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Servas at the United Nations

March 29, 2024 8:32 AM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

2024 Conference on the Status of Women

Graphic of woment working - from UN websiteWith its goal of promoting peace, Servas International has consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This enables Servas members to participate in several UN conferences and meetings. One of these conferences is the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that takes place in March each year. The purpose of CSW is to strengthen gender equality, which is one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Servas members have been participating in CSW for the past five years, because equality is necessary for true peace. For more information about this year’s conference see  CSW68

This year's conference--CSW68--took place at the UN in New York March 11-22. It had the priority theme of empowering women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing. The conference also reviewed social protection systems for women and girls, their access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality. Representatives of the UN’s member countries, UN agencies, and NGOs had discussions that led to Agreed Conclusions about what they will do to strengthen gender equality. This is to include a global wealth tax on the over $3 trillion hidden in illegal offshore accounts. These funds will then be directed towards much needed social programs.

Over 10,000 people registered to attend in-person, including fifteen Servas members from the US and eleven other countries who were hosted by Servas members in the NY/NJ/CT area. US Servas contributed travel assistance funds which covered a portion of the travel expenses of three Servas Youth and four other members from the Global South. Members participated in a Town Hall with the Secretary General, observed official meetings, and attended numerous side events and parallel sessions presented by UN agencies, member nations, and NGOs. Nearly fifty Servas members registered to attend the Forum virtually. A special thanks to Kent Macauley, Rachel Elion Baird, and Paige LaCombe for their work on organizing Servas’ participation at this important event.

The NGO-CSW68 Forum was a separate event which occurred simultaneously with CSW. The Forum is organized by and for global civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Servas. The Forum had over 750 parallel events that showcased grassroots efforts and gender equality work around the world. Here is a link to NGO Events held during the conference.

This year, Servas members organized three parallel events. These included a virtual event organized by US Servas member Rachel Elion Baird, on the topic of Indigenous Nations of US and Canada: Poverty Sources, Solutions, and Collective Vision. Servas Taiwan and Servas India and Mexico hosted two other events. You will be able view all three on Servas International's YouTube channel shortly. A big Thank You to all the presenters of Servas Parallel Events.

In addition, this year Servas International held our first meet-up during the CSW, where we greeted fellow delegates, staff, and ambassadors to dialog about peace. Meet-ups are an important part of the CSW schedule; it is where people get a chance to mingle freely and speak one-on-one. Watch Open Doors this fall for information on how to attend (in-person or virtually) CSW69 in March 2025.


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