United Nations

CSW 2014 and the Post 2015 Agenda

SI have released this statement ahead of CSW 58 in 2014.

World leaders have agreed to scale up action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease and called for a 2015 Summit to adopt the next set of Goals to focus continued efforts after the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In the outcome document adopted at a Special Event on the MDGs, hosted by the President of the UN General Assembly, countries lauded the remarkable progress made so far towards achieving the eight Goals, which have provided a “common vision” for meeting the needs of the world’s poorest.

Member States also expressed concern at the unevenness and gaps in MDG achievement in the face of immense challenges, and agreed to take the purposeful and coordinated action required to accelerate progress.

Below are some documents which have been produced by Sue Biggs, Federation Programme Director, which show SIGBI’s commitment to the Post 2015 Agenda:

Members are asked to use the toolkit below to lobby governments ahead of CSW58:


SIGBI granted Special Consultative Status by UN ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) can proudly say that it is an Organisation in Category 2 Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2013. A Press Release has been prepared in this regard.

Soroptimist International (SI), the umbrella organisation has held General UN Consultative status since 1984. The Federation of Soroptimist International Europe (SIE) has held Special UN Consultative status since 2011.

Consultative status provides non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with access to not only ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, as well as special events organised by the President of the General Assembly (for example CSW the Commission on the Status of Women).

Soroptimist International (SI), the global women’s organisation, is recognised by the UN for the work that is carried out by its members from around the world. SI, SIE and SIGBI are all required to submit a quadrennial report to ECOSOC every four years showing the organisations’ contribution to the work of the UN e.g. towards the Millennium Development Goals.

New Head of UN Women – Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

On 10 July 2013 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa as the new Executive Director of UN Women, the organization leading UN’s work on advancing gender equality and women’s rights.  For full details of the appointment and Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka’s first speech in the post click here.

UN Backgound

The UN was founded after World War 2 to prevent war, maintain international peace and security and promote social progress and better standards of life through friendly international co-operation.

Women at the UN

There have been some very exciting developments to the ways in which women’s issues are represented at the UN.  In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The creation of UN Women merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

The main roles of UN Women are:

  • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
  • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
  • To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

SI at the UN

United NationsSoroptimist International (SI) is active at the major UN centres in New York, Vienna, Geneva, Paris, Rome and Nairobi.  We hold General Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) who have their hq in New York and official relations with UNESCO (Paris).

In seeking to advance SI programme, SI can be given accreditation with ECOSOC’s agencies and commissions and has the option to join Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) committees set up to work on specific topics or areas of concern. Soroptimist International has accreditation with:-

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, since 1960
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York, since 1966
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi

Because SI has General Consultative Status with ECOSOC, SI can apply for official relations with United Nations Specialised Agencies. Soroptimist International has been accepted by:-

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, Operational Relations
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Special List
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Vienna, Consultative Status
  • Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in Rome, Formal Relations

Consultative Status allows us to attend meetings, commissions and conferences, submit written and verbal statements under agenda items of relevance and join in partnership with other NGOs to develop and submit collective statements. Through this, SI is able to advocate for policy change at a global level.

Soroptimist International recognises the following UN days:

  • 10th December – UN Day of Human Rights – marking the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
  • 8th March – International Women’s Day
  • 21st September International Day of Peace

For full information about SI at the UN, please visit the members section of the SI website www.soroptimistinternational.org where you will find the new SI UN Manual. This contains information about the UN, what SI does at the UN, full listings of the agencies SI works with and information on the important UN events relating to women’s rights. The Manual can be found in the ‘General UN Information’ section.

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