Swiss delegation at the UN session on the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls

Bern, 05.03.2014 - The 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) begins on 10 March 2014 in New York. This year's session will focus on the evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls, which were set in 2000. For the first time, Switzerland is participating as a voting member of the commission for a period of four years and is representing the Western European and Others Regional Group (WEOG) for two years in the CSW office. In addition, Switzerland has been selected for the high-profile task of leading the negotiations on the final document of this year's session.

The Swiss delegation to the 58th session of the CSW, which will last from 10–21 March, will be led by the FDFA secretary-general, Benno Bättig. The deputy head of the delegation is Sylvie Durrer, director of the Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE). The main focus of this year's session will be on the challenges and achievements in the context of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. Switzerland will contribute the experiences it has gained in this respect from its cooperation and development activities. The Swiss delegation includes representatives of the Swiss federal administration and non-governmental organisations. The youngest member is Damian Vogt, one of the three Swiss youth delegates (Youth Rep project) this year, who accompany Swiss delegations to UN conferences to represent the concerns of young people. "Youth Rep" is a project conducted by the Swiss National Youth Council (SNYC) in collaboration with the FDFA.

The Millennium Development Goals will be succeeded in 2015 by a new framework for sustainable development, known as the post-2015 agenda. Within this international process, Switzerland seeks to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will be defined as a goal in its own right.

During the session in New York, Switzerland will hold two side events moderated by the FDFA secretary-general to complement the debates and negotiations. The first event, which Switzerland will organise in collaboration with South Africa und Mexico, deals with the topic of women and water. The subject of the discussion will be equal access to water and the resulting positive impact for the fight against poverty and for growth and prosperity. The second event, organised together with Brazil and UNWomen, concerns the inclusion of men and boys in questions concerning gender equality.

The CSW is the central body of the UN for the status of women and improvements to gender equality. Founded in 1946, the CSW convenes once a year for two weeks to debate a different topic. At these meetings, the CSW, to which 45 UN member states belong, evaluates challenges and progress and formulates specific measures.

Information for the media: The head of the delegation, the FDFA secretary-general, Benno Bättig, and FOGE director, Sylvie Durrer, will brief the media on Monday, 10 March at 12:00 (local time) at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York on Switzerland's position and objectives at this year's session of the CSW.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs