GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS ASKED TO SEEK BETTER COORDINATION BETWEEN UN INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN AND OTHER AGENCIES

3 November 1997
GA/SHC/3434

GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS ASKED TO SEEK BETTER COORDINATION BETWEEN UN INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN AND OTHER AGENCIES

3 November 1997

Press ReleaseGA/SHC/3434

GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS ASKED TO SEEK BETTER COORDINATION BETWEEN UN INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN AND OTHER AGENCIES

19971103 Third Committee Also Adopts Text on Migrant Workers: Debate Continues On Refugees, With Warning of 'Compassion Fatigue' in Affected Countries

The General Assembly would urge the Secretary-General to fill the existing vacancies in the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) to permit the Institute to carry out its mandate, by the terms of a draft resolution on INSTRAW, approved by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) without a vote, as it took action on two draft resolutions this afternoon on issues related to the advancement of women.

The Committee also heard the introduction of seven draft resolutions on the following issues: education for all; the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme; international action to combat drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking; improving the status of women in the Secretariat; traffic in women and girls; and traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls.

By the terms of the draft text on INSTRAW, the Assembly would request the Institute to better coordinate its activities for gender mainstreaming with relevant entities of the United Nations system. It would request the Institute's Director to develop a funding strategy and to establish a link between the activities of the Institute and its resource base.

Also approved by the Committee this afternoon was a draft resolution on violence against women migrant workers, by which the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit to it a comprehensive report on the subject at its fifty-fourth session. It would urge the Governments of sending and receiving countries to strengthen their national efforts to protect and promote the rights and welfare of women migrant workers.

The Committee postponed action on five resolutions on crime prevention and criminal justice that were recommended to the Assembly by the Economic and Social Council. The Chairman of the Committee, Alessandro Busacca (Italy), said the Committee was awaiting additional information from Vienna on the resolutions.

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Also this afternoon, the Committee continued its consideration of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), questions related to refugees and displaced persons, and humanitarian questions.

The representative of Sudan said the presence of refugee camps in Sudan for 30 years had strained the Sudanese ecosystem around the camps. He appealed to the international community for help in sharing the burden, and in particular to the European Union to resume a project for reconstructing refugee areas.

The representative of United Republic of Tanzania said one reason why the numbers of refugees had decreased worldwide was the evolution of a conducive environment for voluntary repatriation. The right of refugees to repatriate voluntarily at the earliest opportunity had to be emphasized, and assistance had to be given to countries to end the root cause of the cyclic problem of refugees. He said Tanzania had hosted refugees since gaining independence, and he warned of "compassion fatigue".

Statements were also made by the representatives of Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan and Burundi. An observer for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta also made a statement.

The Third Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 November, to continue consideration of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), questions related to refugees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions.

Committee Work Programme

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met this afternoon to hear the introduction of and take action on draft resolutions on issues related to social development, crime prevention and criminal justice, international drug control and the advancement of women.

The Committee will also continue its consideration of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (For a summary of reports being considered under that agenda item, see Press Release GA/SHC/3433 issued today.)

The Committee will hear the introduction of eight draft texts on the following: education for all; international action to combat drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking; United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); improving the status of women in the Secretariat; traffic in women and girls; traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls; the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; and strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme.

The Committee is expected to take action on the following seven draft resolutions recommended by the Economic and Social Council for adoption by the General Assembly: follow-up to the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime; the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; crime prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence against women; international cooperation against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions; international cooperation in criminal matters; the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women; and on violence against women migrant workers.

Social Development

By the terms of a 36-Power draft resolution on education for all (document A/C.3/52/L.11/Rev.1), the Assembly would request the Secretary- General, in cooperation with the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and in consultation with Member States, to consider effective ways and means for achieving the goal of education for all, including the desirability and the feasibility of launching a United Nations decade to eradicate illiteracy. The Secretary- General is asked to report on the matter to the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council.

The Assembly would appeal anew to governments and to economic and national and international financial organizations and institutions to lend greater financial and material support to the efforts to increase literacy and achieve education for all. It would also appeal to all governments to step up

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their efforts to eradicate illiteracy and to direct education towards the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

By other terms of the draft text, the Assembly would also appeal to all governments to redouble their efforts to achieve their education goals for all by setting firm targets and timetables, where possible, including gender- specific education targets and programmes to combat the illiteracy of women and girls. Governments should also work in active partnership with communities, associations, the media and development agencies, to reach those targets.

