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55th session UN Commission on the Status of Women: NGO registration and parallel events

From 22 February to 4 March 2011, the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place at UN Headquarters in New York. This year the Commission will prioritize discussions on women’s and girls’ access and participation to education, training, science and technology, including the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. To this end, it will organize a high-level round table to exchange experiences, lessons learned and good practices; an interactive expert panel to identify key policy initiatives; and an interactive expert panel which will focus on capacity-building for gender mainstreaming. These interactive events should support Member States in negotiating agreed conclusions (new policy recommendations) to accelerate implementation of existing commitments, including those in the Beijing Platform for Action.

The Commission will also review progress made in relation to eliminating “all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.” It will hold a panel discussion on “the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges” – the priority theme of the 56th session of the Commission, as well as an interactive panel discussion on the elimination of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and the empowerment of women.

NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate a number of representatives to attend the annual sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women. However, because of appreciable space limitations, the number of civil society representatives that can attend the session, has been reduced. “This number should be kept to a minimum and should not exceed 20 representatives per organization.”

To pre-register NGO representatives online, please click here.

Oral statements may be made during the general discussion, as well as during interactive expert panels, by a limited number of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. The number of oral statements to be delivered at the session will depend on the time available. Preference is given to NGOs speaking on behalf of groups of organizations, caucuses, or coalitions. The deadline for requesting the opportunity to make an oral statement is 11 February 2011.

More information on registration and other logistics is available online.

NGOs without ECOSOC accreditation can organize and attend parallel events held outside United Nations premises. To do so, they should contact the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. See also the section on the “NGO Consultation Day” further below.

For information on how to apply for ECOSOC accreditation, please visit the DESA NGO Section website.

NGO Consultation Day
Ahead of the 55th session of CSW, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW) in New York will organize an NGO Consultation Day on 21 February 2011, which aims to inform NGO participants about the themes of CSW; to exchange views; to caucus; to issue joint statements and to provide wording for the Agreed Conclusions of CSW. It will also hold an NGO reception on 22 February. To register for these events, click here.

NGO CSW further aims to secure NGO parallel event space. The deadline for applying for a parallel event is 13 December 2010. Organizations will be notified (via email) of the status of their applications by 15 January 2011 and offered a date and time for their events. For more information, click here.