United Nations

A/51/613


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

22 November 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/613
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 104


   IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN

                      Report of the Third Committee

                Rapporteur:  Mrs. Victoria SANDRU (Romania)


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   At its 3rd plenary meeting, on 20 September 1996, the General
Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to
include in the agenda of its fifty-first session the item entitled
"Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on
Women" and to allocate it to the Third Committee.

2.   The Committee considered the item jointly with item 103 entitled
"Advancement of women" at its 13th to 18th and 35th meetings, on 24,
25 and 28 to 30 October and on 13 November 1996.  An account of the
Committee's discussion is contained in the relevant summary records
(A/C.3/51/SR.13-18 and 35).

3.   For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before it the
following documents:

     (a) Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the
outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women (A/51/322);

     (b) Letter dated 27 March 1996 from the Permanent Representative
of Mexico to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
(A/51/90);

     (c) Letter dated 28 May 1996 from the Charge' d'affaires a.i. of
the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General (A/51/210);

     (d) Letter dated 4 October 1996 from the Permanent Representative
of Costa Rica to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
(A/51/471);

     (e) Letter dated 30 September 1996 from the Permanent
Representative of Colombia to the United Nations addressed to the
Secretary-General (A/51/473-S/1996/839).

4.   At the 13th meeting, on 24 October, introductory statements were
made by the Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the
Secretary-General on  Gender Issues, the Assistant Secretary-General
for Human Resources Management and the Director of the Division for
the Advancement of Women of the Department for Policy Coordination and
Sustainable Development of the United Nations Secretariat (see
A/C.3/51/SR.13).

5.   At the same meeting, statements were made by the Director of the
United Nations Development Fund for Women and the Acting Director of
the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement
of Women (see A/C.3/51/SR.13).


             II.  CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTION A/C.3/51/L.29

6.   At the 35th meeting, on 13 November, the Chairperson introduced a
draft resolution entitled "Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on
Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform
for Action" (A/C.3/51/L.29), which had been submitted on the basis of
informal consultations.

7.   At the same meeting, the Committee adopted the draft resolution
without a vote (see para. 8).


                  III.  RECOMMENDATION OF THE THIRD COMMITTEE

8.   The Third Committee recommends to the General Assembly the
adoption of the following draft resolution:


             Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and
             full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and
                              Platform for Action

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolutions 50/42 of 8 December 1995 and 50/203 of
22 December 1995,

     Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolutions 1996/6 of
22 July 1996 on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women
and 1996/34 of 25 July 1996 on the system-wide medium-term plan for
the advancement of women, 1996-2001,

     Reaffirming the importance of the outcome of the previous World
Conferences on Women, held at Mexico City in 1975, 1/ at Copenhagen
in 1980 2/ and at Nairobi in 1985, 3/

     Recognizing the significance of the outcome of the Conference to
make a real change for the empowerment of women and thus to the
fulfilment of the goals adopted in the Nairobi Forward-looking
Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 4/

     Deeply convinced that the Beijing Declaration 5/ and the Platform
for Action, 6/ adopted at the Conference, are important contributions
to the advancement of women worldwide and must be translated into
effective action by all States, the United Nations system and other
organizations concerned, as well as non-governmental organizations,

     Recognizing that the implementation of the Platform for Action
rests primarily at the national level, that Governments,
non-governmental organizations and public and private institutions
should be involved in the implementation process and that national
mechanisms also have an important role to play,

     Bearing in mind that promotion of international cooperation is
essential for the effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration
and the Platform for Action,

     Recognizing that the implementation of the Platform for Action
requires commitment from Governments and the international community,

     Recognizing also the important role played by States, the United
Nations, the regional commissions and other international
organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations and women's
organizations, in the preparatory process of the Conference and the
importance of their involvement in the implementation of the Platform
for Action,

     Taking into account the fact that the follow-up to the Conference
should be undertaken on the basis of an integrated approach to the
advancement of women within the framework of a coordinated follow-up
to and implementation of the results of the major international
conferences in the economic, social and related fields, as well as the
overall responsibilities of the General Assembly and the Economic and
Social Council,

     Reaffirming its decision that the General Assembly, the Economic
and Social Council and the Commission on the Status of Women, in
accordance with their respective mandates and with Assembly resolution
48/162 of 20 December 1993 and other relevant resolutions, will
constitute a three-tiered intergovernmental mechanism that will play
the primary role in the overall policy-making and follow-up, and in
coordinating the implementation and monitoring of the Platform for
Action, reaffirming the need for a coordinated follow-up to and
implementation of the results of major international conferences in
the economic, social and related fields,

