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Gender equality priority focus at UN CSW60 which opens tomorrow in NY

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The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will address the opening of the 60th Session of the Commission on Status of Women (CSW), which convenes at UN Headquarters in New York from March 14 to 24 2016.

The focus of CSW60 is “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development”; the review theme will be “The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”.

The CSW, a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is a global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Every year, representatives of Member States, United Nations entities and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC gather at UN Headquarters in New York for the Commission’s annual session.

The session provides an opportunity to review progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women, identify challenges, set global standards and norms and formulate policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

The Commission will address as its priority theme ‘Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development’. In addition, it will evaluate progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions from the fifty-seventh session (2013) on ‘The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls’.

According to the UN, It will also discuss its multi-year programme of work. The nine-day session will include a ministerial segment with round tables and other high level interactive dialogues, a general discussion, as well as interactive dialogues and panel discussions.

Outcomes are negotiated by all Member States, are short and succinct, and identify gaps and challenges in the implementation of previous commitments and make action-oriented recommendations for all States, relevant intergovernmental bodies, mechanisms and entities of the United Nations system and other relevant stakeholders. They aim to accelerate implementation and are widely disseminated to the public so as to encourage follow up action (resolution 2015/6).

H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil) and Chair of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women during a video message said “this is a critical moment for the Commission on the Status of Women and for all gender equality advocates…we concluded that no country has fully achieved gender equality in women’s and girls’ empowerment, in 2015 all member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we agreed to the Addis Abba Action Agenda for Financing and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change…in all of these agreements we highlighted the centrality of gender equality to achieve sustainable development, just and peaceful societies and a healthy planet.”

He urged that all get involved in the process and that at the 60th Session, the Commission examines key and enabling actions for gender responsive implementation of the 2030 agenda on Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. According to the UN “We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. “They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.”

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