Saturday, March 5, 2011

There are Agreed Conclusions!

Last night around midnight we received the news: there are Agreed Conclusions for CSW55!

Through our e-mail list-serve we heard that one of the more progressive delegates described the outcome of the cumbersome negotiations as a relative 'happy end'. The Agreed Conclusions are adopted, even though content wise not ideal. From her point of view there is nothing in it which would fall behind Beijing or open the Beijing Platform for Action and the wording of gender, gender stereotypes etc. could be held. Furthermore, all of the following are in the text: 'life skills and sex education', 'sexual and reproductive health', equal sharing of responsibilities of ‘daily life and care work’ and 'multiple discrimination'.

They said that there is still no "clean text" because it still needs to be re-read with a clearer mind. In their first assessment they estimate that worse could be avoided and that there might even be some useful language in it. Also the atmosphere in the end was definitely better than in the past few days.

We can now say we look forward to the full text, which we will make sure to post when it is available. Though the outcomes of CSW55 are a relief, the tense negotiations that preceded it indicate that vigilance is required. This year's CSW was at first considered a relatively unimportant and predictable one, and then turned out to be a manifestation of seems to be a larger trend: conservative voices that fear progress. They seem to want to limit the rights of the individual, and people's right to make well-informed choices.

On the other hand, the outcome of the negotiations shows that there is a majority of countries that do not accept such a step back from past achievements. These countries did a great job in standing strong during the CSW negotiations. The many organisations and governments that recognize the importance of gender equality, with a broad interpretation of 'gender', should not rest on their laurels. We have to continue working together to give a positive answer to the feelings of fear and discomfort that conservatives are spreading. Because we stand for a world wherein diversity is appreciated and celebrated.

Today we leave New York and fly back to the Netherlands. Thank you for reading our blogs! We'll post the CSW55 outcome document as soon as it's available to us.

1 comment:

NiqababesNL said...

It makes you feel like the best you can hope for is change, at least not at the UN. It just means we have to work even harder as soon as you girls get back home to bring change into the real world. Great job and happy women's day!