecuador, Egypt,
                                    Georgia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia,
                                    Mozambique, Pakistan, Togo, Tunisia,
                                    Turkey,  Turkmenistan, United Arab
                                    Emirates, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe:  draft
                                    resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.2 and       7         Draft report of the Commission on its
  Add.1                             fortieth session

E/CN.6/1996/L.3           3         United States of America:  draft
                                    resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.4           3         Australia, Canada and Norway:  draft
                                    resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.5           3         Fiji, Ghana, Nigeria, Philippines and
                                    Thailand:  draft resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.6           3         Costa Rica (on behalf of the States
                                    Members of the United Nations that are
                                    members of the Group of 77 and China): 
                                    draft resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.7           3         Fiji, Ghana and Philippines:  draft
                                    resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.8/Rev.1     3         Costa Rica (on behalf of the States
                                    Members of the United Nations that are
                                    members of the Group of 77 and China): 
                                    revised draft resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.9           3         Costa Rica (on behalf of the States
                                    Members of the United Nations that are
                                    members of the Group of 77 and China): 
                                    draft resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.10          3         Costa Rica (on behalf of the States
                                    Members of the United Nations that are
                                    members of the Group of 77 and China): 
                                    draft resolution

Document symbol        Agenda Item       Title or description

E/CN.6/1996/L.11          5         Draft resolution submitted by the
                                    Chairperson of the Open-ended Working
                                    Group on the Elaboration of a Draft
                                    Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
                                    Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
                                    against Women, on the basis of informal
                                    consultations

E/CN.6/1996/L.12          3         Conclusions regarding methods of work for
                                    dealing with the implementation of the
                                    Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth
                                    World Conference on Women, submitted by
                                    the coordinator of informal consultations
                                    on agenda item 3, Patricia Licuanan
                                    (Philippines)

E/CN.6/1996/L.13          3         Draft resolution submitted by the
                                    coordinator of informal consultations on
                                    agenda item 3, Patricia Licuanan
                                    (Philippines)

E/CN.6/1996/L.14      3 (c) (i)     Draft resolution submitted by the
                                    Chairperson as the basis for informal
                                    consultations

E/CN.6/1996/L.15          3         Italy (on behalf of the States Members of
                                    the United Nations that are members of the
                                    European Union):  draft resolution

E/CN.6/1996/L.16     3 (c) (ii)     Draft agreed conclusions submitted by the
                                    Vice-Chairperson of the Commission,
                                    Ljudmila Boskova (Bulgaria)

E/CN.6/1996/L.17          3         Agreed conclusions submitted by the
                                    Chairperson on the basis of informal
                                    consultations

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/1         3         Statement submitted by the following
                                    non-governmental organizations in
                                    consultative status with the Economic and
                                    Social Council:  International Federation
                                    of Business and Professional Women,
                                    Soroptimist International, Zonta
                                    International (category I); International
                                    Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA),
                                    Italian Centre of Solidarity, Socialist
                                    International Women (SIW), World
                                    Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
                                    (category II);  International Inner Wheel,
                                    International Round Table for the
                                    Advancement of Counselling (IRTAC)
                                    (Roster)

Document symbol        Agenda Item       Title or description

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/2          3        Statement submitted by the following
                                    non-governmental organizations in
                                    consultative status with the Economic and
                                    Social Council:  International Federation
                                    of Business and Professional Women,
                                    Soroptimist International, Zonta
                                    International (category I); International
                                    Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA),
                                    Italian Centre of Solidarity, Socialist
                                    International Women (SIW), World
                                    Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
                                    (category II); International Inner Wheel,
                                    International Round Table for the
                                    Advancement of Counselling (IRTAC)
                                    (Roster)

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/3         3         Statement submitted by the following
                                    non-governmental organizations in
                                    consultative status with the Economic and
                                    Social Council:  International Council of
                                    Women, International Federation of
                                    Business and Professional Women,
                                    Soroptimist International, Zonta
                                    International (category I); Italian Centre
                                    of Solidarity, Socialist International
                                    Women (SIW), World Association of Girl
                                    Guides and Girl Scouts (category II);
                                    International Inner Wheel, International
                                    Round Table for the Advancement of
                                    Counselling (IRTAC) (Roster)

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/4         3         Statement submitted by the following
                                    non-governmental organizations in
                                    consultative status with the Economic and
                                    Social Council:  International Federation
                                    of Business and Professional Women, Zonta
                                    International (category I); International
                                    Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA),
                                    Socialist International Women (SIW), World
                                    Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
                                    (category II); International Inner Wheel, 
                                    International Round Table for the
                                    Advancement of Counselling (IRTAC)
                                    (Roster)

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/5         3         Statement submitted by the following
                                    non-governmental organizations in
                                    consultative status with the Economic and
                                    Social Council:  International Alliance of
                                    Women - Equal Rights, Equal
                                    Responsibilities, International Federation
                                    of Business and Professional Women,
                                    Soroptimist International, Zonta
                                    International (category I); All India
                                    Women's Conference, Arab Lawyers Union, 
                                    World Federation of Methodist Women
                                    (WFMW), World Federation for Mental Health
                                    (category II)

E/CN.6/1996/NGO/6         5         Statement submitted by the Commission for
                                    the Defence of Human Rights in Central
                                    America, a non-governmental organization
                                    in consultative status with the Economic
                                    and Social Council, category II

E/CN.6/1996/CRP.1       3 (b)       Results of the fifteenth session of the
                                    Committee on the Elimination of
                                    Discrimination against Women:  note by the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/CRP.2       3 (b)       Proposed system-wide medium-term plan for
                                    the advancement of women 1996-2001: 
                                    report of the Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/CRP.3       3 (c)       Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference
                                    on Women:  implementation of strategic
                                    objectives and action in the critical
                                    areas of concern:  poverty:  report of the
                                    Secretary-General

E/CN.6/1996/CRP.4         4         Report of the Working Group on
                                    Communications on the Status of Women

E/CN.6/1996/WG/L.1        5         Draft report of the Open-ended Working
  and Add.1                         Group on the Elaboration of a Draft
                                    Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
                                    Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
                                    against Women



                                   Annex III

REPORT OF THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON THE ELABORATION
OF A DRAFT OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE    
ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN 


1.   The Open-ended Working Group on the Elaboration of a Draft Optional
Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women was convened pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution
1995/29 of 24 July 1995 to consider a comprehensive report by the Secretary-
General, including a synthesis, on the views of Governments, intergovernmental
organizations and non-governmental organizations on an optional protocol to
the Convention, including views related to feasibility, taking into account
the elements suggested by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women in suggestion 7, adopted at its fourteenth session. a/

2.   At the 4th plenary meeting, on 12 March, the Vice-Chairperson of the
Commission, Karin Stoltenberg (Norway) was designated Chairperson of the
Working Group.  Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko (Lesotho) presided at the 6th meeting
of the Working Group, on 14 March.  At the 7th plenary meeting, on 14 March,
Aloisia Wo"rgetter (Austria) was designated Chairperson of the Working Group
to replace Ms. Stoltenberg (Norway), who had resigned owing to unforeseen
circumstances.

