For information only - not an official document

12 December 2012

Reminder:  Media invited to the opening and closing sessions on Thursday 13 December, 10-11 a.m. and Friday 14 December 5-5.30 p.m.

Mobilizing resources to empower women and girls:
A dialogue among policy makers

Vienna Policy Dialogue brings together senior representatives and experts from developing and developed countries, local governments, civil society and parliaments

VIENNA, 13 December (UN Information Service) - Experts from Governments, the United Nations and the private sector convene today in Vienna to discuss ways to advance gender equality and empowerment of women. The two-day Vienna Policy Dialogue brings together senior representatives and experts from developing and developed countries, local governments, civil society, parliaments, women's organizations and the private sector to identify gaps and obstacles and develop concrete policy recommendations.

Delegates will discuss how the gender equality and women's empowerment agenda can be promoted in international development cooperation and in the post-2015 development agenda under discussion, which will serve as the next international framework building upon the current Millennium Development Goals. The meeting will provide an opportunity for key stakeholder groups to explore how best to nurture gender equality and the empowerment of women in light of emerging sustainable development challenges.

Representatives of the Media are invited to:

Opening session: Thursday 13 December 10 - 11 a.m.

Room M2, Vienna International Centre

Official opening with Barbara Prammer President of the Austrian National Council, Luis Alfonso de Alba Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Wu Hongbo, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA, Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UNWOMEN (video message) and Michael Linhart, Director-General for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Foreign Ministry; with a special address on New dynamics for gender equality in a changing development context by Wendy Harcourt, Senior Lecturer, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Closing session: Friday 14 December 5 - 5.30 p.m.

Room M2, Vienna International Centre

Promoting implementation and action on the ground

Speakers include: Irene Dubel Senior Advisor on Women's Rights, HIVOS, Johannes Kyrle Secretary General for Foreign Affairs at the Austrian Foreign Ministry and Wu Hongbo, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA

The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 recognized the central role of women and girls as leaders, participants and agents of change. Member States committed themselves to promote equal rights and opportunities for all. They also committed to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality will be an important dimension in the SDGs.

"Poverty continues to have a female face; all of us have a duty to change this and all of us have a role in bringing about that change," says Mr. Wu Hongbo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. "Looking ahead, we must ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women are at the centre of a post-2015 global development agenda." Mr. Wu emphasized.

The Vienna Policy Dialogue is a focused meeting of high-level experts and practitioners in development cooperation and gender equality from all stakeholders, ensuring a targeted, interactive discussion. A hallmark of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) is its interactive, open, frank discussion on development cooperation with a diverse group of actors.

The DCF is the principal multi-stakeholder forum for global dialogue aimed at reviewing trends and progress in international development cooperation. It provides policy guidance and recommendations to promote more effective and coherent international development cooperation.

The Vienna Policy Dialogue will serve as input for various preparatory activities for the 2014 DCF, the ongoing deliberations on a post-2015 agenda and other related processes. Since its launch in 2007, the DCF has provided a dedicated, inclusive platform that engages developing countries, including those providing South-South cooperation, donors, multilateral organizations, parliamentarians, local governments, civil society and private philanthropic organization.

With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fast approaching, gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.

Over 100 countries have put in place national gender action plans. While international norms and standards on equality and non-discrimination should guide financing decisions with targeted investments for poor women, many have struggled to mobilize the financial resources, technical capacity and programmatic expertise needed to implement them. Both the quality and the quantity of financing for gender equality need to improve.

Currently, only a small share of official development assistance (ODA) directly benefits women in developing countries. Much of the gender-focused aid is restricted to specific types of interventions in limited sectors, mostly health and education.

The Dialogue is organized by the United Nations in collaboration with the Government of Austria. This is the first in a series of multi-stakeholder consultations in preparation of the 2014 DCF.


About the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

ECOSOC is the principal United Nations body for coordinating and reviewing economic and social policies, providing advice and fostering dialogue on development issues. The biennial Development Cooperation Forum, which was mandated at the 2005 World Summit, discusses issues relating to effectiveness and coherence - and provides policy guidance and recommendations on how to improve the quality and impact of development cooperation. For more information, visit

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Meeting proceedings, summaries, press conferences and other official documents will be made available through:

For further information please contact:

In Vienna:

Anne Thomas
Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5588
Email: anne.thomas[at]

In New York:

Paul Simon
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Telephone: (+1) 917 367 5027
Email: simonp[at]