Member States, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations would be invited to further intensify their efforts to effectively implement the World Declaration on Education for All, the Amman Affirmation, and the Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning and the Agenda for the Future of Adult Learning adopted at the Fifth International Conference on Adult Education (Hamburg, 14-18 July 1997), as well as the relevant commitments and recommendations to promote literacy contained in the recent major United Nations-sponsored international conferences.

The Assembly would also reaffirm that basic education for all is essential for achieving the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality, and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

The draft proposal is sponsored by Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Madagascar, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, San Marino, Spain, Sudan, Thailand and Turkey.

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The Committee will hear the introduction of draft resolutions on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders and on the strengthening of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme.

By a draft resolution on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (document A/C.3/52/L.22), sponsored by Kenya on behalf of the Group of African States, the Assembly would urge the States members of the Institute to make every possible effort to meet their obligations to it. It would appeal to all Member States and non-governmental organizations to adopt concrete practical measures to support the Institute in the development of the requisite capacity and in the elaboration and implementation of programmes and activities aimed at strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice systems in Africa.

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The Secretary-General would be requested to intensify efforts to mobilize all relevant entities of the United Nations system to provide the necessary financial and technical support to the Institute to enable it to fulfil its mandate. He would also be requested to enhance regional cooperation, coordination and collaboration in the fight against crime, especially in its transnational dimension, which could not be adequately dealt with by national action alone. The Assembly would also request him to make concrete proposals to strengthen the programmes and activities of the Institute.

By the terms of a draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, particularly its technical cooperation capacity (document A/C.3/52/L.23), the Assembly would call upon States and United Nations funding agencies to make significant financial contributions for the operational activities of the Programme. All States would be encouraged to make voluntary contributions for that purpose to the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Trust Fund, also taking into account the activities required for the implementation of the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime.

By other terms of the draft text, the Secretary-General would be encouraged to recommend the inclusion of the re-establishment and reform of criminal justice systems in peacekeeping operations, as a way of strengthening the rule of law. The Assembly would encourage such action while noting with appreciation the contributions of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme to peacekeeping and special missions, as well as its contributions to the follow-up to those missions, among other things, through advisory services.

While reaffirming the priority of the Programme, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to further strengthen the Programme by providing it with the resources necessary for the full implementation of its mandates, including follow-up action to the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime and to the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. Furthermore, the Assembly would welcome the efforts undertaken by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to improve the strategic management of the Programme and to exercise more vigorously its mandated function of resources mobilization.

The draft text is sponsored by Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan,

Malta, Marshall Islands, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Tunisia.

Under Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Committee will take action on draft proposals on the following issues: follow-up to the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational

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Crime; the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; crime prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence against women; international cooperation against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions; and international cooperation in criminal matters.

By terms of a draft resolution on follow-up to the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime (document A/C.3/52/L.4), the Assembly would decide to establish an inter- sessional open-ended intergovernmental group of experts to elaborate a preliminary draft of a comprehensive international convention against organized transnational crime, for presentation to the seventh session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. By the draft, the Assembly would welcome the Government of Poland's offer to organize and host the meeting. It would also request the Secretary-General to provide resources for the meeting and for the Commission to report on progress at the Assembly's fifty-third session.

When elaborating the preliminary draft of the convention, the expert group would be requested, by terms of the draft text, to take into account existing multilateral instruments, including the draft United Nations framework convention against organized crime presented by the Government of Poland at the Assembly's fifty-first session. The expert group would also be requested to take into account recommendations, observations and proposals already existing and contained in annexes to the draft proposal, giving priority consideration to measures for judicial and police cooperation in such areas as mutual assistance, extradition, confiscation of illicit assets and various forms of technical assistance.

By other terms of the draft, additional areas of priority concern would be: the scope of application for such measures; and provisions related to offences, particularly in the areas of criminal associations, conspiracy and money-laundering. Special provisions concerning types of crimes subject to international instruments, such as illegal trafficking or corruption, would also be considered a priority.

In addition, the draft would urge States to implement the Naples Declaration and Global Action Plan, and would request the Commission to continue its review as a matter of highest priority. It would request the Secretary-General to continue work on the central repository to increase and make available information to States, as well as to provide advisory services to States and to consider State data in developing model legislation and

technical manuals for law enforcement and judicial personnel and for agencies involved in preventive activities.

