From the League of Nations to the United Nations.
United Nations Commission of the Status of Women/UN-CSW:
NCWC participation in Canada’s foreign policy and relations brought a Canadian feminist perspective to the international context beginning with the League of Nations in 1921. Sir George Foster, Canada’s Minister of Trade and Commerce, was the leader of the Canadian delegation to the League’s first General Assembly. He deeply believed that Canada’s contribution to making the League a success would be by promoting a foreign policy based on peace, justice, and humanitarianism. His appeal to building a Canadian society based on these principles was welcomed by the National Council of Women of Canada, who assumed an active role in promoting the values of the League.
In 1925, Sir George Foster, Canada’s first president of the League of Nations, promoted the initiative “Hand in Hand International Day” focusing on humanitarian development. This initiative was handed over to seven (7) women’s organizations, who promoted demilitarization, peace, humanitarian aid, and development. The NCWC became a member of the Society National Council, represented by President Winnifred Kidd. On August 24th, 1935, the NCWC, represented by Winnifred Kidd, was part of Canada’s official delegation to the General Assembly of the League of Nations where women’s voices against war were loud and clear. The NCWC presented its resolution titled, “The Geneva Protocol- Disarmament”.
For the twenty (20) years NCWC, The NCWC holds Consultative Status (General) with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, enabling us to bring a Canadian perspective to the work of the Commission for the Status of Women. This enables us to partake in the official meetings/sessions organized by UNWomen, held every in March for a period of two (2) weeks and work with our government and the permanent Mission of Canada to the UN, UN representatives, other member states and civil society organizations on the outcome resolutions (Agreed Conclusions), impacting women and girls rights around the globe. In this context, we are engaging in the negotiations process at all stages of the session, organizing events related to the established CSW Themes which creates more awareness and educates, following up on governments commitments regarding the implementation of the agreed conclusions, particularly issues relating to gender equality, The Beijing Platform for Action, the 2030 Agenda- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Women Peace and Security Agenda UN Security Council res/ 1325-2000, Social Justice the Environment and the Economy. Most importantly, we work closely with our government and other civil society organisation to ensure the full integration of Indigenous Women and Girls Rights are fully integrated in the outcome resolutions and implemented at home. The main representatives of the Council are President, Patricia Leson and Vice-President Justice, Daniela Chivu.
As the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the CSW sessions have been held virtually and no longer on the UN grounds, thus presenting us with an opportunity find new ways to interact with our government representatives, UN representatives and NGOs globally. Therefore, to ensure civil society representation the government of Canada, during CSW65th session has established a Rapid Response Team as part of the official negotiations process to continue advising and working with our Canadian representatives. NCWC was part of the team. The following session, CSW66th the NCWC was part of Canada’s official delegation fulfilling its role within the Rapid Response Team-being part of the negotiations process, providing input and advising. NCWC, was represented by Vice-President, Daniela Chivu.
Europe and North America EU/NA, Regional Caucus of Women-UNNGO-Committee on the Status of Women (CSW)
The caucus was established in March 2012. Since 2013, the NCWC is a member of the Europe and North America Regional Caucus of Women, an umbrella of UN-NGOs (organizations with ECOSOC status) globally organized civil society organizations. In 2019 NCWC has been elected as a Core Group member as one of Canada representatives, represented by Vice-President Daniela Chivu. The Caucus, is a safe space for advocacy, based on expertise, knowledge and experience exchange of ideas, training and information sessions. The caucus functions throughout the year, meetings are held once a month. During caucus meetings, member states, UNwomen and other UN entities, Missions representatives and global NGOs are invited for updates, briefings, and engagement with the members. In addition, for the past year the NCWC (Canada) is currently Chairing two working groups: Geopolitics and Strategy Negotiations and United Nations Processes. As caucus member NCWC during CSW sessions has the opportunity to engage in formal and informal negotiations.