Monday, January 24

Vatican helps block feminist diplomatic text

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde (l) and her Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau in Stockholm, December 3, 2021 Claudio BRESCIANI

The Vatican, in an unexpected alliance with Russia, helped block an international diplomatic resolution prepared by Sweden on Friday on the need to increase the role of women in conflict resolution.

Inventor of the concept of “feminist diplomacy”, Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), presented this a priori consensus and not legally binding resolution.

But the text, which was not made public, was blocked “by Russia and the Vatican,” lamented Swedish Minister Ann Linde after a meeting of the organization in Stockholm.

Focusing on “the economic empowerment of women”, the declaration aimed in particular to affirm the need to strengthen their place in society to promote global security and their role in conflict resolution.

Few texts are adopted at the OSCE, due to the requirement of unanimity and the divergent visions between its Western members, with Moscow in particular.

But Sweden was hopeful that this text would be adopted and was surprised to see the Vatican helping to torpedo it.

Moscow and the Holy See “do not agree on working on gender equality issues, which I deeply regret,” said Linde at the final press conference of the ministers’ meeting of the OSCE.

“I had really hoped for a decision to be made on this, I’m so disappointed,” she said.

Of the twenty resolutions prepared by the Swedish presidency, only one has been adopted, on the climate.

The most sensitive text, on Ukraine, was blocked even before being considered in plenary. Moscow’s veto was inevitable, with the resolution saying, among other things, that Crimea is Ukrainian, diplomats said.

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