Friday, April 26, 2013
It’s the final day of the CPD and we’re far behind. To give you sense of exactly how behind we are, the commission traditionally goes through at least three readings of the text before a consensus is reached. As of this morning, the second reading has not even been completed. Furthermore, the ‘operational paragraphs’ which contain the important legislative clauses, have barely been touched. Yesterday night the negotiations lasted until 10:30pm and the delegates left the hall with a tangible sense of frustration.
The problem is two-fold. The facilitator of the negotiations from the Philippines is being incredibly inefficient. The negotiations are moving forward at a snail’s pace and tolerating long irrelevant soliloquies discussing, for instance, the exact definition of internal migration. A Brazilian delegate posed the question if her personal move from downtown to uptown Rio would be considered internal migration. Unfortunately, it was not uncommon to see such personal, or irrelevant discussions dominate the floor. It is evident to many here that the commission does not have the time or capacity to ponder such futile discussion and has resulted in this serious time-crunch. Yet some delegates can’t seem to adopt a diplomatic approach during this CPD.
Another, more drastic predicament, is the inability to find a consensus on SRHR. The commission is visibly divided about the issues. Certain delegations such as Argentina, champions of the sexual health rights, won’t budge on the language. Other delegations are united to remove any language referring to the rights. It seems that conservative delegations are grouping together SRHR, sexual rights, sexual orientation and gender identity rights, sexuality education, and anything health related to sexuality and health all under the same heading. Without these important distinctions, they emulate the important issues that requires specific, precise attention and language. And, yet other delegations seem to be attempting to persuade the commission that treating language about SRHR is entirely irrelevant to the topic of migration...
Today is judgment day. Because time is running out, we are expecting the chair to propose their own draft to reach a consensus. This would mean we could, unfortunately, expect minimal language on SRHR. However it will be resolved, we are not losing sight of how important our work here is and continue to press on for our sexual and reproductive rights here at the CPD.
-Vincent & Stefan