Intervention by Ms. Nava ARAD Prime Minister’s Advisor on the Status of Women Head of Delegation

on "Assistance to Palestinian Women"

(Agenda Item 5)

Commission of the Status of Women
United Nations

21 March 1995
New York

Madame Chairperson,

The item on Palestinian women has been on this Commission’s agenda since the Nairobi Conference in 1985. As we discuss the topic today, it goes without saying that we have to recognize that since then, our region has undergone dramatic changes. We are in the midst of peace process that has already borne fruit. Israel and Jordan signed a treaty of peace. The Palestinian Authority was established at the agreement of Israel and the PLO, and is assuming more and more responsibilities.

The reality in the Middle East has changed, and this demands change on our part as well. The deliberations here, as in other fora, must reflect the new reality.

This means that we should shake free of anachronistic formulations which characterized bitter days at the height of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The emphasis now must be placed on enlisting the support of the international community for the peace process, for economic, financial and technical assistance to the Palestinians in general, and in the framework of the Commission on the Status of Women, for assistance to Palestinian women in particular. In addition to expressing support for the continuation of the peace process, States and international organizations are asked to aid in the realization of projects that will advance the status of Palestinian women in all areas.

I do not intend to enter into a debate on various allegations that appear in the report before us (document E/CN.6/1995/8). As I mentioned, our aim is to strengthen the peace process and ensure its continuation in a spirit of cooperation and reconciliation. Therefore, we have focused our remarks on the shared interests and on the joint efforts we are undertaking with our Palestinian partners.

Israel calls upon all participants in this distinguished forum to join us in this effort to strengthen the peace process. It is my sincere hope that in Beijing, we will be able to speak of even further progress towards peace.

Thank you, Madame Chairperson.