3.   The Working Group met from 11 to 22 March 1996.  It held 10 meetings
(1st to 10th) and two informal meetings.  It had before it the report of the
Secretary-General on the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
(E/CN.6/1996/10 and Corr.1 and Add.1 and 2).

4.   At the 1st meeting, on 11 March, the acting Chairperson opened the
meeting and made a statement.  The Director of the Division for the
Advancement of Women made an introductory statement.

5.   At the same meeting, in order to assist it in its deliberations, the
Working Group was briefed by a member of the Human Rights Committee on the
provisions, procedures and experience of the Committee under the first
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

He also responded to questions raised by delegations.

6.   At the 2nd, 5th, 7th and 9th meetings, on 12, 13, 14 and 18 March, the
Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women made a statement and responded to questions raised by delegations with
regard to specific elements proposed by the Committee in suggestion 7, as well
as with regard to the working methods of the Committee in the examination of
States parties' reports.

7.   At the 5th and 7th to 9th meetings, on 13, 14 and 18 March, the
representative of the Centre for Human Rights responded to questions raised by
delegations with regard to the practice and procedures of other United Nations
human rights mechanisms.

     a/   Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth Session,
Supplement No. 38 (A/50/38), chap. I, sect. B.

8.   At the 10th meeting, on 19 March, at the invitation of the Working Group,
two members of the Human Rights Committee made statements and responded to
questions raised by delegations with regard to the subject of justiciability.

9.   The Working Group, at the invitation of the Chairperson, first held a
general exchange of views on the question of an optional protocol to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
followed by a systematic and in-depth exchange of views on aspects that would
need to be addressed in such a protocol, using as a basis for discussion the
elements proposed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women in suggestion 7. 


                         A.  General exchange of views

10.  Support was expressed in favour of an optional protocol to the Convention
and the process initiated for its elaboration.  Delegations stated their
readiness to cooperate and to participate actively in the Working Group to
achieve an effective instrument that would command the greatest possible
support and a large number of ratifications.  

11.  However, delegations raised several obstacles and difficulties to be
addressed in the elaboration of a protocol and put forward questions that
needed to be clarified and extensively considered in the process.  

12.  It was argued that an optional protocol would increase the efficacy of
the Convention, and lead to more effective protection and promotion of the
human rights of women.  Such a procedure would strengthen the Convention and
put it on an equal footing with other human rights treaty mechanisms.  The
view was expressed that a communications procedure could place undue attention
on individual cases, whereas situations of massive violations needed to be
addressed. 

13.  Many delegations pointed out that the preparation of an optional protocol
was a key element in the follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights and
the Fourth World Conference on Women.  It represented a unique opportunity to
fill procedural gaps in existing mechanisms.  During its preparation, the
reasons for the low number of ratifications of other complaints mechanisms
could be assessed with a view to avoiding them in the instrument.   

14.  Many delegations pointed out that the question of the relationship
between the proposed optional protocol and existing mechanisms providing for a
communications procedure needed careful consideration.  In that regard,
overlapping or duplication would have to be avoided; the need for streamlining
of the human rights machinery was noted.  Efforts to mainstream women's human
rights and a gender perspective into the general human rights activities were
mentioned.  It was also emphasized that, while the question of overlapping and
duplication presented a challenge, it should not stand in the way of the
elaboration of such a procedure.  The question of overlapping had also been
raised, inter alia, at the time of the drafting of the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and its reporting
procedure, both of which are now widely accepted.  

15.  The possible complementary role that a well-drafted protocol could play
within the human rights system was highlighted, especially given the wider
scope of the provisions of the Convention.  The scope of other procedures and
the fact that the rights of women were not their main focus were noted.  The
elements proposed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women and those contained in the Maastricht draft would be useful in
the work ahead. 

16.  Reference was made to procedures under a number of treaty-based and
Charter-based human rights mechanisms.  It was noted that the different nature
of the communications procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women would
not overlap with an optional protocol.  The view was expressed that an
optional protocol should not establish an essentially different approach from
the one contained in the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights.  However, further comparison with the mandates
and jurisprudence of existing machinery would help to identify where further
work was needed to support the realization of women's rights. 

17.  The question of the justiciability of rights contained in the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women under an
optional protocol on the right to petition was addressed by many delegations. 
Several delegations pointed to the diverse nature of States parties'
obligations under the various provisions of the Convention, and the
implications for their justiciability.  It was suggested that some provisions
were clearly suited to be the subject of a petition procedure, while other
provisions were of a more programmatic nature for which a different procedure
might be required.  Thus, work on an optional protocol would need to proceed
in the light of the various types of provisions contained in the Convention. 
On the other hand, a number of delegations expressed the view that all
substantive provisions of the Convention should be considered justiciable
under an optional protocol. 

18.  Several delegations commended the important work done by the Committee on
the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.  The need to strengthen the
Committee through, inter alia, an increase in resources and meeting time was
expressed.  Concern was expressed by some delegations that despite the recent
proposal to extend the Committee's meeting time, this might not be sufficient
to deal both with the existing backlog in report consideration and with the
task of considering communications. 

19.  Some delegations expressed concern with regard to possible financial
implications resulting from the adoption of an optional protocol.  The costs
involved would need to be estimated.  Some delegations expressed the view that
the elaboration of an optional protocol might not be the best use of resources
for maximizing the effectiveness of women's enjoyment of their rights. 
Instead, the achievement of universal ratification and better implementation
of the Convention should be pursued, including through better and more timely
reporting to the Committee.


