WOMEN’S COMMISSION SUSPENDS SESSION; ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINIAN WOMEN, HOSTAGE-TAKING, DISCRIMINATION IN AFGHANISTAN, AND GENDER MAINSTREAMING

19 March 2001
WOM/1281

WOMEN’S COMMISSION SUSPENDS SESSION; ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINIAN WOMEN, HOSTAGE-TAKING, DISCRIMINATION IN AFGHANISTAN, AND GENDER MAINSTREAMING

19/03/2001
Press ReleaseWOM/1281

Commission on Status of Women

Forty-fifth Session

16th Meeting (AM)* and Round-up

WOMEN’S COMMISSION SUSPENDS SESSION; ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINIAN WOMEN,

HOSTAGE-TAKING, DISCRIMINATION IN AFGHANISTAN, AND GENDER MAINSTREAMING

As the Commission on the Status of Women suspended its forty-fifth session at 4:35 a.m., 17 March, it adopted five resolutions –- two by recorded vote, four decisions, its draft-agreed conclusions on one of its thematic issues and its report on the first part of its forty-fifth session.

In adopting a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women by a recorded vote of 31 in favour to 1 against (United States), with

1 abstention (Rwanda), the Commission recommended that the Economic and Social Council call upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts towards ensuring the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, and call for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families.

By other terms, the Council would also demand that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the regulations annexed to The Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (12 August 1949), in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.

In adopting, as orally amended, a resolution on the release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts, by a recorded vote of 31 in favour with none against, and 2 abstentions (India, United States), the Commission condemned violent acts in contravention of international humanitarian law against civilian women and children in areas of armed conflict, and called for an effective response to such acts, including the immediate release of such women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned.

Acting without a vote, the Commission adopted a resolution on discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan by whose terms of the Economic and Social Council would strongly condemn the continuing grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discrimination against them in all areas of that country, particularly in those under the control of the Taliban.

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*     The 15th meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women was closed.

By that text, the Council would also condemn the continued restrictions on women’s access to health care and the systematic violation of their human rights in Afghanistan, including the restrictions on access to education and employment outside the home, on freedom of movement and on freedom from intimidation, harassment and violence. 

By the terms of a text on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system, which was also adopted without a vote as orally amended, the Commission recommended that the Council decide to establish, in the context of its general segment, a regular item on its agenda on mainstreaming a gender perspective in the United Nations system.

By the text, the Council would also devote a future coordination segment, by 2005, to the review and appraisal of the system-wide implementation of agreed conclusions 1997/2 on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the Organization’s system and to identify further strategies for their implementation.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2002-2006 entitled “Women 2000:  gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, which was approved without a vote, it was recommended that the Council adopt the multi-year programme of work. (In adopting this text, the Commission also approved the agenda for its next session.)  That programme would provide a framework to assess progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

By further terms of that draft, the Council would decide that the Commission’s calendar themes would be:  2002 -- eradicating poverty, including  the empowerment of women throughout their life cycle in a globalizing world,

and environmental management and mitigation of natural disasters:  a gender perspective; 2003 –- participation and access of women to the media, information and communication technologies and their impact on and the use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women, and women’s human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the Assembly; 2004 –- the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality, and women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building.

For 2005, the Council would decide that the Commission’s calendar themes would be:  review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session; and current challenges and forward-looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women.  For 2006, the themes would be:  enhanced participation of women in development; an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and for the advancement of women, and the equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes at all levels.

According to a decision on the Commission’s working methods, which was also adopted without a vote, the Commission decided to request its Bureau to undertake, with the assistance of the Secretariat, the preparatory work necessary for further discussion of its working methods at its forty-sixth session, and requested that adequate time be allocated to the discussion of that matter during that session.

By the terms of a decision on follow-up to Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions, the Commission asked that a decision for enhancing the review of the progress in the implementation of the Platform for Action and the outcome document should be taken in coordination with conference reviews and other functional commissions.

By a decision on communication procedures adopted without a vote, the Commission decided to ask the Secretary-General to submit to it another report on the procedure and on the ways and means to make it more effective and efficient.

