Conferences: The Triumphant Spirit of Nairobi

In the end, the United Nations Decade for Women avoids extremes

When the moment of agreement finally came at 3 a.m., bleary-eyed delegates erupted into whoops and cheers on the floor of Nairobi's cavernous Jomo Kenyatta International Conference Center. After almost two weeks of often bitter debate, delegations from 160 countries managed a relatively harmonious conclusion to a conference marking the end of the United Nations Decade for Women. A series of compromises enabled the conference to adopt unanimously a document of "forward-looking strategies" for women that avoided ideological extremes. "The U.N. won in spite of itself," said Delegate Rosario Manalo of the Philippines, "and it took women to do it."


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