This year’s preparations for the UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting, usually held annually in early March, have already forced diplomats working on a political declaration to take sides in promoting or excluding certain rights.
Written by Dulcie Leimbach, PassBlue
From the start, the diplomats leading the negotiations on the new political declaration for the United Nations’ women’s rights conference in March wanted to keep it short and sweet. That meant five pages maximum, one diplomat told PassBlue before the discussions began, inevitably frustrating diplomats who had hoped to produce a generous endorsement of women’s rights.
“It is a low-ambition document,” said one diplomat in a background conversation about the negotiations for the declaration, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women. He not only described the original, “zero draft,” as “weak” but also characterized a lead negotiator, Algeria, as “extremely conservative,” negatively influencing other Africans on their positions on women’s rights, coordinating with Egypt and Eritrea.
SFC Editor’s note: On 2 March, UN WOMEN published an advisory on the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in light of the ongoing concerns regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The Commission will still convene on 9 March for a procedural meeting but the session will then suspend until further notification. No general debate will take place and all side events planned by Member States and the UN system in conjunction with CSW 64 will be cancelled.