     Reaffirming that the Commission on the Status of Women has a
central role as a functional commission assisting the Economic and
Social Council in the monitoring, within the United Nations system, of
the implementation of the Platform for Action and in advising the
Council thereon and should therefore be strengthened,

     Also reaffirming that the Economic and Social Council should
continue to oversee system-wide coordination in the implementation of
the Platform for Action and ensure overall coordination of the
follow-up to and implementation of the results of all United Nations
international conferences in the economic, social and related fields
and report thereon to the General Assembly,

     1.  Takes note with appreciation of the report of the
Secretary-General on the implementation of the outcome of the Fourth
World Conference on Women; 7/

     2.  Takes note of initiatives and actions taken by Governments
and the international community towards the implementation of the
Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted by the
Conference;

     3.  Calls once again upon States, the United Nations system and
all other actors to implement the Platform for Action, in particular
by promoting an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender
perspective at all levels, including in the design, monitoring and
evaluation of all policies, as appropriate, in order to ensure
effective implementation of the Platform;

     4.  Welcomes the contribution of the report of the
Secretary-General to translating the concept of mainstreaming into
practical action, including the ongoing work to develop methodologies
to facilitate the application of a gender perspective into all
policies and programmes throughout the United Nations system;

     5.  Calls for intensified efforts at the international level to
integrate the equal status and all human rights of women into the
mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity, and to address
these issues regularly and systematically throughout the relevant
United Nations bodies and mechanisms;

     6.  Stresses that Governments have the primary responsibility for
implementing the Platform for Action, and reaffirms that Governments
should continue to commit themselves at the highest political level to
its implementation and should take a leading role in coordinating,
monitoring and assessing progress in the advancement of women;

     7.  Calls upon States, with the assistance of non-governmental
organizations, to continue to disseminate widely the Beijing
Declaration and the Platform for Action;

     8.  Welcomes the progress made by Governments so far towards
meeting the commitment to developing, by 1996, comprehensive
implementation strategies or plans of action, including time-bound
targets and benchmarks for monitoring, and urges all Governments that
have not yet done so to undertake efforts in this regard, in order to
implement fully the Platform for Action;

     9.  Welcomes the contribution made to the elaboration of
guidelines for national strategies or plans of action by regional and
subregional conferences on the implementation of the Platform for
Action, such as the elaboration of a model national action plan by the
subregional conference held at Bucharest in September 1996, which may
assist other Governments, too, in meeting this commitment, and in this
respect encourages the support of, inter alia, the Division for the
Advancement of Women of the Secretariat;

     10. Urges Governments that have not yet done so to establish or
strengthen appropriate national machineries for the advancement of
women at the highest political level, appropriate intra- and
interministerial procedures and staffing, and other institutions with
the mandate and capacity to broaden women's participation and
integrate gender analysis into policies and programmes, so as to
ensure the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the
Platform for Action, and takes note of regional initiatives for
strengthening national machineries;

     11. Encourages non-governmental organizations to contribute to
the design and implementation of these strategies or national plans of
action in addition to their own programmes that complement government
efforts;

     12. Calls upon Governments to invite and encourage the active
support and participation of a broad and diverse range of other
institutional actors, including legislative bodies, academic and
research institutions, professional associations, trade unions, local
community groups and the media, as well as financial and non-profit
organizations for the implementation of the Platform for Action;

     13. Recognizes the importance attached to the regional monitoring
of the global and regional platforms for action by regional
commissions and other subregional or regional structures, within their
mandates, in consultation with Governments, and the necessity of
promoting cooperation among national Governments of the same region in
this respect;

     14. Invites the Economic and Social Council, in order to
facilitate the regional implementation, monitoring and evaluation
process, to consider reviewing the institutional capacity of the
United Nations regional commissions, in accordance with paragraph 302
of the Platform for Action,6 and to consider, in this context, how best
to integrate the inputs by the regional commissions into the overall
monitoring and follow-up to the Platform for Action;

     15. Calls upon States to take action to fulfil the commitments
made at the Conference for the advancement of women and for the
strengthening of international cooperation, and reaffirms that
adequate financial resources should be committed at the international
level for the implementation of the Platform for Action in the
developing countries, in particular in Africa, and in the least
developed countries;

     16. Invites the Secretary-General, in the implementation of the
United Nations system-wide initiative on Africa, to pay special
attention to the needs and role of women as actors and beneficiaries
in the development process;

     17. Recognizes that implementation of the Platform for Action in
the countries with economies in transition requires continued
international cooperation and assistance, as indicated in the Platform
for Action;

     18. Calls upon Member States to allocate sufficient resources for
undertaking gender impact analysis in order to develop successful
national implementation strategies for the Platform for Action;

