UN Women Convenes Expert Group Meeting to Discuss Gender Goals

26 November 2012: UN Women organized an Expert Group Meeting on “Applying a gender perspective to the post-2015 development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs). Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, emphasized that the post-2015 framework must be grounded in existing international commitments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Platform for Action.

The meeting, held from 26-29 November 2012, brought together approximately 40 participants from around the world, including representatives of ten UN agencies: the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Agency for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT).

UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programmes John Hendra said the legitimacy of the post-2015 agenda will rest on successfully achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG 5 on maternal mortality. He called on delegates to maintain focus on a human rights approach to addressing structural discrimination and inequalities, warning that this approach was at risk of being sidelined in the wider discussions.

On the consultation process, Hendra noted the conceptual complexity of discussions, and the possibility that discussions on the SDGs and the post-2015 agenda will develop on parallel tracks, making it harder to advocate for gender equality. He stressed that targets and indicators for gender equality will require evidence and data, calling on participants to “push the evidence base forward.” He urged gender advocates to engage with Member States.

The expert group will deliver its recommendations to a panel including UN Women officials and the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed; the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Shamshad Akhtar; and Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Bureau for Development Policy, Olav Kjorven. [UN Women Press Release] [Statement of UN Women Executive Director] [Statement of UN Women Deputy Executive Director]