The 24th General Assembly of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) was held in New York January 17-19, 2011. The theme of the triennial Conference was DEFINING THE PRESENT, SHAPING THE FUTURE and was attended by PPSEAWA representatives to the UN as well as some members including the PPSEAWA International President, who is also PPSEAWA’s CoNGO representative at the UN in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
PPSEAWA has been an active member of CoNGO for over a decade. At this 24th CoNGO Conference PPSEAWA was nominated for a position on the CoNGO Board and was successful in winning it. In addition, as a new member of the CoNGO Board, I was elected as one of the Board’s Vice Presidents and will represent PPSEAWA in that capacity at its offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
Statement adopted by the CoNGO Board, January 20, 2011
In accord with the discussions in the 24th Assembly, the Board of CoNGO adopts the following statement affirming principles on which CoNGO action will be based in the period 2011-2014. These principles are particularly recommended for study and action by CoNGO Substantive Committees.
A. The United Nations Human Development Reports are invaluable resources for advocacy among the issues at the heart of NGO concerns, and should increasingly build in social wealth indicators; stress the social and economic impact of care work; emphasize the intrinsic connection between the quality of all human life and the empowerment of women; and spur integration into all discussions of Reshaping the Future of the four cornerstones of Childhood, Gender, Economics, Beliefs.
B. The States Parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court are invited to consider amending or interpreting the Statute to include, on the one hand, the promotion of the Principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P); and on the other hand the punishment of crimes against women and children that are perpetrated solely because the victims are women or children.
C. The establishment of the new UN Women Entity offers a most welcome opportunity to reinforce, expand and carry to new heights the progress already achieved on empowering women, attaining gender equality and equity, outlawing gender-based violence, and rolling back patriarchal domination. CoNGO will partner with UN Women to the maximum extent possible, fostering the competent input of women’s organizations and all concerned NGO’s.
D. The leitmotif of all our work must be partnership---across borders, across cultures, across genders, across social strata, across institutional structures, across policy sectors. We must challenge ourselves to challenge dysfunctions in world systems.
E. Our first partnership must be with the United Nations System as already stated clearly in the Rules that have governed CoNGO for decades CoNGO pledges permanent, intensive, constructive--and when required, critical--partnership with the United Nations, its Agencies and organs.
The partnership relationship must be ever closer with all entities of the UN Secretariat, including interchange of experience, open access to each others’ information, and relevant meetings and ongoing communications.