Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dutch government delegation

To hear more about the latest developments in the formal UN member states' negotiations, today we (civil society) met with the Dutch delegation from OCW, Carlien Scheele and Charles de Vries, and the new Dutch Permanent Representative at the UN for gender and SRHR, Hinke Nauta.

EU negotiations

Carlien informed us about the EU negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions. Every year the EU member states come together during the CSW to negotiate amongst each other what they would like to change or add to the draft conclusions. Sometimes they largely agree, at other times they largely don’t, and it has happened that the EU split up in two blocks over more ‘controversial’ issues.

During the EU coordination meetings in the past few days, the Dutch delegation plugged a selection of our Joint NGO recommendations. After two EU meetings there was already agreement between the member states, a unicum in the at least a decade. The notion of women as agents of change was added to paragraph 4, as were the notion of education and training to stop violence against women (on initiative of OCW itself), women entrepreneurship, and reintegration of women and girls into formal education after pregnancy.

Regarding the often disputed topic of sexuality and reproductive health and rights education, an agreement was reached: the addition of the notion of ‘rights’ was not included. The Dutch delegation would have preferred it was and communicated this through informal means, however they chose to agree to maintain coherence within the EU delegation.

Yesterday the EU finalized their input. On Monday the EU will start negotiating with the other UN member states. Carlien and Charles will continue supporting the spokesperson for the EU from the sideline. In the meantime they continue their efforts to explore the field for including LGBT issues in the CSW and UN Women.

Dutch Permanent Mission at the UN

Last but most certainly not least, WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform and Choice for Youth and Sexuality met with Hinke Nauta, who is since a couple of months the new Dutch Permanent Representative at the UN for gender and SRHR. It was an informal meeting where we introduced ourselves and our work, and exchanged thoughts on important issues and possible solutions. The visions in which we can definetly find each other include the importance of involving youth in gender and SRHR issues, and the importance of working with boys and men.

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