2024 UN Civil Society Conference Town Hall


Join the 2024 UN Civil Society Conference Town Hall for updates on the planning and preparation for the Conference and learn how you can become involved!

When: Tuesday, 23 April 2024
Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm EST
Location: Conference Room 1, UNHQ, New York

Join the APWW Online discussion – 13 March, 2024 07:30 EST

This parallel event hosted by Asia Pacific Women’s Watch focuses on the continuing impact on women in a post Covid19 world and, the economic downturn evident in many of the countries in the region. The panel, comprising representatives from the Asia Pacific region, will address issues of economic security of women in a context where households are sliding into poverty across socio-economic divides with women’s unpaid care work intensifying, leaving them and their families vulnerable to negative health outcome. It is now imperative that national as well as regional financial institutions reprioritize investment in sectors (labour, health education) that will strengthen avenues forgender equality. Women are pushing back on patriarchal social norms in collective efforts to highlight alternate strategies that can respond to these critical issues.


ESCAP Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on the CSW 68 Priority Theme for Commission on the Status of Women (6-7 February, Bangkok)

APWW along with other members of the  RCEM and women from the CSO CSW 68th Forum (held 4-5 February, 2024 in Bangkok) attended the ESCAP High Level Government Regional Consultation on the Priority Theme of the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).  The Meeting held in Bangkok was attended by Government Representatives from the Asia Pacific Region, however, it was disappointing to see so few Government representatives in the room (some were attending virtually for part of the meeting) others presented in the meeting others contributed to the Consultation outside of the meeting.

UN Secretariat members, funds, programs and specialised agencies attended, along with Intergovernmental Organisations, Asia Development Bank, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).  Approximately 67 civil society organisations were in attendance.

There were 3 thematic sessions :

  1. Developing economic and social policies to address gendered poverty
  2. Fiscal space and mobilizing financing for strategies to end women’s poverty
  3. New development strategies : toward caring, green economies

Followed by a Session on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) + 30 Review.  This session was a presentation of work to date and overview of the process.

Civil Society Representatives were able to present to the meeting for both the opening session and the following 3 thematic sessions.

The report, including key recommendations from Government and CSOs can be found here:  CSW68 AP Regional Consultation Report





CSO AP Forum on CSW 68th Session Bangkok 4-5 Feb 2024

In facilitation this forum, UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) worked collaboratively with the Regional Consultative Engagement Mechanism (RCEM) to host  a Civil Society Led Forum  from 4th – 5th February, 2024 prior to the ESCAP Asia-Pacific Regional Governmental Consultation on CSW 68th Session held at ESCAP 6 – 7 February 2024.

This event was led by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) along with other RCEM Steering Committee members  from : Asia Pacific Alliance for SRHR (APA), Asia Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW), Asia Pacific Women Watch (APWW) and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM).  Over 60 regional and national civil society organisations attended the event both in person and on line.

The regional consultation provided a platform through which ESCAP Member States and stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific assessed and articulated  key trends, needs, gaps in legal, policy, and programmatic responses, and good practices in line with the CSW 68 priority theme.

Poverty is a gendered phenomenon, and it intersects with race, ethnicity, age, disability identity, religion, and geographical location, giving rise to distinct forms of discrimination and inequality. It is deeply imbricated and its pervasive impact extends across every facet of women and girls’ lives, influencing the dynamics from individual to family to community, both in public and private spheres. This contributes to and exacerbates existing inequalities. To address these, public institutions must adopt more progressive socio-economic policies and alternative development models to eradicate poverty. The CSW68 priority theme offers a unique opportunity to reassess gendered poverty, and to formulate recommendations that would pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable alternative economic model centred on gender justice, human rights and well-being.

It is essential for civil society to meaningfully engage and contribute to these processes by highlighting issues, challenges, and recommendations related to the CSW68 priority theme.

The CSO Forum on CSW 68 collectively examined and identified actionable regional priorities and put forth recommendations for the ESCAP Asia-Pacific Regional Governmental Consultation on CSW 68th Session held at ESCAP 6 – 7 February 2024.

The statements from the CSO Session were also shared at New York Asia Pacific Caucus meeting and were used to assist members to inform the CSW68 session and the agreed conclusions on the priority theme.

APWW report back and Statements presented from this Forum to the ESCAP Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on CSW 68th Session can be found here:

APWW Report back and Statements AP Regional CSW 68 Forum


In Memorium : Thanpuying Sumalee – Founding Member of Asia Pacific Women’s Watch (APWW)


Asia Pacific Women Watch would like to express our deepest condolences at the passing of  Thanpuying Sumalee on 4th April, 2022. It is a great loss for Thai Women Watch and APWW.  The world has lost a leading light and great advocate for Gender Equality with her passing .  May her soul find peace as she journey’s forth.

Thanpuying Sumalee was one of those rare women who would bring out the best in others, was generous of time and spirit and worked to improve the world through collaboration and kindness.  She was one of the founding members of Asia Pacific Women’s Watch (APWW) and at a time when many women were working on national issues, had the foresight to recognise the important role regional organisations played in the battle for women’s rights.

Each of us have special memories of Thanpuying Sumalee an elegant, woman , a gracious host and a great leader of the Asian Women’s Movement.  May we hold these memories close as the days move forward.


CSW 66th Session – Commentary on Parallel Sessions and Agreed Conclusions

Dear CSW followers,

We made it.   Well done to everyone for surviving a second online / hybrid CSW.   For many this was a long haul of working through the day, following the negotiations at night and working with their governments to hold them accountable to push a progressive agenda. It’s been a joy working with you all and I hope you’re recovering rapidly from the sleep deprivation.

Parallel Sessions

The Beyond Beijing Committee (Nepal) and APWW successfully presented ‘Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls int he context of Climate change’ on Friday March 18th 2022.   Moderated by APWW SC Member Ms Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, speakers covered a range of topics from food security, sexual and reproductive rights and addressing the challenges of climate change (interpretation was available in Nepali)

APWW also successfully co-hosted the NGO CSW Asia Pacific Forum Day event held on Saturday 14th March, 2022.  This event featured a celebration of women activists from the Asia Pacific Regain along with an interactive panel on the impacts and solutions to some of the issues arising from climate change in this region . A link to the recording of this event can be found here.  

A commentary on the Agreed Conclusions

Negotiations for the Agreed Conclusions once more came down to the wire. It sounds like the most difficult negotiations revolved around the climate action paragraphs; negotiations on these paragraphs apparently occurred last, after delegates had already worked through the night, and so were apparently fairly short and to the point.  The full version of the  final Agreed Conclusions  can be found here.

Despite the facilitator’s preference for a brief document, the Agreed Conclusions are about the same length as usual, although there is slightly more content in the preambular paragraphs than in previous years.

Here are  some initial thoughts about the outcomes:

  • The language regarding climate change mitigation and response is weak. It certainly doesn’t go beyond COP26 and in some places doesn’t even reach that standard.
  • Language on the women, peace and security agenda made it in, but isn’t as strong as we would have liked. The connection between conflict, disaster response and gender was not clarified and the direct reference to Security Council resolution 1325 was deleted.
  • On the plus side, multiple references to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the PPs. (See paras 6, 13, 27 in the PPs and 64(c) and (d) in the OPs.) were included.
  • Reference to sexual and reproductive health and rights is included in the PPs, a gain, because the PPs set out the acknowledged and accepted context for the subject area. The language in the OPs regarding access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights (para 62(ii)) has reverted to the CSW65 language, which is not as progressive as it could have been.
  • Unfortunately language about sexuality rights was not accepted.
  • The language on comprehensive sexuality education was watered down significantly, eventually reverting to CSW65 language. (para 62(ff))
  • There is a new paragraph specifically on the need to protect women journalists and media professionals from interference, violence and harassment. (Para 62(rr).) There are also several other references to journalists and media workers as important partners and stakeholders. . (Paras 35 and 62(oo).) This is all new and welcome language, and was useful to win here, as it will set a standard for discussing trolling and online harassment against women in public roles under next year’s theme.
  • There are good reference to oceans and water, which will be important in Small Island Developing States (SIDs countries).
  • There was push back on the  rights of women to own land , key advocacy pushed back on this and  the result is a reference to the right to ownership of and control over land and other natural resources in the PPs (para 57), and two reference to eliminate discrimination in relation to ownership of and control over land and other forms of property in the OPs (paras 62 (f) and (h)).
  • There has been a very obvious battle over including language about women human rights defenders – only two references have survived, down from six in rev.2. (paras 35 and 62(qq).) Language about women environmental defenders has been completely removed.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was included in the PPs and there is also a solid reference to ‘respecting and protecting the traditional and ancestral knowledge, including of indigenous peoples’. (Para 32) and a good stand alone paragraph about Indigenous women in the OPs (para 62(dd) ), along with 10 or so references throughout the text.
  • The OP paragraph on women and girls with disability includes a reference to the need for disability-inclusive design (para 62(q) ) and there is a reference to integrating a disability-inclusive perspective in policy and laws (para 62(h) ).
  • There is strong language on women and girls in rural areas throughout the document.
  • We are apparently only allowed to have three references to multiple and intersecting discrimination in the ACs (paras 19, 25 and 62(dd) ). Down from 5 references in CSW63 and seven in rev.2. (yep – it gets this petty.)
  • There are strong paras on data and research (paras 56, 62 (ss) and (tt).)