Annexes to the draft resolution contain: recommendations of the senior experts group; points of methodology and categorization of data; the draft United Nations framework convention against organized crime; the Chairman's

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report of the Naples Declaration implementation working group; and the United States' views on avoiding duplicated elaborations of conventions. An appendix contains the senior experts groups' recommendations for combating transnational organized crime by supplementation of existing multilateral conventions or adoption of new conventions.

By the terms of the draft text on preparations for the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (document A/C.3/52/L.5), the Assembly would decide that the Tenth Congress should be held in the year 2000 and that the following topics should be included in its provisional agenda: promoting the rule of law and strengthening the criminal justice system; international cooperation in combating transnational crime: new challenges in the twenty-first century; effective crime prevention: keeping pace with new development; and offenders and victims: accountability and fairness in the justice process.

The Assembly would also decide that four workshops on the following issues should be held within the framework of the Tenth Congress: combating corruption; crimes related to the computer network; community involvement in crime prevention; and women in the criminal justice system. It would welcome the offer by the Government of South Africa to host the Tenth Congress and requests the Secretary-General to initiate consultations with the Government and to report to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its seventh session. The Assembly would also take note with appreciation that the Austrian Government would be honoured to host the Tenth Congress in Vienna, if consensus could be reached and questions of timing could be resolved.

By the draft text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division, as the secretariat of the Tenth Congress, with the necessary resources from the 1998-1999 budget to undertake the preparatory activities, including organizing regional preparatory meetings. The Secretary-General should also ensure adequate resources for the biennium 2000-2001 for other requirements and the conduct of the Tenth Congress.

By terms of a draft resolution on measures to eliminate violence against women (document A/C.3/52/L.6), the Assembly would request the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to publish Strategies for Confronting Domestic Violence: a Resource Manual, in the other United Nations official languages besides the English in which it already appears. The Assembly would also adopt the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice as a model of guidelines for governments in addressing the various manifestations of violence against women. The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, through the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division, would assist Member States in utilizing the Model Strategies and Practical Measures.

The draft would request the Secretary-General to disseminate and promote use of the Model Strategies and Practical Measures, requesting him also to

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transmit them to the relevant United Nations bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Commission on Human Rights, including the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and to the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. It would invite those bodies to develop strategies and practical measures on eliminating violence against women. Annexed to the draft proposal is the text of the Model Strategies and Practical Measures.

By terms of a draft resolution on international cooperation against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions (document A/C.3/52/L.7), the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to intensify technical assistance in combating corruption and to provide advisory services to Member States in that regard. It would urge Member States to provide the Secretariat with extrabudgetary funds for such technical assistance. The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice would be requested to give attention to the question of bribery of public office holders of other States in international commercial transactions, and to review action by States to implement the 1996 United Nations Declaration against Corruption and Bribery in International Commercial Transactions.

The Assembly would, by the draft, urge Member States to implement declarations and ratify international instruments against corruption. Member States would also be urged to criminalize bribery of public office holders of other States in international commercial transactions and encourage them to engage in activities deterring bribery and corruption. The Secretary-General would also be requested to invite Member States to report on provisions of the Declaration, including those on criminalization, sanctions, tax deductibility, accounting standards and practices, development of business codes, illicit enrichment, mutual legal assistance and bank secrecy provisions.

Member States would also be invited to report on national anti-corruption strategies and policies, for compilation by the Secretary-General, for distribution, and for consideration by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which would examine further steps to be taken for the full implementation of the Declaration.

A draft resolution on international cooperation in criminal matters (document A/C.3/52/L.8) would request the Secretary-General to convene a meeting of an intergovernmental expert group to develop and promote mutual assistance in criminal matters. It would also request the Secretary-General to elaborate model legislation to assist Member States in giving effect to the Model Treaty on Extradition in line with recommendations of the Intergovernmental Expert Group on Extradition.

The draft would urge States to: revise bilateral and multilateral law enforcement cooperation arrangements to combat constantly changing methods in

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organized transnational crimes; use the Model Treaty on Extradition as a basis for developing treaty relations at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels; and continue acknowledging that protection of human rights should not be inconsistent with international cooperation in criminal matters, while recognizing the need for effective mechanisms for extraditing fugitives.

By other terms of the draft text, the Secretary-General would be requested to provide advisory and technical services in developing, negotiating and implementing bilateral, subregional, regional or international treaties on extradition, as well as in drafting and applying national legislation, and to provide training on extradition law and related practices to personnel in governmental agencies and central authorities of Member States. Finally, it would ask the Secretary-General to submit the present resolution and a report on the Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting on Extradition to the Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.

