NEW YORK (October 12, 2012)– From October 22nd 2012 to November 6th 2012, (Registration deadline, 17 October) WEDO is very pleased to partner with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in collaboration with the Directorate of Energy & Climate Change, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), in co-hosting an online discussion forum on women in diplomacy.  The purpose of the Online Discussion Platform is to create a space where negotiators and delegates can share their experiences, support each other, network and build contacts socially and professionally.

Since 2009, WEDO has been facilitating a special project at UNFCCC negotiations, the Women Delegates Fund (WDF). A project of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), with support from the government of Finland, the WDF began as a travel fund to support women from the global South to be part of their national delegations to climate change negotiations. Responding to the delegates’ requests for more in-depth skills building and networking opportunities, WEDO has grown the WDF into a multi-dimensional capacity building program, with training components on thematic issues such as finance and adaptation, negotiating techniques, and media and communications. The WDF has contributed to an increase in women’s representation at the UNFCCC – the highest it has ever been, at 34% – and the substantive shift in understanding and integration of gender equality issues in climate change policy-making.

One aspect of the WDF which delegates have consistently highlighted as a success of the program, is the support network it provides for them during the negotiations. Having a space to network and collaborate, particularly if there is a large gender imbalance on one’s national delegation, has been incredibly important for delegates success in the process. It is WEDO’s hope that this online platform can help to broaden the reach of these networks and open the space for a discussion on equity, diversity and inclusion in our decision-making at all levels.

Please find more details below:

** Women in Diplomacy – an Online Discussion Forum 22 October -­ 6 November 2012 **

Two discussions forums will be conducted and moderated by experts who will initiate a directed and targeted dialogue.

The first discussion, 22 -­ 28 October 2012, will focus on: Women in diplomacy in national and international arenas

This discussion will be moderated by:

  • H.E. Ms. Diann BlackLayne, Ambassador of Antigua & Barbuda
  • A representative of UN Women

The second discussion, 29 October -­ 6 November 2012, will focus on: Women in the climate change negotiations

This discussion will be moderated by:

  • Ms. Anna Pála Sverrisdóttir, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs -­ Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs
  • Ms. Ulamila Kurai Wragg, Executive Coordinator for the Pacific Gender Climate Coalition, (Cook Islands)
  • Ms. Bridget Burns Project Coordinator, Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO)

The Online Discussion Platform provides an opportunity for participants, through discussion and knowledge sharing, to:

–       Understand the role of women in diplomacy
–       Inspire and motivate others with same tasks and responsibilities
–       Identify priorities and means for the application of a gender perspective in national and international arenas
–       Create networks for support and knowledge sharing across thematic fields
–       Discuss issues related to women’s empowerment in the negotiations, leading up to COP18

WHO: The Online Discussion Platform targets aspiring and current delegates, government officials, NGO professionals and negotiators worldwide. Both men and women are invited to join.

Participation is free of charge.

Read more and register online at:

For queries regarding the Online Discussion Forum, please contact UNITAR at the following address:

Ms. Kirsten Bjødstrup Jensen,, Tel: +41 22 917 8870.


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