The entities of the United Nations system individually and collectively made significant progress towards mainstreaming gender equality and the empowerment of women into the normative and operational work of the United Nations. In response to Economic and Social Council agreed conclusions 1997/2, CEB endorsed in October 2006 the United Nations system policy on gender equality and the empowerment of women as a means to accelerate gender mainstreaming within the policies and programmes of the United Nations system. To operationalize the Board’s policy, a United Nations system-wide action plan has been developed to promote a common understanding, enhance system-wide coherence, and advance a progressive approach to gender mainstreaming. At its spring 2012 session, CEB reviewed the action plan paving the way for its implementation throughout the United Nations system.

The action plan, which includes a set of 15 common system-wide performance indicators, constitutes a comprehensive framework for reporting and accountability that is expected to markedly advance gender equality and the empowerment of women by systematically mainstreaming a gender perspective into the policies and programmes of the United Nations system. The system-wide action plan was prepared on the basis of an extensive inter-agency consultation process under the leadership of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.