Sunday, January 29, 2017


Insufficient funds are committed to gender equality in programming by all UN agencies, as well as within internal system operations and processes. What funds do exist for gender equality are too often compromised by their origins or structure. Further, a series of traditions and unwritten rules dictate “ownership” of specific UN entities or roles by certain Member States based on donation levels. These practices benefit wealthier Member States, and lead to disproportionate representation throughout the system. The over-earmarking of funds also promotes undue influence among wealthier member states and has fostered the growing influence of private (both corporate and private foundation) funds in the UN system.

  • Š The Secretary General should commit to promoting greater transparency in spending by publishing how much the UN spends on gender equality and gender mainstreaming, economic policy, and adopt gender budgeting at the Secretariat and agency level. This should be housed at the Secretariat, but could be achieved by the UN System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (the gender SWAP)1 and should apply to all UN agencies and bodies, including the 5th Committee, and make that data publicly available on a central platform. Š
  •  In collaboration with UN Women, the Secretary General should convene an annual High Level Panel on Financing Gender Equality to analyzes and present the state of financing for women’s rights and gender equality within the UN system. Š 
  • Begin an active campaign to increase funding for UN Women to US$ 1 billion, the originally-targeted budget for the agency, both by encouraging member state contributions and by pulling from the core general fund, to ensure that it is able to fulfill its mandate. Š 
  • At the same time, commit to a pathway to full financial transparency in the UN by publishing funding sources for all agencies, positions and programs, and encouraging more member states to contribute to the general fund rather than earmarking their contributions to address this ownership issue. In addition to Member State contributions, publish contributions by private (corporate and foundation) funders. As an interim step, make publicly available via agency websites which countries provided funding but required hiring of their country nationals in return and make secondments within agencies public. Challenge member states who propose staff for the Secretary General’s key positions to ensure they put forward equal numbers of qualified women.

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