United Nations

E/CN.6/1997/1


Commission on the Status of Women

 Distr. GENERAL
20 December 1996
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Forty-first session
10-21 March 1997
Item 2 of the provisional agenda


        ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS

                          Provisional agenda


1.   Election of officers.

2.   Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

3.   Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women:

     (a)      Review of mainstreaming in organizations of the
              United Nations system;

     (b)      Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to
issues
              affecting the situation of women or equality
between
              women and men; 

     (c)      Implementation of strategic objectives and action
in
              the critical areas of concern.

4.   Communications concerning the status of women.

5.   Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
     against Women, including the elaboration of a draft optional
     protocol to the Convention.

6.   Provisional agenda for the forty-second session of the
Commission.

7.   Adoption of the report of the Commission on its forty-first
session.

                              Annotations

Item 1.  Election of officers

     Rule 15 of the rules of procedure of the functional
commissions of the Economic and Social Council provides that, at
the commencement of the first meeting of a regular session, the
Commission shall elect, from among the representatives of its
members, a Chairperson, one or more Vice-Chairpersons and such
other officers as may be required.  At past sessions, the
Commission has elected, in addition to a Chairperson, three
Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur.

     In resolution 1987/21, the Economic and Social Council
recommended that, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the
work of the Commission, the officers elected to the Bureau of the
Commission should serve for a term of office of two years.  The
officers elected at the fortieth session will continue to serve
in their capacities during the forty-first session.

     The membership of the Commission in 1997 is given in
annex II below.

Item 2.  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters

     Rule 7 of the rules of procedure provides that the
Commission shall, at the beginning of each session, after the
election of its officers, adopt the agenda for that session on
the basis of the provisional agenda.

     The provisional agenda and documentation for the forty-first
session of the Commission were approved by the Economic and
Social Council in decision 1996/241.  In section IV of resolution
1996/6 on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women, the
Economic and Social Council adopted a multi-year work programme
for the Commission for a focused and thematic approach,
culminating in a quinquennial review and appraisal of the
Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on
Women.  The Council decided that the work of the Commission in
relation to the work programme should be closely related to the
relevant provisions of the Platform for Action, with a view to
ensuring the effective implementation of the Platform for Action,
and also decided on the items to be included in the Commission's
agenda.

     The Commission, in its agreed conclusions 1996/1 on methods
of work for dealing with the implementation of the Platform for
Action, noted that its innovative methods of work had to be
understood as a process that included not only the sessions of
the Commission, but also the organization of work.  Broad-based
participation in the preparatory process for each session of the
Commission was to be encouraged, and the practice of periodically
convening meetings of the Bureau of the Commission open to the
participation of all interested States was to be encouraged and
consolidated.

     Accordingly, the Bureau of the Commission met on 9 July, 18
September and 24 October 1996 to consider the organization of the
session and methods of work and it convened informal
consultations in accordance with agreed conclusions 1996/1.  At
the first informal consultation, held on 18 September, it was
agreed that there should normally be three consultations:  in
July (during the substantive session of the Economic and Social
Council, in late October (during the consideration of the item on
the advancement of women in the Third Committee of the General
Assembly) and in mid-February (prior to the session of the
Commission).  The consultations during the substantive session of
the Council would discuss and decide on the number of dialogues
to be organized, their subject matter and the approximate size of
panels; the consultations during the General Assembly would
review the proposals made by the Secretariat on the composition
of the panels and discuss ways of encouraging the participation
of organizations of the United Nations system and
non-governmental organizations in the dialogues; and the
consultations prior to the session of the Commission would
discuss the detailed organization of work of the Commission and
provisions for informal consultations on agreed conclusions.  The
second consultation took place on 24 October.  A third
consultation is expected to be convened in mid-February.

     The proposed organization of work for the session, as
contained in annex I below, reflects the agreements reached
during the consultations in September and October.  The
Commission will be informed orally by the Secretariat of any
changes that may emerge from the consultations in mid-February.

