European & International News

CSW 2012 - UN member states fail to reach agreement on empowerment of rural women

[Brussels, 16 March 2012] The 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women ended at the UN headquarters in New York without Agreed Conclusions on the theme of the year, rural women. The EWL expresses its gave disappointment and concern that the UN member states have failed to reach agreement.

The negotiations had already been extended with an extra week beyond the scheduled CSW session to give the member states more time.

The European Union delivered a strong statement regretting that no agreement on the empowerment of rural women could be reached.

"We note with grave concern that the key concepts (of international agreements and commitments), reflected clearly in the BBeijing Declaration and Platform of Action and shared and used by all, are now being questioned by some states. Ignoring these concepts deprives us of the tools and means to effectively promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and address the gender perspective in all our policies and actions," said the representative of the EU.

"EU strongly regrets the attempts to weaken the internationally agreed agreements on gender equality and women’s rights set forth in the Beijing Declaration and Programme for Action, which undermine and run counter against our common goals to promote and protect the rights and situation of women. We strongly reject the attempts to dilute these agreements. Our constituency, women around the world, expect nothing less than their full implementation - and we need to meet these expectations", he continued.

Also Norway delivered a strong statement, warning against the use of religious, cultural and certain so-called moral arguments to block decisions and avoid obligations that would save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

"In statements and in speeches - and in negotiations - we have seen how moral values have been evoked, to deprive women of their Human Rights, their opportunities - and ultimately, for some - their life!" said Norway’s UN Ambassador Morten Wetland.

"Norway fully respects and protects religious freedom and cultural diversity: But we cannot accept that religious, cultural and certain so-called moral arguments are being used to block decisions and avoid obligations we all know would give millions of women freedom and save hundreds of thousands of lives every year."

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