Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good News from the U.N.

Here is the good news from the U.N. as announced by Charlotte Bunch at the Center for Women's Global Leadership:

We are very pleased to let you know that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution today that takes the next step in the process of creating the new Women's Rights entity at the UN. In the text below are the GEAR talking points on the passage of the resolution, and we must now push on our many remaining points to ensure that the entity that is created serves the rights and needs of women throughout the world. We will be back in touch after a few days with suggestions for the next steps in this process. Congratulations to all for your hard work on this.

GEAR Talking Points on Adoption of System Wide Coherence Resolution by the UN General Assembly

September 14, 2009

1. The GEAR campaign is pleased that the General Assembly expressed strong and unanimous support in adopting a resolution today that will enable the creation of the new gender equality entity to be headed by a new Under Secretary-General (USG).

2. Women and their allies from around the world have been advocating for three years for a stronger better resourced agency on gender equality and women's empowerment, and look forward to its creation early in 2010 - during the fifteen anniversary year of the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

3. We urge Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to immediately begin the recruitment process for appointing a strong leader grounded in women's rights and gender equality as the USG who will lead this process of consolidating the four existing entities. We expect a broad, open search process to start promptly so that the USG is in place and the entity can be operational by the time of the Beijing + 15 Review at the Commission on the Status of Women in March of 2010.

4. Member states must also address in a timely fashion all the outstanding issues required for the entity to begin operations, including the mechanisms for governance and oversight.

5. Donor countries need to pledge the substantial funding ($1 billion) to support the proposed strong field operation that the entity must have to be successful in fulfilling the promises made by governments and the UN to the world's women.

6. As civil society has always played a vital role in the UN's work on women's rights, we urge member states and the Secretary General to commit to systematic and on-going participation of civil society, particularly women's organizations, in every stage of the process at global, regional, national, and local levels including in the governing board

7. Women around the world have waited a long time for the United Nations and member states to fulfill the promises made since the first International Women's Year in 1975, the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) thirty years ago, as well as the UN World Conferences in Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995).

8. This is an important and crucial step forward - now it must be made operational without further delay.


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