Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Home based care caucus

Nathalie Lasslop, Cordaid, shares her impressions of the third day, march 3rd at the CSW.

“ Connecting for Stronger Advocacy

Today was a constructive day...Several steps made! On Sunday, several organizations working on home based care, where invited by the Huairou Commission (NOTE: platform for grassroots organisations responding to HIV/AIDS) so we could strategize together in preparation for the CSW. Our Cordaid delegation Daphne (Coalition of Women Living with HIV and AIDS), Zebider (Mary Joy Aid through Development) and I were present as well.

One of the results was the decision to create a special home based care Caucus. For those who are not familiar with the UN jargon, a caucus is a group of NGOs that commit to work together on a specific topic during the time of a conference. A Caucus can get recognized by the UN and then gets an official room to meet. In addition, each Caucus is invited to give a summary of their work at the official NGO briefing that takes place every morning at the UN, which increases its visibility as well as participation...

The good news is that the Home Based Care Caucus was formalized as soon as it was requested on Monday and that the work around the Caucus started immediately. One of the Caucus' main aim was to consolidate our remarks on the draft "Agreed Conclusions".

I rewind quickly for background information: the so-called "Agreed Conclusions" will be the outcome document of this year's CSW and the entire CSW revolves around this document. It is what the Country Delegations will fight about, agonize over, write and rewrite until a final version is agreed by consensus Friday 13/3. The objective of most NGOs present at the CSW is to strengthen the language on this year's Agreed Conclusions.

Our Dutch CSO group already had developped recommendations prior to the CSW before the draft document was released and the few of us lucky enough to be here are now responsible to ensure that as many of our initial recommendations are taken up in the final text. All this under under Ines Orobio de Castro's leadership who is the CSW expert. I can report that we succeeded in doing this on Monday afternoon. The Dutch CSO language proposals for the "Agreed Conclusions" are finalized. Task accomplished...

Today, I worked with the newly created Home Based Care Caucus members to do the same exercise. Many organisations with many proposals. Our objective: creating a final version including all of our respective language proposals...the challenge is that one has to be as creative and succinct as possible. Country delegations are not going to include long sentences and new language proposals have to be innovative, constructive and attractive. After a long sessions we happily finalized our HBC Caucus proposal for the "Agreed Conclusions" and to my great satisfaction, not only does the language we propose keep getting better with so many of us thinking about it but cross-fertilization also takes place: The Dutch CSO language proposal can be found back on the HBC Caucus proposal and vice-versa...

We have managed to find consensus on many different issues we all care about. We are now disctributing it to our various networks, hoping that the delegates will be as enthusiastic as we are....and take on our work!”
Nathalie Lasslop

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