Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day Four at the CPD

Time is flying here at the Commission of Population and Development. Yesterday was an important day for the host of progressive youth organizations here at the CPD because the speaker’s list opened for NGOs to give oral statements. CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality was given a speaking slot via RutgersWPF and we contributed to writing a strong statement about migration and SRHR from a youth perspective. We invite you to read it at here.

Today (Thursday) will prove to be an extremely important day in the negations room. Including language on sexuality and reproductive health rights is proving to be an uphill battle in the midst of debate largely focused on population dynamics. While a few key countries continue to strongly support this language, as expected, traditional progressive allies have become unpredictable and are positing their own migration issues higher than our fundamental human rights. 

We are currently reviewing the second round of amendments to the zero draft. It is clear that a lot of delegations are still confused about the importance or even the meaning of sexual and reproductive health rights and are in dire need of clarification and education. These issues are intrinsically linked to migration. Migrant women are, for instance, likelier to be pregnant than their non-migrant peers. Young people, because of their migrations status, often cannot access crucial youth services, such as access to contraceptives. Furthermore, the commission has previously decided that access to SRHR is fundamental human rights. We feel that this fundamental human right also covers those of us who are voluntarily or involuntary displaced from our homes. Our job  is to relay this message to the delegates who are cautiously negotiating this contentious issue.

We are currently down to the final 48 hours of the conference. These will, undoubtedly, become two very long days. If you want to follow the debate, we recommend you follow #cpd46 on twitter. We will keep you updated.

-Vincent & Stefan