11. Draft Conclusions and UN Language

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This is where the heart of global change occurs. This is where language reflected in the Agreed Conclusions  can be picked up and used by women around the world in an attempt to improve their situation and the situation of others.

Depending on the thematic issue, the number of NGO’s working on drafting language to influence the Draft Conclusions will differ. Opportunities to engage on this at CSW have shifted considerably over the last few years.  Access to Government Delegates and the spaces they inhabit at the UN, have been severely restricted to NGOs attending CSW. NGOs have got smarter and more targeted in their advocacy around language. CSW processes for negotiations also differ slightly from one Chair of the Bureau to another, leaving NGOs less time to influence the draft.

NGOs working on language insertions do not only work with the Australian Delegation. Identifying other governments who may carry the language and networking at Caucuses with NGOs from other countries, allows for multiple governments to be delivered the same message at the same time. Taking the opportunity to do what you can, when you can and with who you can, with a clear tool, is a key way to success. Someone will hear you and it may only be in one word in the document, but that one word can be used to improve women’s lives.

The UN Draft Conclusions and CSW Resolutions use UN Language and can be influenced in similar ways.

Member States are sent the Draft Conclusions document (sometimes referred to as the Draft Outcomes Document) shortly before CSW commences. The first draft will be approximately 15 pages long and can vary in size dramatically (often getting much larger) during negotiations.

The official languages of the UN are English, French and Spanish. The working language of CSW is English. Simultaneous translation in Member States languages takes place in all government sessions.

Note: In a BPFA Review year (at the end of the 5 year  multi-year program of work)  the negotiation of the Draft Agreed Conclusions normally takes place at the regional level.  For Australia this will occur at the High Level Meeting which takes place in UN ESCAP in Bangkok. A Political Declaration of intent to implement the BPFA, which is not negotiated text, may be the outcome document from CSW in a Review Year.