Subject: [fem-women2000 612] Onsite Report from 45th Session of the UNCSW - No. 4
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 01:31:39 -0500
Seq: 612

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: Susanna George <>
 Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 04:21:06 +0800
 Subject: [apwomen2000] Onsite Report from 45th Session of the UNCSW  - No.=

Distributed by Isis International-Manila - linking women, sharing
knowledge, engendering change
Subject: Onsite Report from 45th Session of the UNCSW  - No. 4
source:   Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Isis International-Manila 
<> <>
date: 03.08.01

08 March 2001 -Onsite report from the 45th Session of the Commission on the=
Status of Women.

"Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflict" is the theme of this year's 
observance of the International Women's Day at the United Nations.

To mark the occasion, the UN Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender 
Equality organised a programme consist of two panel discussions; screening 
of the film "Women, Peace, Security" produced by UNIFEM and the UN 
Department of Public Information; a discussion on the 50/50 Campaign, a 
project that aims to bring a gender balance in government positions and in 
the UN; and awarding of the first Millennium Peace Prize for Women.

In one of  the panel discussions, UN Deputy Secretary General Louise 
Fr=e5=83hette stressed the fact that women are now key to resolving conflic=
She cited a number of cases where women played a key role in peace building=
including the case of women in Guatemala who have been instrumental in 
putting an end to the 36-year old civil war. In addition, Fr=e5=83hette 
appealed to UN Member States to nominate more women in key positions in 

In the same panel, Harri Holkeri, President of the UN General Assembly drew=
attention to the recent decision of the Hague International Tribunal to 
declare rape as a crime against humanity. He added that "the UN can no 
longer ignore women's role in conflict management." He informed the 
audience that there is now a recommendation to the UN Department of 
Peacekeeping Operations to set up a gender unit to raise awareness and 
ensure that gender perspective is taken into account.

For his part, UN Security Council President Volodomyr Yel'chenko paid 
tribute to women who have been actively securing peace. He emphasized that 
in response to the need to take a critical look at women's representation 
in the UN's peacekeeping functions, the Security Council has taken the 
first step in by formulating Resolution 1325. Adopted on 31 October 2000, 
Resolution 1325 urges UN Member States to ensure increased representation 
of women at all decision-making levels and mechanisms for prevention, 
management and resolution of conflict. Moreover, the Resolution encourages 
the UN Secretary-General to implement his strategic plan of action calling 
for an increase in the participation of women  at decision-making levels in=
conflict resolution and peace processes.

In another panel, Elisabeth Rehn, former Special Representative to the 
Secretary-General in Bosnia and Herzegovina and former Defense Minister of 
Finland underlined the fact that the involvement of women in all peace 
processes is crucial for sustainable peace. "In peace negotiations economy,=
reconstruction of  infrastructures such as roads, bridges and industries 
are on top of the list. While this is important, all material 
reconstruction is useless if the minds of the people are crashed, if no 
program is created to reconstruct the humanity of the suffering people." 
Ms. Rehn added.
Moreover, Rehn pointed out the importance of having more women serving as 
Special Representative of the Secretary General.  According to her, 
experience has shown her that in certain situations victims trust one woman=
more than several men. This is because they see women as more approachable.=
"The feminine way of holding hands is not a bad way of creating trust and 
peace," she stressed.

Another panelist, Felicity Hill of the Women's International League for 
Peace and Freedom welcomed the passing of Resolution 1325. She emphasized 
that this should be used to open doors toward resolution of the 30 wars 
that are currently raging across the world. Meanwhile, Asma Jahangir, 
UNIFEM/International Alert Millennium Peace Prize Recipient asserted that 
women's participation in arm conflicts is tantamount  to disempowerment. 
She also called for zero tolerance for militarization.

In another event, the summary of findings of the Women's International War 
Crimes Tribunal 2000 that took place in Tokyo, Japan in December 2000 was 
presented to the NGO and some government delegates to the 45th CSW session.

Based on evidence presented before it, the Tribunal found the late Emperor 
Hirohito guilty of and responsible for rape and sexual slavery. In 
addition, the Judges determined that the government of Japan has incurred 
state responsibility for its establishment and maintenance of the comfort 

Hwang Geum Joo, an 81-year old former comfort woman from Korea spoke at the=
event and expressed her wish for the government of Japan to repent. 
However, she also said that this seemed unlikely to happen as Japan is even=
deleting reference to the comfort women and the comfort women system in its=
history textbooks.

The others who were at the presentation of the findings were Eleanor Conda 
>from the Asian Center for Women's Human Rights, Yayori Matsui from the 
Violence Against Women Network, Hei Soo Shin from the Korean Women's 
Council, and Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald.


Prepared by Mavic Cabrera-Balleza
Isis International-Manila
08 March 2001- New York

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