By the terms of its draft-agreed conclusions on gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance which was adopted without a vote, the Commission called on governments, the United Nations and civil society to take an integrated holistic approach to address multiple forms of discrimination against women and girls. 

The Commission called for an examination of the intersection of multiple forms of discrimination, including their root causes, from a gender perspective with special emphasis on gender-based racial discrimination.  It also recommended the development and implementation of strategies, policies and programmes aimed at the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.  The Commission also stressed the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into the preparations, work and outcome of the upcoming world conference on racism in Durban, South Africa, and urged the inclusion of women in delegations to the Conference.

The Commission decided that action on a resolution on women, girls and HIV/AIDS and the agreed conclusion on that issue, which was also a theme of the current session, would be taken in its resumed session tentatively scheduled from 9 to 11 May.  It was also decided that considerations on the Commission’s system-wide medium-term plan would be taken up at that session, as well.  A related draft resolution on that action was adopted without a vote.

Once more acting without a vote, the Commission also adopted the report of its forty-fifth session.  Members were informed by the Chair, Dubravka Šimonovic (Croatia), that summaries of panel discussion on this year’s thematic issues would be attached to report.

Also this morning, the Commission took note of the following:  the report of the Secretary-General containing a joint work plan of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; the report of the Secretary-General on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women 2002-2005; the report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat; a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on the activities of the Fund to eliminate violence against women; and a note by the Secretariat on the proposed programme of work of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women for the biennium 2002-2003.

The Commission also took note of a report of the Secretary-General on proposals for a multi-year programme of the Commission; and the report of the Secretary-General on recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the working methods of the Commission.

In her closing remarks, the Chair said she hoped that working methods of the Commission would be considered in order to shorten the period of work and come up with more concise documents.

Atsuko Nishimura (Japan), Rapporteur and Vice-Chair, presented the report of the current session; and Mankeur Ndiaye (Senegal), Vice-Chair, presented the draft-agreed conclusions on gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Statements, interventions and explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Algeria, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), United Republic of Tanzania and the United States.

Highlights

At the first meeting of the forty-fifth session, the Commission elected its officers, adopted its agenda and other organizational matters, and introduced the various reports before it.  It held its general discussion on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) and to the special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000:  gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century".

During the session, the Commission also held two expert panel discussions on this year’s thematic issues:  gender and all forms of racial discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; and women, girls, as well as HIV/AIDS.  There was also an observance of International Women's Day on 8 March.

Background

The Commission was established as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council on 21 June 1946 to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields.  The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women’s rights.

The object of the Commission is to promote implementation of the principle that men and women shall have equal rights.  The Council expanded the Commission's mandate in 1987.  Following the Fourth World Conference on Women, the General Assembly mandated the Commission to integrate into its work programme a follow-up process to the Conference, in which the Commission should play a catalytic role, regularly reviewing the critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action.

Membership

The Commission consists of 45 members elected by the Council for four years.  Members, who are appointed by governments, are elected on the following basis:

13 from African States; 11 from Asian States; four from Eastern European States; nine from Latin American and the Caribbean States; and eight from Western European and Other States.  The Commission meets normally on an annual basis for a period of eight working days.

The current Bureau of the Commission is made up of the following members: Dubravka Šimonovic (Croatia), Chair; Kirsten Geelan (Denmark), Vice-Chair; Atsuko Nishimura (Japan), Vice-Chair and Rapporteur; Loreto Leyton (Chile), Vice-Chair; and Mankeur Ndiaye (Senegal), Vice-Chair.

The members of the Commission with their terms of expiry (31 December) are Argentina (2004), Azerbaijan (2004), Belgium (2002), Benin (2003), Bolivia (2001), Brazil (2003), Burundi (2002), Chile (2003), China (2003), Côte d’Ivoire (2001), Croatia (2003), Cuba (2001), Democratic People's Republic of Korea (2002), Denmark (2003), Dominican Republic (2003), Egypt (2002), Germany (2004), Guinea (2004), India (2001), and Iran (2001).

The other members with their terms of expiry are Italy (2002), Japan (2004), Kyrgyzstan (2003), Lesotho (2001), Lithuania (2002), Malawi (2003), Malaysia (2001), Mexico (2002), Mongolia (2002), Netherlands (2004), Pakistan (2004), Peru (2004), Republic of Korea (2001), Russian Federation (2002), Rwanda (2001), Saint Lucia (2001), Senegal (2002), Sri Lanka (2001), Sudan (2001), Tunisia (2004), Turkey (2002), Uganda (2001), United Kingdom (2004), United Republic of Tanzania (2004), and the United States (2003).

Final Meeting Summary

The Commission on the Status of Women met and took action on the draft resolutions before it.

The first to be considered was the Draft on the Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women (document E/CN.6/2001/L.2/Rev.1).  The resolution was adopted by a recorded vote of 31 in favour to 1 against (United States), with

1 abstention (Rwanda).

By the terms of the text (document E/CN.6/2001/L.2/Rev.1), which was sponsored by Iran, the Economic and Social Council would call upon the concerned parties, as well as the international community, to exert all the necessary efforts towards ensuring the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, and call for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families.

By other terms, the Council would also demand that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the regulations annexed to The Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (12 August 1949), in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families.

By further terms, the Council would call upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions.  The Council would urged Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period.

Explanation of Vote after Vote

MIRTA ALVAREZ (United States) said that she had voted against the draft resolution because it addressed the issue of refugees in Jerusalem.  That was an issue that both sides had agreed to address in the permanent status negotiations. She did not think it was appropriate, therefore, to mention it in the resolution.

MOSTAFA ALAIE (Iran) said that he did wish his vote in favour of the resolution to be construed as recognition of Israel.

ALEKSEY ROGOV (Russian Federation) said he had voted in favour because his country attached great importance to the speedy establishment of direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis.  Direct contact between the two sides, he believed, would lead to a normalization of the current situation and renew political dialogue.  He was sure that the present complex conditions needed both sides to meet each other half way in the interest of a speedy resolution to the confrontation between the two countries.  He believed that security and the achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East was the main basis for alleviating the situation of the Palestinian women.

The Commission then adopted the Draft on the Release of Women and Children Taken Hostage, including Those Subsequently Imprisoned, in Armed Conflicts (document E/CN.6/2001/L.3), by a recorded vote of 31 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (India, United States).

Before taking the vote, the text of the draft was orally amended as follows: a new preambular paragraph was inserted after the first preambular paragraph, which read:

“Having considered with appreciation, within the report of the Secretary-General on the follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the section concerning the release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned in armed conflict.”

In the third preambular paragraph, after the words “by the fourth World Conference on Women”, the following words were added:

“and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000:  gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.  The same words were also added at the end of the last preambular paragraph.

The Commission was also informed that, in addition to the co-sponsors named on the resolution that Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan had also asked to be co-sponsors.

By the terms of the text (document E/CN.6/2001/L.3) the Commission condemned violent acts in contravention of international humanitarian law against civilian women and children in areas of armed conflict, and called for an effective response to such acts, including the immediate release of such women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts.

By other terms, the Commission strongly urged all parties to armed conflicts to fully respect the norms of international humanitarian law in armed conflict and to take all necessary measures for the protection of those women and children and for their immediate release.  It urged all parties to armed conflicts to provide safe unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for these women and children.  The Commission also asked the Secretary-General and all relevant international organizations to use their capabilities and efforts to facilitate the release of these women and children.

Ms. ALVAREZ (United States) said she regretted having to abstain since her country condemned violent acts against civilians during armed conflict, especially against women and children.  That was in contravention of international humanitarian laws.  Though laudable, she added, the wording of the resolution was not consistent with existing humanitarian laws.  She said her delegation had suggested minor changes, which had not been taken up.  Had those been taken up, she would not only have voted in favour, but would have co-sponsored the resolution.  She hoped those differences could be resolved if the resolution comes before the Commission again.

ASITH KUMAR BATTACHARJEE (India) said he was compelled to abstain as he only found out about the possibility of a vote at the last minute and was unable to seek any instructions.

IRENE JONSSON-LATHAM (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, regretted that a vote had been taken on such an important resolution which had up until then been adopted by consensus.  She also regretted the late presentation of amendments to the text.