     In section III of resolution 1996/6, the Economic and Social
Council requested that all United Nations documentation be kept
concise, clear, analytical and timely with a focus on relevant
issues and in accordance with Council resolution 1987/24 of 26
May 1987 and agreed conclusions 1995/1, approved by the Council
on 28 July 1995; that reports contain recommendations for action
and indicate the actors; that reports be available in all
official languages, in accordance with the rules of the United
Nations; and that other methods of reporting, such as oral
reports, also be explored.  In the same resolution, the Council
specified the reports to be prepared under item 3 of the
Commission's agenda, bearing in mind the need to promote
integrated reporting.  The Commission will have before it a note
by the Secretariat on the status of documentation for the
session.

     Documentation

     Note by the Secretariat on the status of documentation for
     the session (E/CN.6/1997/L.1)

Item 3.  Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women

     (a)      Review of mainstreaming in organizations of the
United Nations system

     In section III of resolution 1996/6, the Economic and Social
Council requested the Secretary-General to prepare annually under
item 3 a report on the measures taken and the progress achieved
in mainstreaming a gender perspective within the United Nations
system.  In his report to the General Assembly under item 104 on
the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference
on Women (A/51/322), the Secretary-General noted that reports
requested under General Assembly resolution 50/203 would be
provided on a rolling basis:  the report to the Commission would
contain early material, the report to the Council would summarize
these and add new material, including the results of the
Commission itself, and the report to the General Assembly would
add further material, including the results of the Council's
deliberations.  In resolution 51/69, the General Assembly
requested the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its
fifty-second session and thereafter annually, through the
Commission on the Status of Women and the Economic and Social
Council, on ways to enhance the capacity of the Organization and
of the United Nations system to support the ongoing follow-up to
the Conference in the most integrated and effective way,
including human and financial requirements, and measures taken
and the progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action.  The Commission will have
before it the report prepared in fulfilment of the requests
contained in Council resolution 1996/6 and Assembly resolution
51/69.

     In section I of resolution 1996/6, the Council decided that
the Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality should
inform the Commission of the progress of its work, for the
purpose of system-wide coordination, and that a gender
perspective should also be fully integrated in the work of all
the thematic task forces on Conference follow-up established by
the Administrative Committee on Coordination.  In fulfilment of
that request, the Commission will hear an oral report by the
Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and
Chairperson of the Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender
Equality.

Mainstreaming women's human rights

     In resolution 39/5, the Commission requested the
Secretary-General, taking into account the outcome of the Fourth
World Conference on Women, to see to the preparation of a joint
work plan on the human rights of women for the Centre for Human
Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women on an annual
basis and to inform both the Commission on Human Rights and the
Commission on the Status of Women at their annual sessions,
beginning in 1995, of the plans to facilitate the mainstreaming
of the human rights of women, in the context of the
implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,
adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights.  In resolution
40/3, the Commission stressed the need to intensify efforts of
cooperation and coordination to ensure that the equal status and
the human rights of all women and the girl child were integrated
into the mainstream of United Nations system-wide activities and
were addressed regularly and systematically in relevant United
Nations bodies and mechanisms; the Commission also requested the
Secretary-General to report to it at its forty-first session, in
1997, on the implementation of the resolution.  The Commission
further decided to remain seized of the matter and, in
particular, to examine at its forty-first session the progress
made and the plans developed.  Bearing in mind the need to
promote integrated reporting, the joint work plan, as well as the
report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of
Commission resolution 40/3, will be incorporated into the report
of the Secretary-General submitted under item 3 (a).

     In addition, the Commission will have before it extracts
from the report of the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women on its sixteenth session.

Palestinian women

     In resolution 1996/5 on Palestinian women, the Economic and
Social Council requested the Commission on the Status of Women to
continue to monitor and take action on the implementation of the
Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women,
in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and
children, and the Beijing Platform for Action; and requested the
Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to
assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to
the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-first session
a report on the progress made in the implementation of the
resolution.  Bearing in mind the need to promote integrated
reporting, the report of the Secretary-General on this question
will be incorporated into the report of the Secretary-General
submitted under item 3 (a).

Release of women and children taken hostage in armed conflicts
and imprisoned

     In resolution 40/1, the Commission, inter alia, urged all
parties to conflicts to provide information; requested the
Secretary-General and all relevant international organizations to
use all their capabilities and efforts to facilitate the release
of all women and children taken hostage in areas of armed
conflict; and requested the Secretary-General to report to the
Commission at its forty-first session on the implementation of
the resolution.  Bearing in mind the need to promote integrated
reporting, the report of the Secretary-General on this question
will be incorporated into the report of the Secretary-General
submitted under item 3 (a).

