CSW 65 ends with Agreed Conculsion on March 26 – Consensus just after 6.00 p.m.

Agreed Conclusion on “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimintation of violence, for achievieng gender equality and emowernment of all women and girls” were adopted by consensus. It was quite evident from the insights gleaned from statments issued after the adoption that these were tense and difficulty negotiation. While all the negotiations were done virtually, the ususal dynamics that accompany the annual negotiations prevailed – working until 11.00 p.m. during the two weeks, and through the night on the last few days of negotiation. I am grateful that Member States stayed the course and came to consensus on the need for full and effective participation of women in decision making in public life and on eliminating violence for achieving gender equlaity.

The Executive Director of UN Women Phumzille Mlambo made a statment at the end of the session saying the the outcome document was a robust blueprint on strengthening women’s leadership and participation in public life. Read more. Having followed the session as it unflolded I found that the various country positions indiciated the red lines that are encountered in address gender equality and the ending of all violence against girls and women. While there was consensus with reservations it is quiet clear that the struggle is far from finished.

Ambassador Sautter, Germany on behalf of the EU presented its statement which was published immediately on it Website: See

Other statements generally in support came from Santiago Group, led by Chile. New Zealand spoke on behalf of the following group – Australia, Canada, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland. UK, USA, Nigeria, Mexico, Namibia, each had statements. Other countries, each speaking individually presented reservations – Saudia Arabia, Brazil, Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Lybia, Yemin, Tunisia, Nicurguia, Iraq, Holy See, Maurentinia, and Qutar. China and Russia also made statment. See Commission on the Status of Women March 27th

What are the redlines? What are the contentious issues? Well, terms, the use of terms and the understaning of terms is the trigger for discussion, controversy, and persuasion. The terms gender, gender identity, women in all their diversity, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence, sexual identity, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and human rights defenders give rise to various interpretation – ranging from a human rights perspective to religous, cultural, and moral principles and objections. Concept on motherhood, maternity, paternity, family, role of family in society, gender as defined as male or famale, marriage only between a man and a women are pitted against human right to self expression and ability to make choices.

Other political issues surface – e.g invoking national sovernighty, whereby national laws, and religious laws are to be respected and upheld. Considerations that the agreed conclusion attempt to address a broad ranges of issues which were not the subject matter of the theme eg. climate change, women’s health, human trafficking, and unilateral financial trade agreement. There was referece to the Security Council Resolution 1325 being deleated from the document amid concerns about the impacts of conflict on girls and women and that there were attempt to unpick long standing commitments. Many times is was noted that terms used in the discussion are ambigious especially around gender identity, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and sexual and reproductive health and reprocuctive rights. LGBTQI+ issues are not named and in some cases event the existence of these people has been denied. I was surprised to hear that girls and women with disabilities was a contentionus issue. Further, with regard to ‘human rights defenders’ the question was asked as to why they are a special category needing attention?

I am happy that the discussion was had yet again, and that there are agreed conclusion from CSW 65. One delegate stands out for me – the delegate from Morocco who spake about the ardous hours of virtual imprisonment experinced durng the negotiation. She invited those present to imagine the imprisionment of girls and women within violent sistuation in the real world saying we hear your voice. Then she asks two quesitons, are the agreed conclusions responsive enough, are they translformative enough? She answers with a resounding NO! It is in the spirit that the women of the world unite and set out for Mexico and the launch of part 1 of the Generation Equlaity Forum on Monday March 29 – 31st.

Attended – Special Meeting on ‚ÄúTowards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all‚ÄĚ May 23, 2018

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On May 23 the President of ECOSOC¬†H.E. Marie Chatardov√°, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic, held a Special Meeting entitle “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all.”¬† ¬†Here is¬† the¬†Agenda¬†for the meeting.¬† I was privileged to have Joan Wu accompany me to this meeting. It was a full day.¬† The panelists were excellent and provided a wide range of perspectives and suggestions.¬† See who’s who in the¬†¬†Biographies¬†of the various panelists.¬† The ones that interested me most were H.E. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.¬† I liked her capturing of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as ‘an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people, and it is an agenda to be achieved with the people.’¬† To conclude Her Excellency said¬†¬†‘The 2030¬†Agenda needs the participation of all actors to ensure no one is left behind and that all can enjoy prosperity, dignity and opportunity in a world of peace.¬† Let us, therefore, join our efforts for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.’¬† ¬†A summary of Session 2 and 3 can be read¬†HERE¬† ¬†If you prefer see and hear the¬†WEBCAST¬† ¬†I added to the discussion see marker 1:18 focusing on ‘leave no one behind.’¬† “Many of the people whom Good Shepherd represents are outside the political arena.¬† Until such time as we address the divide that exists between this meeting here this morning and the people I represent in these countries,¬† whom I say are outside of the political arena,¬† I don’t think we will have movement and progress because of¬† growing inequality,¬† threat of conflicts, climate change and disasters, as some of the panelists have already noted.¬† ¬†We have to walk the talk by putting the resources at the most vulnerable, most excluded groups and bringing them into the political arena to talk about how they wish to participate and what can be done in these situation.¬† They work in groups in terms of their own empowerment but are not contributing to local and national development.¬† ¬†I would like to raise this issue this morning in the light of moving forward.¬† Thank you.”

Michale Shank the moderator of panel two offered 7 c’s with regard to citizen participation and community engagement.¬† Tactic (1 and 2);¬† Objective (3 and 4);¬† Process (5)¬† and Results (6 and 7)

  • campaign mode
  • crowd-sourcing – not merely using internet
  • consensus building
  • community wide engagement
  • communication – not PR or selling but reflecting back what the community is doing so the feel part of the process
  • concrete commitment
  • conflict prevention

Do you know about participatory budgeting?   This was presented by Francesco Tena.  Check out Participatory Budgeting

  • money that matters
  • grassroots leadership
  • inclusive design
  • targeted outreach
  • equity criteria.

What is e-governance and e-participation?  Listen to Dr Aroon Manoharan.

Session 4 was in the afternoon – a good opportunity to hear Andrew Gilmore,¬† Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Head of New York OHCHR Office.¬† Human Rights are paramount.¬† Session 4¬† ¬†I was interested to know that sometimes Parliaments don’t know about ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ (VNR’s) and it was noted by Tom√°Ň° R√°kos that participation would be much more robust if quality civic education was imparted to all coupled with the existence of trust between people and government!¬†¬†¬†¬†2018 ECOSOC 10

Toward the end of this panel Margaret O’Dwyer,¬† Daughters of Charity were able to share¬†SEE