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ity, Development and Peace-dominated the agenda of the 35th session. Both Austria and China had issued invitations to host the conference. Additionally, China submitted a resolution stating the world conference should be held in Beijing.
UN General Assembly resolution 45/129 of 1990 requested the CSW, in deciding on the venue of the conference, to take into account that preference should be given to regions which had not yet hosted a world conference on women. Previous world conferences were held in Latin America, Western Europe and Africa, and China was the only Asian country to have issued an invitation. In order to uphold G-77 solidarity, members of the G-77 publicly vowed to support China's offer. However, many nongovernmental organizations and member states of the Western European and Other Group (WEOG) were concerned about China's hosting the conference because of questions regarding NGO and press access.
China's resolution never came to a vote. Instead, the chairman issued a compromise decision which noted the invitations from Austria and China; noted General Assembly resolution 45/ 129, which requested the CSW to decide on the venue of the conference not later than 1992, taking into account that preference should be given to regions which had not yet hosted a world conference on women; and noted that all members of the G-77 expressed their support for China's invitation to host the conference. A decision on the venue of the conference was deferred until the 36th CSW session.
A primary goal of the United States at the 35th session of the CSW was to improve the existing procedure for individuals and nongovernmental organizations bringing complaints of discrimination against women. The existing procedure is based on ECOSOC resolution 1983/27, which authorized the CSW to set up a working group to consider communications “which appear to reveal a consistent pattern of reliably attested injustice and discriminatory practices against women,” and requested the CSW make recommendations to ECOSOC on “what action may appropriately be taken on the emerging trends and patterns of communications."
At the 34th session, the United States had introduced a resolution which requested the Secretary General examine the existing mechanisms for communications on the status of women. This resolution was adopted by consensus. Discussion on this issue at the 35th session was based on the Secretary General's report. It confirmed that the existing procedure was inefficient;
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the working group's mandate was unclear; and, on the whole, the communications mechanism had not provided a useful basis for the Commission to make recommendations to ECOSOC. It stated: "Since its introduction in 1984, the present procedure does not appear to have been an efficient tool for implementing the functions enumerated in Council resolution 1983/27 or to have provided a significant input into the work of the Commission.” The report backed up that conclusion by describing a large number of problems identified by governments.
The United States, on behalf of 19 other cosponsors, introduced a draft resolution to clarify the standard of admissibility of communications; request the Secretary General to publicize widely the existence and scope of the communications mechanisms and ensure closer coordination between the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Human Rights Center in reviewing the communications; and authorize the CSW to determine ways of obtaining more information about situations identified by the working group.
Although the United States and the other cosponsors made several changes in the resolution to address concerns expressed by some delegations, a few countries—notably China and Cuba-still opposed it. In the end, China requested, and the United States did not oppose, deferring the resolution until the 36th session of the CSW.
The United States has long been an ardent proponent of improving the status of women in the UN Secretariat. At the 35th session the U.S. resolution requested the Secretary General to accord greater priority to increasing the number of women in professional level positions in order to achieve, by 1995, a goal that would include an overall participation rate by women of 35 percent of the total, and a 25 percent participation rate by women in senior policy-level and decision-making posts. The resolution was adopted by consensus.
In addition to resolutions above, the United States cosponsored the following, all adopted by consensus:
• “Refugee and displaced women and children" urged special measures be taken to address urgently the root causes of refugee movements and displacement; refugee and displaced women fully participate in the process of assessing their own needs and in the planning and implementing of programs; and staff, particularly female field staff, be recruited who are able to provide assistance and protection to refugee women and children.
• "Women and the prevention and control of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)” invited governments to develop preventive policies and awareness campaigns; establish structures enabling women to receive appropriate information on AIDS; and support and strengthen the involvement of women in the control of AIDS.
• "Women migrant workers” recommended that governments periodically review the implementation of migration policies to prevent discrimination against women and requested national machineries to invite NGOs of and/or representing migrant women to contribute to the planning of programs that affect them.
Other resolutions also adopted at the 35th CSW by consen
• “Violence against women in all its forms” requested the Secretary General to convene a meeting of experts to address the issue of violence against women and discuss the possibilities of preparing an international instrument that would address explicitly the issue of violence against women.