Agreed conclusions 1996/1 of the Economic and Social Council

     The Economic and Social Council at its coordination segment
of 1996 adopted agreed conclusions 1996/1 on coordination of the
United Nations system activities for poverty eradication.  In a
letter dated 4 September 1996, the President of the Council
conveyed the agreed conclusions to the Chairperson of the
Commission on the Status of Women with a view to drawing the
attention of the Commission to those conclusions and to the
guidance given by the Council.  He noted in particular a number
of steps taken by the Council to harmonize the intergovernmental
consideration of poverty eradication and to ensure that the
different dimensions of poverty were covered in a complementary
way by its functional commissions and by the Council itself, also
taking into account other forums, in particular policy-making
organs of specialized agencies.  A number of paragraphs of the
Council's agreed conclusions addressed the role of the Commission
on the Status of Women in the area of poverty eradication.  Since
the Secretary-General was required to submit to the Council at
its substantive session of 1997 a report on the implementation of
the agreed conclusions, any action taken by the Commission to
implement the agreed conclusions would be included in that
report.

     The Commission will have before it a note by the Secretariat
on the Council's agreed conclusions 1996/1 on coordination of the
United Nations system activities for poverty eradication.

Improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat

     The General Assembly, in resolution 51/67 on improvement of
the status of women in the Secretariat, called upon the
Secretary-General to ensure full and urgent implementation of the
strategic plan of action for the improvement of the status of
women in the Secretariat (1995-2000) in order to achieve the goal
contained in the Platform for Action for overall gender equality,
particularly at the Professional level and above, by the year
2000; requested the Secretary-General to ensure that individual
managers were held accountable for implementing the strategic
plan within their areas of responsibility; also requested the
Secretary-General to continue his work to create a gender-
sensitive work environment; urged the Secretary-General to
increase the number of women employed in the Secretariat from
developing countries, including at the D-1 level and above; and
requested the Secretary-General to enable the Focal Point for
Women effectively to monitor and facilitate progress in the
implementation of the strategic plan.

     The Commission will have before it the report requested.

Programme matters

     At its fifty-first session, the General Assembly adopted the
proposed medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 and reaffirmed
that the plan was the principal policy directive of the United
Nations and should serve as a framework for the formulation of
the biennial programme budget (resolution 51/219, sect. I). 
Programme 5 (Policy coordination and sustainable development) of
the medium-term plan includes subprogramme 5.2 on the advancement
of women (see A/51/6 (Prog.5)), which will be made available to
the Commission as a background document.

     In resolution 51/69, the Assembly reiterated its request to
the Secretary-General to ensure that the Division of the
Advancement of Women can effectively carry out all the tasks
foreseen for it in the Platform for Action by, inter alia,
providing sufficient human and financial resources within the
regular budget of the United Nations.  The Commission will have
before it a note by the Secretariat on the proposed programme of
work for the Division for the biennium 1998-1999.

Violence against women

     In resolution 50/166 on the role of the United Nations
Development Fund for Women in eliminating violence against women,
the General Assembly requested the Fund to include in its regular
reports information regarding its activities to eliminate
violence against women and to provide such information to the
Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Human Rights.

It also requested the Fund to include in its regular reports
information on the establishment of a trust fund in support of
national, regional and international actions to eliminate
violence against women and to provide such information to the
Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Human Rights.

The Commission will be provided with such information.

     Documentation

     Report of the Secretary-General on the measures taken and
     the progress achieved in follow-up to the Fourth World
     Conference on Women and in mainstreaming a gender
     perspective within the United Nations system (E/CN.6/1997/2)

     Note by the Secretariat on the Council's agreed conclusions
     1996/1 on coordination of the United Nations system
     activities for poverty eradication (E/CN.6/1997/6)

     Report of the Secretary-General on progress in improving the
     status of women in the Secretariat (E/CN.6/1997/7)

     Note by the Secretary-General transmitting information
     provided by the United Nations Development Fund for Women on
     the implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/166
     (E/CN.6/1997/8)

     Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the results of
     the sixteenth session of the Committee on the Elimination of
     Discrimination against Women (E/CN.6/1997/CRP.1)

     Documentation for information

     Report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of the
     status of women in the Secretariat (A/51/304)

