- Economic Empowerment
- Environmental Sustainability
- Food Security and Healthcare
- Learning Opportunities
- Violence and Conflict Resolution
- Educate to Lead for Global Impact
Soroptimist Links with the United Nations
Soroptimist International (SI) is privileged to hold General Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). We have representatives at UN Centres around the world. We maintain this privilege because of the work that we do. There is more detail about Soroptimist links with the UN in the text below.
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
Soroptimist 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.