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March 2, 2005

Beijing +10 Update from PeaceWomen E-News

From PeaceWomen E-News, Issue #55, March 1, 2005:

POLITICAL DECLARATION: Outcome Document of Beijing +10
As of 1 March 2005, the US government has not withdrawn a major amendment they introduced on 24 February 2005 to the draft text of the political declaration, prepared by the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

If the US government withdraws their amendment, there is an expectation that it will deliver an explanation of position, as it has in previous Beijing +10 regional reviews.

The US' proposed amendment is in bold:
"Reaffirm the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcome of the 23rd Special Session of the GA." [while reaffirming that they do not create any new international human rights, and that they do not include the right to abortion.]

All other members of the Commission on the Status of Women have publicly maintained their support for the Bureau's draft declaration.* Some of the most out-spoken governmental critics of the US amendment, include the governments of the European Union, Canada and New Zealand. As New Zealand stated in its intervention on 1 March 2005:

"We are not here to re-litigate or reinterpret Beijing. We are here to reaffirm it, to pledge our renewed commitment to its implementation and to support each other to do that.

New Zealand will not accept an outcome declaration that contains anything less than a clear, unambiguous and unqualified reaffirmation of Beijing. We are not interested in negotiating any qualifications to the reaffirmation contained in the draft prepared by the bureau.

New Zealand calls on all states to reaffirm the Beijing Platform for Action without equivocation. The international community has laboured too long over language in human rights treaties, declarations and resolutions. It is time to take action, and Beijing provides with us with the right platform for doing so."
(Statement by the Honorable Ruth Dyson, New Zealand Minister of Women's Affairs)

* The draft declaration does include minor amendments, which have been accepted by consensus.

Viva New Zealand!!!!

Posted by cj at March 2, 2005 11:26 AM

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