B.  In-depth consideration of major aspects to be covered by
    an optional protocol, following the elements contained  
    in suggestion 7 of the Committee on the Elimination of  
    Discrimination against Women                            

20.  The Chairperson invited the Working Group, in addressing the specific
elements proposed by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women, to take into consideration the cross-cutting themes that had
emerged during the general exchange of views, such as the question of
overlapping with existing procedures, and the question of justiciability, as
applicable.  She informed the Working Group of her intention to call also on
non-governmental organizations to make their comments on specific elements.

     Element 5

21.  Some delegations considered the element to be generally acceptable.  It
was proposed to add the option of signing the optional protocol:  "... option
to sign and ratify or accede to the optional protocol".

22.  The question of the status and impact of reservations entered to
provisions of the Convention by States parties with regard to the
admissibility of communications under the optional protocol was discussed. 
Delegations considered that ratification of the optional protocol would leave
substantive reservations to the Convention unaffected, without prejudice to
the permissibility of a reservation and its compatibility with the Convention
and with international treaty law.  While it was agreed that reservations were
permissible under the Convention, reference was made to article 28.2:  "A
reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention shall
not be permitted."  Thus, it was observed that it would be up to the Committee
to examine the compatibility of such reservations with the Convention, and,
consequently, the admissibility of a communication.

23.  With regard to justiciability, it was suggested that this question would
be especially relevant to discussions on the type of procedure to be contained
in an optional protocol, and its relation to the various provisions of the
Convention, including whether the programmatic provisions would be excluded
from being justiciable under an individual complaints procedure.  The view was
expressed that only those provisions of the Convention that established
absolute obligations could be justiciable.  The types of views expressed by
the Committee at the conclusion of an examination would also be relevant in
this regard. 

24.  Some delegations stated that it should be left to the Committee to
determine the question of justiciability on the basis of concrete cases,
rather than to exclude a priori certain provisions.

25.  It was stated that the question of justiciability was not limited to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. 
It was also relevant to, for example, the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, yet in that case, the
complaints procedure of article 14 covered the Convention as a whole.  In
considering it, the importance of the implementation of treaties in good faith
and according to the principle of pacta sunt servanda was stressed.  Some
delegations stated that, while some provisions of the Convention had direct
effects and could, as well as should, be implemented immediately, including
the non-discrimination provision, other provisions might have to be
implemented progressively.  The guiding legal principle, however, should be
that States parties are under an obligation to take steps towards achieving
the goals, an obligation for which they could be held accountable.  

     Element 6

26.  On the recommendation of the Chairperson, no in-depth discussion of
element 6 took place, as subsequent elements addressed the various aspects of
a communications procedure (elements 7-16) and an inquiry procedure
(elements 17-23).  

27.  While some delegations proposed the retention of only the communications
procedure, others noted the need for both a communications and an inquiry
procedure.  

28.  The view was stated that the purpose of the optional protocol would
determine whether only one, or both procedures, would be needed.  The
examination of individual complaints, in an approach similar to other existing
individual complaints procedures, was seen as the principal purpose of an
optional protocol.  The view was expressed that only justiciable provisions
should fall under the individual complaints procedure, whereas violations of
the provisions of the Convention of a more general nature could be addressed,
for example, in the framework of the reporting procedure.   

     Element 7

29.  With respect to this element, the question of who should have standing to
submit a communication was discussed, and whether this should be extended to a
person or group having sufficient interest in the matter.

30.  Some delegations were of the view that individuals as well as groups
should have standing, along the lines of the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as of some regional
procedures.  Standing for groups would be needed in cases of major violations.

The language could be specified to read:  "groups or organizations with
specific interest in women".  It was proposed that "groups" could be more
specific, such as "groups of persons", or "groups of individuals", or "groups
acting on behalf of individuals".  Other delegations referred to the example
of the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, which granted standing to individuals only.  The view was
expressed that only victims themselves should have standing.

31.  It was stated that, owing to the quasi-judicial nature of the procedure,
an approach that allowed groups of victims to file complaints would not be
favoured.  The comparison to national judicial processes was made, which also
did not allow such group complaints.  At the same time, the important role of
organizations in assisting victims in filing complaints was stressed.  The
distinction between the victim having the right to complain, and the person,
group, or representative who may file a complaint on the person's behalf,
would need to be made clear.  In this view, other procedures, such as the
communications procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women, were
considered more appropriate for widespread or systematic violations. 

32.  Many delegations stated that the term "organization" needed
clarification.  Any difference to "groups" would need to be elaborated.  If
"organization" meant "non-governmental organizations", then it should be so
stated, in which case it might be merged with "groups".  At the same time, a
requirement to have groups file on behalf of their members was also proposed. 
The Commission was cautioned  against broadening the categories of persons who
might submit complaints, as the Committee might be flooded with
communications, and possible financial implications were noted.  On the other
hand it was stated that allowing groups to complain could reduce the cost, as
the Committee might receive one collective complaint instead of many separate
complaints from individuals.  Other delegations argued that the inclusion of a
third category of "organizations" was called for to address the systematic
nature of discrimination and gender-based violence, and would be an innovative
element.  

33.  With regard to the standing criteria of a person or group "having a
sufficient interest", many delegations found this to be too vague and broad a
formulation.  Some delegations found such a provision to be inappropriate. 
The explanation was offered that this would apply to a situation where the
victim herself was not able to complain and a representative would do so on
her behalf. 
34.  The following categories of standing were proposed:  a person acting in
her own interest; an association acting in the interest of its members; a
person acting on behalf of another person who is not in a position to seek
relief in her own name; a person acting as a member or in the interest of a
group or class of persons; a person acting in the public interest.

35.  It was pointed out that the threshold test with regard to the right to
complain would depend on the solution of the question of justiciability, and
whether all provisions of the Convention would be covered under an optional
protocol.  It was also emphasized that the optional protocol should empower
the Committee to deal with complaints regarding any of the Convention's
provisions, as was done when the International Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted.  It was also pointed out
that a compartmentalization of the provisions of the Convention into
justiciable and non-justiciable was not desirable as it might create
precedents for other human rights treaties.  Some delegations emphasized that
the result of the Committee's consideration of a complaint would not be a
judgement, but the Committee would assess whether a State party had taken the
minimum steps necessary to comply with its obligations under the Convention. 

36.  It was proposed to expand the right to file a communication by allowing
filing to be done on the basis of a "threat of violations or infringements of
rights contained in the Convention".

37.  While it was proposed to qualify the non-compliance provision by
characterizing it as "deliberate, widespread, or systematic", it was also
emphasized that the purpose of the optional protocol was to establish an
individual complaints procedure. 