International Drug Control

The Committee will hear the introduction of one draft resolution under this agenda item.

A 71-Power draft resolution on international action to combat drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking (document A/C.3/52/L.14 and Corr.1) contains the following seven parts: respect for the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and international law in the fight against drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking; international action to combat drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking; Global Programme of Action; special session of the General Assembly devoted to the fight against the illicit production, sale, demand, traffic and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and related activities; implementation of the United Nations system-wide action plan on drug abuse control: action by organizations of the United Nations system; United Nations International Drug Control Programme; and a final section which takes note of the report.

In Part I of the draft text, the Assembly would call upon all States to intensify their actions to promote effective cooperation in the efforts to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Those efforts would contribute to a climate conducive to achieving this end, on the basis of the principles of equal rights and mutual respect.

Part II of the draft text would urge all States to ratify, or accede to, and implement all the provisions of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. It would also call upon States to adopt effective measures to stem the illicit trade in small arms, which, as a result of its close link to the illicit drug trade, is generating within the societies of

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some States extremely high levels of crime and violence.

The text would also have the Assembly call upon the international community to provide increased economic and technical support to governments that request it for programmes of alternative and sustainable development, which have as their objectives the reduction and elimination of illicit drug production and which take fully into account the cultural traditions of peoples.

The United Nations International Drug Control Programme would be requested to, among other things: undertake additional measures to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation with multilateral development banks, so that they might undertake lending and programming activities related to drug control in interested and affected countries; continue to provide legal assistance to Member States that request it in adjusting their national laws, policies and infrastructures to implement the international drug control conventions, as well as assistance in training personnel responsible for applying the new laws; and continue providing assistance to Member States requesting support in establishing or strengthening national drug detection laboratories.

By the text, the Assembly would urge the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to complete its work on the draft declaration on the guiding principles of demand reduction, being developed by the Executive Director of the Programme in consultation with Member States, and to submit it to the Assembly at its special session in 1998 for adoption. Member States would be called upon to continue to cooperate with the Programme by providing relevant information and their views on the draft declaration with due regard to the linkages between demand and supply reduction activities. Furthermore, the draft text would urge the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, acting as the preparatory body for the Assembly's special session, to complete its work on political commitment, money laundering, judicial cooperation, precursors, stimulants and alternative development, in preparation of the special session.

By the terms of Part III of the text, the Assembly would urge all governments and competent regional organizations to develop a balanced approach within the framework of comprehensive demand reduction activities, giving adequate priority to prevention, treatment, research, social reintegration and training. The approach would be developed in the context of national strategic plans to combat drug abuse, which should include raising public awareness on the detrimental effects of drug abuse.

By the terms of Part IV of the draft text, the Assembly would decide that the special session will be held, as recommended by the Economic and Social Council, from 8 to 10 June 1998, and calls upon Member States to participate at a high political level. It would stress that the special session should be devoted to assessing the existing situation, with a view to strengthening international cooperation to address the problem of illicit drugs within the

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framework of the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and other relevant conventions and international instruments.

By the terms of Part V, the Assembly would urge the United Nations organizations associated with the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Drug Abuse Control to collaborate further with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to integrate the drug control dimension and assistance into their programming to ensure that the drug problem is being addressed in all its aspects. Member States would be invited to engage United Nations agencies and multilateral development banks in addressing the drug problem and to promote due consideration by governing bodies of requests for assistance for drug control programmes at the national level.

Part VI of the text would note with concern the decline of available resources for the Fund of the International Drug Control Programme. While welcoming the 25 March resolution of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, concerning the revised budget for the biennium 1996-1997 and the proposed outline for the biennium 1998-1999 of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, the Assembly would urge all governments to provide the fullest possible financial and political support to the organization by widening the donor base of the Programme and increasing voluntary contributions, in particular general-purpose contributions, to enable it to continue, expand and strengthen its operational and technical cooperation activities.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Advancement of Women

The Committee will hear the introduction of three draft texts on: improving the status of women in the Secretariat; traffic in women and girls; and traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls.

