|The Council adopted by consensus its biannual resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity. The resolution represents an advancement to women’s human rights on several counts.
However, fourteen amendments tabled by Russia aimed to significantly reduce the potential advances in the resolution, five of which went to a vote. The amendments targeted references to the CESCR General Comment 22 on the right to sexual and reproductive health and the CRPD General Comment 3 on women and girls with disabilities, and the call for States to remove third party authorization for health services ( agreed language from resolution A/HRC/RES/32/4), insisting on the qualifiers of the ICPD and Beijing Platform for Action for agreed language on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and sought to change the title of the proposed panel on maternal mortality and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
These five amendments were voted on and accepted by a majority of States in the Council. While the text remains strong and represents important advances in several areas, the number of amendments put forward and their acceptance by the Council members illustrates the continued challenges to advancing women’s rights to equality, health, life, information, privacy and control the number and spacing of children, among others. It is especially disappointing that the Council would backtrack on language agreed only three months ago in the Elimination of Discrimination against Women resolution at the June session regarding the removal of third party authorization for information and health services.