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Letter to all stakeholders of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) - June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013

Ms. Lakshmi Puri
Acting Head of UN Women
E-mail: Lakshmi.puri@unwomen.org

Cc: Ms. Lopa Banerjee
Chief, Civil Society Section
UN Women E-mail: lopa.banerjee@unwomen.org

Statement to all stakeholders of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

We, the undersigned organizations, welcome the adoption of the Agreed Conclusions of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) held in New York from March 4 to15, 2013. We commend the members of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and all government delegations for achieving consensus on various issues that intersect with violence against women, such as the protection of women human rights defenders; the human rights of all women including their right to have control over matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health; and illicit use of and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. We note the positive reaffirmation of commitments under international human rights treaties, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant treaties as setting the international legal framework in addressing violence against women and girls. We also recognize specific references to Security Council resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960 on women peace and security and all relevant Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict; as well the linkages between violence against women and girls, and peace and security.

As we celebrate this achievement, we acknowledge the commitment of the UN to increase close partnership with the civil society and in this regard we take the opportunity to discuss and reflect on how we as civil society can maximize the CSW as a platform to advocate for our issues and influence policy making globally. The following are some of our recommendations in this regard:

To the United Nations and UN Women as the CSW Facilitating Body

Provide secondary access passes to all 20 designated representatives of an ECOSOC accredited organization. Currently, only two secondary access passes are given out to each ECOSOC accredited organization, as long as supplies last.

Simplify the ECOSOC accreditation process with the aim to support inclusive and representative civil society access to and participation in the CSW and other policy
making spaces in the UN, or at least simplify access to the CSW for non-ECOSOC accredited NGOs.

Ensure that all documents are available in all the working languages of the United Nations.

To the NGO CSW

Create a transparent Coordinating Caucus that will work with all other regional and thematic caucuses (Conversation Circles) to ensure collaboration across regions and themes and facilitate civil society input to the Agreed Conclusions in a systematic and effective manner.

Compile all inputs received from the proposed regional NGO CSW consultations as well as international civil society inputs into a “People’s Outcome Document” to be distributed to all stakeholders of the CSW.

Coordinate the organizing of the parallel events in such a way that civil society will not be competing for audience but rather reach out to target audience collectively, especially the policy makers. Concretely, this means reducing the number of parallel events by merging events on related issues and increasing the time allocation.

Ensure that key documents are available in all the working languages of the United Nations.

To the Bureau for the CSW

Keep civil society abreast of the latest developments at the CSW deliberations by scheduling at least two meetings with civil society during the weeks of the CSW session. These meetings should be held in an open and easily accessible location, and should provide summaries of the meetings online.

Include more speaking slots for civil society during the official CSW session meetings.

Ensure adequate space and seating for civil society representatives observing the sessions.

To Member States

Increase the representation of CSOs in the official delegations of Member States, with particular emphasis on the inclusion of CSOs, particularly those representing diverse and marginalized issues and groups, that are nominated by organizations and networks in their countries.

Organize more side events with civil society to showcase existing partnerships with CSOs.

Meet with national CSOs prior to the CSW to inform them of the government position on issues that will be taken up at the CSW in New York. Meet regularly with these CSOs during the weeks of CSW to apprise them of the status of the negotiations on the Agreed Conclusions and solicit input.

Ensure the inclusion of gender experts, including those from the national gender machineries, in the official government delegations (and as lead negotiators) to the CSW, particularly those who have expertise on the theme of the CSW and those who actively interact with CSOs in their country.

Ensure full and effective implementation of the Agreed Conclusions of the CSW. Support and encourage a stronger linkage of CSW with other regular UN-led processes on Women Peace and Security, notably on commitments, reports and conclusions shared by Member States during the Open Debate on UNSCR 1325 in the Security Council in October and CSW in March.

We call on all the above mentioned stakeholders to sincerely consider our reflections and recommendations for a better and stronger CSW.

Signed: 

1. Adult Education Partners Women Commission – Sierra Leone

2. African Women’s Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh ) - Ghana,

3. African Women’s Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh ) –DRC

4. Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) - Uganda

5. Asia Pacific Women's Watch (APWW)

6. Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC) - Nepal

7. Center for Peace Education – Philippines

8. Center for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)- Uganda

9. Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)

10. Civil Society Media Leadership Program in Liberia

11. Collectif des Femmes Rurales pour le Developpement (COFERD) – DRC

12. Collectif Sénégalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l’Education Relative à l’Environnement

13. Cordaid – Netherlands/global

14. Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE) – Colombia

15. FemLINKPACIFIC - Fiji

16. FEMNET (African Women's Development & Communication Network)

17. FIDA - Kenya

18. Fountain ISOKO for Good Governance and Integrated Development – Burundi

19. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

20. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict Gender Liaison

21. Himalayan Human Rights Monitors (HimRights) - Nepal

22. International Women’s rights Action Watch – Asia –Pacific

23. Japan Women's Watch (JAWW)

24. Korea Women Watch (KWW)

25. L'Association de Lutte contre les Violences faites aux Femmes

26. Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas - Colombia

27. Mano River Women Peace Network

28. Media Advocacy Group (MAG) – Nepal

29. National Network for Beijing-review - Nepal

30. National Network Against Domestic Violence - Nepal

31. National Peace Academy – USA

32. Global Action to Prevent War

33. National Organization of Women - Sierra Leone

34. Observatorio Género Democracia y Derechos Humanos - Colombia

35. Rwanda Women’s Network (RWN)

36. Saathi - Nepal

37. Sierra Leone Association of University Women

38. TESO Women Peace Activists – Uganda

39. The Global Justice Center

40. The International Institute on Peace Education

41. Voice for Change – South Sudan

42. World Council for Curriculum and Instruction

43. Women and Allies Peacebuilders – Burundi

44. Women's Empowerment Link - Kenya

45. Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) - Philippines46. Women’s Forum in Sierra Leone

47. Women’s Media Collective – Sri Lanka

48. Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) – Netherlands/global

49. World Federalist Movement–Institute for Global Policy

Date: 
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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