|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
The UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) adopted a historic Resolution on “Adolescents and Youth” at its 45th Session held from 23-27 April 2012 in New York.
The Commission adopted new and very progressive language including protection and promotion of “human rights and fundamental freedoms of young people regardless of age and marital status … by eliminating all forms of discrimination against girls and women... and by protecting the human rights of adolescents and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health.” (OP7)
The ground for this operational paragraph (OP) had been laid earlier in the Resolution in a preambular paragraph (PP) by the recognition “that reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus documents. ” That such “human rights include the right of individuals to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence”(PP15)
This long-awaited positive result at CPD was the product of intense and coordinated preparation and advocacy by a coalition that included Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ), International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and Amnesty International as well as close work with the Center for Reproductive Rights. There was also joint work during the week between this coalition and IPPF. It is also the product of strategic thinking and positioning, of excellent organizing, and of the passionate hearts and minds of feminists present at the CPD. At this year's CPD 45th Session, DAWN had a particularly strong presence, working with 15 feminists and advocates from countries across the Global South: Kenya, Fiji, Cook Islands, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China.
Beyond geographic diversity, the DAWN Team comprehensively covered all areas of work at CPD, including strategic analysis and ongoing assessment, establishing contact and lobbying government delegations, providing language/text suggestions, monitoring and responding quickly to political dynamics on the floor, and covering the long and gruelling days and nights of advocacy at the UN in the midst of conservatives from many religious and geographical fronts. DAWN and our allies IWHC and RESURJ have expressed great satisfaction and optimism at the strength of this final resolution; and at the commitment of many States including from the South in progressing this positive outcome. DAWN looks forward to national, regional and global use of this text for policy-making and advocacy as we move into the urgent work of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development that will be held in June 2012; the twenty year review of ICPD in 2014; and the post-MDGs development framework beyond 2015.