Media Advisory: UN Women at the UN General Assembly

Ensuring the voices of global women and centrality of gender equality in the SDGs framework


Media Contacts:
Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[@]
Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[@]
Zina Alam, Ph: +1 646 781-4783; Email: zina.alam[@]

The year 2015 is a landmark year for gender equality and women’s rights. It marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in China and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, still considered the most comprehensive blueprint on advancing women’s rights. In spite of some progress, the Beijing promise is only partially fulfilled.

The seventieth session of the UN General Assembly is a threshold moment for women’s rights and gender equality. The sustainable development goals seek to change the course of the key challenges of the 21st century, such as poverty, climate change and inequality. Women’s empowerment is a pre-condition for this. The post-2015 development agenda offers a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality, and to bring universal, comprehensive and transformative change in women’s and men’s lives. The post-2015 development agenda to be adopted at the UN Summit places strong emphasis on gender equality and women’s empowerment in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda, with a transformative stand-alone sustainable development goal that addresses structural barriers to women’s empowerment and also important targets on gender equality in other goals.

Taking an in-depth look at the actions needed to accelerate efforts for women worldwide, UN Women is organizing a series of events during the week of the UN General Assembly bringing together partners from civil society, Member States and the private sector.

Events on UN premises are open only to UN-accredited media. More information at:


EVENT: Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action

WHEN:27 September, 9 a.m. onwards
Venue: UN Headquarters, New York, Conference Room 4

UN Women and the People’s Republic of China will co-host a landmark event in conjunction with the UN Summit on the post-2015 development framework and as part of the 20th Anniversary commemoration of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. At the high-level “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Actionevent on 27 September, over 70 world leaders are expected to make concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps. This is the first time commitments to women and girls will be made at the level of Heads of States and Government, at the UN. His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Ban Ki-moon, UN Nations Secretary-General, will give the opening remarks and co-chair parts of the event. The Presidents of Mexico, and Kenya—as the hosts of two previous World Conferences on Women—and the President of the 70th session of the General Assembly will contribute to co-chairing the remainder of the event. Along with top leaders, the meeting will be attended by representatives of multilateral organizations, civil society, private sector and youth groups.

INFORMATION FOR MEDIA: The event is open to UN accredited media but space is extremely limited and media attendance may have to be on a rotational basis. Please RSVP to by 2 p.m. on Thursday, 17 September. Confirmation e-mails with detailed media instructions will be sent from UN Women prior to event.

Information on UN media accreditation: 

Event will be webcast live at


Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum--Commitments to “Step It Up” for Gender Equality
On the eve of the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment - a Commitment to Action on 27 September, UN Women with the Alibaba Group and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will co-host a forum focused on closing the gender investment gap through transformational financing. Opening remarks will be provided by Jack Yun MA, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group and Melinda Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee, Gates Foundation, as well as Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director. Leading business and philanthropy leaders including Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, Vandana Sikka of Infosys, and many others are expected at the meeting. Concrete commitments to bridge the gender financing gap, which includes that of UN Women, are expected to be announced at the event. A summary of the forum and its commitments will be presented at the Heads of States Global Leaders’ Meeting on 27 September by the co-hosts.

This event is not open to the media, however, one-on-one interviews can be arranged upon request from interested media. A press release and photo will be issued on the morning of the event.


Civil Society Thought Leaders’ Meeting
In the lead up to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, UN Women convened a series of consultations at the global, regional and national levels that have facilitated discussions on accelerating progress on gender equality. As part of this series of consultations, and ahead of the Global Leaders Meeting on 27th September, UN Women will convene a meeting of about 50 civil society thought leaders from all over the world to develop a road map to accelerate the results for substantive gender equality. Discussions will focus on priorities and strategies for implementation of the SDGs on the ground, and ensuring accountability by governments on their gender equality obligations. Opening remarks will be provided by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director. Leading civil society leaders including Charlotte Bunch, Musimbi Kanyoro, Tarcila Rivera Zea and Bineta Diop, among others, are expected to participate in the meeting. Perspectives from the forum and its commitments will be shared at the Head of State Global Leaders’ Meeting on 27 September by the Executive Director of UN Women and civil society speakers at the Global Leaders' Meeting.

This event is not open to the media, however, one-on-one interviews can be arranged upon request from interested media.


