15 December 2005

UNESCO, Instraw Sign Agreement for Increased Cooperation to Promote Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment

NEW YORK, 14 December (INSTRAW) -- For the first time in the history of both entities, the Directors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Koïchiro Matsuura and Carmen Moreno, respectively, signed a memorandum of understanding to increase their mutual cooperation towards the achievement of their common objectives of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

This historical agreement was conceived in part as a response to the conclusions of the review and appraisal of the Beijing Conference, contained in the Declaration issued by the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-ninth session (28 February -11 March 2005).

The text of the UNESCO-INSTRAW agreement emphasizes that increasing mutual cooperation between both bodies will ensure the full and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and reinforce ongoing efforts to integrate gender equality perspectives in the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and Development Goals.

Through the agreement, the heads of UNESCO and INSTRAW express their conviction that building synergies and alliances to achieve this common purpose will further strengthen their work and contribute to the optimal use of available resources.  In addition, UNESCO and INSTRAW may request assistance from each other for such activities as research, advocacy, networking, information, and staff training.  Both institutions have also identified various common areas of interest, among which are women's leadership, gender research, gender mainstreaming, and gender and HIV/AIDS.

In addition to technical cooperation, both entities endeavour to foster mutual consultation by informing each other of programmes and projects, promoting reciprocal representation in meetings and activities, and facilitating the exchange of information and documents.  According to this agreement, all areas relating to the empowerment of women and gender equality in the fields of education, science, culture and communication will be covered.

The complete text of the memorandum of understanding is available in English through the INSTRAW website at .

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