Dear NGO CSW Community,
Below is a message from UN Women regarding their engagement with the General Assembly:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold the world hostage, global leaders will gather at the largest annual inter-governmental meeting for the first time ever in a virtual session. The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 75) will open on 15 September, and its General Debate will focus on how to respond to the pandemic and confront its challenges through multilateral action. The session is historic in that it will mark the 75th anniversary of the Organization, through a Summit meeting on 21 September.
With COVID-19 putting at risk the hard-won advances achieved on women’s rights in past decades, gender equality will be one of the top items on the agenda of decision makers. This General Assembly also comes a quarter century after the adoption of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The agreement remains a visionary and comprehensive framework for the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The roadmap, which lays a foundation for transforming the lives of women and girls, was reaffirmed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This session will see the first High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in two decades. With the overall theme of “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Beijing+25 will emphasize that now is the time for transformative change. Leaders are called upon to present concrete actions and commitments to accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030, including in support of the role of civil society organizations and youth.
A major stock-taking UN Women report published earlier this year showed that progress towards gender equality is faltering and hard-won advances are being reversed. Too many women don’t have decent work, women get paid 16 percent less than men, and nearly one in five women (18 per cent) have faced violence from an intimate partner in the past year. Women’s sexual and reproductive health has been a global objective for two decades, but 190 million women still lack the means to avoid pregnancy even if they want to, the same as in 2000. Women currently hold just one quarter of the seats at the tables of power in all sectors. Men are still 75 per cent of parliamentarians, hold 73 per cent of managerial positions, are 70 per cent of climate negotiators and almost all of the peace negotiators.
COVID-19 is only making matters worse. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, women and girls are disproportionately affected. According to the latest data, as a result of the pandemic, 47 million women and girls will fall below the poverty line (living on USD 1.90 or less), bringing the total of poor women to 435 million by 2021. World leaders must support the critical role that women play in building resilience and recovery efforts in both the rapid response and the long-term of building back better.
A set of side-events supported by UN Women in the lead up to the High-Level Meeting will put a spotlight on the need to place women front and centre of the response against COVID-19. One of them is the “Women Leaders for Generation Equality” event, an intergenerational discussion on how diverse leadership can change the world. This event will take place under the rubric of the Generation Equality campaign and Forum, originally scheduled to be held in Mexico City and in Paris in 2020, and now postponed to next year and being adapted and strengthened to respond to the current context.
The UN Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs is the world’s chance to transform the lives of current and future generations of women and girls. In support of the UN Decade of Action, UN Women has announced six Action Coalitions, which are global, innovative, multi-stakeholder initiatives to mobilize governments, civil society, UN agencies and the private sector, to be launched in the context of the Generation Equality Forum with youth at the centre. The Action Coalitions aim to catalyze collective action and drive increased investments to deliver concrete, game-changing results to advance equality for women and girls in the next five years.
Another major event will call on political leadership and support in ending violence against women and girls, which impacts 1 in 3 in their lifetimes with 243 million women victims of violence perpetrated by an intimate partner each year. Domestic violence has increased exponentially during the lockdowns around the world.
Note to media: Details on these events are still subject to change, please keep checking the online version of the media advisory for the latest and most up-to-date calendar. All timings below are E.D.T. (New York time).
Please try to join the UN and UN-women events!
This post will expire on Wednesday October 21st, 2020 7:29am