     19. Stresses that full and effective implementation of the
Platform for Action will require a political commitment to make
available human and financial resources for the empowerment of women,
the integration of a gender perspective in budgetary decisions on
policies and programmes, as well as adequate financing of specific
programmes for securing equality between women and men;

     20. Welcomes the input of the Commission on the Status of Women
to the discussion on the eradication of poverty in the coordination
segment of the Economic and Social Council, inter alia, in relation to
mainstreaming a gender perspective in poverty eradication activities
and the use of available funding sources and mechanisms, with a view
to contributing towards the goals of poverty eradication and targeting
women living in poverty;

     21. Urges Governments, the United Nations system, including the
Bretton Woods institutions, and relevant international organizations,
non-governmental organizations and the private sector to empower women
through concrete actions, policies and programmes, including
integration of gender perspectives;

     22. Requests Governments and the international community to
implement specific programmes for the eradication of poverty and
illiteracy, ensuring women's equal access to education, training,
employment and the promotion of entrepreneurial activities, and
strongly urges the international community to support national efforts
towards the advancement of women in developing countries, particularly
in Africa and the least developed countries;

     23. Reaffirms that, in order to implement the Platform for
Action, a reformulation of policies and reallocation of resources may
be needed, but that some policy changes may not necessarily have
financial implications;

     24. Reaffirms also that, in order to implement the Platform for
Action, adequate mobilization of resources at the national and
international levels, as well as new and additional resources to the
developing countries, in particular in Africa, and the least developed
countries, from all available funding mechanisms, including
multilateral, bilateral and private sources for the advancement of
women, will also be required;

     25. Calls upon those States committed to the 20:20 initiative to
integrate a gender perspective fully into its implementation, as
referred to in paragraph 358 of the Platform for Action;

     26. Recognizes that the creation of an enabling environment, at
the national and international levels, is necessary to ensure the full
participation of women in economic activities, and calls upon States
to remove obstacles for the full implementation of the Beijing
Declaration and the Platform for Action;

     27. Calls upon Member States to commit themselves to gender
balance, inter alia, through the creation of special mechanisms, in
all government-appointed committees, boards and other relevant
official bodies, as appropriate, as well as in all international
bodies, institutions and organizations, notably by presenting and
promoting more women candidates;

     28. Also calls upon Member States to aim at and support gender
balance in the composition of delegations to the United Nations and
other international forums;

     29. Reaffirms that the implementation of the Platform for Action
will require immediate and concerted action by all to create a
peaceful, just and humane world based on all human rights and
fundamental freedoms, including the principle of equality for all
people of all ages and from all walks of life, and to this end,
recognizes that broad-based and sustained economic growth in the
context of sustainable development is necessary to sustain social
development and social justice;

     30. Stresses, in relation to the United Nations, that the
Platform for Action needs to be implemented through the work of all
the bodies and organizations of the system during the period
1995-2000, specifically and as an integral part of wider programming;

     31. Also stresses that the means of implementation of the
Platform for Action should include mainstreaming a gender perspective
in the context of preparation of the programme budget for the biennium
1998-1999;

     32. Welcomes the endorsement by the Economic and Social Council
of the revised system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of
women, 1996-2001 and its decision to undertake, in 1998, a
comprehensive mid-term review of the implementation of the revised
plan as a basis for future programming and coordination of activities
for the advancement and empowerment of women by the United Nations
system, including a review of the progress made in mainstreaming a
gender perspective in all activities of the United Nations system;

     33. Requests the Secretary-General, in his capacity as Chairman
of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, to formulate a new
system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women to cover the
period 2002-2005, to submit a new draft plan to the Economic and
Social Council at its substantive session of 2000 in order to provide
guidance for the medium-term plans of the individual organizations of
the United Nations system, and to submit the draft plan to the
Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fourth session, for
comments;

     34. Reiterates the need for an enhanced framework for
international cooperation for gender-related issues in the integrated
and comprehensive implementation, follow-up and assessment of the
Platform for Action, taking into account the results of global United
Nations summits and conferences;

     35. Welcomes the decision of the Economic and Social Council to
devote its 1997 coordination segment to mainstreaming a gender
perspective, and reiterates its invitation to the Council to consider
devoting one high-level segment and one operational segment to the
advancement of women and implementation of the Platform for Action,
before the year 2000, taking into account the multi-year programme of
work of the Commission on the Status of Women and all other functional
commissions of the Council and the need for a system-wide approach to
the implementation of the Platform for Action;

     36. Welcomes the establishment of the Inter-agency Committee on
Women and Gender Equality and notes the work done by the Special
Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues for the system-wide
implementation of the Platform for Action;

