Summary: S.Con.Res.97 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (07/29/1998)

Condemns: (1) the continued human rights violations by all parties and factions in Afghanistan; (2) targeted discrimination against women and girls; and (3) the use of rape or other forms of systematic gender discrimination by any party or faction in Afghanistan as an instrument of war.

Calls on all Afghan parties to: (1) respect international norms and standards of human rights; (2) end gender-based discrimination and deprivation of women's human rights; and (3) ensure the effective participation of women in civil, political, and social life throughout the country, the right of women and girls to an education without discrimination, respect for the right of women to physical security, that those responsible for physical attacks on women are brought to justice, respect for freedom of movement of women, and effective access for women to health care and equal access to health facilities.

Supports the work of nongovernmental organizations advocating respect for human rights in Afghanistan and an improvement in the status of women and their access to humanitarian and development assistance and programs.

Calls on the international community to provide adequate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and Afghan refugees in neighboring countries pending their voluntary repatriation. Requests all Afghan parties to lift the restrictions imposed on international aid and to cease any action which may prevent or impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi as special envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for Afghanistan. Encourages U.N. efforts to produce a durable peace in Afghanistan consistent with the goal of a broad-based national government respectful of human rights.

Calls on all warring parties and factions to participate with Ambassador Brahimi in an intra-Afghan dialogue regarding the peace process.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President and the Secretary of State should: (1) work with the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees and the international community to guarantee the safety of, and provide international development assistance for, Afghan women's groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to increase support for refugee programs in Pakistan providing assistance to Afghan women and children, and to explore options for the resettlement of Afghan women who fear for their safety or their families' safety; (2) establish an Afghanistan Women's Initiative based on the Bosnian Women's Initiative and the Rwandan Women's Initiative; (3) make a policy determination that recognition of any government in Afghanistan by the United States should depend, among other things, on the human rights policies toward women, that the United States should not recognize any government which systematically maltreats women, and that any nonemergency economic or development assistance will be based on respect for human rights; (4) call for the creation of an international commission to establish a record of the criminal culpability of any individual or party in Afghanistan employing rape or other crimes against humanity considered a grave breach of the Geneva Convention as an instrument of war; and (5) call for the creation by the U.N. of an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for the purposes of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning any individual responsible for crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.

Requires submission of a report by the Secretary to the Congress regarding actions that have been taken to implement this resolution.