Our Voice at the UN

Although many restrictions remain in place, and most events are virtual or hybrid, the United Nations centers are slowly opening their doors again, and Soroptimist International representatives from across the globe remain unwavering as they advocate for the rights for women and girls.

In this edition of Our Voice at the UN, SI Advocacy Advisor, Bev Bucur, brings us up to speed on SI’s participation at the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD60), talks us through SI’s preparations for this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), and celebrates with members as they receive recognition in their advocacy efforts.

60th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD60)

Maureen Maguire, S.I. President

SI President, Maureen Maguire, delivering her question to the panel at CSocD 60.

“Last week saw the conclusion of CSocD60, held in New York, 7 to 16 February. During the first week, the focus was recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all, and national policies and measures implemented to combat hunger and poverty in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. During the high-level panel on the review theme, SI president, Maureen Maguire, provided an intervention and asked the panel how the experiences of women farmers could be used to increase food production and supply during Covid-19 and beyond. The sessions are available on-demand HERE.

Sharon Fisher

SI Immediate Past President, Sharon Fisher

Each year, a Civil Society Forum is held in tandem with CSocD. The NGO Committee on Social Development plans the Forum and is dedicated to raising awareness on the themes of CSocD and brings the voices, experiences, and recommendations from the grassroots to the Commission. SI’s immediate past president, Sharon Fisher, participated in a session with other Civil Society Organisations to collaborate and share how they work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda within the context of the theme. Sharon shared projects from ‘The Road to Equality’, SI’s 2020-2021 international appeal. To find out more about the impact of collaboration between Civil Society Organisations, read Sharon’s blog from this event, Together We’re Stronger.

Soroptimist International, and many individual Soroptimists, signed the Civil Society Declaration.

Maria Fornella

Maria Fornella, SI UN Representative in New York

Thank you to SI UN representative, Maria Fornella, who will finish a 2 year term in April as  Co-Chair of the NGO Committee on Social Development.

66th Session for the Commission on the Status of Women

Preparations are underway for CSW66 which will be held in a hybrid format in New York. In preparation, SI participated in a meeting on the Methods of Work for CSW on 4 February. Civil Society Organisations came together to request more opportunities to influence the content and decisions made at CSW. This includes being able to observe and participate in the negotiation of the Zero and subsequent draft documents. If you are interested in the 2022 draft or are on your county’s negotiating team, please contact Advocacy Director, Leigh Ellwood-Brown at ida@soroptimistinternational.org


Congratulations to SI UN Representative, Frances Zainoeddin, who has been recognised in the HelpAge USA, ’60 over 60′ list, for making significant contributions to society at the local, national, or international level through her roles with the International Federation on Aging, Soroptimist International, and Gray Panthers NYC. Frances advocates for the rights of older people and for women and girls.

Congratulations to SI Advocacy Advisor, Pat Black, who has been chosen as an advisor to the W7, she will join the Working Group – Gender Equal COVID Recovery. This year The Women 7 (W7) is hosted by the National Council of German Women’s Organisations during Germany’s G7 presidency. The W7 is a group of civil society organisations who come together to promote proposals on gender equality and women’s rights to governments within the Group 7 (G7) process. The hybrid W7 Summit in Berlin on May 24‒25, 2022. Find out more HERE.

Congratulations to Margo Lazaro who received the 2021 Volunteers of America Lifetime Achievement Award from U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Margo is a member of SI Metro New York and is the President and Chair of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY.”

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