11.6 Example of UN Language


1.1.1.  Before negotiation

Draft Text (para 4 CSW 56th)

4. The Commission expresses deep concern that the ongoing adverse impacts of the world financial and economic crisis, the volatile food and energy prices and food insecurity (based on A/RES/66/125, World Summit for Social Development, op. 58), the lack of investment in rural development and agriculture, and demographic changes have exacerbated the disadvantages and inequalities women and men, girls and boys face.

The following is an example of the same paragraph after the first round of negotiations by Member States. (Note: Country names have been changed in this example, as once the negotiation begins, draft negotiated texts, are extremely difficult to acquire. Australia does not share draft working documents.)

1.1.2.  During negotiation

Draft Text – inserts into paragraph (para 4 CSW 56th)

4. The Commission expresses deep concern that the ongoing adverse impacts of the world financial and economic crisis, the volatile food and energy prices and food [Blue Land TO ADD: and nutrition] insecurity (based on A/RES/66/125, World Summit for Social Development, op. 58), the lack of investment in rural development and agriculture, [Brown Land TO ADD: the widely spread land grabbing due to vast investments by foreign companies,] and [Blue Land TO ADD: in adjusting to] demographic changes [Blue Land TO ADD: and climate changes] have exacerbated the disadvantages and inequalities [Blue Land TO ADD: that rural] women and men, girls and boys face [Blue Land TO DELETE: in rural areas] [Brown Land TO ADD: especially where small scale production is predominant]. [Blue Land TO ADD: The Commission recognises that women and girls are disproportionally affected by poverty and hunger and small farmers continue to bear a larger share of the burden of rural poverty.] [Red Land TO ADD: and reaffirms that special attention must be given to women and girls who often bear the greatest burden of poverty (based on CSW46 Agreed Conclusions, para. 4)] [Blue Land TO ADD:

4 bis. Ensuring the rights of rural women and girls, including equal access to resources, is essential to their empowerment as well as to food security. The engagement of rural women and girls is not only a way to provide rural women and girls with means to enhance their participation and use of their potential, but also smart economics.]

The text in square brackets (here in red) is where the different countries have inserted language they would like to see reflected in the text.

The document is reviewed and sent to Member States for comment on the Draft before a negotiation draft is sent out as the basis for negotiation. This normally occurs by the Thursday or Friday of the first week of CSW.

The negotiation draft is a semi-agreed document that contains comments for discussion and agreement by member nations. The text under negotiation is shown in square brackets within the draft (see example of Draft Text during negotiations above).

Following release of the negotiation draft, only the language within the square brackets can be changed-and this is by consensus. This is a long and time consuming exercise as during the initial drafting, the document may have moved from 15 pages to 30 pages.

The document can begin to look confusing at this stage, as all Member States begin insertion of text and whole paragraphs of text are inserted (see image below) (Note: Country names have been changed in this example).

For the Commission to keep track of the document and to track the changes throughout the negotiations, an elaborate numbering system is used.

1.1.3.  Draft Text during negotiations

Draft Text – new paragraph (para 7 CSW 56th)

[Yellow Land TO ADD: 7 ter. The Commission expresses deep concern that many women and girls face multiple disadvantages related to their disability, race, age, ethnicity, religion and geographic location – particularly for those in rural and remote areas – in addition to their gender that can isolate and marginalize such women and create barriers to their full and equal access to, and equal participation in rural communities, and equal access to full employment and decent work. (based on Beijing Platform for Action, para. 31)]

[Yellow Land TO ADD: 7 quat. The Commission expresses deep concern that violence against women continues to occur, particularly for those living in rural and remote areas, noting that it is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality and impairs the ability of women and girls to develop their full potential as equal partners with men, in every aspect of life and development. (based on CSW5O Agreed Conclusions on Enhanced participation of women in development, para. 7 (e); Beijing Platform for Action, para. 112)]

[Red Land TO ADD: 7 quin. The Commission recognises that the full integration of women into the formal economy, in particular, into economic decision-making, means changing the current gender-based division of labour into new economic structures where women and men enjoy equal treatment, pay and power, including sharing of paid and unpaid work. (based on CSW53 Agreed Conclusions, para. 7)]

As you see from the text example above, whole paragraphs have been inserted, and changes are tracked in a specific way:

  • Name of country
  • Action (i.e. add, delete etc.)
  • Paragraph number
  • Latin names for numbers (bis, ter, quat, quin, sext, sept)

This allows Member States to identify each other’s inputs to the document.

You may also note that in these paragraphs, reference to former documents has been inserted. This is used to highlight that this is previously agreed text and is used to strengthen the language inserts.