By the draft resolution on improving the status of women in the Secretariat (document A/C.3/52/L.18), the Assembly would request the

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Secretary-General to hold individual managers accountable for implementing the strategic plan for the goal of 50/50 gender distribution by the year 2000. The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to continue creating a gender-sensitive environment supportive of both men and women staff, including through the development of policies for such matters as flexible working time, training, implementation of administrative procedures and development of a policy against sexual harassment.

The draft would further request the Secretary-General to enable the office of the Special Adviser on gender to monitor and facilitate implementation of the plan, including by ensuring access to information. Finally, it would request the Secretary-General to report to the Commission on the Status of Women and to the General Assembly, including by providing statistics on the number and percentage of women in organizational units and at various levels of the United Nations system.

Simultaneously, by the draft, the Assembly would encourage the Secretary- General to appoint more women as special representatives and envoys, and to pursue good offices on his behalf in matters related to peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy, and economic and social development, as well as to appoint more women to other high-level positions. It would also strongly encourage Member States to support United Nations efforts in achieving the 50/50 gender distribution role by identifying and submitting more candidates and by encouraging women to apply for positions within the United Nations system.

The draft is sponsored by Australia, Austria, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Greece, Guinea, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.

By a draft resolution on traffic in women and girls (document A/C.3/52/L.20/Rev.1), the General Assembly would note with concern the increasing number of women and girl children from developing countries or those with economies in transition being victimized by traffickers, acknowledging that the problem also victimizes young boys. The Assembly would also express deep concern over the proliferation and misuse of new information technologies for purposes of prostitution, child pornography, paedophilia, sex tourism and trafficking of women as brides.

By the draft, the Assembly would call on governments to criminalize trafficking in women and girls. It would urge governments to support and allocate resources to strengthening preventive actions and national programmes to combat trafficking in women and girls through sustained bilateral, regional

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and international cooperation. Finally, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report on implementation of the resolution, in particular, of relevant provisions in the Beijing Platform of Action and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

The draft is sponsored by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Italy, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

By a draft resolution on traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls (document A/C.3/52/L.21), the Assembly would invite the Commission on Human Rights to address the issue at its fifty-fourth session. It would also request the Secretary-General to make available to the Commission's fifty-fourth session, the outcome of the discussions in the Commission on the Status of Women on the issue, if necessary in the form of an oral report.

All States would be called on to ratify, if they have not yet done so, the relevant human rights treaties, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to respect and fully implement their obligations under the relevant human rights treaties to which they are parties. In so doing they should emphasize the incompatibility between the continuation of these harmful traditional or customary practices and the obligations they have voluntarily undertaken through the ratification of such international human rights instruments.

By other terms of the draft proposal, the Assembly would call on all States to include in their reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and to the Committee on the Rights of the Child specific information on measures taken to eliminate traditional or customary practices harmful to the health of women and girls. They would be called on to intensify efforts to raise awareness of and to mobilize international and national public opinion concerning the harmful effects of female genital mutilation and other traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls, in particular through education, information dissemination and training, in order to achieve the total elimination of these practices.

Furthermore, the draft text would call on States to develop and implement national legislation and policies prohibiting traditional or customary practices harmful to the health of women and girls, particularly female genital mutilation. They would also be called on to support women's organizations at the national and local levels that are working for the elimination of female genital mutilation and other traditional or customary practices harmful to the health of women and girls.

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The Assembly would also emphasize the importance of education and information dissemination in raising awareness in all sectors of society of the serious consequences of traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls and the responsibilities of governments in this regard. It would also emphasize that information and education with regard to harmful traditional or customary practices should also be targeted at men and that they be encouraged to be responsive to such information and education.

The draft text is co-sponsored by Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Zambia.

The Committee will also take action on draft proposals concerning the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women and on violence against women migrant workers

A draft resolution on the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) (document A/C.3/52/L.17), sponsored by the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries, Mexico and Turkey, would have the Assembly welcome the appointment of the Director of the Institute and take note with appreciation of the work done by the previous Acting Director. It would urge the Secretary-General to fill the existing vacancies in the Institute in order to permit it to carry out its mandate.

Other terms of the draft would request the Institute's Director to develop a funding strategy and to establish a link between the activities of the Institute and its resource base. Member States, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society would be invited to contribute generously to the United Nations Trust Fund for INSTRAW, thus enabling the Institute to respond effectively to its mandate.

By the terms of a draft resolution on violence against women migrant workers (document A/C.3/52/L.19) the Assembly would request the Secretary- General to submit to it at its fifty-fourth session, a comprehensive report on the problem of violence against women migrant workers. The report would include views of Member States and it would be based on expertise and all available information from organizations of the United Nations system, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

The draft is sponsored by Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Costa Rica,

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Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Zambia.

