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I would like to thank and compliment Pat Hutar, chairperson of the C.S. delegation to the Conference: Dan Parker of AID; Jewel Lafontant and Jill Ruckelshaus, official C.S. delegates to the Conference; and other delegation members and advisers. The delegation was dedicated to full participation in the Conference, and the entire group deserves praise. I extend thanks to Ambassador John Jora, L'.s. Ambassador to Mexico, and State Department staff for providing assistance to me and the staff members who accompanied me.
CHARLES H. PERCE.
The World Conference of the International Women's Year was a first in many respects. It was the first United Nations conference devoted specifically to women, the first U.N. conference where a majority of the delegates were women, and the first major forum held for women from throughout the world for consideration of common problems and aspirations.
International Women's Year was proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1972 at the suggestion of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The year is being marked by intensified action by the U.N. and its member nations to promote equality among men and women, to insure full integration of women in social and economic development, to underline the importance of women's increasing contribution to cooperation among States and to recognize women's role in pursuing world peace.
Upon the recommendation of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, the World Conference on International Women's Year was called as a focal point for IWY activities. The purpose of the Conference was to develop an action program for implementation of the IWY goals of equality, development and peace, to bring together participants. from nations with diverse cultural traditions and economic systems, and to encourage awareness of the need to eliminate discrimination against women.
The World Conference was preceded in 1974 and 1975 by three regional meetings sponsored by the U.N. Economic Commissions for Asia and the Far East, and Africa and Latin America. Recommendations for national and regional action made at these meetings were useful in development of the World Plan of Action adopted in Mexico City.
The Conference was held in Mexico City from June 19 to July 2, 1975. Helvi Sipila, the highest ranking woman at the U.X., was Secretary-General of the Conference. An estimated 7,000 persons, three-quarters of whom were women, attended the Conference's official and unofficial activities.
The organization and activities of the official Tribune for nongovernmental organizations as well as the work of the official Conference are described in separate sections of this report. Other activities included a preconference Journalists' Encounter, organized for 50 journalists by the Centre for Economic and Social Information (CESI) of the U.N. Office of Public Information. The Encounter was open to all 1,500 journalists accredited by the Conference and was devoted to discussion of the goals of IWY as well as media attitudes toward IWY.
Immediately following the Conference, CESI joined with the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in sponsoring a media workshop to expand on the results of the Encounter.
Another preconference event was the Seminar on Women and Development, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in conjunction with the U.N. Institute for Training and Research and the U.N. Development Programme. The Seminar developed guidelines for national and international action programs for the greater integration of women in the developmen process.
THE OFFICIAL CONFERENCE
The official U.N. Conference was held at the Conference Centre of e Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Tlateloco. Each particiiting nation was allowed three official delegates and as many alterites and advisers as it wished. At final count, 1,300 delegates presenting 133 nations, 7 intergovernmental organizations, 21 U.N. odies and specialized agencies, 8 liberation movements, and 114 nonovernmental organizations with consultative status with the U.N. conomic and Social Council participated. The U.S. Delegation, which numbered 43 and included 10 Congresonal advisers, was one of the largest. It was a group that reflected a ide range of professional experience and expertise.
The official Conference considered the following topics for discusion and action:
Policies and programs to implement the objectives and goals of IWY.
The role of women in building international peace and eliminating racial discrimination.
Current trends and changes in the status and roles of women and men and major obstacles to be overcome to achieve equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities.
The integration of women in the development process as equal partners with men.
Adoption of a World Plan of Action to carry out the objectives of IWY during the next decade.
WORK OF THE CONFERENCE
The work of the Conference was divided among two main committees and the Conference Plenary.
The First Committee was charged with proposing amendments to the World Plan of Action, a draft of which had been prepared by the U.N. Secretariat and revised at a Consultative Committee meeting of 23 nations held last March at the U.N. The Second Committee debated the Conference topics of current trends and changes in the status and roles of men and women and the integration of women in the development process. Conference topics dealing with the effect of existing policies and programs on the goals of IWY and the role of women in building international peace and eliminating racism were considered in Plenary as part of the general debate.
The First Committee was faced with considering 894 amendments submitted by official delegations to the World Plan of Action. This did not include 69 amendments proposed by an ad hoc group from the Tribune. The Second Committee had nearly as many measures before it as the First Committee.
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A great deal of time is spesi- plecart ard both committees Papararters DK resta :o ide o al Conference agerdi. The ico:e of discs was generation of the Declaration a: Pronarzecf AS06 os tbe Exament of a New Economi Orier and ite Carter of Ecocorte Rigoris and Duties of Stats adopied ostetX. Gezer issoras rear. Not until the firs tors of toe Cockere were toe Wa Par of Action amendments ac i revizorzenia brite cortes considered in plenar.
Bare of some counirsite Fis Countee proposed amerdreres to or's thesinden and archapter of the World Plan of Anon ard rormendedikasihe remaing dire chapters be adopted as originais prepared by the US. Serraria. This was done by a sers is of de delegates.
THE WORLD PLAS OF ACTION
The World Plan of Action poorides a set of guidelines and time tables for action to improve the satus of women throughout the world Its purpose is to stimulate national and international action to help solve the problems of urderdere opment and existing socioeconomi structires that place women in an inferior position. It also calls upic. governments to establie short, medium and long-range deadlines for its implementation. Although the World Plan would have benetid from addito..al amendments, it prorides a guide and impetus to actio to improve the status of women on national, regional and internationa. levels
The U.S. delegation worked to strengthen the World Plan, and ris sucressful in pressing the concept of equal pay for work of equal valor. Unfortunately, the United States ras unsuccessful in adding -serisin" to the official U.X. list of forms of oppression. Time constraints precluded the consideration of several other t.s. sponsorei amendments to the plan, including recognition of pregnaney as a temporary disability for job-related purposes, provision of temporary or permanent allowances for disabled spouses and for spouses who lose opportunities for education or employment because of homemaking responsibilities collection of data on women to establish their position in society rela: tive to men and a statement in all C.V. assistance plans and progra! of their atfect on women as participants and beneficiaries.
A summary of the World Plan of action as adopted by the Cousference is in appendix B.
RESOLUTIONS The Conference also adopted 35 resolutions and a decision to orer come major obstacles to the achievement of equal rights for women and to strengthen various actions to be taken by national governmentari international bodies as outlined in the World Plan of letion.
The U.S. delegation initiated or cosponsored with other governments the following seven resolutions adopted by the Conference:
Integration of Women in the Derelopment Prorexs 18 Equi? Partners with llen.-The resolution calls on the United Nations Development System, including specialized agencies and other international, technical and financial assistance programs and agencies, to give special attention to programs that integrate