Member states spent more than 10 days negotiating. The final version of the draft resolution contained important references to the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people and comprehensive sexuality education. The final version was rejected though when the US and a number of African countries, more particularly Egypt, Cameroon and Djibouti wanted to have sections on SRHR deleted.
During the negotiations, the US sided with the Vatican, Russia and other countries against any references to sexual rights. The US refused to recognise that unsafe abortions are one of the main causes of maternal mortality.
In response, 31 countries of different regions, including Belgium, launched a statement underlining the importance of SRHR and other human rights. The countries expressed their indignation as to how a handful of countries is able to undermine agreements on human rights. In addition, South Africa, the Latin American countries and Tunesia took a clear stance in support of SRHR.
The European Union failed to speak with a united voice as Hungary and Poland refused to agree on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual rights. Consequently there was no joint EU position on SRHR.
Sensoa follows these global developments closely and provided the Belgian permanent representation in New York with recommendations before and during the negotiations.
Belgium takes up a leading role in ‘She Decides’, the global initiative launched in answer to Trump’s policies earlier this year. Through ‘She Decides’, a coalition of countries, with the support of civil society, wants to take up the plight of SRHR and fill the funding gap.