The Commission then adopted the Draft on Discrimination against Women and Girls in Afghanistan (documents E/CN/.6/2001/L.5 Rev.1) without a vote.

By the terms of the draft, the Economic and Social Council would strongly condemn the continuing grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discrimination against them in all areas of Afghanistan, particularly those under the control of the Taliban.

The Council would also condemn the continued restrictions on women’s access to health care and the systematic violation of their human rights in Afghanistan, including the restrictions on access to education and employment outside the home, on freedom of movement and on freedom from intimidation, harassment and violence.  That had a serious detrimental effect on the well-being of Afghan women and the children in their care. 

The Council would urge the Taliban and other Afghan parties to recognize, protect, promote and act in accordance with all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion, in accordance with international human rights instruments.  The Council would also urge them to respect international humanitarian law.  It would further urge all the Afghan parties, in particular the Taliban, to immediately end all human rights violations against women and girls.  Among the urgent actions called for are the repeal of all legislative and other measures that discriminate against women and girls and impede the realization of their human rights.

By further terms, the Council would appeal to all States and to the international community to ensure that all humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, in conformity with the strategic framework for that country, is based on the principle of non-discrimination, integrates a gender perspective, and actively attempts to promote the participation of both women and men and peace and respect for fundamental human rights.  It would also demand that all Afghan factions, in particular the Taliban, ensure the safety and protection of all United Nations and humanitarian workers in Afghanistan and allow them, regardless of their gender, to carry out their work unhindered.

The draft is co-sponsored by Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the Observer for Switzerland.

Explanation of Position

Mr. ANDRABI (Pakistan) said that, although he shared the concerns of the international community regarding the violation of Afghanistan women’s human rights, he did not believe that coercion was the right approach.  He would continue to call on the Government of Afghanistan to respect the human rights of women, and he believed the international community should use persuasion rather than threats, and dialogue rather than rebuff.  He thanked the Secretary-General for his report and said that he had correctly identified the core issues regarding the human rights of Afghan women.  He acknowledged the Secretary-General’s earnest consideration and his sincere efforts to resolve the problem.

Ms. ALVAREZ (United States), who was the main sponsor of the draft, said that, in addition to those countries named, Austria, Brazil, Republic of Moldova, Slovenia and Croatia had also asked to join the list of co-sponsors.

The Commission also adopted the draft on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system (document E/CN.6/2001/L.6) without a vote.

By the terms of the draft (document E/CN.6/2001/L.6), the Commission called upon the Secretary-General, in future reports to the Commission, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly to assess progress made on mainstreaming a gender perspective within the United Nations, including providing information on key achievements, lessons learned and best practices, and to recommend further actions and strategies for future actions within the Organization’s system.

By other terms, the Economic and Social Council would decide to establish, in the context of its general segment, a regular item on its agenda on mainstreaming a gender perspective in the United Nations system.  The Council would also devote a future coordination segment, by 2005, to the review and appraisal of the system-wide implementation of agreed conclusions 1997/2 on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the Organization’s system and to identify further strategies for their implementation.

The Council would further decide to intensify its efforts to ensure that gender mainstreaming is an integral part of all activities concerning integrated and coordinated follow-up to the United Nations conferences.

Speaking on behalf of the CANZ Group (Canada, New Zealand and Australia), Ms. WILCOX made the following amendments:  the words “of the General Assembly”

be added after the words twenty-third session in final line of preambular paragraph 1.

In preambular paragraph 5, the word “recalling” should be replaced with “welcoming”, at the beginning of the paragraph, and replace “dedicating” with “dedication of” in the same paragraph before the words “including by considering”. In operative paragraph 1, the words “reiterates that responsibility for mainstreaming starts at the highest level within the United Nations system” should be added at the end of the paragraph.  Operative paragraph 3 should now read: “Welcomes the ongoing commitment of and actions taken by the Secretary-General and entities of the UN system to mainstreaming a gender perspective into the UN system and encourages them to continue these efforts."  In operative paragraph 7, the word “consider” should be added, and “adopt” deleted, and “establish” changed to “establishing”.  In operative paragraph 7b, the word “devote” should be changed to “devoting”, and in 7c the word “and” should be inserted before the word “further” on the second line, and “intensify” should be changed to “intensifying”.  Operative paragraph 8 should be deleted.