Introduction of Drafts

TSOGT NYAMSUREN (Mongolia) introduced the draft resolution on education for all. She said the following countries would also be added to the list of co-sponsors: Cuba, Denmark, India, Mauritania, Republic of Korea and Venezuela.

ADAM ADAWA (Kenya), speaking on behalf of the African States, introduced the draft resolution on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. He called on the Committee to approve the draft text by consensus.

ADOLFO BARATOLO (Italy) introduced the draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, particularly its technical cooperation capacity. He called for the Committee to adopt the resolution by consensus. The following Member States were added to the list of sponsors of the draft: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Moldova, San Marino and South Africa.

GUSTAVO ALBIN (Mexico) introduced the draft resolution on international action to combat drug abuse and illicit production and trafficking. He said it was the fifth year that an omnibus resolution had been submitted on that issue. Such texts represented a comprehensive approach which had given a clear direction to the United Nations in that field. The following countries were added to the list of sponsors: Albania, Armenia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Georgia, Guyana, Haiti, Iceland, Israel, Monaco, the Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, San Marino, Singapore, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

ANDRE GIROUX (Canada) introduced the draft text on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat. He called for the approval of the text without a vote. He said the following countries will be added to the list of co-sponsors: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The draft resolution was amended as follows:

A preambular paragraph 2 bis was added to read as follows: "Recalling also resolution 51/67 of 12 December 1996 and 51/226 C of 3 April 1997 on the

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status of women in the Secretariat;".

Operative paragraph 2 was amended to conclude: "the lack of representation or underrepresentation of women from certain countries, in particular from developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition".

VIOLETA DAVID (Philippines) introduced the draft resolution on traffic in women and girls. She called for the adoption of the text by consensus.

JAAP RAMAKER (Netherlands) introduced the draft resolution on traditional or customary practices affecting the health of women and girls. He said it was the first time that a draft resolution on the subject was being presented to the Third Committee. Some traditional practices were harmless or even beneficial, but traditional practices relating to female children, marriage and sexuality often had harmful effects on women and girls. Female genital mutilation was a deeply rooted traditional practice that had severe health consequences for girls and women. It was practised by many ethnic groups in different regions of the world.

He said arguments against genital mutilation were based on universally recognized rights, including the right to integrity of the person and the highest attainable level of physical and mental health. Female genital mutilation was unacceptable, because it was an infringement on the physical and psychological integrity of women and girls, and was a form of violence against them. For that reason, governments had committed themselves in Beijing to enact legislation against such practices.

The Netherlands was of the view that it was time for the international community to enhance efforts to eliminate the harmful traditional practice. It was his hope that the adoption of the current resolution would contribute to the elimination of such traditional practices affecting the health of women and girls. It would be an important step towards improving the women's status and health, as well as towards the overriding goals of the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women, to which all Member States were committed.

The following countries were added as co-sponsors of the draft resolution: Argentina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cuba, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Monaco, Mozambique, Panama, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Swaziland, the United States.

Action on Draft Texts

Committee Chairman, ALESSANDRO BUSACCA (Italy) called on the Committee to take action on the draft text on International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW). He said the draft resolution contained no programme budgetary implications.

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Israel was added to the list of co-sponsors. Additional co-sponsors had been added when the draft resolution was introduced on 28 October.

The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.

Mr. BUSACCA (Italy) then called on the Committee to take action on the draft text on violence against women migrant workers. He said the draft resolution contained no programme budget implications.

KATE NEWELL, Committee Secretary, read the amendments to the text as revised by the representative of the Philippines on 28 October when the draft resolution was introduced.

The following countries were added to the list of co-sponsors in addition to the countries added on the 28 October when the resolution was introduced: Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Israel, Pakistan, Netherlands and Uruguay.

The Committee approved the draft text, as orally amended, without a vote.

Statements on UNHCR Report

ELFATIH ERWA (Sudan) said many refugees in the Sudan lived outside the refugee camps and were not counted into the number of refugees needing assistance. The Government had asked the United Nations High Commissioner's office to take a census. Also, some refugees had been in the Sudan for more than 30 years, which had strained the Sudanese ecosystem around the camps. The Sudan appealed to the international community for help in sharing the burden, in part because financial constraints had caused projects to halt without warning. The Sudan appealed in particular to the European Union to resume a project for reconstructing refugee areas.