     37. Welcomes that the Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender
Equality will serve as a forum for information exchange and the
promotion of programme coordination and collaborative arrangements
among organizations of the system, and will be responsible for
addressing on a comprehensive system-wide basis all aspects of the
implementation of the Platform for Action and gender-related
recommendations emanating from other recent international conferences
within the purview of the United Nations system;

     38. Welcomes developments in coordination at the inter-agency
level, including work done by the Inter-agency Committee on Women and
Gender Equality expected to move forward the conceptual discussion of
mainstreaming, and stresses the need for further work to mainstream a
gender perspective into the day-to-day work of United Nations staff
throughout the system, and in intergovernmental action beyond the
social sectors and operational activities;

     39. Also welcomes Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/6,
in which the Council strengthens the mandate and the terms of
reference of the Commission on the Status of Women and endorses the
Commission's multi-year work programme for the period 1996-2000, and
also welcomes Commission on the Status of Women agreed conclusions
1996/1 of March 1996 on the Commission's methods of work for dealing
with the implementation of the Platform for Action; 8/

     40. Invites once again all other functional commissions of the
Economic and Social Council, within their mandates, to take due
account of the Platform for Action and to ensure the integration of
gender aspects in their respective work;

     41. Welcomes the measures taken by the Secretary-General to date
to ensure coordination of policy within the United Nations for the
implementation of the Platform for Action and the mainstreaming of a
system-wide gender perspective in all activities of the United Nations
system, including training, in accordance with paragraph 326 of the
Platform for Action;

     42. Requests the Secretary-General to present action-oriented
recommendations to the Economic and Social Council at its coordination
segment on means to enhance system-wide coordination on gender issues
and to mainstream a gender perspective throughout the United Nations
system;

     43. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to
disseminate the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action as
widely as possible, including to the competent organs of the United
Nations and the specialized agencies;

     44. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to ensure
that the Division for 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;

     45. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, to ensure
that the resident coordinators fully incorporate a gender perspective
in integrating the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women
into the coordinated follow-up to recent global United Nations
conferences;

     46. Welcomes the decision of the Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women to amend its reporting guidelines in line
with the recommendations of paragraph 323 of the Platform for Action
to enable it to consider reports submitted by States parties, and
invites States parties to include information on measures taken to
implement the Platform for Action in their reports;

     47. Notes the importance of the activities undertaken by the
United Nations Development Fund for Women and the International
Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women in the
implementation of the Platform for Action;

     48. Commends the work of the International Research and Training
Institute for the Advancement of Women on the issues addressing the
process of the economic and political empowerment of women, statistics
and indicators in gender issues, inter alia, and requests the
Institute to incorporate in its biennial work programme appropriate
actions in order to carry out research and training components
relevant to the twelve critical areas of concern and the
implementation of the Platform for Action, within its area of
expertise;

     49. Also commends the work of the United Nations Development Fund
for Women in providing a strategic and focused response to the follow-
up and implementation of the Platform for Action through its advocacy
and operational activities in support of women's economic and
political empowerment, and encourages the Fund to provide technical
support to operationalize the Platform for Action at the national
level through, inter alia, the resident coordinator system, and taking
into account decision 1996/43 of the Executive Board of the United
Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund;

     50. Encourages the International Research and Training Institute
for the Advancement of Women, the United Nations Development Fund for
Women and the Division for the Advancement of Women to strengthen
their cooperation and coordination;

     51. Encourages international financial institutions to review and
revise policies, procedures and staffing to ensure that investments
and programmes benefit women and thus contribute to sustainable
development;

     52. Invites the World Trade Organization to consider how it might
contribute to the implementation of the Platform for Action, including
activities in cooperation with the United Nations system;

     53. Decides to appraise the progress on an annual basis and to
retain in the agenda of its forthcoming sessions the item entitled
"Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on
Women", with a view to assessing, in the year 2000, the progress
achieved in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking
Strategies for the Advancement of Women and the Platform for Action in
an appropriate forum;

     54. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General
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 the
Platform for Action.


                                     -----

                                     Notes

1/   See Report of the World Conference of the International Women's
Year, Mexico City, 19 June-2 July 1975 (United Nations publication,
Sales No. E.76.IV.1).

2/   See Report of the World Conference of the United Nations Decade
for Women:  Equality, Development and Peace, Copenhagen, 14-30 July
1980 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.80.IV.3 and
corrigendum).

3/   See Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the
Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women:  Equality,
Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.85.IV.10).

4/   Ibid., chap. I, sect. A.

5/   A/CONF.177/20 and Add.1, chap. I, resolution 1, annex I.

6/   Ibid., annex II.

7/   A/51/322.

8/   Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1996,
Supplement No. 6 (E/1996/26), chap. I, sect. C.1.

 

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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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