Second week of CSW 63 started this morning with attendance at the NGOCSW Morning Briefing. Side events commenced at 8.15 a.m and parallel events at 8.30 a.m. I am attending two parallel event this afternoon – one sponsored by the Women’s Major Group and the second an event on Human Trafficking organized by Mercy International.
Asa Regner is the Assistant Secretary-General, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. Asa is from Sweden and was appointed to this role in March 2018. Read more Andrew Gilmore is Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, heading OHCHR’s office in New York. He outlined the distinction between ‘pushback’ against women’s rights and ‘backlash’. Pushback is resistance to the human rights agenda whereas backlash is a reaction to the same agenda. We hear with increasing frequency these words both in discussion and examples in people’s lives. Reprisals are a growing phenomenon. Persons and groups are prevented from co-operating with the United Nations, and in some cases there are reprisals and punishments for having cooperated with the United Nations. Women Human Rights Defenders are particularly vulnerable to reprisals, on line harassment, sexual assault, and targeting of family members. Haydee Castillo was on the panel too sharing on the situation in Nicaragua.
Secretary General held a townhall meeting with women gather for CSW 63 yesterday March 12. “To promote human rights for all, as gender equality is a central instrument for human rights. To ensure development for all, as gender equality is a fundamental tool for development.” Read more
The opening of the Commission was webcast and can be found in the Archives Secretary General indicated that this is the Commission on the Status of Women. But it could equally go by another name: the Commission on the Status of Power. How apt! Because he said this is the crux of the issue! Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power. The statement of the President of the General Assembly is in Spanish. The Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Ms. Hilary Gbedemah said ‘Women are disadvantaged in social protection systems, experiencing lower coverage rates and substantially lower benefit levels. The Committee recognises that social protection policies are an important tool for reducing . poverty and gender inequality. Gender gaps in accessing social protection vary per region and country, as they are largely dependent on the characteristics of the labour market and the structure of the social security system.’ See the full text If you wish to see who is who with regard to Women’s and Girls Leadership at the United Nations review the panel line up. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on violence against women also made a Statement. If you prefer to read an account rather than watch the webcast go to UN Meeting Coverage
While there is optimism and hope for a good outcome many sharing and stories tell of backlash against gender equality. ” As push back against women’s rights around the world threaten to reverse hard-won gains, conviction and political courage must drive forward progress and build on achievements, high-level speakers pledged at the opening session of the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women.” … “United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that when women are excluded, everyone pays, also warning that the world today is witnessing a deep, pervasive and relentless push back on women’s rights. “We will push back against the push back,” he pledged, adding that the United Nations is also making progress in achieving gender parity.” All quotes from the UN Meeting Coverage link above
Our statement to the Commission on the Status of Women makes the following recommendations. These are our advocacy points
Enact a just, integrated and sustainable model of development, inclusive of gender, environmental, and economic justice, that puts the interests of disempowered, marginalized and impoverished girls, women and their communities at the centre of policy concerns, ahead of the corporate agenda, and upholds the protection of their human rights.
Establish human rights-based, gender-sensitive Social Protection Floors at the national level as a first step in the creation of Universal Social Protection, in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda, and ‘to reach those furthest behind first.’
Express strong political will to reject austerity measures in favour of the implementation of social protection systems financed through progressive taxation, addressing Illicit flows, and the reallocation of military expenditures.
Ensure better access to health care, quality education, skills training, and public services for girls and women.
Enable inclusive, non-tokenistic participation for girls and women at all levels of decision-making including policy design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
The UN Women and UNEG (United Nations Evaluation Group) have developed a guideline in 5 languages to evaluate the SDGs with a gender lens. Link to English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish
Another excellent resource linking the SDG’s with various human rights mechanism has been published by the Danish Institute For Human Rights. It too, is is multiple languages and has an interactive dimension – you can choose a goal or target and see the linkages to human rights.
The second part of the HLPF (High Level Political Forum) the High Level Ministerial Meeting began on Monday July 17th. UN Secretary General António Guterres delivered a STATEMENT on his understanding of the State of the World. Mixed picture, deficit of trust, the need to find more legal avenues for migrants, financing development, and foresee what is coming. Secretary General concluded “And I think that looking at this Assembly, one can only be enthusiastic about the fact that there is a very strong commitment not only to the implementation of the agenda but a very strong affirmation of support to multilateral governance as the way to lead the 2030 Agenda respecting the leadership of member states but recognising that only working together we can rebuild the trust that is needed and we can make the Agenda 2030 that factor that brings the fair globalisation the world needs in the present times.”
This was followed by Jeffery Sachs with a key note address to the Member States. Access the WEBCAST marker 34.45 to hear for yourself. He started with the good news “the world output this year will be estimated by the World Bank at 127 trillion dollars – that is 17,000.00 dollars for every man, women and child on the planet. If you prefer to read Meeting Coverage at the UN provides you that opportunity.
“Despite the extraordinary wealth in the world, 1 billion people still struggled to survive every day, he said. In the United States, the coal, oil and gas lobby had contributed $100 million in the election cycle. “That is why we pulled out of our Climate Agreement,” he added, emphasizing that the world was witnessing the “corruption of our future”.”
Some of the forces referred to are directly responsible for the loss of life of Women Human Rights Defenders. This fact was recognized in an action during week one. A Press Release names some of the women and provides background. I was excited to see Dorothy Stang, a Sister of Notre Dame De Namur on the list. She was murdered in 2005 SEE for more information
Thanks to the Women Major Group for all they organized and prepared during this HLPF 2017. The graphics are priceless, their statements clear and focused and more importantly on target. 10 Priorities for the Ministerial Declaration of HLPF 2017
Those of us attending the HLPF, now in its second week are overwhelmed with words. Yesterday, July 17th the National Voluntary Reviews begun, and continue today and tomorrow.
One highlight of the first week was our side event at the Irish Mission to the UN.
It was a great event … great sharing, collaboration and real implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals from India to Kenya to Mexico – reaching the furthest behind! I will be forgiven by my other religious colleagues at the UN for saying that Donatus Lili from Kenya made an excellent
The dedication and commitment of sisters – Daughters of Charity, Presentation Sisters, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto) and ourselves with our mission partners can never be underestimated. This was truly an event illustrating the the words of the gospel – “the kindom is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” This yeast of ministry is truly the transformative agent toward the ‘world we want’ and full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Towards the end of the discussion there was a reference to spirituality that informs such commitment and Ambassador Donoghue concluded yes, but in the political arena it is a moral imperative.