On 26 July 2019, the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women, dba International Women’s Convocation (IWC) received an official notice from the United Nations (UN) stating that IWC is granted “special consultative status” with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). By granting this special consultative status, ECOSOC officially confirms that the activities of the IWC are relevant to the work of the UN and invites the organization to actively engage with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the UN Secretariat, programs, funds, and agencies.
With special consultative status, IWC has the right to designate official representatives to the UN Headquarters in New York and the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna; IWC representatives can register for and participate in events, conferences, and activities of the UN. In addition, IWC can submit written statements or make oral presentations relevant to the work of the Council on subjects in which IWC has a special competence. IWC also has the privilege to be informed about the provisional agenda of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies. Commissions and other subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC may consult with IWC and such consultations may be arranged at the request of IWC.
At the same time, the special consultative status carries responsibilities and obligations: IWC commits itself to complying with the UN Charter and its principles, actively participating in UN meetings and events, and submitting a report on its activities in support of the work of ECOSOC and the UN once every four years.
Currently, more than 4,000 NGOs from around the world have a consultative status with ECOSOC. As an international U*U women’s organization working for women’s empowerment through U*U connections around the world, IWC will contribute to the accomplishment of the goals and mission of the United Nations, advancing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal #5 (SDG5): “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
We would like to thank all our members, volunteers, and donors for their trust in and commitment to IWC, and Ms. Karen LaFrance for coordinating the complex and rigorous two-year application process. Thanks also go to the UU Funding Program for its generosity in partially funding this initiative.