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ECOSOC U.S. EOV on “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women”
July 26, 2011

Explanation of Vote by John Sammis, Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC

under ECOSOC General Segment Agenda Item 14(a) “Social and human rights questions: Advancement of Women” resolution contained in E/2011/27 entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian Women”

Geneva, Palais des Nations,
July 26, 2011


Mr. President,

The United States takes the floor to express our disappointment with the draft resolution entitled “”Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” which is contained in the report of the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2011/27) and to explain why we are voting against it.

The United States, along with so many of our international partners, remains committed to supporting the Palestinian people, including Palestinian women, in practical and effective ways.  Our deep interest in advancing humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians is clearly reflected in our ongoing support of vital programs that continue to break ground in integrating gender into the public reform and development process, and in creating environments to enable Palestinian women to advance and lead.

The United States is the largest bilateral donor to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  The United States also contributes significant amounts to bilateral assistance and other UN programs providing assistance to Palestinian women and the entire Palestinian population.

We remain deeply engaged regarding the situation in Gaza.  The United States will continue to work with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and international partners to improve the lives of ordinary people.  To that end, we note with concern that Hamas authorities have undertaken efforts to narrow women’s freedom of public appearance and movement, and that enforcement of “ethical” crimes in Gaza appear to be on an upward trend.

In light of this, we remain troubled at the CSW’s insistence on adding political elements and one-sided condemnations that detract from the real challenges at hand.  As these elements are unhelpful to all involved, we call on this Commission to refocus its future energy more effectively towards our shared goals.

The United States continues to pursue a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution and an agreement that establishes a viable, independent, and contiguous state of Palestine alongside a secure state of Israel.  We are committed to working with the Quartet and regional states to return both parties to direct talks on the core issues that will resolve their differences and lead to an agreement that produces a just and lasting peace.