The active participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a critical element in the work of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). NGOs have been influential in shaping the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. They continue to play an important role in holding international and national leaders accountable for the commitments they made in the Platform for Action.
UN Women facilitates the participation of NGOs in sessions of the CSW. NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate representatives to attend the annual sessions of the CSW. The number of representatives who can attend open official meetings can be contingent on the availability of space.
NGOs with or without consultative status with ECOSOC, may organize and attend parallel events held outside UN premises, for example in the Church Center. To do so, they should contact the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, which is a group of New York–based women’s NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC.
What is ECOSOC accreditation?
Non-governmental, non-profit, public or voluntary organizations may formally contribute to the work of the United Nations after being granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council under Article 71 of the Charter of the United Nations and on Economic and Social Council Resolution 1996/31. These accredited organizations may participate in meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, including the functional commissions, in accordance with the rules of procedure of those bodies.
NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate representatives to attend the annual sessions of the CSW. Because of increasing demands on limited space, the numbers of attendees to CSW sessions should be kept to a minimum and should not exceed 20 representatives per organization. Organizations should be aware that, in this context, entry into official meetings can still not be guaranteed to all who wish to attend.
Invitation letters have been sent, at start of online registration, to the e-mail addresses registered in the integrated Civil Society Organizations (iCSO) System of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) by NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). NGOs are kindly requested to make sure that their profile and contact information on the iCSO system includes the latest correct information about their organizations.
CSW63 registration for NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be open online via the United Nations INDICO registration system from 9 October 2018 to 27 January 2019. Please click here to register for CSW63. Online registration is mandatory for all NGO participants. We are not able to accept registrations by email.
For step-by-step instructions on how to register for CSW, please click here to access the support pages in INDICO.
Registered representatives who have been approved by their organizations to attend CSW63 will receive a registration approval email. Representatives will need to print out and show their registration approval email to obtain a UN grounds pass for CSW at on-site check-in in March 2019. Specifics regarding on-site check-in and issuance of grounds passes, such as location and opening hours, will be provided in the NGO advisories published closer to the session.
Travel and visa arrangements
The United Nations will not make travel or visa arrangements or pay for any expenses in connection with the participation of NGO representatives in the sessions of CSW. Such arrangements and costs are the exclusive responsibility of participants.
The United Nations does not charge fees for participation in the Commission on the Status of Women sessions.
Participants are encouraged to submit their visa applications well in advance, in accordance with their local United States Consulate requirements, in order to allow sufficient time for processing.
Opportunities for NGOs to address the Commission
Submission of written statements
NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may submit written statements on the thematic issues considered by CSW, in accordance with Council resolution 1996/31.
Submission of written statements is open for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC until 22 October 2018 via United Nations CSO-Net. Please click here to login to United Nations CSO-Net. We are not be able to accept statements submitted via e-mail.
NGOs are strongly encouraged to submit joint statements in collaboration with other NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC.
- Statements by organizations in general consultative status with ECOSOC may not exceed 2,000 words including the cover page; statements by organizations in special consultative status with ECOSOC may not exceed 1,500 words including the cover page. Please note that this word allowance includes the cover page which is automatically added by the system and generally takes up 100 words. Therefore, as you prepare your statement text, please take into account that you do not need to include a cover page and that your text should have no more than 1900 words for general consultative status, and 1400 words for special consultative status.
- Submit written statements in one of the official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish.
- Indicate the start of a new paragraph with a double line break.
- Paragraphs of the statement should not be numbered.
- Do not use footnotes and endnotes. Please incorporate all information into the body of the statement.
- If the statement is supported by other NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, add a note at the end of the document to this effect. (The names of the NGOs should be in alphabetical order)
- Ensure that the name of your organization (and of other NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC) is referenced as contained in the official list of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council
- Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms. (For a list of permissible acronyms, please consult the UN Editorial Manual. The acronyms on this list can be used if spelled out in the first instance). All others acronyms, including the acronym for the Commission on the Status of Women ("CSW") and for your organization are not allowed in written statements.
- Identify key ideas that you would like to address; introduce these ideas in the first sentence or paragraph of your statement.
- Avoid repetition. Keep statements clear, simple and to the point.
- To make reading effortless, organize material by applying the principle of one thought per paragraph.
- Verify references to titles and dates of United Nations events and conferences.
- Avoid the use of quotations.
- You may want to prepare your statement in Microsoft Word, or another text processor, and save it on your PC to avoid losing it during submission (e.g. if your PC loses the connection to the online system). Once you have finalized your statement, copy-paste the final text from your document onto the statement submission page in CSO-Net. Please note the online system removes formatting.
Making a speech during the general discussion
Subject to time availability, oral statements may be delivered during the general discussion by a limited number of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. Preference will be given to NGOs speaking about the priority theme or review theme, on behalf of groups of organizations, caucuses, or coalitions.
Oral statements should not exceed three minutes (approx. two pages double-spaced using font size 12). Instructions will be communicated via e-mail to each NGO representative that requested to make a statement.
Sign up for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC to express interest in delivering an oral statement during the general discussion will be open online from 24 January to 18 February 2019. The link to the sign-up form will be posted here on 24 January 2019.
Intervening from the floor during an interactive panel
A limited number of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC will be able to make oral interventions during the interactive panels. Interventions must be focused on the theme of the panel and not on any other issues.
Interventions at interactive expert panels are NOT to be in the form of prepared statements; NGOs are therefore not required to submit copies of such interventions. These interventions must be in the form of comments or questions addressed to the panel experts. Interventions should not exceed three minutes. Instructions will be communicated via e-mail to each NGO representative requesting to make an intervention.
For information on how to apply for ECOSOC accreditation, please visit the website of the NGO Branch of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at http://csonet.org/.