Promoting UN Accountability (UN-SWAP)

In early 2012, the United Nations agreed on the landmark UN System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or UN-SWAP, to implement the gender equality policy of its highest executive body, the UN Chief Executives Board, chaired by the Secretary-General. Spearheaded by UN Women, the UN-SWAP for the first time assigns common performance standards for the gender-related work of all UN entities, ensuring greater coherence and accountability.

UN Women has a leading role in supporting the implementation of the plan, which uses a framework with 15 performance indicators based on intergovernmental mandates. All UN system organizations will need to adopt policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment, for example, and ensure that corporate strategic planning documents commit to achieving at least one gender equality objective. Fifty UN entities and departments contributed to developing the UN-SWAP; eight piloted it to test for technical soundness.

UN-SWAP 2.0 constitutes an update of the existing framework, building into it refinements and lessons learnt from the first 5 years of implementation. The new framework is to be implemented in 2018.