Monday, March 2, 2009

CSW NGO consultatie dag

Nathalie Lasslop, programma medewerker HIV/aids neemt in week 1 ook deel aan de CSW. Zij deelt haar bevindingen op een speciale cordaid blog maar ook hier op de wo=men blog. (zie Cordaid link voor meer informatie)

“This is the first day of our 53rd “Commission on the Status of Women” (CSW) CORDAID blog for all those of you who cannot be here! Today, Sunday 1 March, we participated in the NGO Consultation Day in order to prepare ourselves as best we can to the hectic week ahead of us. The aim of the Consultation Day is to bring all NGOs together before the CSW begins, so that NGO participants can get familiar with each other in a smaller circle (5000 participants are pre-registered for this year’s CSW) but also to prepare NGOs for their lobby and advocacy during the CSW.
This year’s CSW’s theme is: “The Equal sharing of responsibilities between women anmen, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS” and excitement is tangible among organizations working specifically on strengthening the position of Home Based Caregivers. We are all aware that this year’s CSW provides a unique chance to influence UN language on Home Based Care.

Imagine 700 representatives from various NGOs from all around the world in one very packed auditorium… Well, 665 at least of them being women I estimate, because I doubt the men quota even went up to 5%. Good to see that some men are there still, and those appear very committed. Take for instance Mr. Bafana Khmalo form the Sonke Gender Justice Project, who was part of the 2nd panel and shared the experiences of his organization working on responsibilizing men. Very interesting work.

How did the day go? The opening panel was as any opening: very illustrious speakers (Ms. Rachel Mayanja, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI) and Ms. Carolyn Hannan (Division on the Advancement of Women), not much time for real content. The information shared during the 2nd panel “Preparing for the CSW 53” session could have been clearer, but the participants did receive good materials and in the end could also extract useful advice on where to go for daily briefings, on how to organize themselves for effective lobby and advocacy... Next to the official UN CSW programme, there will be 240 so called “Parallel events” organized by NGOs and open to the Public.

The aim of the afternoon session is for the NGO participants to exercise their lobby skills. The 700 of us are split up in 7 Breakout Sessions for seven themes that are part of the draft “Agreed Conclusions” document, the document that Government representatives will debate during the next two weeks until they come to a final agreement… And this is where we, the NGOs come in: we are committed to doing our best to convince our government representatives to include the issues we find important!

So how did we do? In each of the 7 Breakout sessions we had to lobby each other in several rounds (first in groups of 6, then 12 finally in plenary) so that we could agree on 2 final recommendations. No easy task, but our Cordaid Delegation was successful: Being part of the Breakout Session working on “Women, caregiving and HIV/AIDS”, we managed to get our 2 priorities accepted as the 2 final recommendations taken up as CSO recommendations….Time to get our jet-lagged bodies into bed so we are up in time to queue for our UN passes in the morning and hopefully be in time for the official CSO opening at the UN.

Nathalie Lasslop

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