The Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) has continuously reaffirmed the UN system’s shared commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, taking steps in mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations policies and decision-making, supporting the world conferences on women convened by the United Nations over the past quarter of a century, and promoting Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls – and its inter-linkages with other Goals.
In 2014, the Board issued a statement to the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women on the occasion of the 20-year anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This CEB statement underscored the need for the post-2015 agenda to be bold and ambitious and foster the transformation of gender relations by tackling the root causes of gender inequality.
Further work on addressing all kinds of inequalities, including gender equality, has since been carried out under the United Nations system shared framework for action on equality and non-discrimination.
System-wide action on Gender Equality
The UN System-Wide Policy on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women was endorsed by CEB in October 2006, as a means of furthering the goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment within the policies and programmes of the UN system, and implementing the ECOSOC agreed conclusions 1997/2.
To operationalize the Board’s policy, a United Nations system-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (SWAP) was developed to promote a common understanding, enhance system-wide coherence, and advance a progressive approach to gender mainstreaming. It 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 (UN Women).
At its first regular session 2012, CEB endorsed 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.
Upon expiry of the initial UN-SWAP duration (2012 to 2017), a second generation of the UN-SWAP was developed with widespread consultation across UN system entities and launched in 2018. It updated and expanded UN-SWAP 1.0, building into it refinements and lessons learned, as well as aligning it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its focus on results.