Switzerland attends UN session to strengthen women's role in sustainable development
Bern, 14.03.2016 - The 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) begins today in New York. This year's session focuses on the empowerment of women as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The themes to be addressed by the Swiss delegation will include elimination of violence against women, promoting equal pay for equal work and ensuring funding for gender equality.
The 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held from 14 to 24 March 2016, will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In September 2015, over 150 heads of state and government adopted the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This year the UN will discuss how to implement these goals. "Gender inequality is one of the biggest obstacles to sustainable development, economic growth and poverty reduction," notes Benno Bättig, head of the Swiss delegation and secretary-general of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During the negotiations to draw up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Switzerland successfully advocated for gender equality as a goal in its own right and for a cross-cutting approach to integrate gender-specific targets into other goals.
Another key topic of this year's CSW session is the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls. The human rights of women and gender equality are priorities of Switzerland's human rights policy at the multinational and national levels.
Complementing the official debates and negotiations at the plenary session, in the next few days Switzerland will hold several side events on the topics of combatting violence against women, promoting equal pay for equal work, funding for gender equality, and gender and climate change.
The deputy head of the delegation is Sylvie Durrer, director of the Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality at the Federal Department of Home Affairs. The Swiss delegation also includes other representatives of the Federal Administration, the academic community, civil society and a Swiss canton, as well as a delegate from the FDFA's Youth Rep programme, a project of the National Youth Council of Switzerland carried out in collaboration with the FDFA.
The CSW is the UN's central body that is responsible for improving gender equality. Founded in 1946, the CSW meets once a year to assess challenges, measure progress and formulate concrete measures. Its remit primarily covers the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In addition to official delegations, over 8,100 NGO representatives will take part in this year's CSW session. The programme features an unprecedented number of official events (208) and side events (450), making the CSW the largest annual meeting of the international women's movement.
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