It would be great to hear your thoughts / analysis as you develop your thoughts and workplans  with the Agreed Conclusions.


CSW 66th Session Update

As CSW starts here is a quick update to the process:

Negotiations are underway on the Agreed Conclusions (ACs) and Methods of Work.  We are now on the 3rd read through.

APWW supports the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC, in calling for attention to five key issues that can help advance a progressive agenda toward gender and environmental justice:

  • Recognise and redress loss and damage, centering the most marginalised peoples and communities in addressing climate impacts, particularly women and girls;
  • Commit to ending the sovereign debt crisis, to ensure fiscal space for climate action and gender equality;
  • Dismantle false solutions, particularly the emphasis on net zero and nature-based solutions in the climate and biodiversity arenas;
  • Advance a just and equitable energy transition, shifting from a fossil-fuel based economy to a low-carbon and renewable energy system that upholds women’s human rights and advances social and environmental justice; and
  • Fulfil historical obligations to provide gender-just climate finance that is predictable, adequate, transparent, accountable, accessible and in the form of grants rather than loan



A call for the Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Ukraine and Respect of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws

Asia Pacific Women’s Watch (APWW) strongly condemns the military invasion of Ukraine and the recognition of the breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states by the Russian Federation. We call on all parties to ensure respect for human rights, women’s rights, and international humanitarian law.

We stand in solidarity with the International NGO community   who are working to build peace in both Ukraine and Russia.

War is never gender-neutral. Women and girls in all their diversity are disproportionately affected by war, and it is no different in this conflict. It is vital to support humanitarian efforts led by Ukrainian women and ensure their participation in decision-making on peace and security in accordance with Ukraine’s National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

APWW urges the United Nations Security Council and the broader international community to take all necessary action to restore security in Ukraine, protect civilians and prioritise their needs, especially those of women peacebuilders, activists, and vulnerable populations.

APWW stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, especially women and youth peacebuilders, who are key actors in the survival and resilience of their families and communities during a crisis. We must continue to listen to and amplify the voices of the Ukrainian people. We reinforce their calls for:

  1. An immediate ceasefire, cessation of all hostilities, and adherence with international humanitarian law;
  2. Safe and accessible humanitarian corridors for evacuation and the delivery of aid that reaches all Ukrainian people in need, especially minority communities;
  3. Initiation of a peace process which ensures the meaningful participation of women, youth, and other historically marginalised communities at all stages of negotiations;
  4. Provision of rapid technical and financial support to Ukraine civil society organisations, including women’s rights organisations on the frontlines of the humanitarian crisis;
  5. Protection of women’s rights and human rights in Ukraine by Member States, multilateral institutions;
  6. An investigation of the crimes of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed within the territory of Ukraine by the International Criminal Court;
  7. Accountability for human rights violations through gender-responsive monitoring and accountability mechanisms led by international actors such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe; and
  8. Integration of key provisions of the Women, Peace, and Security resolutions into all programs and security initiatives in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

South Asia People’s Forum on SDGs 2020 22-23 November, 2020

The South Asia Peoples Forum on the SDGs 2020 (SAPF 2020) is the collective event of the NGOs, people organizations, civil society networks, social movements, civil society major groups and stakeholders and sustainable development advocates.

Main objectives of the forum are to:

(i) Assess the political, economic, social and environmental situation of the region in the context of COVID-19 pandemic,

ii) Identify civic actions and policy demands to protect and fulfill the rights of South Asian peoples and recommend for effective COVID 19 response and just recovery, and

iii) Develop strategies to intervene in 4th South Asia SDGs Forum.

Registration Open (Deadline: 21 November 2020) to register for your participation and contribution by deadline. Please open registration form.

The SAPF 2020 is  coordinated and facilitated by Asia Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism (APRCEM) South Asia Working Group, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal (NACASUD Nepal, Maldives Association of Persons with Disabilities (MAPD) Maldives, and Huvadhoo Aid Maldives.

More information can be found here


#OUTSUMMIT2020 A Virtual summit on LGBTIQ Global Issues

OutRight’s annual global convening for the human rights of LGBTIQ people, OutSummit, will be taking place virtually on December 9-11, 2020.  You can watch a short introduction here, and register for the summit here.

OutSummit is a space to share insights, challenges and best practices, and to strategize across civil society, state and private sector boundaries for the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Our keynote speakers this year will be Hamed Sinno, lead singer of the Lebanese-American indie-rock band Mashrou’ Leila, and Filipino American supermodel and trans rights activist Geena Rocero.

More information can be found at the OutSummit Website click here


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