United Nations gender equality architecture reform
On November 2006, a report by the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on the United Nations System-wide Coherence found the UN’s contribution to achieving Gender Equality to be “incoherent, under-resourced, and fragmented” and in need of a complete overhaul in order to provide effective support to the Member States.Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and the Environment. Delivering as One: Report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel. 9 November 2006. United Nations: New York. Since the publication of the report, the United Nations has decided to create an agency more efficient in impacting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
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The current architecture comprises the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), and the United Nations-INSTRAW (INSTRAW). With four separate entities working on Gender Equality and women’s empowerment, and with no leadership to promote coordination and coherence, these units compete for the same resources. Furthermore, they lack clear mandates and support mechanisms, making their effectiveness quite limited. These factors contribute to the implementation gap between implementation at the country level and in the global, regional and national gender equality policies. To strengthen the UN capacities on gender issues, the High-level Panel, as well as women’s organizations and civil society, such as Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign (GEAR) , have recommended a consolidated entity to give greater importance to women’s issues, to make the UN more effective, and to ensure coherence in policies and their implementation.
Resolution on system-wide coherence
On September 15, 2008, the General Assembly passed Resolution 62/277 asking for more information on the formation of a new gender entity, with a focus on the “composite” entity option, option “D” of the four options proposed (A. status quo, B. fund/programme, C. a department of the secretariat).United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/277 on system-wide coherence. 15 September 2008. A/REDS/62/277 One year later, on September 14, 2009, a resolution on System-wide coherence was adopted by the General Assembly. The draft resolution supported the consolidation of OSAGI, UNIFEM, DAW, AND INSTRAW into a composite entity led by an Under-Secretary General, reporting directly to the Secretary-General.United Nations General Assembly Resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence. 14 September 2009. A/RES/63/311 The second draft, released on May 19, 2010, established the following basic decisions concerning the composite entity: – to be operational by January 1, 2011. – the mandate of the entity consists of the consolidation of the mandates of the four entities, “with the additional role of leading, coordinating and promoting the accountability of the UN system in its work on gender equality and women’s empowerment”.Second draft of the resolution on system-wide coherence. 19 May 2010 – the General Assembly, the the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women will constitute the multi-tiered intergovernmental governance structure for the normative support functions, while the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Executive Board of the Entity will constitute the multi-tiered intergovernmental governance structure for the operational activities. – the establishment of an Executive Board to govern and oversee the operational activities of the Entity. – Entity shall be headed by an Under-Secretary General appointed by the Secretary-General for a term of four years. Discussions and negotiations concerning certain aspects of the Entity, such as budget, name, and Gender and Governance , are still under way.
- United Nations
- Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign (Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign (GEAR))
- Concept Note on a Strengthened Architecture for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. 1 August 2007
- Note on the United Nations Support to Member States on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. 5 June 2008.
- Further Details on Institutional Options for Strengthening the Institutional Arrangements for Support to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. 5 March 2009.
- System-wide coherence website