International Women's Day
8 March 1985 

Press Release SG/SM/3672


Following is the text of a statement by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on the occasion of International Women's Day, 8 March 1985:

Today we celebrate International Women's Day. This year indeed is a year of special significance as it marks not only the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations, but is also the concluding year of the United Nations Decade for Women, and represents a period of culmination for many of the programmes and activities which sprang from the observance of International Women's Year in 1975.

It is therefore fitting on this day to reflect on the commitment of the United Nations, proclaimed in the Carter and in the Universal declaration of Human Rights, to the achievement of equality of rights for men and women. From its earliest days, beginning with the establishment in 1946 of the Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations has sought to heighten global awareness of the position of women in society and create measures to improve their situation. Achievements in this regard include the creation of legal instruments, such as the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, adopted in 1952, which was the first legal instrument to deal exclusively with women's rights, and the 1975 Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

A major effort to promote the full integration of women in economic and social development, to bring about their equal and effective participation in political and cultural life, and to give impetus to their role in strengthening world peace has been undertaken in the context of the United Nations Decade for women through the action of governments, both at the national and international level, as well as through the efforts of many individuals and groups in countries throughout the world, significant progress in furthering equality of rights and opportunities for women has been achieved. In July of this year, at Nairobi, Governments, and non-governmental institutions will participate in the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for women: Equality, development and Peace, focusing world attention on this important issue.

Yet despite these actions, much remains to be achieved. In our own organization, efforts need to be sustained to reach our goals in increasing the participation of women of the highest calibre, and from all regions of the world, in the work of the secretariat, at all levels and in all fields. In Pulido de Briceno, to assist me in this task.

I believe that with a renewed commitment to the purpose, and with the spirit and energy which has spurred progress towards the equality of men and women gained thus far, the United Nations together with the community of nations will make greater strides in realizing this fundamental expression of human dignity.

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