38.  The question was raised as to who would bear the cost of proceedings. 

     Element 8

39.  As to whether communications should be in writing only, delegations
agreed that, in principle, they should be in writing.  Some delegations
proposed that in exceptional cases, when the Committee deemed that there was
no other reasonable way to lodge a communication, some other means could be
accepted, such as oral presentation, or taped submissions.  The practical
difficulties connected with oral presentations were pointed out. 

40.  With regard to the confidentiality of the communication, some delegations
stressed the need to clarify whether this referred to the identity of the
author, the confidential treatment of the communication vis-a`-vis third
parties, the non-disclosure of the name of the author to the State party, or
the outcome of its consideration.  It was suggested to clarify the policy
objective of this requirement in order to arrive at a solution.  The different
types of confidentiality requirements contained in various elements, including
8, 9 (b), 11, 12, 15 and 24, was pointed out, and the need for clarity and
consistency of concepts in each case was stressed.  

41.  Some delegations understood the provision to mean confidential treatment
of the communication, but not that the communication itself should be
confidential.  Thus, knowledge of the identity of the author should be limited
to the Committee and the State party.  This would also be beneficial to the
process of mediation.  Several delegations emphasized that the State party
would need to know the identity of the author in order to reply to the
complaint and to initiate remedial action.  Other delegations noted that if
the aim of the provision was the protection of the author, this could be
achieved with the provision contained in element 10, or with some other
measure.  The need to publicize the facts and findings upon conclusion was
stressed.  

42.  Some delegations spoke in favour of confidentiality along the lines of
existing Charter-based procedures, such as the 1503 procedure, or the
communications procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women.  Others
argued that in the light of the purpose of the protocol, the principles and
practice of other human rights treaty bodies, such as the Human Rights
Committee, should be used as models.  

     Element 9

43.  With regard to the admissibility criteria proposed in element 9, it was
noted that, while the list proposed in the element is reflective of the
present stage in other comparable procedures, the preparation of a new
protocol offered an opportunity for progressive development and the reflection
of current practice.  

44.  Element 9 (b):  Support was expressed for this formulation.
 
45.  Element 9 (c):  While clarification was sought on the conceptual
distinction between "alleged violation" and "alleged failure to give effect",
it was also noted that the formulation simply reflected a comprehensive view
of the provisions of the Convention.  Some delegations identified a link
between these criteria and the question of standing in element 7, as well as
the question whether all the provisions of the Convention would be covered by
the protocol.

46.  Several delegations foresaw a potentially enormous number of
communications under the second standard, and proposed the following
formulation:  "alleged failure to provide effective remedies to situations
caused by violations of rights under the Convention".  

47.  Element 9 (d):  Several delegations noted that such a criterion was
absent from other comparable procedures.  They found it to be counter to
existing norms and agreed that an optional protocol should apply to acts that
had occurred after the entry into force of the optional protocol in the State
party.  Support was expressed for an approach whereby the admissibility
criterion would be the entry into force of the Convention, not of the optional
protocol, in the State party. 

48.  Element 9 (f):  With regard to the element on the exhaustion of domestic
remedies, preference was expressed its for the formulation contained in the
first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights.  Others stated their preference for language as contained in the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment or the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which stated that the
requirement of the exhaustion of domestic remedies should not be the rule
where domestic remedies were unreasonably prolonged, or unlikely to bring
effective relief.  The language contained in the latter would also be in
accordance with the practice of the Human Rights Committee, which interpreted
its own provision to include the absence of effective domestic remedies, their
lack of effectiveness, or denial of a remedy.  It was suggested that more
general wording might be needed which would include that the victim was
unaware of domestic remedies, or of their availability.  It was also suggested
to include the word "available" before "domestic remedies", as that would be
in line with other instruments.  The view was expressed that it would not be
in line with the role of the Committee to judge whether domestic remedies had
been exhausted. 

49.  With regard to the second sentence, especially the proposed power of the
Committee to declare another international procedure "unreasonably prolonged",
many delegations agreed that such a provision would be inappropriate as it
would give the Committee the power to judge the work of other bodies. 
Instead, preference for existing language was expressed, such as in the
Convention against Torture or in the Migrant Workers Convention, that is, that
the same matter "has not been, and is not being, examined by another treaty
body".  Reference was also made to article 27.1 (b) of the European Convention
establishing inadmissibility when a petition "is substantially the same as a
matter which has already been examined by the Commission or has already been
submitted to another procedure of international investigation or settlement
and if it contains no relevant new information".  

50.  Support was expressed for the proposed addition of two criteria, namely
that a communication would be inadmissible when manifestly ill-founded; and
the inclusion of a time-limit, that is, that a communication be inadmissible
if deposited after 12 months from the date of the decision of the highest
domestic instance, or a similar reasonable length of time.   

51.  The addition of the following criteria was also proposed: 
"Communications should be in compliance with the principles of objectivity and
justice and should include legal remedies or reparations, if any, undertaken
by the State party concerned." 

52.  Element 9 (g):  The question was raised as to who would determine, and
what would be considered, a "reasonable period".  It was suggested that the
Committee might have this responsibility. 

     Element 10

53.  Several delegations, pointing to the innovative character of element 10
on interim measures, expressed their support for its explicit inclusion in the
optional protocol.  They noted that that would be in line with existing
practice of international, as well as regional, human rights bodies.  In order
to avoid irreparable harm, the Committee should be empowered to take urgent
action when necessary.  Noting the positive intention of the provision, other
delegations suggested that it should be left to the Committee to include such
a provision in its rules of procedure.  Such a placement would allow the
Committee more flexibility in its practical application. 

54.  A number of delegations, pointing to the language used in the element,
considered it inappropriate to confer upon the Committee power to "request" a
State party to take such measures.  Instead, the Committee should be able to
"recommend" interim measures.  Their application should be left to the
discretion of the State party.  The need for a separate undertaking on the
part of the State party was doubted, as States parties were already expected
to act bona fide upon ratification of the instrument.  

55.  Several delegations noted a lack of clarity and precision in the use of
the term "preservation of the status quo", suggesting that the intention for
recommending such interim measures needed to be further specified.  They
agreed that it could not mean that an alleged violation be preserved, but
rather its termination and avoidance of irreparable harm, or the prevention of
a violation.  It was proposed to reword the element to give the Committee the
right to recommend, or suggest, interim measures so as not to aggravate the
situation.  It was also proposed to distinguish between interim measures at
the admissibility stage, and during the proceedings on the merits of a
communication, in accordance with the practice of the Committee against
Torture.

