Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-06-14-Speech-3-171"

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"Mr President, I want to thank the Council of Ministers and the Commission for their respective interventions. The Women’s Conference at the UN in New York came perilously close to failing. A small group of Catholic and Islamic fundamentalist countries clearly intended to undermine the progress achieved by women from around the world in Beijing five years ago. The issues which created the most problems were women’s rights to sex education, free abortion and safe sex in order to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS. These issues united certain Islamic and Catholic countries ranging all the way from the Sudan, Iran and Libya to the Vatican, Nicaragua and Poland, which were prime movers in the fight against these rights. Some countries attempted to quash wordings about governments’ responsibility to protect women from various forms of violence. In spite of the fact that, last week, we were in danger of turning the clock back, we eventually agreed upon a final document which looks ahead to progress on the basis of the Women’s Conference in Beijing and, at the same time, marks out the route towards increased equality in the future. I should like to point out that the Presidency of the EU, especially the minister Mrs De Belém Roseira, actively contributed to a successful final outcome, something we would thank her for. The final document embodies progress in certain respects. Forced marriages and murders committed for reasons of honour are mentioned for the first time in an agreed international document. On the issues of rape within marriage, right of possession and right of inheritance, together with the right to asylum on the grounds of gender-based persecution, the wordings have been strengthened. Women’s right to equal participation in macro-economic decision-making, together with the allocation of quotas with a view to increasing women’s participation in political parties and parliaments are other matters which are being taken up. The resolution we are to vote on demands that the institutions of the EU, Member States and candidate States make active efforts to turn the final document from Beijing +5 into a reality. It is especially important that candidate States, including Poland, undertake to abide by the EU’s policy on women’s rights. What are now required are economic resources for putting the decisions into effect and inspection tools for supervising their implementation."@en1

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