FEATURE STORY

Countries gather in New York to focus on gender equality and women's empowerment

August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010 - The 2010 Annual Ministerial Review, held during the High-level Segment of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), unfolded in New York from 28 June to 2 July 2010 and went into high gear on Gender issues by focusing on the theme, “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and empowerment of women”. At the meeting, delegations drew on the Beijing+15 global review to assess the progress made in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995. The discussions aimed to contribute to the 2010 High Level Plenary Meeting of the 65th General Assembly – the MDG Summit – to be held in September. The gathering ended with the adoption of a ministerial declaration re-asserting ECOSOC’s commitment to achieving gender equality globally.

At the AMR, thirteen developing and developed countries – Australia, Brazil, France, Guatemala, Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea and United States – reported on the progress they have made towards the MDGs, particularly on gender. Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and Professor Frances Stewart, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, delivered keynote addresses that focused on gender equality and empowerment of women.

A thematic debate highlighted the “Current global and national trends and their impact on gender equality and empowerment of women”. The debate tackled the interconnections between gender equality and the empowerment of women, ensuring food security, dealing with climate change, and the impacts of the global financial crisis, and gave special attention to improving the lives of women in countries in special situations and conflict/post-crisis zones.

As part of the High-level Segment of ECOSOC, the 2010 High-level Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) was also organized on 29-30 June. The DCF brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss key development cooperation issues with a view of providing policy orientations towards more accountable, coherent and effective development cooperation, thereby contributing to the deliberations of the MDG Summit in September.

Several side events and informal meetings were also organized, a number of which featured Bank participation. Carlos Braga (Acting VP and Corporate Secretary) participated in the HLS Development Cooperation Forum policy dialogue, “Impact of multiple crises: allocating resources among competing needs”, while LCR HD Director Keith Hansen participated in an interactive plenary of the coordination segment on “Coordinating efforts for achieving the health-related MDGs”. One of the major events was a policy dialogue on the last day of the High-level Segment, where representatives of the international financial and trade institutions – including the World Bank – gathered to discuss the state of the world economy and its implications for the achievement of the MDGs. Otaviano Canuto, Vice President of PREM, represented the Bank and highlighted the continued and scaled-up efforts of the Bank on gender issues as part of its drive to achieve the MDGs and cushion the impacts of the global economic crisis.

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