Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CSW Day 2 – Some formalities that turned out to be quite informal

No civil society access to formal UN sessions

Our evening was totally made yesterday when we managed to get our hands on an access pass for the public tribune of the official UN members states´ session for day 2 of the CSW. Today however, we found ourselves blocked by security guards at the entrance. The UN Security Council had organized an unscheduled meeting in ´our´ room. CSW55 discussions were moved to a room without possibilities for public presence.

The UN Headquarters have been under construction for several years now, which can make space limited and information sharing unorganized. It did make us wonder though, how high the Commission on the Status of Women is ranked on the UN´s priority list. On the other hand, the recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region deserve all the intention of the international community they can get. We aim to give you some more information particularly on the situation of women in the region in the coming days, when we will talk to MENA NGOs.

EU requests civil society for input

This afternoon we participated in the briefing of the Permanent EU mission at the UN. We were pleased to find that, besides informing us on their activities (formal negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions have barely started), the EU delegates were requesting our input and concrete recommendations to improve the draft version of the conclusions.

Our Joint NGO statement was presented by Ines Orobio de Castro from partner organization E-Quality on behalf of Dutch civil society. Many of our recommendations had either already been mentioned and/or were backed up by other civil society representatives. Furthermore, we were quite content to find that the EU mission had already formulated additional paragraphs to the Agreed Conclusions, which address some of our main issues.

Such as regarding the importance of life skills, sexuality and reproductive health education to enable girls and boys to make informed choices; removal of physical barriers in access to education; the importance of (primary) education not only as a goal in itself but as a means for women and girls to get a decent job; and the importance of addressing gender stereotypes and involving boys and men. In the coming days the EU delegates will do their best to bring these issues to the table during the formal negotations on the Agreed Conclusions.

No comments: