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(4 April 2016)- The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women invites civil society organizations and governments to apply for funding through the 20th grant cycle (2016). The deadline for submitting concept notes is 4 May 2016, 23:59 EDT (GMT–4).
Since its creation, the UN Trust Fund has awarded USD 116 million to 426 initiatives in 136 countries and territories. Its current portfolio consists of 111 grants in 76 countries and territories totaling USD 57 million.
The UN Trust Fund’s annual call for proposals accepts multi-year grant applications for up to USD 1 million. With its 20th funding cycle in 2016, the UN Trust Fund will fund organizations that qualify for funding under one of three categories: The three programmatic areas of the UN Trust Fund Strategic Plan 2015–2020, the “special window” addressing violence against women and girls in the context of the current refugee crisis and under the “by invitation only” category. In all cases, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ability to clearly articulate the contextual challenges, expected, specific and measurable results and strategies to achieve them, with a focus on tailored approaches and interventions to adequately address the proposed form of violence.
The ideal proposal will include references to rigorous and documented evidence to justify the investment on the basis that the approach is likely to be effective in addressing violence against women and girls at the local or national level. As the UN Trust Fund aims to expand the global knowledge base on ‘what works’ to end violence against women and girls, applications from organizations piloting, testing, up-scaling or replicating evidence-based innovative and promising results-based approaches that carry the promise of broader application are also welcome.
For more information on applying visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en/trust-funds/un-trust-fund-to-end-violence-against-women/application-guidelines
MANILA, 31 March 2016 -- Sixteen women from across the Cordillera Autonomous Region and Mindanao are representing the Philippines in the Global Leadership School of Indigenous Women spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Indigenous Women Forum (IIWF-FIMI).
Implemented in Bolivia, Peru, India and the Philippines, the programme seeks to empower indigenous women leaders and activists to advocate for human rights, food and nutrition security.
FAO reports that while indigenous peoples constitute only about five percent of the world’s population -- most are in Asia -- they account for about 15 percent of the world’s poor.
The main causes of marginalization, said Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, FAO’s Global Advocacy officer on Indigenous Peoples, are related to the violation of their rights.
“It is crucial that we pave the way for indigenous women to have a strategic role in our quest to achieving zero hunger and other interrelated goals for sustainable development,” he said.
Capping off the observance of National Women’s Month in the country, Filipino participants of the Global Leadership School gathered in Manila for intensive face-to-face seminars with experts that will reinforce the lessons they have learned through an earlier virtual learning platform.
Addressing participants, FAO representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández said, “Indigenous women bear the burden of discrimination related to gender and ethnicity, among others but this should not deter you from moving forward in charting a brighter future for your communities. In the years that FAO has been working in the Philippines, we have witnessed how Filipino indigenous women are extremely capable of advocating for positive change and being development partners.”
“This is the first time that I am able to join a gathering of indigenous women from different parts of the country and even from outside our country. We can see a democratic dialogue and we are learning through sharing our experiences and listening to the experiences of others,” said Elsie Mokudef, a Teduray from Maguindanao province.
“It’s time for us indigenous women to break our silence. It’s time for us to speak up. Then and now, we see in communities that only a few women are given the opportunity to participate in decision making and this is usually because they are insecure about speaking,” she added.
Gender equality and empowering indigenous peoples are central to FAO’s mandate of achieving food security for all. In the Philippines, FAO has been working with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coconut Authority, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government units to build the resilience of vulnerable indigenous communities and indigenous women to natural disasters through climate adaptive agroforestry methods that take into account their centuries-old farming systems. (PR)
New York, March 24, 2016 — The 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women concluded today with UN Member States committing to the gender-responsive implementation of Agenda 2030. A set of agreed conclusions called for enhancing the basis for rapid progress, including stronger laws, policies and institutions, better data and scaled-up financing.
The Commission recognized women’s vital role as agents of development. It acknowledged that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of Agenda 2030 will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka welcomed the agreement and the commitment of UN Member States to make the 2030 Agenda, adopted last September, a reality in countries around the world. She said: “Countries gave gender inequality an expiry date: 2030. Now it is time to get to work. These agreed conclusions entrench and start the implementation of a gender-responsive agenda 2030 with which we have the best possibility to leave no one behind.”
