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CSD NGO Women's Caucus
friends and colleagues,
please find below a report from the CSD 8th Session held in New York, 26
April - 5 May, focusing on women's caucus activities, and on caucus
discussions on CSD-9 and 2002.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.
Chief Bisi Ogunleye & Minu Hemmati
Co-facilitators of the CSD NGO Women's Caucus
Caucus at the CSD 8th Session, April/May 2000
The caucus met nearly every morning at 8.30 until 9.15 am. We also
worked closely with other caucuses who were active at this session.
Elections of caucus co-facilitators were held on Tuesday, 2 May. Chief
Bisi Ogunleye and Minu Hemmati were both re-elected by the caucus, and will
be serving until the next elections at CSD-9.
A group of women's caucus members participated in the CSD Dialogue Sessions
on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD), where NGOs,
Industry, Farmers and Trade Unions participated in lively discussions. One
of the results of the Dialogue Sessions is a CSD decision for an ongoing
multi-stakeholder dialogue on SARD between now and 2002. The four dialoguing
groups as well as Indigenous Peoples and Women will be part of the process.
The agreement was achieved during the last night of CSD negotiations, at 2am
on the morning of Saturday, May 6. I certainly helped that a large group of
stakeholders made a statement in favour of an ongoing process during the
negotiations earlier in the second week of CSD. This was a premiere at the
CSD: a joint statement by NGOs, Women, Indigenous Peoples, Trade Unions and
During the first weekend's preparatory meeting and the first week of the
intersessional, we focused our work on participating at finance caucus
meetings and contributing to the papers and statements produced by the
finance caucus (available on the steering committee website at www.csdngo.org/csdngo).
The caucus followed up the work on land issues, which the group began
during the preparations for this year's meetings and at the Intersessional.
We held a side event on 3 May, 6.15 - 8pm: "Women's Land Ownership:
Strategies Towards Equality", chaired by Jan Peterson, Huairou
Commission. Speakers included Chief Bisi Ogunleye (Country Women's
Association of Nigeria), Rudo Peace Mungwashu (UN Association Zimbabwe /
Women's Operation Green), Pauline Kariuki (GROOTS Kenya). We also addressed
land issues in our statement and paper. The caucus lobbied on land issues
during the negotiations, including the very last night, when delegates
agreed on a paragraph based on language from the Habitat Agenda, which we
had been pointing out since the Intersessional meeting. We held more events
at the Beijing+5 Special Session, co-coordinated by the Huairou Commission,
the CSD Land Caucus, the Women's Caucus and UNCHS, and met at the Habitat
Offices for discussions on a global campaign on women's land rights. We
agreed to continue the chain of events at the upcoming Copenhagen+5 Special
Session (27th June, 12-2pm) and the Regional PrepComs for Istanbul+5.
Brainstorming and exchange led to a list of suggestions for further action,
based on a summary of the presentations and discussions at the side events
since the CSD Intersessional produced by Pamela Ransom.
NGOs founded a new issue based caucus on land issues. As the women's
caucus had spearheaded the NGO work on land issues, the women's caucus was
asked to nominate one of the co-facilitators for the new land caucus. This
role has been taken on by Pamela Ransom, WEDO, and a planner by profession.
Get in touch with Pam if you're interested in working with the Land Caucus
(Tel +1 212 973 0325, Fax +1 212 973 0335, Email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The caucus did also work on agriculture, particularly through working with
the SAFS caucus. We also used caucus position papers and suggested
amendments to lobby delegates at the sessions. For example, Vanya Walker
Leigh produced a list of existing agreements and ongoing processes as a
basis of our arguing for the inclusion of "national and household"
food security, reference to the "central role of women in developing
countries throughout the food chain", "gender impact
assessments" and "full gender mainstreaming".
The caucus held two side events:
1. The Women Food Farmers / WEDO / Women's Caucus Luncheon on 28 May
which was a great success - with women explaining the dishes and sharing
their experiences, and more than 120 delegates attending. Speakers included
representatives form UNIFEM and Ambassadors to the UN. Chief Bisi Ogunleye,
who prepared moderated the event, had mobilized all the WEDO team and other
colleagues to prepare the food which was plenty and delicious!
2. "Women's Land Ownership: Strategies Towards Equality"
SUMMIT 2002 (RIO+10)
Based on the background paper ("Women
& Sustainable Development 2000 - 2002") and our prepared
comments on the Secretary General's report, we lobbied delegates on women's
participation in the preparations for 2002, particularly from developing
countries and grassroots women's groups; gender disaggregated data for the
Rio+10 review; gender mainstreaming of all issues addressed; necessary
linkages between to the other UN processes, particularly Beijing and Cairo,
etc. After a very lively Ministerial Segment on 2002, where many Ministers
expressed support for a high level event to be held in 2002, in a developing
country, the negotiations during the CSD second week started rather slow.
During an informal night session, it was agreed to recommend such an event
which consist of a 10 year review of progress & setbacks since Rio as
well as forward-looking discussions on emerging / urgent issues. Although
several issues were mentioned as possible "main themes" of a
Summit - no agreement was reached to include any of those issues in the CSD
decision. National and regional preparations are recommended to start as
early as possible, and strong support is given at several points for the
active involvement of Major Groups in the preparatory process. South Africa,
Brazil and Korea have at the CSD offered to host the Summit - which will be
the first major UN Summit since the Food Summit in Rome in 1996. To date,
South Africa, being backed by all African nations and offered support from
several developed countries, seems the most likely candidate. (Update:
Brazil has withdrawn its bid and asked all its supporters to support the
South African bid; Indonesia has also publicly announced its bid and is
being supported by the Asian community.) The General Assembly is to make the
decision in the autumn. (Update: The GA made the decision in December 2000
to hold a WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in South Africa in 2002.
