Commission for Social Development

by | Mar 21, 2024 | News, Vincentian Family at the U.N.

At this time of the year, Commissions take place one after another at the United Nations. As soon as the Commission for Social Development (CSoCD) has been completed the Commission for the Status of Women started.

The Commission for Social Development took place from February 5 to 14 under the priority theme: “Promoting social development and social justice through social policies, to accelerate progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve the overarching goal of poverty eradication”.

At the end of the Commission, the member states passed the Resolution recognizing and valuing the unacknowledged, unpaid work of caregivers. They encouraged governments to enact policies to ensure enabling environments for promoting the well-being and rights of recipients.

We are currently halfway through the commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which is the largest global policy-making body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity. It is instrumental in promoting the rights of women and girls, shaping global standards and policy agendas, and documenting the reality of the lives of women and girls across the globe.

This year, the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) is gathering governments, civil society, and other stakeholders at UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the progress and challenges of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls throughout the world.

At the Opening Commission on Status of Women, Secretary-General stated “Poverty has a female face”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres  urged financial architecture reform to accelerate Gender equality: “The Commission on the Status of Women is a catalyst for the transformation we need.  At this difficult and divided moment, let’s work together to end poverty in all its dimensions. Let’s do it by investing in women and girls, betting on women and girls and pushing for peace and dignity for women and girls everywhere.”

It is a fact than 10.3 percent of women worldwide live in extreme poverty, and according to the UN, if there is the political will and investment in women and girls, 100 million women can be lifted out of poverty. This requires prioritizing education, fair and equal wages, and expanded social benefits.

The NGO CSW Forum contained in the Commission is a civil society gathering that coincides with the official UN Commission. It is organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW/NY) and features more than 750 parallel events (in-person and virtual) facilitated by civil society and non-governmental organizations from around the world. These events inform, engage, and inspire grassroots efforts and advocacy to promote the equality and empowerment of women and girls. The NGO CSW Forum is a particularly important space because provides an opportunity for all members of global civil society, even those without special qualifications such as UN accreditation or a UN grounds pass, to engage in the processes and discussions of the CSW.  The  NGO representing their Congregations have an important role to play in being involved in parallel events with the potential to hopefully make a difference  in the lives of people underprivileged.

We will wait one week more to know the outcomes of the Commission. Throughout CSW, UN Member States negotiate an outcome document referred to as Agreed Conclusions. Agreed Conclusions contain an analysis of the CSW theme, adopted resolutions, and a set of recommendations for governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and relevant stakeholders, to implement at the international, regional, national, and local levels.

Sister Michelle Loisel, DC
NGO Representative at the UN
Company of the Daughters of Charity