56.  It was suggested that it might be necessary to monitor the application of
such interim measures at the national level. 

57.  The requirement, contained in the element, that no inference could be
drawn from the recommendation of interim measures for the Committee's decision
on the merits was emphasized. 

     Element 11

58.  With regard to the formulation that the State party would be "informed
confidentially", several delegations emphasized that, in the light of the
purpose of the procedure as individual procedure, the identity of the author
would need to be revealed to the State party to enable it to investigate the
allegations, remedy the situation and provide full information to the
Committee to determine admissibility, including the exhaustion of domestic
remedies.  It was also stated that the State party would be able to implement
any recommendations of the Committee only if it knew the identity of the
complainant.  It was further stated that only in exceptional cases, when there
appeared to be danger for the author, could this requirement be waived or
other cautionary measures taken, such as interim measures.  In that sense,
confidentiality in the element would seem to refer to confidentiality vis-a`-
vis third parties.

59.  While some delegations, pointing to a similar provision in the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, emphasized the need to obtain the person's consent before
revealing her identity to the State party, they agreed that in most cases, the
State party would need to know the author's identity to assume its
responsibilities.  The representative of the Centre for Human Rights stated
that experience with the above Convention showed that of seven cases, in only
one had the identity of the author not been revealed to the State party on an
exceptional basis.

60.  While some delegations proposed that it should be left to the Committee
to determine, in its rules of procedure, a reasonable time period for the
State party to provide replies, other delegations supported the inclusion of a
specified period of time.  Reference was made to the first Optional Protocol
to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (six months) and
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (three months).  Several delegations expressed a preference for
a six-month time-limit.

61.  Several delegations welcomed the proposals for mediation contained in
element 11.  It was, however, stressed that the terms of any settlement would
need to be in accordance and compatible with the State party's obligation
under the Convention; be acceptable to both parties; and be arrived at without
pressure on the author to settle.  Those concerns would need to be addressed
in relevant provisions of the optional protocol or in the rules of procedure.

62.  With regard to the confidential nature of the report on a settlement,
some delegations emphasized the importance of a transparent procedure, which
would encourage other States parties to take relevant action, and which would
build up the Committee's case law.  While the name of the author could be
withheld, the results of the settlement should be made public in the report of
the Committee, if the author and the State party so wished.   

63.  It was proposed to divide element 11 into two separate elements, whereby
the second element would consist of the last sentence. 

64.  Some delegations pointed out that a State party needed to be informed of
the full substance of a communication, and not simply of "the nature of the
communication", as suggested in element 11.  Thus, it was proposed to state
that "the communication as such" be transmitted to the State party.  In fact,
both parties, that is the State party and the complainant, needed to have the
full documentation of a case. 

65.  Some delegations proposed that the State party be represented in meetings
of the Committee when matters affecting it were under consideration.  It was
suggested that any means which facilitated the full and active participation
of the State party would be acceptable.  Such a concept could be contained
either in the optional protocol, or in the rules of procedure.  Other
delegations found that it would be inappropriate for the parties to be present
at the consideration of a communication.  If there were an exception, then it
could be only at the specific request of the Committee.  The representative of
the Centre for Human Rights informed the Working Group that it was not the
practice of the Human Rights Committee to have representatives of the State
party present during the consideration of a communication.

     Element 12

66.  With regard to a provision that the Committee would examine a
communication in the light of information received, inter alia, "from other
relevant sources", most delegations emphasized that only information submitted
by the author and the State party should be considered.  With reference to
element 7, it was stated that, as only victims should have the right to submit
communications, it would be only the victim and the State party that could
provide information on a case.

67.  Other delegations pointed out that other relevant sources of information
could shed further light on cases where women were disempowered or unable to
provide information.  Any such information, which could be derived from
sources such as reports or deliberations of other United Nations mechanisms,
would need to be made available to the parties concerned.  Regarding other
sources of information it was noted that, as communications would be
confidential vis-a`-vis third parties during consideration, only general
background information could be made available to the Committee.  Such
information might be more usefully provided in the framework of the reporting
procedure under article 18 of the Convention.

68.  Many delegations agreed that a visit to the territory in the examination
of a communication would be inappropriate.  It was pointed out that such a
provision would belong to elements 17-23.  Some suggested that, on an
exceptional and case-by-case basis, this could be envisaged.  There was,
however, no need to include such a provision in the optional protocol.  That
aspect was important, as demonstrated by the successful use of the method
under the European system.  It was also available in the inter-American
system.  It was emphasized that such a visit would only take place with the
agreement of the State party.  The question of the resource implication of
such a provision was also raised.

69.  With regard to the examination of the communication by the Committee, and
in relation to suggestions made by some delegations under element 11 that the
State party be present, several delegations emphasized that, in both cases the
procedure should be of a written nature and without the presence of the State
party.  Some delegations stated that, while in principle this should be a
written procedure, the Committee should have the power to conduct oral
hearings with both parties.  The possibility of oral testimony should also not
be excluded.

70.  It was stated that the use of the term "adopt" in this element was
inappropriate.

     Element 13

71.  Some delegations welcomed the addition of the element, especially with
regard to reparations.  Its inclusion would provide an opportunity, as was the
case with certain other elements, for the progressive development and
strengthening of international human rights law.  Some delegations noted the
consistency of the element with the practice of human rights treaty bodies. 
The well-established practice of the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women to adopt recommendations at the conclusion of the
consideration of States parties' reports was noted.  Reference was also made
to General Assembly resolution 41/120, establishing the principle that new
international human rights instruments must be consistent with the existing
body of international human rights law and may not fall behind existing
standards.     Some delegations emphasized the importance of the Committee's
ability to make recommendations on steps necessary to implement the
Convention.

72.  Some delegations noted that there was no precedent for a provision on the
recommendation of remedial measures in cases of non-compliance with treaty
provisions in other human rights instruments.  At the same time, delegations
agreed that the Committee was not a judicial body, and thus its views were of
a recommendatory, albeit authoritative, character.  It was emphasized that the
States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women already had the legal responsibility to remedy
any violations of the Convention.  Some delegations stated that it should be
left to the States parties to determine the appropriateness of the remedial
measures.  Others doubted that the Committee should have the power to order a
State party to take specific remedial measures.

