CSW 61 NGO Access Letter
This week at the CSW we have seen attacks on NGO access to the negotiations process.
We have prepared the letter (below) to the Chair of CSW to request action to remedy this.
We are seeking endorsement of this letter. We have a very tight deadline - negotiations end on Friday.
We will collect two rounds of signatures:
1. The first round will close at 10pm Wednesday 22 March
2. The second round will close at 9.30am Thursday
The first letter will be sent to the Chair this evening in an effort to influence the issue tomorrow.
Please distribute this letter through your networks, beyond this email list.
your sisters in the hallways of the UN
TEXT FOR ENDORSEMENT
H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota
We, the undersigned representatives of civil society, are writing to raise issues of NGO access to the negotiations of CSW61.
There is a long and proud history of collaboration between Member States and Civil Society at the Commission on the Status of Women. Together, we have delivered many advances for women’s human rights, from the development of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women and its Optional Protocol; to the creation of the first International Year of Women; to the recognition of rape as a crime against humanity, and violence against women as a human rights violation.
This has happened through a symbiotic relationship where NGOs have joined Member States to work to achieve normative developments for women’s human rights.
Over the last twenty years we have seen significant changes in the way we have done our work. Less than fifteen years ago NGOs were able to observe the negotiations and approach delegations on the floors of the UN conference rooms. In recent years our collaboration has been subjected to increasing restrictions, limiting our capacity to work with Member States to deliver strong Agreed Conclusions that make a real difference to the policy and legal settings that are used to realise women’s human rights.
This year, our access have been subject to unprecedented attacks:
1. UN Security staff have attempted to remove T-Pass Holders from the building after 6pm
2. CSW Agreed Conclusion negotiations have been held in the ECOSOC Chamber and Trusteeship Council Chamber, which with their entrances on the off-limits second floor, severely restricts our informal discussions with delegates and hampers our ability to support the progress of the negotiations from outside of the negotiation room.
We have greatly appreciated the efforts of UN Women this evening to facilitate our access to the foyer of the ECOSOC Chamber.
However, we seek your cooperation in ensuring that the remainder of the negotiations are scheduled in CR4 or other accessible rooms to facilitate the working relationships of Member States and NGOs in the final days of the negotiations.
Your organisation endorses this letter