Other Intergovernmental Processes

Other intergovernmental processes on issues of international significance take place in and outside the UN system. UN Women encourages the inclusion of gender equality across negotiated outcomes and agreements, including by supporting the participation of gender equality advocates. Recent major meetings include:

Rio+20 conference

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, brought Heads of State and Government to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012. It appraised progress and gaps in implementation of agreements reached at the landmark 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development, and beyond. Two primary themes discussed were: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

The final outcome document, The Future We Want, recognized the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment for sustainable development and our common future, and reaffirmed commitments to ensure women’s equal rights, access and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy, society and political decision-making. It underscored women’s vital role in achieving sustainable development, including as leaders, and drew links between gender equality and issues such as energy, health, education and disaster risk reduction.

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COP 18 conference

The 18th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 7 December 2012. Governments concluded the work that had begun in Bali in 2007 on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention, and agreed on a firm timetable ensuring the adoption of a universal climate change agreement by 2015, to come into force in 2020. A second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol was also launched at COP-18, to continue as of 1 January 2013 for a period of 8 years.

As in the past, UN-Women followed the negotiations and maintained an active outreach to State Parties to ensure that decisions adopted at COP-18 incorporate references to gender equality, women’s rights and women’s contribution in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Important gains achieved at COP-18 include a landmark decision on promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol. Hailed as the ‘Doha Miracle’, this decision constitutes an important step forward in advancing gender-sensitive climate policy by ensuring that women’s voices are represented in the negotiations, and adding the consideration of gender issues in the agenda of the COP. Read more »

COP 17 conference

The 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) was held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011. Negotiations advanced implementation of the Convention, along with the related Kyoto Protocol and Cancun Agreements, and resulted in the Durban Platform. Parties agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015; extend the Kyoto Protocol into a second commitment period (2012–2017); and form the Green Climate Fund.

The Durban Platform includes 11 explicit references to gender issues and women, including in the agreement on the governing instrument for the Green Climate Fund. It stipulates a gender-sensitive approach as part of the Fund’s objectives and guiding principles, and calls for due consideration to be given to gender balance on the Fund’s board and secretariat.

OECD/DAC fourth high-level forum on aid effectiveness

The OECD/DAC Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness sought to make international aid work better for people and development. From 29 November to 1 December 2011, about 2,000 delegates from both countries that provide and countries that receive official development assistance gathered in Busan, Republic of Korea. Participants came from a wide range of sectors, including governments, civil society and the private sector.

Extended negotiations produced The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. For the first time, an international agreement on aid effectiveness emphasizes that gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to achieving development results.