73.  Some delegations noted that the intention of the element would be that
the State party take the necessary steps to give effect to its obligations
under the Convention, that is, that action be taken by the State party at the
national level.  Several delegations suggested that the element should be
drafted in a way to suggest dialogue, rather than judgement.

74.  Several delegations identified a lack of clarity in the use of the term
"adequate reparation", including clarity as to who would make the
determination.  Some proposed the deletion of this term.  Information on the
understanding of the term "reparation" was provided based on a study conducted
by an expert of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights.

75.  The following formulation was proposed:  "... appropriate
remedy,including, if need be, adequate reparation".  Reference was also made
to paragraph 124 (d) of the Platform for Action for possible language on
rehabilitation.

76.  Some delegations suggested that the period of time within which a State
party would inform the Committee about measures taken should be made specific.

A few months was suggested as appropriate.

77.  Some delegations pointed out that the question of the justiciability of
all provisions of the Convention would have a bearing on the formulation of
this provision.

     Element 14

78.  Several delegations expressed their support for the inclusion of an
element on follow-up, and for the intent and formulation of the element.  That
would be in accordance with the practice of the Human Rights Committee and the
European system.

79.  In order to clarify that the element covered the implementation phase of
the Committee's views in a case, several delegations proposed the following
formulation:  "... concerning implementation of such measures ...". 

80.  In welcoming the element, it was suggested that element 13 be cast along
similar lines.  The need for ongoing dialogue between the Committee and the
State party, and the inclusion of relevant information in the framework of
reporting, were welcomed by several delegations.

     Element 15

81.  The Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women informed the Working Group of an error contained in element 15
to the effect that it should not refer to a "confidential" report.  The
element should thus read:

     The Committee would, in its report, summarize the nature of
     communications received, its examination of them, the replies and
     statements of the States parties concerned and its views and
     recommendations.

82.  On the basis of this clarification, several delegations supported the
element.  They emphasized the need to publicize the availability of the
procedure and the work of the Committee, and to disseminate widely the views
of the Committee in order to develop jurisprudence on women's human rights. 
The inclusion of information about the work under the optional protocol in the
Committee's annual report would also be in line with the practice of other
treaty bodies, which included in their annual reports a summary of cases after
their conclusion and the Committee's findings.

83.  Some delegations proposed that, instead of a summary of the nature of the
communication, the element should use the formulation of article 14.8 of the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination:  "The Committee shall include in its annual report a summary
of such communications and ...".  

     Element 16

84.  Several delegations supported the establishment of a working group of the
Committee.  This would be in line with the practice of the Human Rights
Committee, and would be an effective and efficient method for preparing the
work of the Committee as a whole.  At the same time, several delegations
pointed out that the term "its responsibilities", used in the element, was
inappropriate as the Committee would not delegate any authority to the working
group.  A working group could simply have responsibility for preparing or
expediting the handling of communications for the Committee as a whole.  They
emphasized that only the Committee as a whole could have the power to adopt
decisions, including decisions on the admissibility of communications.  Thus,
the following formulation was proposed:  "responsibilities for the preparation
of consideration of cases ...".

85.  Some delegations, noting that the element covered simply a method of work
of the Committee, proposed that the provision should be dealt with in the
Committee's rules of procedure, instead of in the optional protocol.

86.  Some delegations noted the need for further clarification of the nature,
function, role and power of a working group of the Committee.  The different
types and functions of working groups established under human rights treaty
bodies, and under Charter-based procedures, were identified.

     General comments on an inquiry procedure

87.  Some delegations supported the inclusion of an inquiry procedure in an
optional protocol as a means of dealing with serious and systematic violations
of women's human rights.  The existence of a similar procedure under the
Convention against Torture, article 20, and at regional levels, was noted. 
The Working Group was informed, however, that this procedure under the
Convention against Torture had only been used once.  Other delegations
expressed doubts about the need to have the inquiry procedure proposed in
suggestion 7 included in the optional protocol.  Some delegations suggested
that alternatives for achieving the intention behind an inquiry procedure
should be explored fully.  Some delegations noted that any new instrument
should enjoy the broad acceptance of States parties.

88.  Several delegations suggested that possibilities within the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women itself, which
would apply to all States parties, should be pursued, such as developing an
inquiry procedure under the Committee's existing mandate and rules of
procedure.  The establishment of an early warning mechanism under the
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was cited as an example.

Introduction of time-bound follow-up to the Committee's concluding comments on
States parties reports under article 18 was suggested.  Other delegations
recommended further study of the possibilities for addressing serious and
systematic violations in the framework of reporting under article 18,
including follow-up to the Committee's concluding comments, and the request
for in accordance with article 18.1 (b).

89.  Some delegations proposed that element 7 be drafted to enable the
Committee to deal with situations of serious and systematic violations under a
communications procedure.  Universal accession to existing instruments should
be promoted.  Other delegations emphasized the need to strengthen existing
procedures, including the communications procedure of the Commission on the
Status of Women and the 1503 procedure.

90.  Some delegations raised the question of possible overlapping between an
inquiry procedure and existing mechanisms, especially with the communications
procedure of the Commission and the 1503 procedure.  Others noted the
differences in, and complementarity of, these procedures in regard to the
proposed inquiry procedure.  They expressed concern about the length of the
process under the 1503 procedure, particularly for violations which needed
immediate action.  The intergovernmental character of the Commission's
communications procedure and of the 1503 procedure on the one hand, and of the
expert character of the proposed inquiry procedure on the other, were noted. 
Other delegations emphasized the need to mainstream women's human rights,
because the human rights of women were not the main focus of other human
rights bodies.  Some noted that Charter-based procedures and other
treaty-based procedures were based on different instruments, not on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

     Element 17

91.  Regarding the formulation of element 17, several delegations noted that
the threshold for admissibility would need to be both serious and systematic
violations, that is, there would be a high threshold to initiate an inquiry. 
Some noted that an inquiry procedure would enable the Committee to deal with
patterns of widespread violations of women's human rights and allow it to
address a broader range of issues, including structural causes of violations,
than would be the case under the individual procedure.  Reliable information
would be required to start the procedure.  A few delegations expressed concern
at the optional nature of many aspects of the proposed inquiry procedure,
underlining the need for more active investigation into serious and systematic
violations.   

