Subject: [fem-women2000 776] Women's Globalnet #189: Women Speak Out at UN Finance Conference
From: iwtc <>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 20:51:12 +0000
Seq: 776

Initiatives and Activities of Women Worldwide
By Anne S. Walker 

March 28, 2002



Monterrey, Mexico: The Women專 Caucus, comprising representatives from 
organizations in more than 50 countries worldwide, is alarmed that this 
meeting on Financing for Development is being used as a venue for 
subverting development and advancing the militarist goals of the U.S. 
government專 "war on terrorism".  

As governments and multilateral financial and trade organizations 
collude here in Monterrey, women are being hemmed in by two forces of 
fundamentalism: the fundamentalism of the market and religious 
fundamentalism that have brought the world to a dangerous juncture. The 
Monterrey Consensus assumes that the global economic and financial 
system is functioning well and working for all.

The Monterrey Consensus promotes the market as a game in which players 
are rewarded when they create an environment favorable to the private 
sector in both North and South. And this final Financing for Development 
(FfD) meeting has become a playground for the most powerful nation on 
earth to use aid as a bargaining chip for economic, political and 
military compliance that will have devastating consequences for human 
rights, gender equality, and sustainability.

For women, who are 51 percent of the world專 population and the majority 
of its poorest, there can be no such consensus. Women from civil society 
are excluded from decision making in our countries, in global economic 
governance, and as full participants at this Conference.  

While the world專 leaders gather to make token gestures towards poverty 
eradication, thousands of women, men and children in Africa are dying 
from AIDS, and millions of children in the poorest countries are dying 
from preventable diseases.  

As heads of government revere market omnipotence, trade liberalization, 
and privatization in the Monterrey Consensus, civil wars, exacerbated by 
that very system of corporate globalization, are raging in Burundi, 
Liberia, the great lakes region of central Africa, and some 30 other 
countries, according to the UN itself. Furthermore, for millions of 
people in Argentina, who have lost jobs, savings and pensions, the 
future is bleak. 

Male-dominated government budgets follow the U.S lead of more 
militarization and less social spending while
-the daily death toll rises in Palestine; 
-millions are directed in new military aid to the Philippines and 
- the Afghani people are paying for the actions of others as bombs 
continue falling in their country; and
-new fronts are being sought by those who believe they have the right to 
decide who is evil and who is not.

The powers that be abandon former regions of conflict such as the 
Balkans, leaving them impoverished and environmentally damaged, then 
move on to hunt more 壹vil-doerson other fronts in Iraq, Iran and 
North Korea. Women and men are the "collateral damage" in these 
conflicts凵nd black, indigenous and ethnically marginalized women pay 
the highest price.    

It is clear from the Monterrey Consensus that the original aim剩o 
finance the commitments made by governments in UN development 
conferences on environment, human rights, population, social 
development, racism and women刪as been abandoned. 

Governments of the North must not use aid as a bargaining chip in 
pursuing their economic, political and military interests. Governments 
of the South must not cave in to pressures to accept aid, trade and 
investment in exchange for political and military compliance. As women 
we will not sacrifice our lives and the lives of our children, our 
families and our communities for this blood money. 

We demand that our governments hold firm to the commitments they have 
made in UN conferences and their follow-up processes in Rio, Vienna, 
Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing, Istanbul and Durban, for the realization of 
an equitable, people-centered and gender-sensitive sustainability. 

This requires nothing less than:
-democratic global governance;
-binding mechanisms for the full implementation of all human rights;
-equitable redistribution of resources, and; 
-changes in power relations within and between countries刮nclusive of 
women, the poor, and racially and other marginalized groups.

Women of the world declare: 

The Monterrey Consensus is not our consensus! 
Without human rights, there is NO consensus!  

Women專 organizations and all of civil society must be fully included 
this week in the FFD conference, its follow-up, and decision-making at 
all levels.  

Another world is possible and women are building it!
NO to financing war, YES to financing sustainable development free from 

For further information, please contact: NGO FfD Women專 Caucus. c/o 
Joan Ross-Frankson (WEDO)  at <> or Carol Barton (WICEJ) at 


The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women approved by consensus 
yesterday a revised resolution on the situation of women and girls in 
Afghanistan that outlines recommendations to the interim government and 
U.N. agencies which aim to improve their quality of life.  The 
commission adjourned
its annual session March 15, but had been unable to adopt the Afghan 
text by the secretariat's deadline.

The U.S.-led text, recommended for approval by the U.N. Economic and 
Social Council, urges Afghanistan to fully respect the equal human 
rights and freedoms of women and girls in accordance with international 
standards, give priority to the ratification of the Convention on the 
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its 
optional protocol, repeal all laws that discriminate against women and 
girls, respect women's right to work and to security, ensure equal 
access to education for Afghan women and girls and ensure equal and full 
participation of women and girls in civil, cultural, economic, political 
and social life in Afghanistan.

According to the resolution, the transitional government would also be 
asked to bring to justice those responsible for violence against women 
and girls, protect their rights to freedom and movement and respect 
their equal access to physical and mental health services.

For further information, see  March 25 U.N. Press Release at:
<> , 

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