     Report of the Secretary-General on the status of the
     Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
     against Women (A/51/277 and Corr.1), as mandated by the
     General Assembly in resolution 49/164

     Note by the Secretariat transmitting subprogramme 5.2 of the
     medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001
     (E/CN.6/1997/CRP.___)

     Note by the Secretariat transmitting the proposed programme
     of work of the Division for the Advancement of Women for the
     biennium 1998-1999 (E/CN.6/1997/CRP.___)

     (b)      Emerging issues, trends and new approaches to
issues
              affecting the situation of women or equality
between
              women and men

     In its resolution 1996/6, the Council elaborated the
Commission's terms of reference and, inter alia, decided that the
Commission should identify emerging issues, trends and new
approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality
between women and men that required urgent consideration, and
make substantive recommendations thereon; decided that the
Commission's agenda would include annually a sub-item 3 (b) on
emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting
the situation of women or equality between women and men; and
requested the Secretary-General to prepare a report on emerging
issues under that sub-item, as appropriate, at the request of the
Commission or its Bureau.  The Commission, in its agreed
conclusions 1996/1 on methods of work for dealing with the
implementation of the Platform for Action, agreed on a number of
steps to be taken in order to strengthen its capacity to act as a
catalyst in support of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the
work of the United Nations system, to identify emerging issues,
trends and new approaches affecting the situation of women or
equality between women and men, and to review and appraise
progress achieved and problems encountered in implementation of
critical areas of concern in the Platform for Action.  The
Commission, inter alia, should strengthen its cooperation with
other relevant bodies of the United Nations system, including
other functional commissions and their respective secretariats;
and should make relevant documents available, through the
Economic and Social Council, to other functional commissions and
relevant United Nations expert bodies and mechanisms in order to
assist in the integration of a gender perspective in their work. 
The Commission noted, bearing in mind the role of the Economic
and Social Council in overall coordination, that increased
dialogue between the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of
Women and the Economic and Social Council, the chairpersons and
secretariats, as appropriate, of the other functional
commissions, other subsidiary bodies and related bodies,
including the relevant executive boards, would assist in
identifying issues that could be addressed under the agenda item
on emerging issues and trends.

     No request of the Commission or its Bureau for a report
under item 3 (b) of the agenda of the forty-first session of the
Commission has been addressed to the Secretary-General.

     (c)      Implementation of strategic objectives and action
in
              the critical areas of concern

     In resolution 51/69, the General Assembly welcomed Economic
and Social Council resolution 1996/6, in which the Council
strengthened the mandate and terms of reference of the Commission
on the Status of Women and endorsed the Commission's multi-year
work programme for the period 1996-2000; and also welcomed the
Commission's agreed conclusions 1996/1 on the Commission's
methods of work for dealing with the implementation of the
Platform for Action.  The Council, in resolution 1996/6, decided
on a timetable for considering the Platform's 12 critical areas
of concern, in the light of the need for a focused and thematic
multi-year work programme on those areas and bearing in mind that
the critical areas of concern were interrelated and
interdependent.  Accordingly, the Commission will review the
following four critical areas of concern in 1997:  education and
training of women (Platform for Action, chap. IV.B); women and
the economy (Platform for Action, chap. IV.F); women in power and
decision-making (Platform for Action, chap. IV.G); and women and
the environment (Platform for Action, chap. IV.K).

     In its agreed conclusions 1996/1, the Commission established
the basis for the organization of work at its subsequent
sessions.  As stated in those agreed conclusions, the Commission
considered that its effectiveness and efficiency could be
improved through innovative methods of work, including inviting
experts to participate in the substantive debate on selected
issues as part of the regular work of the Commission.  The
practice of inviting experts was expected to deal effectively
with the critical areas of concern established in the Platform
for Action and to contribute to the effective follow-up to the
Conference.  The experts should be chosen from the fields of
study addressed under the critical areas of concern, taking into
account equitable geographical distribution and the involvement
of non-governmental organizations.  Panels of experts should be
formed.  They should include experts appointed by the Secretary-
General, experts working within the United Nations system, and
experts from Governments and from civil society.  The selection
of experts, the composition of the panels, and the allocation of
time to dialogues should be decided inter-sessionally by the
Bureau of the Commission, taking into consideration the proposals
of the United Nations Secretariat.  The Secretariat should
prepare a list of candidates for the panels based on suggestions
from States and civil society.  The Bureau should convene
meetings open to the participation of all interested States to
ensure a broad base of participation.  Meetings should be
allotted for dialogue with organizations within the United
Nations system and civil society and among governmental
delegations.  Sufficient time should be devoted to
intergovernmental dialogue.

