COPENHAGEN (Jul. 14)
The world conference of the United Nations Decode for Women opened here today with the participation of more than 600 delegates from over 100 countries. Officially, the two-week conference was called to promote three major goals, equality development and peace. It threatens, however, to become a vehicle for anti-Israel propaganda and resolutions and a major world recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The Cuban delegation submitted, just as the conference opened, an amendment to its plan of action, the proposed Women’s Ideological Charter, listing Zionism as one of the world’s main evils. The PLO delegation, which includes former airliner hijacker Leila Khaled, is also about to be granted official recognition. For the time being, it only enjoys an observer status.
During the two weeks the delegates are to take stock of what advances they have made since 1975, when the UN Decode for Women was launched in Mexico, and to plan what should be done during the next five years. During the world conference in 1975 the majority of delegations adopted the infamous Declaration of Mexico Document which for the first time linked Zionism to racism.
Present here this afternoon were Jihan Sadat, the Egyptian President’s wife, world famous writers, philosophers and politicians. The conference was formally opened by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe and United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Both appealed for world peace but also referred to the plan of action adopted in Mexico in 1975.
TIME SET FOR EXAMINING PALESTINIAN QUESTION
One-and-a-half days, July 23 through July 24, have been set aside for an examination of the Palestinian question. But conference sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the subject committee will start examining the plan of action and considering the various amendments. The sources stressed that the committee actually serves as a steering body and that its decisions will most probably be automatically ratified at the plenary session later this month.
The Israeli delegation, led by Israel’s Ambassador to Norway Chava Hareli, and the various Jewish women’s organizations attending the meeting are constantly meeting with the various Western delegations, and especially with that of the United States, to try and prevent the committee from adopting the Cuban-sponsored amendment.
Jewish sources told the JTA that the Egyptians have refused to become involved and that the American delegation has not as yet shown its full mettle in trying to stop the amendment before it comes up on the committee floor.
The Cuban amendment is supported by the non-aligned nations and the Soviet bloc-some 105 countries. Diplomatic circles believe the move has been prepared and organized by the Soviet Union as a blow to the West and in order to reinforce its position in the Arab world.
PROPOSAL ON PALESTINE
The proposal on Palestine consists of economic and cultural aid to the Palestinian people to be funneled through the PLO. If adopted, this proposal would not only recognize the PLO as the representative Palestinian organization but would also give it added economic means and turn it into the UN partner for development assistance. Diplomatic sources say that while there is still same hope to block the Cuban amendment, the resolution on Palestine is almost certain to be adopted.
the conference’s steering committee is due to start examining both these issues tomorrow morning and both could be adopted in committee by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. Mrs. Sadat, who addressed a press conference here this morning, refused to say how Egypt will vote. She just said: “We are for peace,” and added, “but also against the occupation of all Arab land.”