Growing global commitment was already in evidence with a record number of more than 80 government ministers from around the world attending the Commission. Around 4,100 non-governmental representatives from more than 540 organizations participated as well, the highest number ever for one of the Commission’s regular annual meetings.
The agreed conclusions urge a comprehensive approach to implementing all 17 Sustainable Development Goals through thorough integration of gender perspectives across all government policies and programmes. Eliminating all forms of gender-based discrimination depends on effective laws and policies and the removal of any statutes still permitting discrimination. Temporary special measures may be required to guarantee that women and girls can obtain justice for human rights violations.
The Commission endorsed significantly increased investment to close resource gaps for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Funds should be mobilized from all sources, domestic and international, ranging from fulfilling official development assistance commitments to combatting illicit financial flows that shortchange public resources for gender equality.
With humanitarian crises and other emergencies disproportionately affecting women and girls, the Commission underlined the imperative of empowering women in leadership and decision-making in all aspects of responding to and recovering from crisis. On the eve of the World Humanitarian Summit, it stressed prioritizing women’s and girls’ needs in humanitarian action and upholding their rights in all emergency situations. Every humanitarian response should take measures to address sexual and gender-based violence.
Members of the Commission united behind ensuring women’s equal participation in leadership at all levels of decision-making in the public and private spheres, encompassing governments, businesses and other institutions, and across all areas of sustainable development. Depending on different circumstances, this may involve establishing temporary special measures, setting and achieving concrete benchmarks and removing barriers to women’s participation.
Given the major contributions to Agenda 2030 of civil society, including women’s and community-based organizations, feminist groups, human rights defenders and girls’ and youth-led organizations, the Commission welcomed open engagement and cooperation with them in gender-responsive implementation. It emphasized fully engaging with men and boys as agents of change and allies in the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
To guide systematic progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the 2030 Agenda, the Commission stressed enhanced national statistical capacity and the systematic design, collection and sharing of high-quality, reliable and timely data disaggregated by sex, age and income. Members also agreed to bolster the role of national mechanisms for women and girls in championing their equality and empowerment.
On Thursday, March 24th concludes the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women CSW 60. Indigenous women delegations from six cultural regions worldwide attended the session to highlight the importance of indigenous women's empowerment. The International Indigenous Women's Forum facilitated the participation of eight indigenous women during the first week of the Commission in different advocacy arenas to make visible the urgent need of "empowerment of indigenous women" in various spheres and to demonstrate that indigenous women are agents of change and actives actors in transformative processes.
UN Women through the generous donation of the Yvonne M.T. Hebert' Scholarship supported the attendance of four young indigenous women, who participated for the first time at CSW60 and expressed their interest and commitment to continue strengthening themselves to contribute to improve the policies regarding indigenous women in their countries. Louis Wellington, representative of the Ingkerreke Commercial from Australia; Sharon Rose Sabato y Valerie Kasaiyian, representatives of the Indigenous Information Network from Kenya; Maria Judite da Silva Ballerio Guajajara, from the Indigenous Youth Network - Rede de Juventude Indígena- REJUIND, ECMIA from Brazil; and Paninnguaq Steenholdt from the Greenlandic National Academic Students Organization, ILI ILI; made substantial contributions in each intervention and dialogue.
Beside empowerment, other issue that was approached was the gender violence. Indigenous women from Norway and Guatemala hold a side event where they shared the multiple expressions of violence including domestic, sexual, institutional and spiritual that face indigenous women in those countries. The speakers concluded expressing that is important to include men in the design of strategies to eradicate this problematic. By the other hand, the Permanent Mission of Canada together with the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, US and the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples did a Panel on "Indigenous Women and Girls: Pathways to Equality"where it was highlighted approaches and experiences of indigenous women from Canada, Nicaragua and Bangladesh. The shared experiences converged in the fact that indigenous women are vital change agents to eradicate all the expressions of violence from their own Cosmo vision.