     In accordance with the agreed conclusions, the results of
the dialogues should normally be reflected in concise,
action-oriented agreed conclusions to be transmitted to the
Economic and Social Council by a Commission decision.  They
should also contain policy recommendations and identify
coordination issues to be dealt with by the Council.

     As agreed at the fortieth session, the Bureau of the
Commission convened consultations as spelled out above.  In
compliance with the agreed conclusions, and at the request of the
Bureau, the Secretariat prepared non-papers covering preparations
for and procedures to be followed at the forty-first session of
the Commission.

     At the consultations, the consensus was that there should be
four panels, one on each of the critical areas of concern.  The
consultations emphasized the need to ensure that experts on the
panels made their presentations on the basis of their experience
with the issue, rather than on the basis of official positions in
their organizations or Governments.  They emphasized the need to
keep the panels of reasonable size, between three to five
members.  In making its proposals concerning the composition of
the panels, the Secretariat was guided by the parameters
established in the Commission's agreed conclusions 1996/1, the
need to ensure a wide variety of relevant experience and the need
for geographical distribution of experts.  Governments were
encouraged to suggest experts who might be considered for the
panels.  Since the Secretariat has organized expert group
meetings related to each of the four critical areas of concern as
part of the preparations for the Commission's forty-first
session, one member of each of the panels for the Commission
would be a person from the corresponding expert group meeting. 
One expert from civil society is expected to be included on each
of the four panels.

     (i)      Women and the environment

     By resolution 50/113, the General Assembly decided to
convene a special session for an overall review and appraisal of
the implementation of Agenda 21 for a duration of one week during
the month of June 1997 (23-27 June).  The Commission on
Sustainable Development will devote its fifth session
(7-25 April 1997) to preparations for the special session.  In
the light of the terms of reference of the Commission on the
Status of Women, under which it is requested to continue to
ensure support for mainstreaming a gender perspective in United
Nations activities and develop further its catalytic role in this
regard in other areas, the Commission, in its review of critical
area K of the Platform for Action, dealing with women and the
environment, may wish to devote specific attention to gender
aspects of the implementation of Agenda 21 and to mainstreaming a
gender perspective in environment and sustainable development
with a view to preparing an input for the special session of the
General Assembly.  The Commission will have before it the report
of the Secretary-General on the thematic issues to be addressed
at its forty-first session, including conclusions and
recommendations emanating from the Expert Group Meeting on Women,
Population and Sustainable Development:  The Road From Rio, Cairo
and Beijing.

     The composition of the panel is expected to be as follows: 
one expert from the Expert Group Meeting; two experts from
Governments; one expert from civil society; and one expert from
the United Nations system.  The panel presentation will be
followed by a dialogue with organizations within the United
Nations system, civil society and governmental delegations, as
well as by an intergovernmental dialogue.

    (ii)      Women in power and decision-making

     Critical area of concern G of the Platform for Action deals
with women in power and decision-making.  The Commission will
have before it the report of the Secretary-General on the
thematic issues to be addressed at its forty-first session,
including conclusions and recommendations emanating from the
Expert Group Meeting on Political Decision-making and Conflict
Resolution:  The Impact of Gender Difference.

     The composition of the panel is expected to be as follows: 
one expert from the Expert Group Meeting; three experts with
governmental experience; one expert from civil society (the
Inter-parliamentary Union).  The panel presentation will be
followed by a dialogue with organizations within the United
Nations system and civil society and among governmental
delegations, as well as by an intergovernmental dialogue.

   (iii)      Women and the economy

     Critical area of concern F of the Platform for Action deals
with women and the economy.  The Commission will have before it
the report of the Secretary-General on the thematic issues to be
addressed at its forty-first session, including conclusions and
recommendations emanating from the Expert Group Meeting on Women
and Economic Decision-making in International Financial
Institutions and Transnational Corporations.

