Subject: [fem-women2000 406] Excellent speech by Nafiz Sadik
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 04:26:29 +0900
Seq: 406

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: "Leslie Wright" <>
 To: <>
 Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 22:44:07 -0400
 Subject: [ngo-csw-ny] Fw: Excellent speech by Nafiz Sadik

> Subject: Nafis Sadik's speech to the UNGASS Plenary
> Resent-From: (Rosemary Kalapurakal)
> Resent-From:
> Precedence: list
> Dear colleagues:
> I am sending you a copy of Nafis Sadik's speech to the Plenary, which many
> felt was an excellent and strong statement about the missed opportunities
> the B+5 process.
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> At the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly On the
> World Conference on Women United Nations, New York
> 9 June 2000
> Madam President, honourable delegates
> I had hoped to deliver a different sort of statement today, pointing out
> the progress that has been made by women and on behalf of women since we
> five years ago in
> Beijing. I had hoped to be able to join in congratulating all the
> participants in this
> process for your work to consolidate the movement towards equality and
> justice for all the world's people.
> Unfortunately it seems that this Special Session is still unable to agree
> language concerning some of the most basic human rights as they affect
> the right to
> health, and the right to protection from violence.
> This lack of agreement is puzzling. In most cases the language has already
> been thoroughly debated and agreed, not once, but several times. It can be
> found in the
> Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, in the
> of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development
> in the recommendations of last year's ICPD+5 review. In other cases, there
> may be a need for new language, but it is hard to see why it should take
> long to reach agreement.
> To take some examples. First, the question of unsafe abortion. Countries
> agreed, on the basis of strong and irrefutable medical evidence, that
> abortion is a
> major public health problem. They have quite rightly agreed to act to
> minimise it and deal with its effects. Paragraph 8.25 in the ICPD
> of Action is quite explicit, and the consensus was further clarified last
> year at the ICPD+5 Special Session.  Yet paragraph 107i on the subject of
> unsafe abortion is still in brackets. Surely no delegations want unsafe
> abortion, and all the death, disease and suffering it entails? But, if
> what is the disagreement about?
> Again, paragraph 115a refers to a holistic approach to women's health. It
> still in
> brackets?does that mean that some delegations want a piecemeal approach to
> health?
> In paragraph 115d, what is the objection to health services for women? Is
> only men who should have health services? When we know that her
> health affects a
> woman's whole life, who would deny her the services she needs?
> In 115h, should women not have access to female-controlled contraceptive
> methods?
> When we know that women are contracting HIV infections from their
> who is
> against developing microbicides to allow women to protect themselves? Are
> delegations opposed to finding better means to diagnose sexually
> diseases? If not, why is the paragraph in brackets?
> In 119a, do all delegations agree that maternity, motherhood and the role
> parents in the family have a social significance? If so, who is against
> programmes to promote it? Why is the paragraph in brackets?
> Finally, I am quite bewildered by the brackets around paragraphs 130 a and
> 130 c. Who
> exactly is opposed to measures against violence against women and girls?
> wishes to let infanticide, abduction, trafficking, dowry deaths, honour
> killing and acid attacks go unpunished? Who supports female genital
> mutilation?
> Is there anyone who is in favour of rape, sexual slavery, enforced
> prostitution, forced
> pregnancy or sterilization? Does anyone support their use as weapons of
> If not, why should there still be brackets round these paragraphs on the
> day of these negotiations?
> Excuse me if I am naive. But I am frankly baffled by inability to reach
> agreement on this language among countries which I know support all these
> measures and proposals. Countries which are themselves taking action to
> implement them.
> Lest any doubt remain, these negotiations are based firstly on the
> sovereignty of nations, and secondly on countries' acceptance of human
> rights. Nothing in the document can in any way infringe countries'
> right to make their own laws,
> within the international framework of human rights; the framework which
> countries themselves have constructed.
> The ICPD Programme of Action 1994 and the Beijing Platform for Action 1995
> are firmly rooted in universally accepted values and ethical principles.
> Their
> recommendations are being successfully put into action in countries and
> people of all religious beliefs. A common regard for morality unites us.
> others not use ideology to divide us.
> Honourable delegates, this review offers an opportunity to assess, calmly
> in a spirit of co-operation, recommendations which are both eminently
> practical and
> completely ethical. They reinforce the rights of individuals, both men and
> women, and they encourage the development of nations, with justice and
> equity. I hope that you will approach the remainder of the questions to be
> decided in a spirit of constructive collaboration and mutual regard. We
> come a long way.,Let us leave this chamber united, and determined to work
> together for all the people of the world, and especially for the majority
> are women.

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