• “Disabled women" recommended that focal points in the UN system for the advancement of women and for disability issues cooperate more closely in their efforts on issues involving women with disabilities.
“Program and planning matters" endorsed the proposed program of work of the Division for the Advancement of Women for the biennium 1992–1993 and recommended that the Committee for Program and Coordination and the Economic and Social Council examine those organizations whose resources for the advancement of women have seemed to decrease.
“Cooperation to promote the advancement of women" urged the international community to continue providing financial and technical assistance to development programs for the advancement of women.
• "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women" encouraged parties to this convention to make every effort to facilitate its implementation at the national, regional and interregional levels.
• "Preparations for the World Conference on Women in 1995" decided to prepare, for consideration by the world conference, a program of action comprising a limited number of issues
identified as representing fundamental obstacles to the advancement of the majority of women.
• "Women and development” called on governments, international financial institutions and NGOs to promote measures to
timulate the economies of developing countries and provide financial services on the basis of equal opportunity for men and
The United States disassociated from consensus in the adoption of a resolution entitled "National, regional and international machinery for the advancement of women.” The U.S. Representative's explanation of position was that the United States agreed with the substance of the resolution, but could support it only if its provisions could be achieved within existing resources or through the provision of extra-budgetary funds for technical assistance activities, and if there were no increase in section 24 of the UN regular budget.
The United States called for votes on two resolutions. It voted against a resolution entitled “The situation of and assistance to Palestinian women," believing it to be one-sided and unbalanced. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 28 to 1 (U.S.), with 13 abstentions.
In a pre-CSW meeting the Division for the Advancement of Women expressed hope that, given the recent changes in South Africa, a resolution on this topic would focus on how to help women in South Africa adapt to the changes and avoid new forms of discrimination against them. The first draft of the resolution followed that line of reasoning. However, the second draft reverted to old language which the United States has rejected in this and in other UN fora, which ignored the consensus language of 1989 special session on apartheid and the 1990 UN General Assembly omnibus resolution on apartheid. The resolution was adopted 32 to 1 (U.S.), with 9 abstentions.
On International Women's Day (March 8), the U.S. Representative delivered a letter from President Bush to the CSW, in which he said:
The United States remains committed to advancing the status of women, both at home and throughout the world. I applaud the worthy goals of your organization, as well as your efforts to develop programs and policies that offer women greater opportunities to participate freely in the social, political and economic mainstream.
The Second (Social) Committee of the Economic and Social Council considered the question of advancement of women on May 16-20. It adopted all 7 draft resolutions and the 2 draft decisions recommended to it by the Commission on the Status of Women. Five of the resolutions and both decisions were adopted by consensus.
The United States joined consensus in adopting the resolution on 'National, regional and international machinery for the advancement of women" following a report by the Secretariat that this resolution had no program budget implications.
The United States also joined consensus in adopting the two draft decisions: "Report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its 35th session and provisional agenda and documentation for the 36th session of the Commission" and "Request for additional conference facilities during the 36th session of the Commission on the Status of Women," following an announcement by the Secretariat that the latter had no program budget implications.
As in the Commission on the Status of Women, the United States called for votes on two of the draft resolutions: "The situation of and assistance to Palestinian women," adopted by a vote of 36 to 1 (U.S.), with 10 abstentions; and "Women and children under apartheid," adopted by a vote of 31 to 1 (U.S.), with 16 abstentions.
The Committee also adopted a consensus resolution on the "International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women" (INSTRAW); a consensus resolution on "Elimination of discrimination against women in accordance with the aims of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women" (CEDAW); and a consensus resolution on “Strengthening and rationalizing the Center for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, UN Office at Vienna."
At the plenary of the Economic and Social Council, the United States called for votes on two resolutions: "The situation of and assistance to Palestinian women," which was adopted by 42 to 1 (U.S.), with 10 abstentions (Resolution 1991/19); and "Women and children under apartheid," adopted by a vote of 37 to 1 (U.S.), with 16 abstentions. (Resolution 1991/20.) The U.S. Representative to the Commission on the Status of Women made statements on these two resolutions.
General Assembly Consideration
On October 16-22, the Third Committee of the General Assembly deliberated on agenda item 95—the Advancement of Women. On October 17, the Second Committee discussed the