New York, April 2—This week the General Assembly (GA) held informal consultations to discuss the Secretary General’s paper that presents various options for a new gender entity at the United Nations.

The consultations on System-wide Coherence—an important component of the overall UN reform process—were convened by new co-chairs, the Ambassadors of Spain and Namibia, on March 30th.

The well-attended consultations generated lively discussion of the Secretary General’s paper–twenty-six countries delivered statements, including five on behalf of groups of countries.

The GA expressed overwhelming support for the composite model for the new entity, which is the option advocated for by the GEAR (Gender Equality Architecture) Campaign, the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary-General, and the President of the General Assembly. Overall, 22 statements expressed support for the creation of a new women’s entity based on the composite model.

The consultations lasted for more than three hours, with at least eight countries still requesting the floor at the end of the meeting. To accommodate these requests, the Co-chairs announced that the GA would reconvene two days later to continue the discussion.

The GEAR Campaign’s lobbying and advocacy efforts resulted in concrete successes at these informal consultations: a number of countries made statements after GEAR Campaign members had briefed them about the issues and lobbied them to speak out in favor of the creation of a new gender entity at the UN based on the composite model outlined in the Secretary General’s paper.

At the end of the meeting, in his closing statement, the Ambassador of Namibia concluded that “the options [had] been narrowed down” and reiterated the urgency to make concrete progress on Gender Equality Architecture.

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