Nairobi, Kenya — The U. N. Women’s Conference, its work slowed by political disputes, early Saturday adopted a set advancement of women for the ????
But, the United States, which earlier prevented a clause in the final document equating Zionism with racism, said it would rethink its participation in any future such meetings.
Cheers and applause broke out and delegates danced in the aisles at the end of the final session of the 12day conference attended by 157 nations marking the end of the Decade for Women.
Shortly before 3 a.m. (8 p.m. EDT), Conference Chairwoman Margaret Kenyatta of Kenya declared adopted the final document on “Forward Looking Strategies” for women until the year 2000.
Maureen Reagan, Ph “an orgy of hypocrisy” but the United States had still managed to get what it wanted out of the meeting.
“I think it reflects well on the work we came here to do despite the fact that in the past three days we never mentioned women’s issues once,” she said. “We said that when we got here that we wanted to go home with a document, if at all humanely possible, that would not contain Zionism. We are (going home) and it doesn’t.
“I really do think the United States should rethink its amount of participation that we have in these kinds of conferences,” Reagans were on hand for time to catch flights home, had left early.
The conference had worked on 105 separate resolutions presented to the plenary session.
Votes were required on four of the 372 paragraphs of the final document with a two thirds majority 105 votes required for passage.
A possible walkout by Israel and the United States was averted Friday night when the conference compromised and removed language equating Zionism with racism in one paragraph of the final document.
The section at the center of the dispute blamed, racism (“a Zionism” for replaced it with the phrase “and all other forms of racism and racial discrimination.” The Soviet Union was the first to voice a reservation to the compromise, saying it “believes Zionism really does represent an obstacle to the U. N. Decade for Women’s themes of equality, development and peace, but for the sake the Kenyan proposal.” Other delegations, including Egypt, Colombia, Mexico, India, Japan and Pakistan, also voiced reservations, but agreed to the compromise to preserve unity.
“This is a great victory for Israel,” said Judy Granger of the Israeli delegation. “We have been arguing this point for years.”
Another section calling for mandatory sanctions against South Africa was adopted by 1211, with the United States casting the sole negative vote and 13 nations abstaining.
Boos and catcalls filled the hall as they announced the vote of opposition.
A section on problems faced by Arab women in the Israeli occupied territories and south Lebanon failed to receive the needed two thirds majorities as the conference voted 973 with 27 absentions. The United States, Israel and Australia cast the no votes. ‘The document, which is
nonbinding and will be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly for approval, for the most part deals with nonpolitical problems faced by women and on ways to overcome them.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 2, 1985