The South African Government has announced that the Summit will be held in
POSITION PAPERS AND STATEMENTS
We continued to work with the previously prepared position and
background papers and with amendments to the draft outcome documents from
the Intersessional meeting. We produced a caucus statement, which was
delivered in the Ministerial Segment of the first week of CSD-8, by Nelcia
Robinson. We were also able to give 200 copies of the statement to the
conference room staff who then distributed it to all delegates while it was
delivered. The statement will be circulated with the next message (and put
on the caucus web-site sometime this week). In addition to the statement, we
produced a 4-page document summarising our priority points; we distributed
over 200 copies of this paper. Both statement and paper have been circulated
on the caucus list server. Copies of caucus position papers and the summary
of recommendations were also distributed, much so in the course of our
individual lobbying of delegates, other NGOs, and other stakeholder
representatives As during the Intersessional, we also distributed several
hundred copies of an info leaflet about the women's caucus. This will be
made available shortly on the caucus web-site for your to download and use
when talking to your colleagues about our work. Viisti Dickens from
Sustainable Development International, a London publisher, has translated
the caucus position paper
on land issues into Spanish. We hope to increase the number of
translations in our preparations for CSD-9.
The caucus had several articles in the daily NGO newsletter 'OUTREACH',
including in its 100th edition on 4 May, on the history of the women's
caucus. Issues of Outreach can be accessed via the CSD NGO Steering
Committee web-site at www.csdngo.org/csdngo.
hope this gives you a bit of an account on what happened at the CSD-8
We are looking forward to working with you!
Chief Bisi Ogunleye & Minu Hemmati
Caucus preparations for CSD-9 and 2002: discussions at caucus meetings
ISSUES FOR CSD-9 ARE:
- Energy (Dialogue Sessions)
- Transport (Dialogue Sessions)
- Information for Decision-Making and Participation (incl. Indicators)
- Enabling Environment
Our initial discussions focused on energy issues. The energy caucus has
approached us asking for input and collaboration, e.g. on firewood / fuel
issues in developing countries. We have caucus members who have been working
on gender & energy issues but will need to outreach further to increase
our numbers (on all issues coming up). We are aiming to do this also through
the registration process as well as further outreach at Beijing+5 and
Copenhagen+5 and asking all caucus members to pass on information about the
CSD women's caucus (info leaflet).
It was suggested to try and identify a group of women from various
stakeholder groups (NGOs, trade unions, industry) aiming to discuss common
women's positions on the issues. Minu will try to get this going.
Chief Bisi will aim to bring African women to the CSD to enable to speak for
themselves at the meetings. She will work with UNDP on this, through Gail
Karlsson who is working with UNDP on gender & energy issues.
The women's caucus representatives, WEDO and UNDP should meet to discuss
possible collaboration, at least to raise travel funding for developing
countries NGOs. Another troubling issue is the dumping of nuclear waste in
developing countries, a problem will try and get onto the agenda of CSD-9;
WEDO has worked on this. We should link with the Human Settlements Caucus to
bring success stories, pictures and other material illustrating our points.
We shall work with the Transport
Caucus who will be preparing for the Dialogue Sessions for the NGO side.
We agreed to write to the Chair of CSD-9, Bedrich Moldan from the Czech
Republic, to point out that women should be one of the Major Groups
participating in the Dialogue Sessions, not only as part of the NGO group
(Chief Bisi & Minu).
We have started a registration process for caucus members, using the list
server and all contacts we have (membership
registration). The initial membership list shall be all who attended the
women's caucus at CSD-8 and CSD-9. Everybody shall pass on the registration
forms & information within their networks. The agreed closing deadline
for registration was 15 July. However, we shall continue outreach and
registration after that date; this date is only important with regard to
possible voting procedures to be undertaken in case we develop a proposal to
raise funds for our work in the name of the CSD NGO Women's Caucus.
A possible proposal discussed was to support the caucus co-facilitators
communication efforts (phone, fax, email, postage). This would allow Chief
Bisi to be connected to the internet and would allow more information
sharing with people who have no internet access via post. Membership of the
list server group shall not be limited to organisations registering for
caucus membership. Another possible proposal discussed was, on the basis of
consultation with the respective constituencies, to focus on regional
activities to organize national and regional meetings, fundraising for local
transportation and communication; to gather case studies and women's
initiatives to bring into the process towards CSD-9 and 2002. It was agreed
that we all engage in brainstorming with our organisations and networks and
start initial discussions on activities and possible proposals by the end of
the summer. The co-facilitators shall consider their communication needs and
2002, we felt it was important to ensure active participation from all
countries, at national, regional and international level, aiming to get
issues of utmost importance to us onto the agenda and ensure that all issues
addressed are being covered with a strong and clear gender perspective. We
discussed possible national, regional and international women's meetings
towards 2002, and possible issues to focus on. However, we felt that there
should be a consultation process so that more people can contribute what
they would wish to see & do between now and 2002.