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U.N. Closes Sessions to NGOs

U.N. Closes Sessions to NGOs

NEW YORK, March 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- The United Nations announced today that all negotiating sessions on the draft document to come out of the 2008 Commission on the Status of Women would be closed to NGO (non- government organization) representatives. Closed sessions are not unusual as the negotiations heat up towards the end, but closing sessions at the beginning of the drafting process is unprecedented according to NGO representatives of long standing.

Dr. Janice Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, "This lack of openness is creating a storm of protest among the NGOs who are here at the U.N. from around the world for the expressed purpose of influencing the outcome of the resolutions that will be finalized at this session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The ruling has caused NGOs to think that the U.N. is railroading pet programs through the sessions."

Crouse explained, "NGOs have traditionally provided language for the delegates and briefed them on the ramifications of the various aspects of the draft document for the constituencies that the delegates represent. Delegates tend to be political appointees who serve briefly, while the NGOs are long-term activists supporting specific issues and have institutional memory and are experts on previous U.N. agreements and documents."

Crouse concluded, "Without NGO input, the agreements will represent the leftist U.N. positions without any counterbalance from the conservative NGOs. The leftist NGOs will agree with the U.N. positions; it is the conservatives that are being blocked."

Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.

3mnewswire.org

4.3.08 06:08

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