     The composition of the panel is expected to be as follows: 
one expert from the Expert Group Meeting; two experts with
governmental experience; one expert from civil society; and one
expert from an organization of the United Nations system.  The
panel presentation will be followed by a dialogue with
organizations within the United Nations system and civil society
and among governmental delegations, as well as by an
intergovernmental dialogue.

    (iv)      Education and training of women

     Critical area of concern B of the Platform for Action deals
with education and training of women.  The Commission will have
before it the report of the Secretary-General on the thematic
issues to be addressed at its forty-first session, including
conclusions and recommendations emanating from the Expert Group
Meeting on Vocational Training and Life-long Learning of Women.

     The composition of the panel is expected to be as follows: 
one expert from the Expert Group Meeting; two experts with
governmental experience; one expert from civil society; and one
expert from an organization of the United Nations system.  The
panel presentation will be followed by a dialogue with
organizations within the United Nations system and civil society
and among governmental delegations, as well as by an
intergovernmental dialogue.

     Documentation

     Analytical report of the Secretary-General on the thematic
     issues before the Commission in accordance with the
     multi-year work programme, including, as far as possible,
     progress made in national implementation, based on available
     data and statistics (E/CN.6/1997/3)

Item 4.  Communications concerning the status of women

     In resolution 76 (V) of 5 August 1947, the Economic and
Social Council established a procedure by which the Commission on
the Status of Women would handle communications relating to the
status of women.  In resolution 304 I (XI) of 14 and 17 July
1950, the Council amended resolution 76 (V) and requested the
Secretary-General to compile, before each session of the
Commission, a list of confidential and non-confidential
communications, containing a brief indication of the substance of
each communication.

     In resolution 1983/27, the Council reaffirmed the mandate of
the Commission to consider confidential and non-confidential
communications on the status of women and authorized the
Commission to appoint a working group to consider such
communications and prepare a report thereon for the Commission.

     In resolution 1993/11, the Economic and Social Council
reaffirmed that the Commission was empowered to make
recommendations to the Economic and Social Council on what action
should be taken on emerging trends and patterns of discrimination
against women revealed by such communications.

     Documentation

     Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the confidential
     list of communications concerning the status of women
     (E/CN.6/1997/S.W. Communications List No. 31)

     Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the
     non-confidential list of communications concerning the
     status of women (E/CN.6/1997/CR.33)

Item 5.       Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
              Discrimination against Women, including the
              elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the
              Convention

     In resolution 1995/29, the Economic and Social Council
decided that the Commission should establish an in-session
open-ended working group for a two-week period at its fortieth
session to consider a comprehensive report of the
Secretary-General, including a synthesis, on the views of
Governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental
organizations on an optional protocol to the Convention.

     In decision 1996/240, the Economic and Social Council
renewed the mandate 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 so that
it might continue its work.  It authorized the Working Group to
meet in parallel with the Commission at its forty-first session. 
The Council also decided to invite a representative of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to
attend that meeting as a resource person.

     The Commission, in its resolution 40/8, requested the
Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its forty-first
session a comprehensive report, including a synthesis, of
additional views of Governments, intergovernmental organizations
and non-governmental organizations on an optional protocol to the
Convention, taking into account the elements contained in
suggestion 7 adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women at its fourteenth session, as well
as the deliberations of the Working Group.  The Commission also
requested the Secretary-General to provide to the Commission at
its forty-first session a comparative summary of existing
communications and inquiry procedures and practices under
international human rights instruments and under the Charter of
the United Nations.  The reports requested will be before the
Commission.

     Documentation

     Report of the Secretary-General on a comparative summary of
     existing communications and inquiry procedures and practices
     under international human rights instruments and under the
     Charter of the United Nations (E/CN.6/1997/4)

     Report of the Secretary-General containing the additional
     views, including a synthesis, of Governments,
     intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental
     organizations on an optional protocol to the Convention on
     the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
     (E/CN.6/1997/5)

Item 6.  Provisional agenda for the forty-second session of the
Commission

     Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Economic and Social Council
resolution 1894 (LVII) and in accordance with section III,
paragraph 5, and section IV, paragraphs 3 and 4, of Council
resolution 1996/6, the Commission will have before it the draft
provisional agenda for its forty-second session, with an
indication of the documents to be submitted under each agenda
item and the legislative authority for their preparation, in
order to enable the Commission to consider those documents from
the point of view of their contribution to the work of the
Commission, and of their urgency and relevance in the light of
the current situation.