Civil Society Watch: Governments’ Commitments to Action: A Civil Society Parallel Event to the UN Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/NY and Planned Parenthood Federation of America in partnership with Baha’i International Community, Center for Women’s Global Leadership and Post-2015 Women’s Coalition, and supported by UN Women, civil society stakeholders will gather to monitor global leaders’ commitments to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment and map an Accountability Score Board at the “Innovative Ideas Marketplace”. Open to media. For more information, see flyer.

Venue: CUNY Graduate Centre, 365 5th Ave, New York
Time: 9 a.m – 4 p.m.



Launch of new UN report on Cyberviolence against Women and Girls
Just ahead of the SDG Summit and 12th meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development the Commission’s Working Group on Gender, co-chaired by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director and Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP, will launch an important new report entitled: Cyber Violence Against Women & Girls: A Worldwide Wake-Up Call. The event will also feature guest speakers including Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO; Doreen Bogdan of ITU; Baroness Beeban Kidron, U.K. filmmaker and director of the film ‘In Real Life’ about teen experiences online; along with cyber violence survivors Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn; Madeline di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute for Gender & Media, and Roberta Cocco of Microsoft Europe. Media are encouraged to attend, and one-on-one interviews can be arranged upon request from interested media. A press release, video clips and photos will be issued by ITU immediately after the event (press release and report + report highlights are available under embargo to media who confirm their attendance – contact [ Click to reveal ]).

Venue: Room 11, UN Headquarters, New York
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Transforming Economies: Empowering Women and Girls Special Event
Co-hosted by the UK Government and UN Women, led by Justine Greening, MP and UKSecretary of State for International Development and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, this event will secure concrete commitments for transforming women and girls’ economic opportunities under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A Call to Action will be endorsed to ensure measurable results and impact by 2030. The invitation to submit a commitment is open to all – individuals, civil society organizations, business and governments on

The evening’s discussion will be moderated by Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and author of Half the Sky. The event is organized in collaboration with CARE International and other partners, including Vital Voices, Business for Social Responsibility and others.

Venue: River Room, Ford Foundation, 320 E 43rd St, New York
Time:  5–7 p.m.

The event will be webcast through Periscope (Broadcast Title: Empower Women, Hashtag: #EmpowerWomen) and via live Twitter feed. Follow #EmpowerWomen. A photo opportunity for photographers will be arranged immediately after the event. By invitation only; space is limited. RSVP via LINK.


Using Inclusive Partnerships to Deliver on the SDGs: The Role of Gender-Responsive Budgeting
Co-chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation — Mexico, Malawi and the Netherlands — will host this event, along with UN Women which will be an interactive discussion on lesson learned during country-level application of gender-responsive budgeting.

Venue: UN Headquarters, CR 11
Time: 3 – 4.30 p.m.


A Fairer Future for All: Fighting Inequalities and Discrimination at the Heart of the 2030 Agenda – High-Level Ministerial Breakfast
This high-level event co-hosted by UN Women, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Permanent Missions of Finland, Mexico and South Africa, will focus on the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ and discuss ways to remove inequalities and discrimination both within and between states as the central defining feature of the new agenda. Speakers include E. Lenita Toivakka, Minister for International Development and Foreign Trade, Finland; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; and Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International. The dialogue will be moderated by Craig Mokhiber, Chief of Development, Economic and Social Issues Branch, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Venue: Delegates Dining Room, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Time: 8 – 9.45 a.m.

Empowering Women in Climate Action
Hosted by UN Women, UNDP and France, the forum will highlight the need for the future Paris Agreement will be to contribute to reducing gender inequalities and integrating gender considerations into the climate change agenda. Participants include the French Foreign Minister, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Yannick Glemarec.

Venue: UN Headquarters, CR 7
Time: 8 – 9.30 a.m.

Women Deliver: Road to Copenhagen 2016: Making SDGs Matter Most for Women and Girls
UN Women, the Danish Mission to the United Nations and Women Deliver along with 100-150 decision-makers from government and CSOs will come together to promote a gendered perspective on the implementation of the SDGs. Speakers include H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark; Mr. Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection of Ghana; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Catherine Nyambura, Women Deliver Young Leader from Kenya; Katja Iversen and Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver. See flyer for more details.

Venue: Yale Club, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017
Time:  8.30 – 10.15 a.m.


  • Media can watch live webcast of events on and from UN’s Media Centre for journalists covering the UN General Assembly in North Lawn Building (NLB), in old CR-1. [Seating is first-come first-served basis]. 
  • For press covering the UN Women events held at UN Headquarters, UN media accreditation is required. More information at: 

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