After Lengthy Negotiations, Commission on Status of Women Concludes 2023 Session, Approving Texts on Gender Equality, Empowerment in Digital Age
Following lengthy negotiations that continued late into the night, the Commission on the Status of Women concluded its sixty-seventh session, approving a set of agreed conclusions focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the context of innovation, technological change, and education in the digital age.
The priority theme “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” was the focus of the Commission’s annual two-week session. The principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women resumed its fully in-person gathering this year, following three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, the session included an interactive youth session with young people, youth representatives of delegations, civil society and United Nations organizations. (For background, see Press Release WOM/2221.)
Sima Sami Bahous, Under-Secretary-General for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), in closing remarks, said: “This year’s agreed conclusions are game-changing and bring forward our vision of a more equal and connected world for women and girls in all their diversity.” The ultimate success of the agreed conclusions lies in how the international community will collectively take them forward, she said, declaring that: “As we leave here now, let us bring the might of our combined determination to translate them into reality for all women and girls.”
Mathu Joyini (South Africa), Chair of the sixty-seventh session, emphasizing that “our work does not end here”, called on delegations to continue to create meaningful change and work towards ensuring that digital technology protect and encourage the full and equal human rights for all women and girls. The agreed conclusions provide a global framework to enable the development of international norms and standards for digital technology that will encourage the increased participation of women and girls, she said.
The agreed conclusions will be transmitted to the Economic and Social Council and to the high-level political forum convened under the auspices of the Council, as well as the Chairs’ Summaries of the ministerial round tables and interactive discussions held during this session.
Given the late hour, the Secretariat was unable to provide advice on any potential programme budget implications and will do so to the Economic and Social Council before the Council’s consideration of the Commission’s report.
At the outset of the meeting, the Commission exceptionally agreed to conclude its work in English only, as interpretation was not available because of the late hour. The Commission then concluded its consideration of “Communications concerning the status of women”, during which the Chair recalled that, at its closed meeting on 15 March, the Commission took note of the report of the Working Group on the Communications on the Status of Women and decided to include it, in its entirety, in the report of the Commission. The Commission also concluded its consideration of “Follow-up to Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions”, under which there was no documentation, as announced by the Chair.
The Committee then approved its draft report on Its sixty-seventh session (document E/CN.6/2023/L.1), introduced by Vice-Chair and Rapporteur, Chimguundari Navaan-Yunden (Mongolia). It also approved the provisional agenda and documentation of its sixty-eighth session (document E/CN.6/2023/L.2) and recommended it to the Economic and Social Council for adoption.
Briefly opening its sixty-eighth session, the Commission elected by acclamation, for its sixty-eighth session, Antonio Manuel Revilla Lagdameo (Philippines) as Chair, and María del Carmen Squeff (Argentina) and Māris Burbergs (Latvia) as Vice-Chairs. The Commission agreed to postpone the election of the Vice-Chairs from the Group of African States and the Group of Western European and other States to a later date on the understanding that, upon nomination, the nominated members would be invited to participate in the work of the Bureau, in preparation for the Commission’s sixty-eighth session.
The Commission also recalled that it had appointed Morocco to serve as a member of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women at its sixty-eighth session. In the absence of nominations by the Groups of Asia-Pacific States, Eastern European States, Latin American and Caribbean States and Western European and other States, the Commission will postpone the election of the remaining members of the Working Group on Communications to a later date, on the understanding that upon nomination, the nominated members would be allowed to participate fully in the work of the Working Group, the Chair announced, calling on the regional groups to consider putting forward nominations to the Working Group as soon as possible.