Subject: [fem-women2000 413] U.S. Reservations to Women 2000 Final Document (FW^3)
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 16:03:43 +0900
Seq: 413




---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: "NGO Committee on the Status of Women" <>
 Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 22:52:42 EDT
 Subject: [ngo-csw-ny] Fwd: FW: U.S. Reservations to Women 2000 Final Document

For those of you who attended the NGO CSW joint meeting with UNA USA last 
week, you will remember Ambassador King referred to the statement that 
indicated the reservations the US government had about the outcome document. 
  Here are her remarks as made on the record at the General Assembly 

>Subject:	Fw: U.S. Reservations to Women 2000 Final Document
>Here is Ambassador King's statement issued at end of US Conference.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: United States - Permanent Mission to the UN <
><> >
>To: <>  <
><> >
>Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2000 1:17 PM
>Subject: Text: U.S. Reservations to Women 2000 Final Document
>   _____
>International Information Programs
>U.S. Committment to Women 2000
>12 June 2000
>Text: U.S. Reservations to Women 2000 Final Document
>Ambassador King clarifies U.S. position on a number of issues
>United Nations -- The United States joined consensus on the final document
>adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Women, 
>wanted clarified its position on a number of issues mentioned in it,
>Ambassador Betty King said June 10.
>King, the U.S. representative to the UN Economic and Social Council, said
>"The United States has a firm policy of non-discrimination on the basis of
>sexual orientation and considers that the omission of such a position from
>the 'Outcome Document' in no way justifies such discrimination in any
>King also said that:
>*	the actions suggested in the final document are "recommendations
>concerning how states can and should promote" the advancement of women not
>legally binding agreements;
>*	the U.S. fully supports the call for governments to address the
>health impact of unsafe abortions;
>*	references to actions the media may take should not be construed to
>impinge on the freedom of the press, speech and expression;
>*	while human rights violations can and do occur during foreign
>occupations, any foreign occupation is not a human rights violation per se;
>*	the U.S. has a longstanding position of not linking the two distinct
>issues of disarmament and economic development programs; and
>*	most aspects of equality for women have no direct link to
>international economic and financial issues.
>The June 5-10 Special Session in New York was held five years after the
>Fourth International Women's Conference in Beijing. The purpose of the
>Special Session was to review the international community's work on
>promoting women's rights since the Beijing Conference.
>Following is the US/UN text of Ambassador King's remarks:
>(begin text)
>Interpretative Statement of the United States
>on the Outcome Document of Beijing+5
>Ambassador Betty King
>United Nations, New York
>10 June 2000
>Mr. President:
>The United States is pleased to join consensus in this document, which
>represents an important milestone in the international community's efforts
>to promote the advancement of women. The United States has submitted to the
>Secretariat a written interpretive statement that we request be included in
>the proceedings of this conference, and in part, our consensus is based
>The United States understands that, as with the Beijing Declaration and
>Platform for Action, any commitments referred to in the Outcome Document 
>further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and
>Platform for Action attributed to States are (unless such States indicate 
>the contrary) not legally binding, and they consist of recommendations
>concerning how States can and should promote the objectives of the
>Conference. Therefore, these references to commitments constitute a general
>commitment to undertake meaningful implementation of the recommendations
>overall, rather than a specific commitment to implement each element
>thereof. Further, the United States wishes to emphasize that only states
>parties are obligated to implement treaties.
>In the context of the Beijing Platform for Action, there are certain key
>issues directly connected to issues of gender and the furtherance of 
>rights. In particular, the United States Government has a firm policy of
>non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and considers that 
>omission of such a position from the Outcome Document in no way justifies
>such discrimination in any country.
>In addition, the United States fully supports the call in the Platform for
>Action for Governments to recognize and address the health impact of unsafe
>abortions. We regret that little progress has been made. Since Beijing,
>nearly 400,000 women have died unnecessarily from unsafe abortion. Even
>where abortion is legal under certain circumstances, too many countries 
>not yet trained and equipped health care providers nor have they taken 
>measures to ensure that such abortions are safe and accessible, or to
>safeguard women's health. We are heartened and encouraged that actions to
>address the health impact of unsafe abortions as a major public health
>concern were specified in the five-year review of the International
>Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). On this very important
>issue -- saving and protecting women's lives and health -- the United 
>will be guided by the consensus language adopted in the Report of the U.N.
>General Assembly Special Session on ICPD Plus Five on steps the
>international community is committed to take to save the lives of women.
>The United States wishes to draw attention to the fact that a number of
>institutions, organizations and others have been requested to implement the
>Outcome Document. Nonetheless, governments alone will adopt the Political
>Declaration and the Outcome Document. When the Outcome Document mentions 
>actions these other actors may take, it thereby invites and encourages the
>suggested actions; it does not, and cannot, require such actions. We
>understand that references to actions the media may take are in the nature
>of suggestions and recommendations. They may not be construed to allow any
>impingement on the freedom of the press, speech and expression, which are
>fundamental democratic freedoms.
>As to the use of the term foreign occupation, the United States recognizes
>that human rights violations can and do occur in situations of foreign
>occupation around the world. Nevertheless, the United States continues to
>have reservations, as it did at the World Conference on Human Rights in
>Vienna, about any implication that foreign occupation is a human rights
>violation per se.
>The United States must request that the record of today's proceedings
>reflect that the United States dissociates itself from the paragraphs in 
>Outcome Document currently number 29, 30 ter, and 135(i), dealing with
>globalization and economic issues, and is generally concerned about the
>language in the document that deals with these issues. These paragraphs
>characterize globalization and debt as significant obstacles to achieving
>gender equality. It is our view that national governments bear the primary
>responsibility for social and economic development, and for ensuring
>equality for women in all walks of life. Most aspects of equality for women
>have no direct link to international economic and financial issues.
>The record should also show that the United States dissociates itself from
>the paragraph currently numbered 133m bis, which concerns disarmament. The
>United States has two concerns with this paragraph. First, the United 
>disagrees with the paragraph's assertion that the United Nations 
>priorities for disarmament. We believe that establishing priorities for
>disarmament is the prerogative of the member states of the United Nations.
>Second, the paragraph proposes that resources made available as a result of
>disarmament activities be allocated to social programs which benefit women
>and girls. While the United States strongly supports economic and social
>development programs, especially those that promote gender equality, the
>United States also has a longstanding, position of not linking the two
>distinct issues of disarmament and the predetermined use of resources
>realized, if any, from disarmament.
>The United States reiterates that, with respect to all references to 
>assistance and official development assistance, it is not one of the
>countries that have accepted an "agreed target" for such assistance or have
>made commitments to fulfill any such targets.
>The United States fully supports the objectives of the Outcome Document and
>is willing to work with others to ensure that there is a proper allocation
>of resources to address commitments made in the Outcome Document. However,
>the United States cannot agree to an increase in funding for matters dealt
>with in the Outcome Document, other than in the context of reallocation of
>existing resources, or unless sources of funding other than governmental
>assessments are involved. The United States believes actions, to be taken 
>accordance with the Outcome Document can be accomplished through actions at
>the national and local level.
>Finally, the United States notes that many of the issues covered by the
>Outcome Document were, of course, covered in the Beijing Declaration and
>Platform of Action. Therefore, the United States understands that the
>written interpretive statement that it submitted in that connection is
>applicable, where relevant and appropriate, to the Outcome Document.
>Thank you, Mr. President.
>(end text)
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