Integrating the human rights of women throughout the UnitedNations system

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/43


The Commission on Human Rights,

Reaffirming that discrimination on the basis of sex is contrary to the Charter of the UnitedNations, 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 its previous resolutions on the subject,

Recalling also that, in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), the World Conference on Human Rights affirmed that the humanrights of women and of the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights and called for action to integratethe equal status and human rights of women into the mainstream of UnitedNations system-wide activity,

Emphasizing the major role of the Commission on the Status of Women in promoting equality between women and men, and recalling resolution41/6 on mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes of the UnitedNations system, adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-first session,

Bearing in mind that the Fourth World Conference on Women, in the Beijing Platform for Action (A/CONF.177/20, chap. I), called upon all relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the UnitedNations system, all human rights bodies of the UnitedNations system, as well as the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees, to give full, equal and sustained attention to the human rights of women in the exercise of their respective mandates,

Recognizing the need to promote and strengthen national and international efforts to improve the status of women in all areas in ordertofoster the elimination of discrimination against women,

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

Reiterating the need for States and the relevant UnitedNations bodies to include in their human rights education activities information on the human rights of women,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1997/40);

2. Expresses concern that implementation of the relevant recommendations of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform for Action remains far from the objectives set forth in the twodocuments and, therefore, calls once again for intensified effort at the international level to integrate the equal status and human rights of women

into the mainstream of UnitedNations system-wide activity and to address these issues regularly and systematically in all relevant UnitedNations bodies and mechanisms;

3. Encourages the efforts made by the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Human Rights, within his mandate established by the GeneralAssembly in resolution48/141 of 20December1993, to coordinate theactivities of relevant UnitedNations organs, bodies and mechanisms dealing with human rights in considering violations of the human rights of women and welcomes in this regard the initiative of the High Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive review of the technical cooperation programme from agender perspective;

4. Also encourages the strengthening of cooperation and coordination among all human rights treaty bodies, special rapporteurs, special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the Commission and the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and requests that they regularly and systematically take a gender perspective into account in the implementation of their mandates, including information and qualitative analysis in their reports on violations of the human rights of women;

5. Welcomes, in this regard, the paperprepared by the UnitedNations Development Fund for Women (E/CN.4/1997/131, annex) for the meeting of the special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and chairpersons ofthe working groups of the special procedures of the Commission on Human Rights held from 28 to 30May1996(see E/CN.4/1997/3) and the description therein that gender-specific reporting and analysis is 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;

6. Calls for the further strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on theStatus of Women and between the Centre for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women through, interalia, regular inter-secretariat cooperation to ensure that the joint work plan of the Centre for Human Rights and the Division for the Advancement of Women reflects all aspects of work under way and identifies where obstacles/impediments exist and areas for further collaboration, and requests that this plan be made available to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-fourth session and to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-second session;

7. Recognizes that the success of mainstreaming women's rights will depend on the formalizing, at the highest levels, of a clear policy and guidelines on the integration of a gender perspective into the UnitedNations human rights system, and 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 agender perspective into human rights activities and programmes (E/CN.4/1996/105, annex);

8. Welcomes the efforts of the treaty bodies to monitor more effectively the human rights of women in their activities, including such initiatives as the round table on human rights approaches to women's health with a focus on reproductive and sexual health rights, organized jointly by the High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights, the Division for the Advancement of Women and the UnitedNations Population Fund;

9. Affirms that it is the responsibility of all treaty bodies, in their work, to integrate a gender perspective and that, in order to do so, the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General should be given due consideration, in particular to:

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

(b) 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) 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) Incorporate a gender perspective into 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;

10. 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;

11. Urges the relevant organs, bodies and agencies of the UnitedNations system, all human rights bodies of the UnitedNations system, as well as the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees, to provide training in the human rights of women for all UnitedNations personnel and officials, especially those in human rights and humanitarian relief activities, and promote their understanding of the human rights of women so that they recognize and deal with violations of the human rights of women and can fully take into account the gender aspects of their work, and, in particular, encourages the Centre for Human Rights to undertake a systematic review of its information and training materials, including materials relating to the conducting of field operations, with a view to revising such materials where necessary in order to ensure the integration of a gender perspective and to bear in mind the need for expertise in the human rights of women in the recruitment of staff;

12. Welcomes the exchange of information between the High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights and non-governmental organizations, and calls for continued cooperation between them on integrating the human rights of women;

13. Draws attention to the need to give due consideration to the human rights of women and the girl child in the preparations for the five-year review of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

14. Renews its call to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure the availability of expertise on gender issues and the human rights of women in order to provide advice to the High Commissioner on integrating the human rights of women throughout the Centre for Human Rights and to liaise with other relevant UnitedNations bodies in this regard;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution at its fifty-fourth session;

16. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-fourth session.

57th meeting
11 April 1997

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



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