New York– June 1, 2012

Shortly before the UN Women Executive Board meeting in early June, GEAR Campaign members were thrilled to learn of the establishment of the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group.  Meaningful and formal civil society engagement with UN Women has been a linchpin of the GEAR Campaign for the past few years and the global advisory group is a first step in formal civil society engagement.  UN Women civil society groups are also in the process of being formed regionally and nationally.  In fact, the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group for Latin America and the Caribbean has been formed, with other regional groups slated to be established before the end of the year.

GEAR Campaign members recently participated in the UN Women Executive Board and expressed their excitement about these new developments in UN Women’s engagement with civil society while encouraging UN Women to further build civil society relationships, including through thematic working groups and the appointment of independent thematic experts.

These recommendations were included in a GEAR statement delivered at the Executive Board meeting by Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Executive Director of femLINKpacific.   Other areas of concern mentioned in the statement included better, more effective and timely communications and engagements with civil society in all areas of its thematic and country work especially as UN Women begins to revamp its regional architecture; increased donations, especially from members of the Executive Board and members of the Bureau who have yet to contribute to UN Women; assurance from UN Women that funding from development banks and the private sector won’t compromise principles of women’s human rights; UN Women is a strong advocate for women’s rights in important upcoming UN events, including Rio+20, Cairo+20, Vienna+20, Beijing+20, SCR1325+15 and the MDG Review Summit.

With an increased and more meaningful relationship between women’s civil society organizations and UN Women, the GEAR Campaign looks forward to a UN that truly works for women.

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