Mrs. Helve Sipila Finland, United Nations' Assistant Secretary General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs, attacked?
GV Delegates listening to Waldheim speaking and SV Waldheim speaking (3 shots)
GV Mrs. Sipila
"The Secretariat is in many respects like a person of the world. In the Secretariat as in the world much remains to be done to improve the status of women and as one of the women delegates speaking in the recent fifth committee debate on the composition of the Secretariat remarked the United Nations should be a pace setter and lead the way. By Comparison with similar organisations in the governmental and intergovernmental field the record of the United Nations is reasonably good. I know there is quite a lot of criticism about the Secretariat, ladies and gentlemen, but I think that our record is not as bad as it is described sometimes."
Extracts from both Mr. Waldheim's and Mrs. Sipila's remarks inside appear on film. A transcript follows.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Mrs. Helve Sipila Finland, United Nations' Assistant Secretary General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs, attacked the organisation's own record on discrimination against women on Tuesday (9 December). Mrs. Sipila was speaking at a United Nations panel to discuss International Women's Year.
Mrs. Sipila said the overall proportion of women delegates to the United Nations General Assembly was 3.5 per cent in 1946 and 7.6 per cent last year. She added that at this rate it would take another 300 years to reach the point of equal participation between men and women.
The day before the panel met (8 December) the United Nations General Assembly called on Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to step up recruitment of women between 1976 and 1979 with priority being given to nationals of countries which were not represented or were under represented in the Secretariat.
On Tuesday Mr. Waldheim defended the Secretariat's position on female participation. He said much remained to be done to improve the status of women but he thought the Secretariat's record was not as bad as it was it sometimes described.
During the day Women's Liberation organisation activists held a meeting in the lobby of the General Assembly to mark a day of women's solidarity. There were speakers from several countries.
SYNOPSIS: AT the United Nations on Tuesday a panel met to discuss International Women's Year. Assistant Secretary General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs Mrs. Helve Sipila of Finland attacked the organisation's own record on discrimination against women but Secretary General Kurt Waldheim defended the United Nation's Secretariat's record.