20 MARCH 2015

WOM/2035

Commission on the Status of Women
Fifty-ninth Session,

19th Meeting (AM)

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The Commission took action on four draft resolutions, sending two texts — on working methods and on Palestinian women — to the Economic and Social Council.

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The Commission also approved a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (document E/CN.6/2015/L.2), by a recorded vote of 27 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 13 abstentions.

Prior to that vote, an observer for the State of Palestine said that her delegation had withdrawn its co-sponsorship for the text as it was also co-sponsored by South Africa, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, of which the State of Palestine was a member.

Several delegates spoke in explanation of position before the vote. Israel’s representative said the co-sponsors’ attack on Israel risked turning the forum into a politicized territory. If the text were balanced and factually accurate, it would mention the violence Palestinian terrorists inflicted on Israeli women, she said, adding that by calling for a vote, Israel was urging “all those who believed in the integrity and neutrality of the Commission” to vote against the text. The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he was deeply concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s impact on all women in the region. While the text had addressed important issues, her country would abstain from voting as it had not entered into negotiations on its substance, she said, noting that country-specific elements in a resolution should be dealt with in the General Assembly.

After the vote, delegates explained their position. The United States’ representative said her delegation voted against the text because even though her country remained deeply committed to the Palestinian people, the Commission’s insistence on including political elements and one-sided condemnation detracted from the challenges at hand. Only through direct negotiations could parties address their differences, she stressed. In explaining his delegation’s abstention, Japan’s representative said that while his country was concerned about the situation of Palestinian women, the draft resolution seemed imbalanced.

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For information media. Not an official record.