Latin American and Caribbean countries call for stand-alone goal in strong pre-CSW declaration


At the conclusion of the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Consultations ahead of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW58), held 6-7 February in Mexico City, Ministers and senior Government representatives from 27 countries unanimously adopted the “Mexico Declaration”, considered a strong, positive and constructive document that national delegations will take forward to CSW58 in March 2014.

The consultations were opened by UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra, together with H.E. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Foreign Minister of Mexico; Lorena Cruz Sanchez, President of the National Women’s Institute of Mexico; and Alejandrina German, Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Dominican Republic and Chair of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Hendra gave opening and closing remarks and UN Women Regional Director for the Americas and Caribbean, Moni Pizani, delivered a presentation on “CSW58: Challenges and achievements in implementing the MDGs for women and girls”, in the first session of the consultations. 

“For me personally, it has been very gratifying to witness first-hand the active engagement and commitment this region has traditionally demonstrated,” said Mr. Hendra in his closing speech, “as seen recently in the important debates and in the strong and unequivocal language approved in the Santo Domingo, Brasilia and Quito Consensus of the past editions of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean; and in the Montevideo Consensus of the First Regional Conference on Population and Development. Today, once again, a reinforcement of this commitment has been made clear in your Declaration.”

Key recommendations of the Mexico Declaration include:

  • First, it makes a strong call for a transformative and comprehensive specific (stand-alone) goal to ensure gender equality, women´s rights and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 development framework, with clear goals, targets and indicators. It says this goal must address at least violence against women and girls, gender equality in resource distribution and gender equality in decision-making in the public and private sectors, as well as in the household.

  • Second, the declaration makes a call to integrate gender mainstreaming throughout the post-2015 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in all goals and indicators. In addition, delegates expressed that any new-generation goals adopted in the post-2015 agenda/SDGs must be: 1) transformative, and really tackle the structural factors that constrain sustainable development; 2) universal, applying to all countries regardless of economic status; and 3) rights-based, addressing equality, including gender equality and women’s rights and the empowerment of women. 

  • Third, specific reference was made to ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights, explicitly reaffirming the progressive and forward-looking agreements reached in the Montevideo Consensus of the First Regional Conference on Population and Development last year and the Cairo Programme of Action. 

Finally, participants agreed that the new post-2015 agenda and SDGs must build on lessons learned, by directly tackling both unequal power relations between men and women, and persistent social norms and gender stereotypes that impede sustainable development and discriminate against women and girls. They agreed that the new agenda must fully integrate gender mainstreaming across all goals and targets that are developed and address multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination as well as broader barriers such as the impact of economic crises, violence, persistent conflict, climate change and environmental degradation, and should be relevant to the context of Small Island Developing States, as well as of middle-income countries.

Civil society played an active and important role throughout the consultations, with significant attendance of representatives from diverse sectors and from across the region, including the UN Women Regional Civil Society Advisory Group, the NGO Committee CSW and regional networks. There was a specific session on the agenda of these consultations that aimed to collect the diverse voices and views of civil society. Civil society representatives issued a declaration at the end of these consultations and expressed their satisfaction with the outcome.