NEW YORK TIMES
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
By Clayton MacLean
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is making extraordinary steps forwards towards addressing the issue of ensuring healthcare to women at risk of violence. As the delegate from Guatemala explained, “There has been vast cooperation, more than I could ever have expected.” Though controversial topics – threatened to disrupt the Commission’s ability to cooperate effectively, particularly in light of strong cultural differences between the delegations, “Even in topics that are so controversial, there has been cooperation, there have been ways of putting in clauses that make both parties happy, regardless of their – as extreme as their views may be. So I think that’s amazing” the representative jubilantly proclaimed.
She wasn’t alone in expressing such sentiments. The delegate from Equatorial Guinea declared that “We’ve made sure most of the voices in this [commission] have been heard, and that their issues that needed to be addressed were addressed”. As the delegate explained, the commission was working to expand on pre-existing UN programs which sought to address the issue of healthcare for victims of gender-based violence. According to the delegate, “the problem is, often times the outreach or the quality of the programs has been lacking.” By increasing monitoring efforts and creating a database to track the effectiveness of programs, the CSW seeks to make current programs more effective.
The Commission is working together effectively despite cultural differences and strong controversies over how its ideas and recommendations should be implemented. With international tensions on the rise, it’s refreshing to see the world’s states cooperate so effectively on a matter of pressing importance.