Integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations System.

The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that the equal rights of women and men are enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international human rights instruments,

Recalling all previous resolutions on this subject, Recalling also that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the World Conference on Human Rights affirmed that the human rights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights and called for action to integrate the equal status and human rights of women into the mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity,

Emphasizing that all entities of the United Nations system should further mainstream a gender perspective at all levels,

Bearing in mind that the Fourth World Conference on Women, in the Beijing Platform for Action, called upon all relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the United Nations system, all human rights bodies of the United Nations system, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to give full, equal and sustained attention to the human rights of women in the exercise of their respective mandates,

Mindful of the twentieth anniversary, in 1999, of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

Emphasizing the pivotal role of the Commission on the Status of Women in promoting equality between women and men, and welcoming its agreed conclusions on the human rights of women and on the other critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action,

Acknowledging the need to integrate further the human rights of women and a gender perspective into all aspects of the work of the Commission on Human Rights,

Acknowledging, furthermore, the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to the promotion and protection of the human rights of women, which includes the integration of the human rights of women into the mainstream of United Nations activities system-wide,

Reaffirming the important role women's groups and non-governmental organizations play in promoting and protecting the human rights of women,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1999/67 and Add.1);

2. Welcomes the adoption by the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-third session of the text of the draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and urges the early adoption of the Optional Protocol by the General Assembly;

3. Encourages the continued commitment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system and, in this regard, welcomes efforts by the High Commissioner to finalize the mission statement on gender and the human rights of women;

4. Also welcomes the agreed conclusions 1998/2 adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its 1998 coordination segment on coordination of the policies and activities of the specialized agencies and other bodies of the United Nations system related to the coordinated follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, in particular section IV on the equal status and human rights of women;

5. Emphasizes that the goal of mainstreaming a gender perspective is to achieve gender equality and that this includes ensuring that all United Nations activities integrate the human rights of women, and to this end calls upon all relevant actors to implement the agreed conclusions 1997/2 of the Economic and Social Council on mainstreaming the gender perspective as well as the agreed conclusions 1998/2 on follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action;

6. Urges the relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the United Nations system, including all human rights bodies, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to bear in mind, in the recruitment of staff, inter alia, the need for expertise in women's and girls' enjoyment of human rights;

7. Emphasizes the need for further activities in the United Nations system to strengthen expertise concerning the equal status and human rights of women through, inter alia, the provision of training on the human rights of women and on gender mainstreaming, including through gender impact analysis, to all United Nations personnel and officials at Headquarters and in the field, especially in field operations;

8. Recognizes that gender mainstreaming will strongly benefit from the enhanced and full participation of women, including at the higher levels of decision-making in the United Nations system, and in this regard strongly encourages Member States to promote gender balance by, inter alia, regularly nominating more women candidates for election to the human rights treaty bodies and for appointment to United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies and other organs;

9. Encourages United Nations bodies and agencies to increase cooperation with other organizations in developing activities to address, within their respective mandates, violations of the human rights of women and to promote the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by women, including by developing activities with other organizations;

10. Welcomes the cooperation and coordination between the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights aimed at mainstreaming women's human rights, such as the joint work plan (E/CN.6/1999/2), and requests that this plan continue to reflect all aspects of work under way and identify where obstacles/impediments exist and areas for further collaboration, and that it be made available to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-sixth session and to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fourth session;

11. Calls for further strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women and between the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women in order to promote more effectively women's human rights;

12. Draws the attention of the special rapporteurs/representatives, other human rights mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights, as well as the human rights treaty bodies, to the comprehensive review and appraisal of the Beijing Platform for Action, which will take place at a special session of the General Assembly in June 2000, encourages them to contribute to the review process and encourages the Commission on the Status of Women, acting as the preparatory committee for the special session, to invite, as appropriate, the mechanisms and the chairpersons of the treaty bodies to participate in the special session;

13. Requests all human rights treaty bodies, special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities regularly and systematically to take a gender perspective into account in the implementation of their mandates, and to include in their reports information on and qualitative analysis of human rights of women and girls, and encourages the strengthening of cooperation and coordination in this regard;

14. Recalling the paper prepared for the meeting of special rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairpersons of working groups of the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights and of the advisory services programme held from 28 to 30 May 1996 (E/CN.4/1997/3, annex) and the description therein of gender-specific analysis and reporting as an examination of the effects of gender on the form which a human rights violation takes, the circumstances in which a particular violation occurs, the consequences for the victim and the availability and accessibility of remedies, and urges the implementation of the recommendations pertaining to working methods and reporting methodology, including sources of information and gender-specific analysis in conclusions and recommendations;

15. Draws attention to the need to develop practical strategies to implement the recommendations contained in the report of the expert group meeting on the development of guidelines for the integration of a gender perspective into human rights activities and programmes (E/CN.4/1996/105, annex) and, in this regard, welcomes the organization of another such meeting in 1999 to evaluate measures taken and any obstacles to implementation of the guidelines, including assessing possible new strategies to implement them;

16. Takes note with appreciation of the request made by the Economic and Social Council in its agreed conclusions 1998/2 that the Commission on Human Rights make explicit the integration of a gender perspective when establishing or renewing human rights mandates;

17. Encourages the use of gender-inclusive language in the formulation, interpretation and application of human rights instruments, as well as in reports, resolutions and/or decisions of the Commission on Human Rights, the Sub-Commission and the various human rights mechanisms and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to utilize gender-inclusive language in the preparation of all of its communications, reports and publications;

18. Encourages the efforts of the treaty bodies to monitor more effectively the human rights of women in their activities, and reaffirms that it is the responsibility of all treaty bodies, in their work, to integrate a gender perspective, bearing in mind the need:

(a) To develop gender-sensitive guidelines to be used in the review of States parties' reports;

(b) To develop, as a matter of priority, a common strategy towards mainstreaming the human rights of women into their work, so that each body, within its mandate, monitors the human rights of women;

(c) To incorporate a gender analysis and regularly exchange information in the development of general comments and recommendations, with a view to the preparation of general comments which reflect a gender perspective;

(d) To incorporate a gender perspective in concluding observations so that the concluding observations of each treaty body delineate the strengths and weaknesses of each State party insofar as enjoyment by women of the rights guaranteed by a particular treaty is concerned;

19. Welcomes the submission of reports by specialized agencies, at the invitation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities and the contribution of non-governmental organizations to the work of the Committee;

20. Encourages all entities of the United Nations system to pay systematic, increased and sustained attention to the recommendations of the Committee, in order to ensure that its concluding observations and general recommendations are better utilized in their respective work;

21. Urges all States that have not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to do so as soon as possible so that universal ratification of the Convention can be achieved by the year 2000, and encourages early signature and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention once it is adopted by the General Assembly;

22. Urges States to limit the extent of any reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, formulate any such reservations as precisely and as narrowly as possible, ensure that no reservations are incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise incompatible with international treaty law and regularly review them with a view to withdrawing them, and withdraw reservations that are contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention or which are otherwise incompatible with international treaty law;

23. Urges States that have ratified or acceded to the Convention to take action to implement the Convention fully and to take account of the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in this regard;

24. Requests the Secretary-General to report, at its fifty-sixth session, on the implementation of the present resolution;

25. Expresses its determination to integrate a gender perspective into all agenda items of the Commission;

26. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-sixth session.

55th meeting
26 April 1999

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XII.]

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