This is it. The delegates have finally reached consensus, after a long week of confusing and often tedious negotiations. Maybe we should be a little more excited about this, but, to be very frank, we did not have much influence on what went on in the negotiation room. Every progressive statement on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) was subsequently met with much opposition of the Arab group and the African group. Especially the latter was very insistent on not having any references to anything ‘sexual’, whatever that might mean. The most frustrating part for us was that, even though we know there are progressive African countries, conservative countries like Nigeria did the talking on behalf of the African group, without opposition. Only South Africa stood up to protect SOGI and SRHR, like they have done in the past, and we thank them for that.
But, all disappointment aside, with all the opposition we have been facing here at this CPD on migration we could not have expected a much better outcome. This morning we already knew that the co-chair from Moldova would come up with a chair’s draft. Earlier negotiations had barely resulted in any agreements on paragraphs, so the chair took the fate of this year’s resolution into his own hands and started rewriting the document in a way that all delegations could agree to it. Not the best way to reach consensus, but absolutely vital in light of the antagonism that SRHR and migration inspired. As the chair said it, ”everybody will lose some, and everybody will gain some.” With this trivial remark he expressed what we know is the end of every CPD. Indeed, we lost some:
- Strong language on the human rights of young and adolescent migrants … OP18quat
- Comprehensive sexuality education for young migrants
- Specific mention of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
- A negative addition was the inclusion of the ‘sovereignty clause’ which states that any implementation of the resolutions should be consistent with national law.
But it’s not all bad, the chair was also able to retain some language that is very important to us:
- - It protects a migrants right and access to sexual and reproductive health services
- - It specifically mentions emergency contraception, safe abortion in circumstance s where such services are not against the law
- - It recognizes that young migrants are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection, gender based and sexual violence, gender inequality and violations, and lack of accurate information on HIV (weak reference to CSE) and other sexually transmitted infections and access to SRHR.
- - It calls for services preventing and treating HIV and AIDS and further encourages member states to ‘consider’ reviewing any remaining HIV travel restrictions
It’s been a long, tedious, confusing week here at the CPD. There have been ups and downs. Moments of joy and despair. In the words of the facilitator: “we have all worked hard to receive an equal, if not painful result.” Now we can take a breath. We didn’t get everything we wanted but we got a lot. Considering the context of the very volatile contentious issue, we can consider this a satisfactory outcome. We can be proud of ourselves, our team, and in the end, even the delegates and facilitator. CPD 46 has come to a close. Seeing the opposition against SRHR, the next years are not going to be easy for our movement. But giving up is the last thing on our mind. We will take this as a friendly warning and continue the work we have been doing to make sure our issues are represented in the broader context of the ICPD process and the post2015 development agenda. CPD, we will be back!
-Vincent & Stefan