Multiple opportunities occurred to position the indigenous women voices in different spaces and to be considered as key actors in decision-making spaces at international level. FIMI in cooperation with The Center for Indigenous Cultures of Peru (CHIRAPAQ) participated in a High Level interactive dialogue among Ministers with the objective to build alliances for gender responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Teresa Zapeta, FIMI's Program Coordinator, took the floor on behalf Tarcila Rivera Zea, President of FIMI and CHIRAPAQ, demanding an "effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development where no one is left behind; it is crucial that we, indigenous women, be recognized for our own specificities and we are not only rural women". At the same time, Mirna Cunningham Kain, President of the Centro para la autonomía y desarrollo de los pueblos indígenas (CADPI) expressed that "for indigenous women, the empowerment is part of our historic responsibility, sacred and permanent protection of the Mother Earth, which are enshrined in the rights of our peoples, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in others international instruments of human rights, also the commitments assumed by the States in the Outcome Document of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples".
A spiritual invocation guided by Teresa Zapeta preceded the Panel Discussion on Empowerment of Indigenous Women the last Wednesday March 16th, organized by the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples, UN Women, the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and FIMI. The event was aimed to recognize the leadership of indigenous women as key actors in the political participation processes, their struggle for the violence against indigenous women, the eradication of poverty and to enhance their empowerment at all levels. Around 125 people including representatives of the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples, Ambassadors, Ministers and representatives of the Permanent Missions to the United Nations, indigenous women worldwide, representatives from United Nations agencies and activists of Civil Society attended the panel.
One of the most touching interventions during this Panel Discussion, was held by Berta Zuniga, daughter of the Lenca activist Berta Cáceres, who demands justice for the recent murdered of the Lenca leader and for other indigenous brothers of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras COPINH who have been killed just recently. Berta emphasized that "the implementation of the Agenda 2030 will never be a reality if human rights defenders continue to be threatened, murdered and criminalized, and if there is a systematic violations of indigenous peoples for their right to free, prior and informed consent in the construction of infrastructure and extractive projects in their land and territories". On the other hand, the Minister of Canada, Ms. Carolyn Bennett expressed that is necessary "the reparation of historical debts, and this is going to be possible only if indigenous women are heard".
The CSW60 session was undoubtedly an enriching experience to position the demands of indigenous women worldwide. In this sense, the four young indigenous women from the regional networks were interviewed with UN Women and UN Radio. Additionally, the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in coordination with FIMI organized a press conference where Tarcila Rivera Zea, Louise Wellington and Valerie Kasaiyian participated emphasizing the importance of empowerment of indigenous women as key actors to the inclusive and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
FIMI is deeply thankful with the young indigenous women from the regional networks who with their enthusiasm, experience and passion for the human rights of indigenous women, achieved to advocate and to take full advantage of each space. We would also like to express our gratitude to Chandra Roy-Henriksen, Mirian Masaquiza and Julia Ravaad from the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, sisters and allies, for their ongoing support and for their professionalism and commitment which make an important work to favor indigenous peoples and particularly, indigenous women.
You can download the FIMI intervention here.
Source: International Indigenous Women's Forum (IIWF)/Foro Internacional de Mujeres Indigenas
Today, on International Women’s Day, we would like to recognize and celebrate Indigenous Women.
Indigenous women are one of the most marginalized groups of the world. In peaceful societies, they face multiple levels of discrimination for being women, indigenous and most often poor. They face poverty, trafficking, illiteracy, landlessness and dispossession, non-existent or poor health care and often, violence and discrimination in both the private and the public sphere. We continue to hear reports of indigenous women and girls being raped. This violence is exacerbated in the midst of conflict – and indigenous women are targeted for being the face of their peoples and their cultures.
Yet, the role of indigenous women in peace-building is often overlooked. Examples from peace processes around the world show that women must be included in the formal peace negotiations for them to be sustained. At the same time, in some communities, indigenous women have used peace processes to advance increased participation at decision-making bodies in the post-conflict society. With their experience, knowledge and skills, indigenous women make valuable contributions to peace, and also to reconciliation, justice and healing. We will look at this in more depth during the forthcoming session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with the special theme of indigenous peoples: conflict, peace and resolution (9-20 May 2016).
Indigenous women are the transmitters of indigenous cultures, their knowledge, and their traditions. They must be part of the solution, and have the resources, recognition and support to enable them to take charge of their destinies as actors and decision-makers.