She also informed the Commission that Azerbaijan, Belarus. Belgium, Bolivia, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Guatemala, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Belgium, Benin, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Venezuela, Japan, Greece, Brazil, Malaysia, Rwanda, Denmark, Turkey and the United States had asked to become co-sponsors of the draft.

The Commission then adopted the draft proposal on the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2002-2006 (document E/CN/.6/2001L.8), as orally amended by Vice-Chair LORETO LEYTON (Chile).

By the terms of a draft resolution on the Commission’s multi-year programme of work for the period 2002-2006 entitled “Women 2000:  gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”, which was approved without a vote, it was recommended that the Council adopt the multi-year programme of work. (In adopting this text, the Commission also approved the agenda for its next session.)  That programme would provide a framework to assess progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

By further terms, the Council would decide that the Commission’s calendar themes would be:  2002 -- eradicating poverty, including the empowerment of women throughout their life cycle in a globalizing world, and environmental management and mitigation of natural disasters:  a gender perspective; 2003 –- participation and access of women to the media, information and communication technologies and their impact on and the use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women, and women’s human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the Assembly; 2004 –- the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality, and women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace building.

For 2005, the Council would decide that the Commission’s calendar themes would be:  review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session; and current challenges and forward looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women.  For 2006, the themes would be:  enhanced participation of women in development; an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and for the advancement of women, and the equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes at all levels.

Working Methods

According to a decision on the Commission’s working methods, which was also adopted without a vote, the Commission decided to request its Bureau to undertake, with the assistance of the Secretariat, the preparatory work necessary for further discussion of its working methods at its forty-sixth session, and requested that adequate time be allocated to the discussion of that matter during that session.

Follow-up to Economic and Social Council Resolutions and Decisions

By the terms of a decision (document E/CN.6/2001/L.9) on follow-up to Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions, the Commission asked that a decision for enhancing the review of the progress in the implementation of the Platform for Action and the outcome document should be taken in coordination with conference reviews and other functional commissions.

Communications Procedures

By a decision on communication procedures adopted without a vote, the Commission decided to ask the Secretary-General to submit to it another report on the procedure and on the ways and means to make it more effective and efficient.

Draft-Agreed Conclusions on Thematic Issues

Turning to the thematic issues outlined on the Commission agenda, members adopted the draft-agreed conclusions on Gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

In those conclusions, the Commission called on governments, the United Nations and civil society to take an integrated holistic approach to address multiple forms of discrimination against women and girls.  It also called for an

examination of the intersection of multiple forms of discrimination, including their root causes, from a gender perspective with special emphasis on gender-based racial discrimination.

It also recommended the development and implementation of strategies, policies and programmes aimed at the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and to increase the role women play in the design, implementation and monitoring of gender-sensitive anti-racist policies.

The Commission also stressed the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into the preparations, work and outcome of the World Conference on Racism and urged the inclusion of women in delegations to the conference. 

By the terms of a draft decision, the Commission decided to meet in resumed session from 9 to 11 May 2001 to continue its considerations of system-wide medium-term plan.  It also decided to take up the draft-agreed conclusions on HIV/AIDS at that time, as well. 

Chair DUBRAVKA SIMONOVIC (Croatia) reminded members that, in adopting the draft resolution on the multi-year programme of work, the agenda for the next session had also been approved.

Also this morning, the Commission took note of the following:  the report of the Secretary-General containing a joint work plan of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; the report of the Secretary-General on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women 2002-2005; the report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat; and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on the activities of the Fund to eliminate violence against women:  note by the Secretariat on the proposed programme of work of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women for the biennium 2002-2003.

The Commission also took note of a report of the Secretary-General on proposals for a multi-year programme of the Commission; and the report of the Secretary-General on recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the working methods of the Commission.

Once more acting without a vote, the Commission also adopted the report of its forty-fifth session.  Members were informed that summaries of panel discussion on this year thematic issues would be attached to report.

In her closing remarks, the Chair said she hoped that the working methods of the Commission would be considered in order to shorten the period of work and come up with more concise documents.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.