The purpose of this memo is to provide you with information for action in support of the United Nations (UN) High Level Coherence Panel recommendation* to establish a women’s agency within the UN system. The recommendation was made to, and accepted by, the UN Secretary General in November 2006 and put forward to the General Assembly. Debate on the recommendations will soon commence. Now is the time for strategic and effective advocacy in support of:
- The General Assembly moving quickly to establish the new UN agency for women.
- The new agency being headed by an Under-Secretary General, and staffed in every country with the expertise to carry out targeted programmes and to provide the assistance that governments and the whole UN system require to effectively mainstream gender into every policy, plan and programme.
- The agency receiving initial door funding of at least USD one billion.
ICN recommends that individuals, organisations, professional associations, etc. act quickly, either in their own capacity or in collaboration with others to get the above message to heads of state, legislators, head of missions to the UN and leaders of influence in all domains. ICN suggests the following:
- Write a letter/email to your head of state and key legislators calling for their energetic support for the quick passage of the recommendation to establish the new women’s agency. A model letter/statement and press release are attached.
- Copy the letter to your country’s head of mission at the UN. ICN will publish a list of UN missions with contact details on www.icn.ch later this week.
- Publish a public statement or open letter on this issue along the lines of the attached model letter/statement.
- Disseminate your statement as widely as possible, including to local and national media, decision-makers, human rights groups and gender equity advocates.
The exact date of the General Assembly discussions is not certain but is expected in the March-April time frame. However, we do know that a general debate on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is scheduled for 6 March and may be the opening of discussions. This is why we urge you to act quickly.