Thursday, March 20, 2014

More transparancy and respect for mores in NGO CSW community Please

This morning at the end of this mornings NGO CSW briefing I handed over a letter to the NGO Committee on the Status of Women on behalf of several ECOSOC accredited NGO's to the chair of the Committee, Ms. Soon-Young Yoon.
The procedural errors at the NA/European/NIS caucus last week prompted some Dutch NGOs to draft the letter. We think it is very important that participants in the CSW-NGO process are familiar with the written and unwritten procedures with respect to UN in general and the CSW process in particular. It was obvious last week that several are not (yet) and that some took the approach that the (their?) end justifies the means.

So we shared our concerns and formulated practical suggestions to overcome the gaps in knowledge:

  • A more extended/accurate description of the caucus process (and the distinction between a caucus and a group) at and in the Handbook.
  • Explanation of the caucus process at the NGO CSW Forum Consultation Day and during the morning NGO CSW briefings.
  •  A (short) training module for facilitators of the regional caucuses, including unbiased facilitation but also clarity on procedures from the CSW organising side for the benefit of facilitators (who otherwise have no guidance available on how to sort out disagreement among participants).
  • A constructive conversation, possibly via email, with representative(s) that are familiar with the process about improvements in the procedure, for instance on the subject of ensuring the inclusion of minority opinions in the consensus process, and/or ensuring that non-accredited NGOs do not dominate caucus debates let alone caucus decision making.

We firmly believe that following proper procedures by NGOs with respect to each other ultimately will strengthen joint lobby and improve the understanding between governments and civil society in the CSW-process.
We firmly believe that following proper procedures by NGOs with respect to each other ultimately We will need both to make next years CSW and the commemoration of Beijing next year a success.
We invite all of you to participate in a constructive conversation via email.

ECOSOC Accredited NGOs that endorsed the letter: 

COC Netherlands

Cordaid (the Netherlands)

Dutch Women's Council

Hivos (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries, the Netherlands)

International Network of Liberal Women

RFSL, (The Swedish Federation for LGBT Rights)

Rutgers/WPF (the Netherlands)

The Netherlands Association of Women's Rights, Women's Work and Equal Citizenship

Tiye International (Platform of the National Organisations of black, migrant and refugee women) 

Unfortunately it is not (yet) possible to upload a PDF to the blogspot, the full letter in PDF however can be requested via

Leontine Bijleveld