UN Geneva – day 3

Today’s session dealt with Mining, the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption & production (SCP), and Cross-cutting issues, interlinkages and implementation of CSD-17 decisions. Again we were given the opportunity to make several interventions and our last one during the cross-cutting issues was strongly backed up by the USA. That always feels good, if what you’ve said is supported by other delegations.This is what we said:

When it comes to cross cutting issues like “gender”, we would like to point out the following:

Gender mainstreaming (policies)  and women’s participation is NOT the same; looking at recommendations that talk about the pivotal role of women and women as agents of change, and the importance of them being part of decision-making processes, we have to say we still not see enough evidence of implementation of those recommendations and policies
What is rather interesting, is the gender balance that seems to exist in this room; it would be interesting to see a breakdown of actual functions though…

There seems to be a standard phrase, used by a lot of well meaning governments  which is a bit strange when looked at it more closely: “ …involve women and OTHER vulnerable groups”. You may see the funny contradiction: women as agents of change, being a vulnerable group as a whole? The women major group shows great diversity in who they are and the levels of expertise.

“People cannot be developed, people develop themselves” said HRH Prince Claus of the Netherlands. Some of us would appreciate ä little help from a friend to be taken seriously so we can do our jobs; others need serious assistance financially and otherwise to be able to play their roles and get out of the poverty trap. Of course we ask attention for the effects of chemicals, climate change etc. on women because of their biological  make-up.

In all cases: CSD 17 for the first time phrased it correctly and referred to women as “actors” not just as a target group  – we urge member states and others to be demand driven and precise in their wording. It will make your support even more noteworthy and appreciated.

I thought it was very useful to attend this RIM. OK, I had to attend – being the coordinator of BIC (one of the Organising Partners for CSD-18) – but it was also a much easier (smaller) meeting to build relationships and get attention (we surely did get noted due to the quality and consistency of our interventions!). I’m looking forward to working closely with Alexandra and meeting her again in New York in May.

Meanwhile my next job before Tuesday is to finish editing the discussion paper of the women major group. That is still a nightmare, but the end is near…..and the relief after emailing the final version will be immense.

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