92.  Some delegations stated that some provisions of the Convention might lend
themselves more to an inquiry procedure than to an individual complaints
procedure.  A more comprehensive discussion of the merits of the inquiry
procedure would thus depend on the development of the communications
procedure.  Some delegations noted that the "serious and systematic" criteria
would need to apply both to alleged violations and to alleged failures to
comply.  Other delegations found the "failure" category to be redundant.  The
scope of element 17 would be considered too broad if it were to be applied to
all of the rights covered by the Convention.

     Element 18

93.  The question was raised as to what mechanisms would be available in case
of non-cooperation of a State party. 

     Element 19

94.  The need for including a time-limit was raised.

     Element 20

95.  Some delegations noted that only the State party concerned would
participate in the inquiry, not "States parties".  As to the intention of
confidentiality in this element, it was suggested that, contrary to the
individual communications procedure, those who submitted information leading
to an inquiry procedure would not be involved in its conduct, but that this
would be limited to the Committee and the State party.

     Element 21

96.  Some delegations noted a lack of clarity in the meaning of the term
"satisfactory outcome".  Some delegations raised the question as to the
Committee's attitude in case a State party would not provide the requested
information.

     Element 22

97.  Some delegations raised the question whether the Committee, at the
completion of the process, would be empowered to publish its report even
without the agreement of the State party in the Committee's annual report. 
The practice of the Convention against Torture was noted, which consulted the
State party, but was not required to obtain agreement from the State party.

     Element 23

98.  The requirement that a State party undertake to assist the Committee was
considered redundant as such cooperation was expected to result from
ratification.  

     Element 24

99.  Several delegations emphasized the need to publicize widely the optional
protocol, and the following additions, or alternative formulations, were
proposed:  "... making the provision of the optional protocol widely known in
their countries", or "the communication and inquiry procedure should be made
public as widely as possible".  While the role and participation of United
Nations bodies and agencies in such efforts were stressed, some delegations
were of the opinion that this should be addressed in a resolution rather than
in the optional protocol itself.

     Element 26

100. With reference to a recent amendment to the Convention regarding the
Committee's meeting time, it was suggested that that matter should be left to
the Committee to decide in its rules of procedure.  Other delegations inquired
whether there might be a need for additional annual sessions and sought
clarification on the amount of time that might be necessary for the Committee
to discharge its duties under an optional protocol.  Regarding possible
sources of funding for the Committee's work under an optional protocol, the
question was raised whether it would be funded from the regular budget of the
United Nations, or by the States parties to the Convention, or by the State
parties to the optional protocol.  It was noted that all human rights treaty
bodies were funded from the regular budget of the United Nations.

101. Several delegations noted a lack of clarity regarding the scope of the
"expert legal advice", referred to in the element.  Questions were also raised
regarding the composition of the Committee, in particular concerning the need
for greater legal expertise to be included in its membership.  It was noted
that, upon the adoption of the optional protocol, States parties would need to
review such expertise when electing members of the Committee.  While the
Secretariat would be expected to support the work of the Committee, the
expertise would also be needed in the Committee itself.

     Element 27

102. Several delegations suggested that it might be necessary to specify the
number of ratifications that would be required for the optional protocol to
enter into force.  While it was proposed that it could enter into force after
five instruments of ratification had been deposited, other delegations
suggested that the intention should be to have as many States parties as
possible ratify the optional protocol upon adoption.  Other delegations also
considered that it was necessary to encourage as many ratifications as
possible and suggested that a higher threshold for entry into force might
facilitate this.

     Element 28

103. While some delegations proposed that ratifying States parties should be
required to accept both procedures covered in an optional protocol, others
suggested that, similar to article 28 of the Convention against Torture,
States parties should have the opportunity to "opt out" of one of the two
procedures.  It was suggested that any "opt out" provisions applied only to
the inquiry, and not to the communications procedure.  It was recommended
that, even if the possibility existed, ratification of the optional protocol
ought to be without reservations as it dealt with procedural matters; others
stated that reservations might be needed to achieve a large number of
ratifications, but that reservations incompatible with the object and purpose
of the optional protocol should not be allowed, in accordance with established
principles of international law.  It was noted that the first Optional
Protocol did not contain a no-reservations clause.  Delegations also referred
to the discussion on reservations held under element 5.


                       C.  Discussion on justiciability

104. In addition to its consideration during the general exchange of views and
of the elements contained in suggestion 7, the Working Group held a further
discussion on the question of justiciability.  Statements were heard by two
members of the Human Rights Committee on this matter, followed by an exchange
of views with the Working Group.


105. Some delegations argued that all the provisions of the Convention should
be covered by an optional protocol, and that the question of justiciability
should not be an obstacle to its preparation.  While noting different degrees
of specificity, in the Convention, of rights and of States parties'
obligations to grant rights, undertake activities and take appropriate
measures, they pointed to the legal character of the treaty, which needed to
be executed in good faith by States parties.  They argued that it should be
left to the treaty body to determine in each case, and in a reasonable way,
whether a provision was justiciable or not, and whether a State party had
fulfilled its treaty obligations.  Those delegations considered that the
objective of the Convention, namely equality of women and men in the enjoyment
of rights and the elimination of discrimination, and the purpose of an
optional protocol, namely to make the Convention more effective, would make it
possible for the supervisory body, on the basis of concrete cases, to
determine State party compliance.  While noting a State party's margin of
discretion in implementing its obligations and determining measures to be
taken, it was also pointed out that a State party's actions in implementing
its treaty obligations were subject to meaningful scrutiny by a treaty body. 
The important role of the optional protocol as a means of recourse for women,
and to strengthen enforcement of women's rights, was stressed.

106. Some delegations noted that the classical distinction into civil and
political rights as justiciable, and economic, social and cultural rights as
non-justiciable could, in the light of practice, case law and academic
writings, no longer be maintained.  Elements from both could be found in
either category.  Empowering the Committee to determine justiciability on a
case-by-case basis would also enable the further development of case law on
the question of justiciability of human rights provisions.  It might also
stimulate States parties to create effective national remedies and recourse
mechanisms for women.  
107. While recognizing the potential for difficulties in determining
justiciability of some provisions under an individual communications
procedure, a number of delegations cautioned against a categorization of
treaty provisions into justiciable and non-justiciable.  They noted that that
would seriously impair the integrity and unity of the Convention and establish
a hierarchy of more and less important rights.  The right to equality and
non-discrimination had in itself been accepted as justiciable by existing
human rights mechanisms, including the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and Optional Protocol and the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  Regional mechanisms, such
as the European Convention, the Inter-American Convention and the African
Charter, contained different types of rights, offered individual
communications and/or inquiry procedures, but did not distinguish between
justiciable and non-justiciable rights.

