UN Women puts gender at the heart of Regional Forum for Sustainable Development 2023
On 29 - 30 March, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) hosted the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD), the primary regional mechanism for the follow up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the UNECE region.
Under the theme "Ensuring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the ECE Region in times of multiple crises," RFSD 2023 focused on monitoring progress as well as identifying areas for transformative action in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Outcomes of the Forum will contribute to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July as well as the SDG Summit in September, which marks the mid-point of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
This year, UN Women Europe and Central Asia (ECA) organized three side-events and contributed to three peer-learning roundtables to ensure a gender perspective is included in the discussions throughout the Forum.
On March 28, Alia El-Yassir, UN Women ECA Regional Director, joined the Civil Society Forum ahead of RFSD 2023, and spoke at the event ‘Building Solidarity-Session with UN Agencies,’ which discussed how to ensure stronger allyship in times of shrinking space for civil society, the rise of far-right movements and anti-human rights agendas.
"Increased pushbacks against gender equality require collective advocacy efforts and sustained flexible financing for women’s organizations and feminist movements," said El-Yassir at the Civil Society Forum.
"Increased pushbacks against gender equality require collective advocacy efforts & sustained flexible financing for women’s organizations & feminist movements," - our RD @elyassir_alia at the Civil Society Forum under @UNECE's Regional Forum for Sustainable Development #RFSD2023. pic.twitter.com/ARlEJUkQzJ— UN Women Europe & CIS (@unwomeneca) March 29, 2023
El-Yassir also joined the 3rd Peer Learning Round Table “SDG 9 & 17: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure & Partnerships for the Goals,” which reviewed the achievements made on SDG 9 and 17 together with the UN Digital Transformation Group for Europe and Central Asia, ITU, WMO, UNEP, UNIDO and UN Women.
On the same day, UN Women hosted the side event “Gender and Energy: Overcoming Energy Poverty and Advancing Just Energy Transitions” in partnership with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU). The event brought together experts from the ECE region to discuss the intersection of gender and energy.
On 29 March, UN Women ECA organized the side event “Game-Changing Actions in the Digital Age for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls: Localizing CSW67 in the Europe and Central Asia Region.” Attended by governments, private sector, youth and civil society representatives, the event discussed follow-up strategies for the conclusions and commitments made at the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) as well as game-changing actions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the digital age.
UN Women’s participation at RFSD concluded with the side event “Closing Financial Gaps on Gender Equality to Accelerate SDG Implementation,” organized in partnership with the Supreme Audit Institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event saw the participation of government officials, international organizations and representatives of oversight bodies to discuss the cross sectoral approach in achieving financing for gender equality. The panel discussion focused on using public financial management systems to promote gender responsive policy goals across different sectors and enhance transparency and accountability of government spending on gender equality. Participants learned about best practices and tools to help governments determine their current position regarding SDG implementation.
RFSD is organized annually by UNECE, in collaboration with other United Nations entities, including UN Women ECA, as well as civil society, youth groups, parliamentarians, the private sector, local governments and mayors, academia and other international and regional organizations operating in the region.