165. Minutes of a United Nations Economic Committee Meeting, Washington, August 14, 1973.1 2

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Minutes of August 14, 1973 UNEC Meeting on International Women's Year - 1975

Mr. John McDonald (IO/CMD), Chairman of the Inter-Agency United Nations Economic Committee (UNEC), opened the meeting with a brief explanation of the role of UNEC as an inter-agency mechanism for the development of the executive branch policy positions on general economic, social and humanistic questions arising in connection with the work of various United Nations bodies (see UNEC Charter attached).

The Chairman reviewed the work of the United Nations Status of Women Commission which had recommended to the United Nations General Assembly that it designate 1975 as International Women's Year and reviewed United Nations action to date on this matter.

Mr. McDonald commended Miss Virginia Allen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, and her informal working group for their fine work in connection with preliminary plans for International Women's Year.

Mr. McDonald said that he hoped this UNEC group could accomplish the following three objectives:

(1) approve the draft proposal, currently before the group, which contained the U.S. response to the Secretary-General's request for our views with regard to International Women's Year;

(2) develop plans for the United States observance of International Women's Year and act as the coordinating point in the U.S. Government for the development of those plans; and

(3) assign action for and provide clearance of all position papers for the Status of Women Commission Meeting now set for January 1974.

The Chairman briefly reviewed the State Department's previous experience in preparation for Human Rights Year in 1968 and World Population Year scheduled for 1974. In outlining possible U.S. goals for International Women's Year Mr. McDonald reviewed the U.S. position with regard to a number of conventions and declarations in the field of women's rights and urged that one objective for 1975 should be the ratification of some of these conventions by the U.S. Senate.

Most of the hour-and-45-minute meeting was spent discussing and revising the draft proposal to Secretary-General Waldheim mentioned in paragraph (1) above. This document will be redone and submitted for final clearance to all of the UNEC participants.

A second UNEC meeting will be held in mid-September to discuss item (2) above, i.e., plans for U.S. observance of International Women's Year. Mr. Haahr, IO/UNESCO, also asked that the next meeting be prepared to discuss recommendations which the U.S. Delegation might put forward to UNESCO in connection with their observance of International Women's Year.


Charter of the United Nations Economic Committee Attendees at August 14, 1973 UNEC Meeting Brochure - "The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women"

  1. Source: Department of State, IO/CMD Files: Lot 75 D 289, UNEC D–726/73. No classification marking. Drafted by Hendsch and McDonald on August 28. The U.S. response to the Secretary-General’s request for views about the International Women’s Year is published as Document 166. The attached UNEC charter, approved by Macomber on January 11, which stated that the purpose of the Committee was to develop Executive Branch policy positions on general economic, social and humanitarian issues, is not published. The list of attendees to the August 14 meeting is not published. For the November 7, 1967 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, see United Nations General Assembly Document 2263 (XXII).
  2. The interagency United Nations Economic Committee discussed how to formulate responses to the U.N. International Women’s Year initiative.