108. Other delegations expressed their doubts about the inclusion of all the
provisions of the Convention under an individual communications procedure. 
While they agreed that certain rights were quite specific and would thus lend
themselves to such complaints, others were of a general nature where the basis
for individual recourse would be difficult to determine given the State
party's margin of appreciation with regard to measures to be taken.  Articles
3, 5 and aspects of 10 were mentioned as examples where difficulties in
implementing an individual right to petition would potentially arise.  The
comparison with the national level, where civil and political rights were
justiciable, was made.

109. In that regard, some delegations were of the view that any decision on
justiciability should not be left to the Committee on a case-by-case basis,
but should be settled among member States.  Differences between various legal
systems in determining exhaustion of domestic remedies and of standing would
also need to be addressed.  The question of determining the exhaustion of
domestic remedies with regard to programmatic provisions of the Convention was
raised, including the assessment of exhaustion of non-judicial remedies.  The
impact on third parties, that is, on private individuals, of provisions of the
Convention would also need to be addressed.

110. Rather than categorizing the provisions as justiciable and
non-justiciable, it was suggested that the purpose of the optional protocol
needed to be further reviewed and its applicability determined.  An
admissibility criterion could be the reliable evidence of a consistent pattern
of gross violations of the rights guaranteed in the Convention, along the
lines of the 1503 procedure.  It was also suggested that a solution could be
sought through the determination of the Committee's mandate, power, and the
type of recommendations it could pronounce at the end of a communication
procedure.  In that regard, it was proposed that those would be of a
recommendatory, non-binding nature, allowing the State party ultimately to
reach a conclusion different from the Committee's.  While under the more
specific provisions, the Committee's views could be very specific, in others,
the process would be more in the form of a dialogue between the Committee and
the State party.

111. Some delegations, noting the quasi-judicial nature of an optional
protocol, pointed out the need for Committee members to have legal expertise. 
Other delegations, taking into account the composition of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination, stressed the usefulness of having
Committee members who were not lawyers, so that the combination of legal and
non-legal expertise could result in just and fair decisions.

     General points

112. The addition of an element to cover the Committee's rules of procedure
under the optional protocol was proposed.

113. It was noted that a number of elements proposed for inclusion in the
optional protocol reflected the current practice of human rights bodies. 
Doubts were expressed about whether they needed to be included in an optional
protocol, or should be left to the Committee to elaborate upon in its rules of
procedure.  The development of a rigid instrument should be avoided.



                                   Appendix

            SUMMARY OF PRESENTATIONS BY, AND EXCHANGE OF VIEWS WITH,
            EXPERTS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE ACTING IN THEIR
                              INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY


1.   Mr. Rajsoomer Lallah noted that, while the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights did not cover all the provisions contained in the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
articles 2 and 3 of the Covenant dealt with equality and non-discrimination in
the enjoyment of the rights recognized in the Covenant, and article 26 dealt
with equality before the law and equal protection of the law.  There were
currently 87 States parties to the first Optional Protocol.

2.   Mr. Lallah reviewed the two stages of the consideration of a
communication, namely the determination of admissibility and the procedure on
the merits of a case.  In referring to specific provisions contained in the
first Optional Protocol, he pointed to their progressive development through
the Committee's practice, including matters such as the exhaustion of domestic
remedies, the question of standing, interim measures and the follow-up to
decisions taken on the merits of a case.  He discussed the written nature of
the procedure and admissible sources of information, the lack of any
investigative power of the Committee, and the treaty obligation of States
parties to remedy violations, notwithstanding the absence of mandatory power
in the Committee's views.  He reviewed selected cases that the Human Rights
Committee had dealt with under article 26, noting that the Committee had found
that article 26 established a basic right to equality before the law, which
was not restricted to the rights under the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights.  While conflicts in adjudication between different
procedures could be avoided through the establishment of admissibility
criteria, some overlapping might, however, not be wholly undesirable.

3.   Ms. Cecilia Medina Quiroga and Mr. Fausto Pocar, speaking on the question
of justiciability, noted that the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women could, under an optional protocol to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
build on the jurisprudence already developed by the Human Rights Committee. 
They agreed that, as the Convention itself was based on the principles of non-
discrimination and equality, all its other provisions could be linked back to
these principles.  As the non-discrimination provision was recognized as
justiciable and subject to meaningful scrutiny by treaty bodies, they
considered all the provisions of the Convention to be justiciable.  They
agreed that some of the Convention's provisions, including the requirement
that States parties take appropriate measures, might lead to certain
difficulties in assessing compliance.  They stressed that a decision on the
justiciability of a provision should be left to the Committee, taking into
consideration a State party's obligations to implement its treaty obligations
in good faith, and in a reasonable way.  Both experts strongly cautioned
against any a priori classification of rights into justiciable and non-
justiciable.

4.   Furthermore, it was pointed out that no clear line could be drawn between
justiciable and non-justiciable provisions.  As shown by the examples of a
number of articles in the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, justiciability of a treaty provision was also a question of degree.  A
number of the Covenant's provisions required a State party not only to respect
a right, but to take measures to ensure its enjoyment.  The sufficiency of
such measures was assessed by the treaty body against the standards set out in
the treaty.

5.   The availability of domestic remedies, including non-judicial remedies,
was seen as essential and their sufficiency would be subject to review by a
treaty body.  This was especially so with regard to the right to non-
discrimination.  It was stressed that the Convention granted rights to women,
even if its provisions were formulated as States parties' obligations.  The
views expressed by the Human Rights Committee had the force of
recommendations.  Noting the question of overlapping between procedures, the
experts pointed to the unique emphasis that the Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was placing on women within the
human rights system.  With regard to reservations, an expert noted that in
principle, these were permissible under the first Optional Protocol.  The
introduction of reservations to the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights through the Protocol was, however, not permissible. 
Furthermore, while the Human Rights Committee was prevented from considering
reserved articles under the Protocol, that Committee had the competence to
determine whether a reservation was compatible with the Covenant and,
consequently, the admissibility of a communication.
 

    	

 


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