UN Women Executive Board to review response to the Syrian crisis and the organization’s humanitarian strategy

Date: Friday, January 17, 2014

New York

Meeting on 20 January 2014 for its first regular session in 2014, UN Women’s Executive Board will consider a thematic evaluation of the organization’s contribution to increasing women’s leadership and participation in peace and security and in humanitarian response.

The Board will also be briefed on UN Women’s response in the context of the Syrian crisis. The session will be opened by Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who will discuss the High-level meeting of Syrian women convened by UN Women and the Netherlands from 12-13 January 2014, which ended with strong recommendations for upcoming peace talks. UN Women’s Regional Director for the Arab States region, Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, will also highlight the humanitarian response of UN Women at the country level.

The specific needs of women and girls are not always addressed in the rush to respond quickly to humanitarian crises such as war and natural disasters. In October 2012, UN Women established its Gender and Humanitarian Action Unit to consolidate its advocacy, coordination and capacity-development role to integrate gender equality across humanitarian action.

An outline of UN Women’s proposed humanitarian strategy will be presented by the Director of its Programme Division, Gülden Türköz-Cosslett, with a view to receiving comments from Member States before its finalization.

UN Women’s draft strategy focuses on building partnerships with national and regional institutions, civil society, UN system partners and other humanitarian actors in order to strengthen coordinated humanitarian action. The organization plans to develop gender-responsive policies and procedures to ensure accountability and coherence in addressing the needs of women and girls in humanitarian action. This includes disaster preparedness and disaster risk-reduction, humanitarian response and early recovery. UN Women will also carry out targeted programme interventions to fill gaps and respond to urgent needs of women and girls.

During this first session, the Board will also elect a new Bureau, consisting of a President and four Vice-Presidents. The UN Women Executive Board is comprised of representatives from 41 Member States elected to three-year terms by the UN Economic and Social Council.