18 June 2010

Day 5: Outcome document adopted

by Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

During a procedurally confusing Friday, the Chair of BMS4, Ambassador Macedo of Mexico, pleaded with delegations to adopt the draft outcome document without reopening the text with such limited time left. Though supported by the vast majority of delegations, who argued that they would not have time to get instructions from capital if substantive changes were made, a few delegations requested the opportunity to go through the text section by section to suggest amendments. Deliberations on how to proceed consumed all of the morning and afternoon meetings; in the end, a few delegates did manage to suggest changes, but most were able to work these out bilaterally between concerned individuals. While other delegates continued pressuring the Chair to open the text futher, a suggestion by the Egyptian delegate to add a description of the process to the technical part of the document saved the day. The paragraph read:

The Chairman presented to delegations a draft outcome document prepared with the assistance of the Friends of the Chair in thorough informal consultations with delegations. He appealed to delegations not to open the draft for discussion and requested its adoption as an outcome of the BMS4, while noting that such procedure will not represent a precedent in future meetings of the Programme of Action.

At five minutes to 6, the document was adopted by consensus. Analysis of the document will follow over the next few days on this blog.

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