03.8 Attending CSW as an NGO representative with the Australian Government Delegation

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The make-up of the Australian Government delegation to CSW differs from year to year, especially if the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women is attending. Generally the Government Delegation to CSW may comprise of:

  • Government Head of Delegation
  • Australian Government Office for Women staff members
  • DFAT representative(s) (including the Ambassador for Women and Girls)
  • Other high-level government representatives such as the SDC, Defence or Australian Federal Police personal
  • Government department representative(s) from Departments and Agencies with portfolio responsibilities related to the Priority Theme of CSW
  • Community Sector delegates (NGOs, CBO’s, Academics, etc.,)

If the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women attends, then she is Head the Delegation. Her advisor will normally attend with her.  The Australian Mission to the UN staff works closely with the delegation in the lead up to and during CSW.

The Australian Government Office for Women may call at an appropriate time,  for an application from NGOs to apply for a position as a non-government sector delegate on the Australian delegation. NGOs do not have to be working directly on thematic issue/s to be considered for inclusion on delegation, in some years government may prefer NGO delegate with broader perspective – selection requirements change each year.

Delegates are chosen through a merit-based selection process against specific criteria,(much in the same way as a job application).

Those successful in being invited to be a member on the Australian Government

Delegation to CSW will be informed around the end of the year.

The Community Sector delegates attend CSW to:

  • ensure a broad range of women’s views are represented on the delegation (so are expected to have undertaken broad-based community consultation or research on the Priority Theme and how it relates to Australian women and women globally),
  • provide advice from a non-government perspective,
  • act as liaison points between Australian NGOs at CSW and Government officials on the delegation,
  • inform interested individuals about their experience at CSW, and engage their networks in the CSW process in future years.
Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Penny
Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Penny

A brief outline of the differences between being on the Australian Government Delegation to CSW and attending as an NGO with ECOSOC Accreditation are shown below and explored further in following sections of this Guide.

ECOSOC Accredited NGO Representative Australian Government NGO Delegate
Registers as a representative of their accredited organisation Who is selected to be part of the Australian Government Delegation will be registered by the Australian Office for Women
Arranges own travel, accommodation, events Travels and stays with the Australian Government Delegation as directed by the Head of Delegation
Is there to:

  • Advocate
  • Share good practice
  • Exchanges ideas
  • Build alliances
  • Strengthen organisation
  • Improve programmatic work
Is there to:

  • Ensure a broad range of women’s views are represented on the delegation
  • Provide advice from a non-government perspective to the Australian Government Delegation
Has restricted entry to events in the UN building Has the some of the same access to UN events as the Government members of the delegation, but there may be some meetings/events from which they may be excluded
Cannot attend language negotiations Can attend language negotiations as an observer / subject expert
Can run Parallel Sessions Needs to seek permission from Australian Delegation to host a parallel session or participate as a speaker
Can advocate within the framework of the organisation represented, and can present any position on broader issues relating to CSW Represents the Australian Government position at CSW, signs a confidentiality agreement and is led by the Head of the Australian delegation (NGO Delegates may also speak on their own behalf or on behalf of their own organisations outside of negotiations but must make it clear in those discussions that they are not representing the views of the Australian Government).
Can run a media campaign around the event, issue or attendance at CSW May not speak to the media or speak publicly on any matter without prior permission from the Head of the Australian Delegation

Table 1.  NGO ECOSOC Accredited Representative vs. NGO on Australian Government Delegation