members of the United Nations to meet their commitment for the universal ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) by 2005.
The Ministers supported the respect of economic, political, social and cultural rights and identity of the world indigenous population and recognized the need to give special attention to the efforts made at the national and multilateral levels to ameliorate the situation and living conditions of the indigenous populations, in particular women and children especially affected by poverty, in a framework of increased respect and development of their full fledged and participative citizenship.
Advancement of Women
The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the improvement of the situation of women, without exception. They emphasised the need to ensure the participation of women in the mainstream of development as well as in the political process, while at the same time pledged to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against women. They looked forward to the convening of the NAM Ministerial Meeting on the Advancement of Women in Malaysia.
The Ministers recommitted the Movement to the implementation of the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women as well as fully supported the outcome of the five-year review and appraisal as contained in “Further Actions and Initiatives” to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the 23rd Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. They reaffirmed Chapter IV.E of the Beijing Platform of Action on Women and Armed Conflict. They also expressed concern at the continuing trafficking in and abduction of particularly women and children. They called upon those States which were still not parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to work actively towards ratification of or accession to it and encouraged all Member States to consider signing, ratifying or acceding to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
The Ministers expressed their full endorsement of the Beijing Platform of Action and the outcome documents of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”. The Ministers also underlined the significance of the forthcoming forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 28 February-11 March 2005, which will undertake to review the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action and the outcome documents of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly and consider current challenges and forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women and girls.
The Situation of Children
The Ministers reiterated the Movement’s concern over the intolerable persistence of adverse social and economic conditions faced by children on account of poverty, the violation of children rights in situations of armed conflict and foreign occupation, use of