Press Release

UNFPA Executive Director Urges Beijing+5 Session to Agree on Women’s Right to Health and Protection from Violence

12 June 2000

UNITED NATIONS, New York -- Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Friday urged the General Assembly's “Beijing+5” special session to reach agreement on women’s right to health and their right to protection from violence.

Speaking in the plenary on the final scheduled evening of the session, a review of follow-up to the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, Dr. Sadik said she “had hoped to deliver a different sort of statement today, pointing out all the progress that has been made by women and on behalf of women since we met five years ago in Beijing. Unfortunately it seems that this Special Session is still unable to agree on language concerning some of the most basic human rights as they affect women … .”

“This lack of agreement is puzzling. In most cases the language has already been thoroughly debated and agreed, not once, but several times,” the UNFPA Executive Director said. “Excuse me if I am naïve—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.”

[On 10 June, following all-night negotiations, delegates to the special session reached agreement on “Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.” The negotiated document addresses the concerns Dr. Sadik raised in her statement.]

Press release by United Nations Department of Public Information

Analysis by Linkages/Earth Negotiations Bulletin

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446

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