ARC participated in the 60th session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. After two-week deliberations, CSW delivered their Agreed Conclusions that aim to diminish the gender gaps that women and girls suffer, but exclude explicit references to the particular discrimination that many people suffer on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
ARC International has added its voice to the following CSO statement in reaction to the political statement of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations. The sign-on will remain open for the duration of the CSW and we urge all partners to add your signature to strengthen the statement.
The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013. The two-week session included a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events. A Priority Theme was the “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”. ARC co-director, Kim Vance, spoke during a parallel event on “Killings and Violence against Women based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” and co-organized the event with COC Netherlands, AWID, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Transgender Europe, Human Rights Watch, Astraea, and the CWGL.
ARC’s Director, Kim Vance, attended portions of the 56th CSW session in New York in late February. Led by COC Netherlands and CREA, ARC co-sponsored a successful side-event on Violence and Discrimination: Activism and Challenges. The panel focused on the recent OHCHR report and featured panellists from the organization Women Living Under Muslim Laws and LBT groups in Botswana and Sri Lanka.
CSW-55 was attended by lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists from countries as diverse as Brazil, Indonesia, Namibia, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, and Sweden. Activists strategized with mission and UN staff to discuss strategy and planning for upcoming projects, including some focusing on HIV/AIDS, anti-discrimination and the development of the newly created UN Women. ARC International was pleased to convene the lesbian, bisexual and transgender caucus, and work with colleagues to spearhead a well-attended New York launch of the Activist’s Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles. ILGA and RFSL Sweden co-hosted an event on homophobia and education, and other side events focusing on feminist and women’s issues also integrated LGBT concerns throughout.
ARC International at Beijing + 15
Beijing turned 15 in 2010 and its anniversary celebration took place at the UN in New York. No, not Beijing the city, which is considerably older than fifteen, but the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women, which is generally known as “the Beijing Conference”, or in activist circles, simply “Beijing”.
In the first two weeks of March, the anniversary was commemorated in policy and networking among women activists and allies during the proceedings of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In its daily presence at the two week CSW, ARC International played a key role in the coordination and facilitation of various sexual rights activities.