On this International Women’s Day, in solidarity with indigenous women around the world, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues calls on Member States, UN agencies, programmes and funds, as well as other partners to reinforce the rights of indigenous women; to provide the space for indigenous women to participate in decision-making processes; to support the empowerment and education of indigenous women and girls to become leaders; and to take concrete measures to overcome the violence, racism and structural discrimination indigenous women continue to face.
This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is the first within the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are confidently asserted in that Agenda as intrinsic to progress.
The new Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals include a specific goal to achieve gender equality, which aims to end discrimination and violence against women and girls and ensure equal participation and opportunities in all spheres of life. Important provisions for women’s empowerment are also included in most of the other goals.
In conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, more than 90 governments have answered UN Women’s call for action to “Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Heads of State and Government have pledged concrete and measurable actions to crack some of the fundamental barriers to the achievement of gender equality in their countries.
Unanimously at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women in 2015, governments reaffirmed the Beijing Platform for Action. Businesses large and small are committing to, and implementing, shifts in culture and practice that foster greater equality and opportunity. Women individually, and civil society together, have called for lasting and transformative change by 2030.
With these unprecedented expressions of political will, the countdown to substantive gender equality by 2030 must begin, accompanied and underpinned by monitoring of accountability and evaluation of progress.
We draw strength from this solidarity as we face world events such as severe population displacement, extreme violence against women and girls, and extensive instability and crises in many regions.
To arrive at the future we want, we cannot leave anyone behind. We have to start with those who are the least regarded. These are largely women and girls, although in poor and troubled areas, they can also include boys and men.
Women and girls are critical to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality and the recovery of the communities hardest hit by conflicts, disasters and displacements. They are at the frontline of the outbreaks of threatening new epidemics, such as Zika virus disease or the impact of climate change, and at the same time are the bulwark to protect their families, work for peace, and ensure sustainable economic growth and social change.
On International Women’s Day, we reiterate the greater participation of women as one of the necessary conditions for an inclusive Agenda 2030. Their leadership is insufficiently recognized but must emerge with greater participation in decision-making bodies. Each one of us is needed—in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations—to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.
We build on the commitments that have already been made by all governments. We also build on the legacy of determined and vocal participation by the small group of founding women from all parts of the world, who were in San Francisco in 1945 when the UN Charter was adopted. They laid the foundation for all that has followed in the struggle for the fulfilment of women’s rights.
The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies. It is the key to making Agenda 2030 transformational and inclusive.
Happy International Women’s Day.
On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, which came into effect on 1 January 2016 and will carry through the next 15 years. The 2030 Agenda is a broad and universal policy agenda, with 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets which are described as integrated and indivisible. It promises to leave no one behind and reach the furthest behind first.
2016 is the first year of implementation.
According to the 2030 Agenda framework, the primary responsibility for implementation of the 2030 Agenda is at the national level. On the global level, the High Level Political Forum is the central UN Forum to oversee review and follow-up processes on progress of implementation. The HLPF will be meeting once a year under auspices of Economic and Social Council and every 4th year under the auspices of General Assembly. In 2016, the High Level Political Forum will be meeting from 11-20 July 2016, where discussions will take place on the future framework for follow-up and review to the 2030 Agenda.
Indigenous peoples’ representatives and organisations have several opportunities to feed in to the ongoing discussions leading up to the HLPF meeting in July.
Some important events that are open for stakeholder engagements are listed below:
- 30 March – 1 April: 3rd Meeting of Inter-Agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Indicators (Mexico) – deadline for application for stakeholders is 21 February 2016
- 31 March: ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2016: From commitments to results – leveraging partnerships for the 2030 Agenda. Information on how to attend will be uploaded shortly.
- 21 April: High-level thematic debate on achieving the SDGs hosted by the President of the General Assembly. Online stakeholder consultations are ongoing.
Read more about Indigenous Peoples and the 2030 Agenda here.
Statement by UN Women Executive Director on the adoption of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change18 December 2015, 2:16 am Written by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
(17 Dec 2015)- The historic Paris Agreement adopted by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 December provides the long-awaited accord to ‘strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change’. Women and girls are differentially and disproportionately affected by climate change impacts including by extreme and erratic weather events in critical ways - in their access to and use of water and energy, their food security, livelihoods, and opportunities for education, decent work and a healthy life.
