USIS Washington 
File

06 March 1998

UNITED NATIONS REPORT, FRIDAY, MARCH 6

(Annan/Mideast, Women's Rights)  (380)


ANNAN WILL TRAVEL TO THE MIDDLE EAST MARCH 19-26

Secretary-General Kofi Annan will visit Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and
Syria as well as areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian
Authority, UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard said March 5.


That trip had been planned for February, but was postponed in the
light of the Iraq crisis. The original itinerary had included Jordan,
but the Secretary General was not able to include that country in the
rescheduled trip because of prior commitments on the Jordanian side.
"However, the Secretary-General does hope to make a trip to Jordan at
the earliest mutually convenient time," Eckhard said.


UN DEPUTY SEC-GEN FRECHETTE URGES WOMEN TO RECOMMIT THEMSELVES



UN Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette March 5 urged women to
recommit themselves to ensure that the equal rights of men and women
as enshrined in the United Nations Charter become a reality.


Opening a panel discussion at UN Headquarters commemorating
International Women's Day (8 March), Ms. Frechette said that the
movement of women's rights was one of the most momentous in the
history of humankind.
Ms. Frechette said that the relationship between non-governmental
organizations and governments was often adversarial and that it needed
not be so. She said that achieving the goals of the women's movement
required the building of truly global partnership of solidarity, a
partnership which came alive at the 1993 World Conference on Human
Rights held in Vienna, and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women
held in Beijing.
Noting that this year marked the fifth anniversary of the Vienna
Declaration and Programme of Action, Ms. Frechette said the Human
Rights Conference had been a watershed in the recognition of women's
rights as human rights and human rights as women's rights.
With the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, the world saw
the first truly comprehensive plan in 12 critical areas of concern to
the advancement of women, Ms. Frechette said. She added that
non-governmental organizations were instrumental in crafting sections
on women's rights in a process which generated a new international
sisterhood. There was no going back from the Platform for Action, the
Deputy Secretary-General stressed.