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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[The Guardian] The Progressing and Progressive Negotiations within UN Women

After two days and a half of negotiations, UN Women seems to work cooperatively and strategically towards a common response to the healthcare and education concern for women, with a focus on maternity care. The discussion is smooth, and all delegates work commonly in drafting the resolution “K.A.B.U.L” (Knowledge sharing, Asylum seeker maternal care, Breaking barriers, Universal medical access and Lactation and nutrition). This draft is mainly focused on lowering the maternal mortality rate in order to make sure that the rate will not be twice as high as the average. The UN Women committee is looking forward to reinforcing its partnerships with UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS and the World Bank Group as the committee emphasises cooperation between international organizations in order to look together for better healthcare conditions for women across the members of the United Nations. Moreover, the delegates are wishing for the creation of international funds to ensure better infrastructure as well as higher quality supplies in medications. The settlement of new measures will allow for a more prosperous and healthy life for women, especially in countries which currently experience unstable economic and political situations. Regarding the negotiations, As some of the present countries’ governments experience human rights backsliding conditions, the delegates emphasise the “great direction” that these negotiations take, underlined by the delegate of New Zealand.

However, delegates still disagree on the course of the development of the operation. The United States are in favour of developing the operation into phases in order to ensure the well-functioning of the latest and make sure that the member states will be able to follow up correctly. Uganda is worried about the development pace of these phases and shares its concern of the operation not being implemented fast enough. For its part, Afghanistan does not see the point of implementing the operation through phases as they urge the need of healthcare improvement for women. However, Uganda still defends the idea of working into “phases" in stating that the fundings would be too “spread out” and therefore ineffective if not developed in this manner.

Nethertheless, although some details need to be pre-cleared and agreed among the delegates, the implementation of the operation is on track, as it is supported by a multitude of new concepts which will support the project. Among those, the “voucher system” which is initially implemented nationally by Japan and Bangladesh, supports pregnant women who wish to be provided with more healthcare services, especially needed in rural areas, where the demand increases. This program is wished to be spread internationally and funded by multiple international agencies as it would be highly beneficial for sustaining healthcare for women, especially for the ones who experience maternity.

Overall, the negotiations are promising and give faith in the future of international cooperation and the improvement of women’s well-being across the world. This major issue has been progressively being solved through the increasing use of trans-national agreements and programs, although the need of funding remains a key element for the successful implementation of these programs.

- Alodia Heijmans, World News correspondent at The Guardian


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