The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of COP21 cover many crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark commitment, and oblige all countries to respect its provisions: mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the 2 degree Celsius pathway; a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action; adaptation – strengthening the ability of countries to deal with climate impacts; loss and damage – strengthening the ability to recover from climate impacts; and support – including finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building.
UN Women welcomes the advances made since the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was gender blind. Expectations have been building in the run up to COP21, with more than 50 decisions by Parties to the UNFCCC with gender-specific references already adopted including the Lima Work Programme on Gender that was adopted in 2014; the creation of the Green Climate Fund, one of whose governing principles is to be gender-sensitive; and work undertaken by UN Women since its inception five years ago to make the outcomes of the UNFCCC processes responsive to gender equality and women's empowerment considerations.
The Paris Agreement constitutes a breakthrough; for the first time, a Climate Treaty in its Preamble commits Parties, when taking action to address climate change, to respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, as well as on gender equality, and the empowerment of women. The Agreement also mandates gender-responsive adaptation actions and capacity-building activities. Furthermore, the Purpose of the Agreement specifies that the global response to the threat of climate change will be undertaken in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. As such it joins the continuum of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the third International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its overall framing of ‘people, planet and prosperity’, its Goal 13 on urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and Goal 5 and related targets incorporating gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the Agenda.
However, although the Paris Agreement recognizes the social, economic and environmental dimensions of climate change, it falls short of being transformational. Women had expected their needs and contributions as innovators and agents of change to be explicitly acknowledged by gender-responsiveness in the key sections on finance, and technology development and transfer, and that the data and monitoring of climate action would be gender sensitive.
Women of the world now expect that these omissions do not act as a barrier to resolute, gender- responsive climate action. We call on Parties to move ambitiously to implement the Paris Agreement in its totality starting now to fulfill their overarching commitment to respect and promote gender equality and women's empowerment, in and through climate action. We call on Parties to live up to the strong positioning asserted in Agenda 2030 of women as key drivers and supporters of resilience; as beneficiaries and enablers of climate action and as agents of change; as creative, entrepreneurial solution finders in the face of multiple challenges and as crucial partners in investment for a climate-resilient future and a sustainable planet.
To continue to put women at the forefront of climate solutions, UN Women launched two global programmes at COP 21, on Women’s Sustainable Energy Entrepreneurship and Access; and Women’s Empowerment through Climate-resilient Agriculture. These programmes link conceptually and practically to climate change mitigation and adaptation while at the same time enhancing the capacities of women and girls as economic actors.
Accountability has never been more important: UN Women is committed to continue working with governments to support their nationally determined contributions towards achieving the objective of the Agreement as well as their national action plans from now until 2020 when the Agreement takes effect, and beyond. We will work as one UN, along with all other stakeholders, to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, ensuring that women’s needs are taken into account and their active participation and agency realized in all aspects of climate policy, finance and response.
195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius
Paris, 12 December 2015 - An historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris today.
The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.
The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.
Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.
To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.
“The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high. Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort. Our responsibility to history is immense” said Laurent Fabius, President of the COP 21 UN Climate change conference and French Foreign Minister.
The minister, his emotion showing as delegates started to rise to their feet, brought the final gavel down on the agreement to open and sustained acclamation across the plenary hall.
French President Francois Hollande told the assembled delegates: “You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud to stand before your children and grandchildren.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “We have entered a new era of global cooperation on one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity. For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “One planet, one chance to get it right and we did it in Paris. We have made history together. It is an agreement of conviction. It is an agreement of solidarity with the most vulnerable. It is an agreement of long-term vision, for we have to turn this agreement into an engine of safe growth.”
“Successive generations will, I am sure, mark the 12 December 2015 as a date when cooperation, vision, responsibility, a shared humanity and a care for our world took centre stage,” she said.
“I would like to acknowledge the determination, diplomacy and effort that the Government of France have injected into this remarkable moment and the governments that have supported our shared ambition since COP 17 in Durban, South Africa,” she said.
Agreement Captures Essential Elements to Drive Action Forward
The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of the UN climate conference (COP21) cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:
Mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal
A transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action
Adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts
Loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts
Support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures
As well as setting a long-term direction, countries will peak their emissions as soon as possible and continue to submit national climate action plans that detail their future objectives to address climate change.
This builds on the momentum of the unprecedented effort which has so far seen 188 countries contribute climate action plans to the new agreement, which will dramatically slow the pace of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The new agreement also establishes the principle that future national plans will be no less ambitious than existing ones, which means these 188 climate action plans provide a firm floor and foundation for higher ambition.
Countries will submit updated climate plans – called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – every five years, thereby steadily increasing their ambition in the long-term.
Climate action will also be taken forward in the period before 2020. Countries will continue to engage in a process on mitigation opportunities and will put added focus on adaptation opportunities. Additionally, they will work to define a clear roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to USD 100 billion by 2020
This is further underlined by the agreement’s robust transparency and accounting system, which will provide clarity on countries’ implementation efforts, with flexibility for countries’ differing capabilities.
“The Paris Agreement also sends a powerful signal to the many thousands of cities, regions, businesses and citizens across the world already committed to climate action that their vision of a low-carbon, resilient future is now the chosen course for humanity this century,” said Ms Figueres.
Agreement Strengthens Support to Developing Nations
The Paris Agreement underwrites adequate support to developing nations and establishes a global goal to significantly strengthen adaptation to climate change through support and international cooperation.
The already broad and ambitious efforts of developing countries to build their own clean, climate-resilient futures will be supported by scaled-up finance from developed countries and voluntary contributions from other countries.
Governments decided that they will work to define a clear roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to USD 100 billion by 2020 while also before 2025 setting a new goal on the provision of finance from the USD 100 billion floor.
Ms. Figueres said. “We have seen unparalleled announcements of financial support for both mitigation and adaptation from a multitude of sources both before and during the COP. Under the Paris Agreement, the provision of finance from multiple sources will clearly be taken to a new level, which is of critical importance to the most vulnerable.”
International cooperation on climate-safe technologies and building capacity in the developing world to address climate change are also significantly strengthened under the new agreement.
Signing the Paris Agreement
Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the COP (Conference of the Parties), it will be deposited at the UN in New York and be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016--Mother Earth Day.
The agreement will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.
Cities and Provinces to Companies and Investors Aligning
Today’s landmark agreement was reached against the backdrop of a remarkable groundswell of climate action by cities and regions, business and civil society.
During the week of events under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) at the COP, the groundswell of action by these stakeholders successfully demonstrated the powerful and irreversible course of existing climate action.
Countries at COP 21 recognised the enormous importance of these initiatives, calling for the continuation and scaling up of these actions which are entered on the UN-hosted NAZCA portal as an essential part in the rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The LPAA and NAZCA have already captured climate actions and pledges covering:
Over 7,000 cities, including the most vulnerable to climate change, from over 100 countries with a combined population with one and a quarter billion people and around 32% of global GDP.
Sub-national states and regions comprising one fifth of total global land area and combined GDP of $12.5 trillion.
Over 5,000 companies from more than 90 countries that together represent the majority of global market capitalisation and over $38 trillion in revenue.
Nearly 500 investors with total assets under management of over $25 trillion.
Christiana Figueres said: “The recognition of actions by businesses, investors, cities and regions is one of the key outcomes of COP 21. Together with the LPAA, the groundswell of action shows that the world is on an inevitable path toward a properly sustainable, low-carbon world.”
More Details on the Paris Agreement
All countries will submit adaptation communications, in which they may detail their adaptation priorities, support needs and plans. Developing countries will receive increased support for adaptation actions and the adequacy of this support will be assessed.
The existing Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage will be significantly strengthened.
The agreement includes a robust transparency framework for both action and support. The framework will provide clarity on countries’ mitigation and adaptation actions, as well as the provision of support. At the same time, it recognizes that Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States have special circumstances.
The agreement includes a global stocktake starting in 2023 to assess the collective progress towards the goals of the agreement. The stocktake will be done every five years.
The agreement includes a compliance mechanism, overseen by a committee of experts that operates in a non-punitive way.
The COP also closed on a number of technical issues.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, there is now a clear and transparent accounting method for carry-over credits for the second commitment period, creating a clear set of rules.
The first round of international assessment and review process (IAR) that was launched in 2014 was successfully completed.
A number of technical and implementation issues related to the existing arrangements on technology, adaptation, action for climate empowerment and capacity building were also successfully concluded.
On Human Rights Day, a spotlight on regional programmes to end discrimination and ensure women’s human rights in Southeast Asia.
“It’s important to understand CEDAW because it acts as an umbrella, protecting all women across the globe,” said Maria Abrantes, a high school student and women’s rights advocate from Timor-Leste. She attended a 2014 workshop organized by the International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia-Pacific with support from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE). Participants learned how to recognize gender-based discrimination and fight for change using the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
“We not only need to be aware of the constitutional and penal codes in Timor that protect our rights,” added Ms. Abrantes, “but we also need to understand that CEDAW is an international instrument that we can use to ensure that all women are protected from discrimination and that our laws respond to this right.”
This activity is one of many undertaken across Asia-Pacific—with civil society organizations and governments alike—to further the implementation of CEDAW. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, this international human rights treaty has been ratified by 189 Member States to date.
In Southeast Asia, all governments have ratified and made progress towards their obligations under the Convention. Fewer have ratified its Optional Protocol; however countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste have done so in recent years.
States Parties must submit reports on their progress a year after ratification and every four years after that. Such reports show some laws have been amended to prioritize women’s human rights, and new laws have been enacted in areas such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape, and human trafficking.
National CEDAW training and technical support
In 2013, UN Women supported a series of workshops for government staff in Viet Nam, which led to an increased number of references to CEDAW and human rights concepts in revised laws.
Following a training supported by UN Women in Indonesia, LGBTI and women’s human rights defenders drafted a CEDAW Shadow Report to highlight the rights of marginalized groups. The report was submitted to the CEDAW Committee in connection with the Committee’s consideration of Indonesia’s periodic report in July 2012.
In Thailand, UN Women helped shape the draft Gender Equality Law by sharing international experiences on related laws that comply with CEDAW.
In 2013, UN Women supported the Government of Afghanistan in submitting its first-ever report to the CEDAW Committee, as well as supporting the civil society Shadow Report by the Afghan Women’s Network. The same year, UN Women also supported the Government of Pakistan in submitting its fourth periodic report to the CEDAW Committee, which also integrated civil society perspectives.
After a UN Women-supported training for a network of women living with HIV in the Philippines and Thailand, local leaders addressed the specific discrimination they highlighted. A UN Women and UNAIDS collaboration on the relevance of CEDAW to the HIV response also enabled women living with HIV across Viet Nam to network and improve their advocacy skills.
“After the training, we feel stronger, have a better understanding of each other and are more confident,” said a Vietnamese participant from a national network of women living with HIV. “We found it very important to claim our rights as women living with HIV in the CEDAW Shadow Report.”
CEDAW Southeast Asia Programme
At the regional level, with funding from Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the regional CEDAW Southeast Asia Programme (CEDAW SEAP), has been promoting gender equality in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam and Timor-Leste. Since 2004, it has collaborated with governments and civil society to strengthen their capacity to promote women’s human rights at national and regional levels, while encouraging stronger political will and commitment to CEDAW implementation.
The programme has been credited with strengthening the capacities of ASEAN Human Rights bodies. It also established the first network of gender-sensitive Supreme Court judges and legal practitioners in ASEAN, and developed an online community of practices called Community for Change-Makers.
International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW)
The FGE-supported IWRAW programme partners women’s networks in four countries to support the activism and advocacy of young women around human rights. They reach out directly to their peers and key stakeholders. In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, they’ve chosen to focus on access to education for rural girls and; in Malaysia, on sexual harassment in the workplace; in Viet Nam, they are focusing on intimate partner violence; and in Timor-Leste, on re-integrating young mothers into schooling.
In Timor-Leste, the young women successfully joined forces with other women’s rights activists to develop a CEDAW Shadow Report ahead of the Committee’s review of Timor-Leste’s periodic report in November 2015.
With CEDAW, “I feel like I have a tool,” says 20-year-old Nguyen Thi Kim Anh, of Viet Nam’s Young Women Making Change Group. “When I’m working in women’s human rights, I know I have a kind of weapon.” In July 2015, she was among a group of young women who raised the issue of dating violence at the 61st CEDAW session in Geneva, in connection with the Committee’s review of Viet Nam’s periodic report. The CEDAW Committee included the topic among its recommendations in its concluding observations.