APF-ICC Advocacy at the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
Graphic: Speakers at CSW 60 NHRI side event
NHRIs have made further progress in their campaign to secure independent participation rights at the Commission on the Status of Women.
In March 2016, National human rights institutions (NHRIs) from around the globe met in New York in March for the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the UN's principal policy-making body on gender equality and the advancement of women.
Together, they continued a campaign, which the APF began in 2009, to lobby for 'A status' NHRIs to participate independently in the work of the CSW.
Unlike at the Human Rights Council, 'A status' NHRIs do not have standing in their own right to participate in meetings of the CSW and can only attend as part of their country's government delegation, if they are invited.
A key goal was to raise awareness among the government delegations attending CSW of the critical role played by NHRIs to promote and protect the rights of women and girls and the enormous value they can bring to discussions of human rights issues at the international level.
On 15 March 2016, with the support of the Permanent Missions of Australia, Germany, Chile, Morocco and New Zealand, the APF and the ICC hosted a side event to demonstrate the value of NHRI participation in CSW.
In addition, a number of NHRIs that were not able to travel to New York contacted their governments to urge them to support the inclusion of a statement recognising the value of independent NHRI participation in the 'Agreed Conclusions' of CSW 60.
These combined efforts resulted in significant endorsement for NHRIs in the CSW 60 Agreed Conclusions:
OP9. The Commission recalls General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/163 and encourages the Secretariat to consider how to enhance the participation, including at the 61st Session of the Commission, of national human rights institutions fully compliant with the Paris Principles, where they exist, in compliance with the ECOSOC rules of procedure.
In coordinating the advocacy campaign at CSW 60, the APF worked in close cooperation with ICC representatives, other regional NHRI networks, individual NHRIs, governments and key NGOs, most notably the International Service for Human Rights.
- Speakers at CSW 60 NHRI side event - APF/Joel Sheakoski