Gender Equality Experts Begin Advising UNGA | News | SDG Knowledge Center


An expert council has been appointed to help mainstream a gender perspective into the priorities, initiatives and mandates of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The Governing Council was first established by the previous UNGA Presidency and has now been expanded to include more experts, representing UN Member States, UN Secretariat bodies and stakeholders.

On the Council’s goal, UNGA President Abdulla Shahid said promoting gender equality was of new urgency as COVID-19 called into question the achievement of SDG 5. The Council aims to “facilitate critical reflection and advice on gender issues” and “help mainstream a gender perspective” into the priorities, initiatives and mandates of UNGA 76.

Shahid announced members on 20 October 2021. Among them are the two co-chairs of the Group of Friends on Gender Parity – Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar, and Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative of Rwanda – as well as a member of the previous one The Advisory Board of the President of UNGA, Jukka Salovaara, Permanent Representative of Finland, and the Coordinator of the Circle of Women Ambassadors, Egriselda Aracely González López, Permanent Representative of El Salvador.

The other members are:

  • Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative of Maldives and Special Envoy of the President of the UNGA
  • Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women
  • Ilze Brands Kehris, Head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights-New York Office
  • Reem Alsalem, United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
  • Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact
  • Patricia Torsney, Permanent Observer of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Soon-Young Yoon, UN representative of the International Alliance of Women and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Organization of Women for Environment and Development (WEDO)

Observers for the Advisory Board are Catherine Pollard, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Jayathma Wickramanayake, Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth.

The board held its first meeting on October 28, 2021. Shahid said gender inequality is “an embarrassment and moral failure for which we can no longer apologize.” He cited specific goals he seeks advice from the Board of Trustees on, including ensuring gender parity on all panels and improving “family room” services at UN Headquarters as a child care service. possible. A summary of the discussions at the meeting will be communicated by the President’s office. [Remarks at first meeting of Advisory Board]

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