The West African nation of Liberia Ambassador accredited to the United Nations, H. E. Marjon Kamara will head the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women from February 27-March 9, 2012 at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
Representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York annually to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.
The mandate of the Commission on the Status of Women allots it as a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the sole global policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women which convene annually in New York at the United Nations.
The Commission on the Status of Women was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women’s rights.
The Commission’s mandate was expanded in 1987 by ECOSOC resolution 1987/22 to include the functions of promoting the objectives of equality, development and peace, monitoring the implementation of measures for the advancement of women, and reviewing and appraising progress made at the national, subregional, regional and global levels.
Following the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, the General Assembly mandated the Commission to integrate into its programme a follow-up process to the Conference, regularly reviewing the critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action and to develop its catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) again modified the Commission’s terms of reference in 1996, in its resolution 1996/6, deciding that the Commission should:
(a) Assist the Council in monitoring, reviewing and appraising progress achieved and problems encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at all levels, and should advise the Council thereon
(b) Continue to ensure support for mainstreaming a gender perspective in United Nations activities and develop further its catalytic role in that regard in other areas
(c) Identify issues where United Nations system-wide coordination needed to be improved in order to assist the Council in its coordination function
(d) Identify emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men that required consideration and make substantive recommendations.
Forty-five Member States of the United Nations serve as members of the Commission at any one time. The Commission consists of one representative from each of the 45 Member States elected by the Council on the basis of equitable geographical distribution: thirteen members from Africa; eleven from Asia; nine from Latin America and Caribbean; eight from Western Europe and other States and four from Eastern Europe. Members are elected for a period of four years.(e) Maintain and enhance public awareness and support for the implementation of the Platform for Action.
The election of the Liberian Ambassador, Ms Marjon Kamara is tribute to Liberia’s stride and commitment to gender equity as that West African nation elected the first woman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on the African continent who was re-elected to a second term last November.