LAC countries submit position letter on CSW58 agreed conclusions

By Flavia Fascendini
Publisher: APCNews     Pergamino, 19 March 2014

The position of Latin American and Caribbean countries on the CSW58 agreed conclusions emphasises the inseparable link that exists between human rights and development. Nevertheless, the signing organisations, which include APC, also express deep concern over certain comments issued by a small group of countries from the region during the negotiation process at CSW regarding the non-incorporation of the human rights of women in the agreed conclusions and the elimination of references to sexual and reproductive rights, which undermines existing regional consensus.

Following is the position letter sent to ministers in regards to the agreed conclusions at the CSW58 meeting:

15 March 2014

Honorable Ministers:

RE: Position of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on CSW58

We write to you as members of the Committee of Latin American and Caribbean Non Governmental Organizations for CSW participating in the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The current CSW Session constitutes an important opportunity for evaluating the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals as they applied to women and girls and to construct a new development platform for Post 2015 based on the lessons learned from the application of the MDGs; additionally, we believe it is an important occasion for evaluating progress, identifying challenges, establishing global standards and indicators, formulating policies and adopting concrete commitments for the achievement of gender equality based on the recognition and respect for the human rights of women and girls.

We want to emphasize on the inseparable link that exists between human rights and development. Sustainable development is just a chimera if it is not based on principles of human rights. Only from a human rights based development agenda can the development process become a transformative one that deals with the need to eliminate the structural causes of poverty, injustice and inequality based on economic reasons, gender, age, race, ethnicity and other conditions that generate marginalization and vulnerability.

The Regional Consensus adopted by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in Montevideo and Santo Domingo on August and October 2013 respectively, and reaffirmed in the preparatory meeting held in Mexico City last month, represent an important advancement and a contribution that should be the base for the positions taken by the countries of Latin American and the Caribbean in the document of Agreed Conclusions of CSW58. We reiterate what was said by the Ministers of the Region in the Mexico Declaration: “any new generation of goals adopted in the Post-2015 Agenda must seek to be: first, transformative, and tackle the factors that constrain sustainable development; second, universal, applying to all countries regardless of economic status; and third, rights-based, addressing equality, incorporating equality – including gender equality – and women’s rights and the empowerment of women; in addition, they should be high-impact and cost-effective”.

We celebrate the fact that Latin American and Caribbean countries incorporated progressive language in the document of Agreed Conclusions for CSW58 on issues such as maternal mortality, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations and the impact of climate change in our societies.

Nevertheless, we are highly concerned with certain comments issued by a small group of countries from the Region during the negotiation process taking place at CSW regarding the non-incorporation of the human rights of women in the Agreed Conclusions and the elimination of references to sexual and reproductive rights. This undermines the regional consensus mentioned above.

The opposition to the incorporation of human rights as an integral component of development detracts from the commitments adopted by the countries of the Region regarding the compliance with international human rights instruments for the protection and defense of women’s human rights and from the main gender equality policies that are being promoted in the Region. Among the first, we underline the importance of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), its Optional Protocol and the Inter-American Convention for the Prevention Sanction and Eradication of Violence Against Women (Belem do Para Convention).

We, as representatives of civil society and women´s organizations of the region will continue in active and constant dialogue with the delegations of the Latin American and Caribbean countries present in New York. We ask you to engage actively in the negotiation process of the Agreed Conclusions for 58 CSW with a strong, clear and sustained position that incorporates the entire region and allows it to reach gender equality, women’s human rights and a development agenda that integrates these principles. Only in this manner will all women and girls of Latin America and the Caribbean, in their diversity, enjoy human rights and development, something that today is denied to many.

Thanks for your kind attention,

Endorsed by:

AC-Democracia, Ecuador
Fundación para estudio e investigación de la Mujer – FEIM
Sistren Theatre Collective, Jamaica
Groots, Jamaica
Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres de Latinoamérica y el Caribe – REPEM
Colectiva Mujer y Salud, Dominican Republic
Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrodescendientes y de la Diáspora – RMAAD
Comisión de América latina y el caribe para la defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres – CLADEM
Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir, Mexico
Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de América – ECMIA
Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú – CHIRAPAQ, Peru
ASPIRE Trinidad & Tobago
Network of NGOs of Trinidad & Tobago for the Advancement of Women
Red Latinoamericana de Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir
Consorcio latinoamericano Contra el Aborto Inseguro- CLACAI
Red de Salud de las Mujeres de América Latina y el Caribe – RSMLAC
Alianza Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Juventudes Rumbo a Cairo +20
GESTOS, HIV and Comunications, Brazil
Articulación Feminista MARCOSUR
Mujeres por el Desarrollo Alternativo para una Nueva Era – DAWN
Consejo Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Organizaciones con Trabajo en Sida – LACCASO
Center for People’s Development, Suriname
Red Nacional de Mujeres, Colombia
Ultimate Purpose, Suriname
CARE Trinidad & Tobago
WOMEN’S Way, Suriname
Women’s Rights Center, Suriname
Red NAC Red nacional de Adolescentes por la Salud Sexual y Reproductiva, Argentina
Federación Internacional de Mujeres de Carrera Jurídica, Argentina
Grupo Internacional de Mujeres y SIDAIWAC
Sindicato de Comercio de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Foro de Mujeres del MERCOSUR
INTER-Mujeres, Puerto Rico
Tu Mujer INC, Puerto Rico
Suriname Men United, Suriname
New Beginnings Counseling & Consultatancy Services – NBCCS, Suriname
Confederacion de mujeres por el cambio, Ecuador
Colectivo de Género Acción Política, Ecuador
Consorcio México
Equidad de Género, Mexico
Asociación para el Progreso de las Comunicaciones – APC
Red de Mujer y Hábitat de América Latina
Comisión Internacional de Derechos Humanos de Gays y Lesbianas – IGLHRC
Red de Académicas Latinoamericanas- Red ALAS
Internacional Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Trans and Intersexual Association
Coalición regional contra el tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe – CATWLAC
Taller Salud de Puerto Rico
Balance, Mexico
Equis Justicia para las Mujeres, Mexico
Centro de la Mujer Peruana “Flora Tristán”, Peru
Kolectiva De Rebeldías Lésbicas, Peru
Campaña por la convención interamericana de derechos sexuales y derechos reproductivos, Peru
Clóset de Sor Juana AC
CISCSA – Red Mujer y Hábitat Argentina – AFM, Córdoba, Argentina
Feminist Activists Working to Realize Sexual & Reproductive Justice for ALL! – RESURJ
Agrupación Ciudadana por la despenalización del aborto, El Salvador
Red Salvadoreña de defensoras de derechos humanos, El Salvador
Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights – WGNRR
Asociacion de Mujeres Juezas de la Argentina – AMJA
Plataforma Nacional por los Derechos de las Mujeres, Ecuador
Movimiento de mujeres de sectores Populares, Ecuador
Colectivo Politico Luna Creciente, Ecuador
Foundation Liefdevielle Handen, Suriname
Cotidiano Mujer, Uruguay

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