Item 7.  Adoption of the report of the Commission on its
forty-first session

     In accordance with rule 37 of the rules of procedure of the
functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council, the
Commission shall submit to the Council a report on the work of
its session.

                                Annex I

                     PROPOSED ORGANIZATION OF WORK


Week of 10-14 March 1997

Monday, 10 March

a.m.              Opening of the session

       Item 2     Adoption of the agenda and other
                       organizational matters

       Item 3     Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on
                  Women:  general discussion

p.m.   Item 3
     Continuation of general discussion

Tuesday, 11 March

a.m.*  Item 3 (c)
     Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women: 
     implementation of strategic objectives and action in the
     critical areas of concern:  women and the environment

            Panel of experts:  presentation and dialogue

p.m.*  Item 3 (c) Dialogue among Governments

Wednesday, 12 March

a.m.*  Item 3 (c)
     Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women: 
     implementation of strategic objectives and action in the
     critical areas of concern:  women in power and
     decision-making

            Panel of experts:  presentation and dialogue

p.m.*  Item 3 (c)
     Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women: 
     implementation of strategic objectives and action in the
     critical areas of concern:  women and the economy

             Panel of experts:  presentation and dialogue

Thursday, 13 March

a.m.   Item 3 (c)
     Dialogue among Governments on women in power and decision-
     making

p.m.*  Item 3 (c)
     Dialogue among Governments on women and the economy

Friday, 14 March

a.m.*  Item 3 (c)
     Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women: 
     implementation of strategic objectives and action in the
     critical areas of concern:  education and training of women

                 Panel of experts:  presentation and dialogue

p.m.*  Item 3 (c) Dialogue among Governments


Week of 17-21 March

Monday, 17 March

a.m.*  Item 3     Continuation of general discussion

p.m.*  Item 3     Informal consultations

6 p.m.    
     Deadline for submission of draft proposals on items 3 and 5

Tuesday, 18 March

a.m.*  Item 3     Informal consultations

p.m.*  Item 3     Informal consultations

Wednesday, 19 March

a.m.*  Item 4     Closed meeting of the Commission to consider
                  the report of the Working Group on
                  Communications, followed by:

       Item 3     Conclusion of general discussion 

p.m.*  Item 3     Informal consultations

Thursday, 20 March

a.m.   Item 3     Informal consultations

p.m.*  Items 3    Introduction of draft proposals, followed
       and 5      by:

p.m.*             Informal consultations on all outstanding
                  issues, if necessary

Friday, 21 March

a.m. and p.m.     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

                  Action on draft proposals and on the
                  proposed agreed conclusions on item 3 (c)

p.m.   Item 6     Provisional agenda for the forty-second
                  session of the Commission

       Item 7     Adoption of the report of the Commission on
                  its forty-first session

                  Closure of the session
                               Annex II

      MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN 1997

                     (45 members; four-year term)


                                                 
Membership                           Term expires on 31 December

Angola.................................................1998
Bahamas................................................1997
Belgium................................................1998
Brazil.................................................1999
Bulgaria...............................................1998
Chile..................................................1999
China..................................................1999
Congo..................................................1998
Costa Rica.............................................1997
Cyprus.................................................1997
Dominican Republic.................................... 1999
Ecuador..............................................  1997
Ethiopia...............................................2000
France.................................................2000
Germany................................................2000
Ghana..................................................2000
Greece.................................................1998
Guinea.................................................1997
India..................................................1997
Indonesia..............................................1998
Iran (Islamic Republic of)............................ 1997
Japan................................................. 2000
Kenya..................................................1997
Lebanon................................................1999
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya................................ 1997
Malaysia.............................................. 1997
Mali...................................................1999
Mexico.................................................1998
Morocco................................................2000
Namibia................................................1997
Norway.................................................1999
Paraguay...............................................2000
Peru...................................................2000
Philippines........................................... 1998
Poland.................................................2000
Portugal...............................................1998
Republic of Korea..................................... 1997
Russian Federation.................................... 1998
Slovakia ..............................................1999
Swaziland..............................................1999
Thailand...............................................2000
Togo ................................................. 1998
Tunisia................................................1997
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
...................................................... 2000
United States of America.............................. 1999

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