He said that in cooperation with the UNHCR, the Sudan had signed several agreements with neighbouring countries which also had refugee problems. Agreements with Ethiopia and Chad had led to repatriation of large numbers of refugees to those countries from the Sudan. The national programme to repatriate Eritrean refugees was another agreement the Sudan had entered into, and it called on Eritrea to recognize international standards for treatment of refugees and internally displaced people.

CHRISTINE KAPALATA (United Republic of Tanzania) said one reason for the decrease in refugees worldwide was the evolution of a conducive environment for voluntary repatriation. Tanzania, Rwanda and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had signed a tripartite agreement in 1995. By December 1996 about half a million Rwandan refugees had voluntarily repatriated to Rwanda.

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However, even as this voluntary repatriation was going on, events unfolded in former Zaire and Burundi to precipitate new flows of refugees into Tanzania. At the height of hostilities, Tanzania received one thousand people per day from the former Zaire. By June 1997, it was hosting 74,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the wake of political improvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, another tripartite agreement led to 20,000 refugees volunteering to go back, and within weeks, 1,700 Congolese refugees had returned.

However, she said, "compassion fatigue was setting in." Tanzania had hosted refugees since its independence, and it had done so at great sacrifice, with limited resources and inadequate international assistance. It was becoming increasingly evident that Tanzania could not shoulder the burden indefinitely. To safeguard the regime of asylum, the international community had to share the burden.

SAM OTUYELU (Nigeria) said the decrease in the number of refugees and the successful voluntary repatriation of millions of refugees was good news, but unstable conditions in some parts of the world made the situation disturbing. Those areas included the Great Lakes region, the Congo and Sierra Leone in Africa, and Afghanistan along with central Asia on that continent.

The comprehensive plan of action for Indo-Chinese Refugees, which was marking the final chapter of more than 20 years of international humanitarian efforts to resolve the aftermath of conflicts, showed that with the necessary understanding and goodwill solutions to complex problems of refugees were possible.

He noted with approval efforts at coordination such as those between the UNHCR and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to develop a global programme for the proper protection, care and family reunification of unaccompanied refugee minors. If the number of refugees were to be significantly reduced, it was necessary to address the major causes of the problem, which were economic, social and political factors.

ZAMIRA ESHMAMBETOVA (Kyrgyzstan) said that as long as conflicts existed, the international community would continue to witness the flow of people out of countries with troubles. Significant advances had been made in such areas as Tajikistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the main element required was still more understanding between people, and respect for differences.

In Kyrgystan, she said, ethnic tolerance was being addressed in school books, and she noted other measures to that end, many arising from the past year's regional conference of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on the question of refugees. This had called for reforms in line with demands of the modern world, such as new definitions of the status of refugees.

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DON LUIS PERINAT, observer of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, said the Order was the oldest institution in the world established to provide humanitarian assistance -- to care for the sick and needy. It dated back to the year 1099 when a hospital for sick pilgrims was established in Jerusalem. At present, its hospital activities were devoted to humanitarian assistance to people in need as a result of illness, wars, forced expatriation and natural disasters. There was no discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality or religion.

Citing its activities all over the world, including Rwanda and Thailand as well as in some countries in the developed world, he said one activity worth highlighting was the provision of many auxiliary services by volunteers in refugee camps. They provided first aid, including the transportation of the ill in cases of disaster. Special attention was paid to the training of collaborating volunteers. The Order has worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNHCR. It would be desirable to intensify cooperation between THE UNHCR and the European Union. The Order remained at the disposal of THE UNHCR for the establishment of a joint strategy that might be beneficial to the attainment of common humanitarian objectives.

GAMALIEL NDARUZANIYE (Burundi) said that practices such as diversion of funds by armed parties moving among the refugees in camps should not detract from the significance of the humanitarian assistance needed by the people in distress. Burundi was committed to upholding all international instruments for treatment of refugees, and also to creating an environment that welcomed back its returning refugees. The voluntary movement of Burundi refugees to their homes indicated a confirmation that the Government was working for the people's benefit.

The main emphasis now, the representative said, was to focus on reintegration of the refugees in order to enable the people to become self- reliant. However, additional problems remained as a result of Burundi having had to absorb the problems of forced refugee movements. Burundi, therefore, hoped that traditional partners would again help.

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For information media. Not an official record.