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IN THE CORRIDORS

Although the motivations were mixed, there was general frustration in the corridors on Wednesday. Many delegates who did not support the Chair's compromise text on paragraph 8.25 -- and who are generally opposed to abortion -- complained that they were not invited to participate in the Chair's consultations on Tuesday that developed this text. Those who were willing to accept the Chair's text, and put the debate on abortion behind them, were not pleased to see that the Chair had apparently let an emerging consensus slip through his fingers. Some NGOs and delegates are afraid that the result of this new set of consultations will be so weak that the important issues of empowerment of women and women's reproductive rights will also be compromised. Some delegates criticized the new working group as exclusive rather than transparent. There was also doubt that the group could produce a text that could be accepted by the Main Committee. As passions continue to run high, look for intense lobbying to continue throughout the day on Thursday.