UN Programmes and Funds
WAGGGS works with the following organizations within the UN System:
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
The UN Children’s Fund works for the long-term survival, protection and development of children.
Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF advocates the protection of children’s rights, to help meet children’s basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Its programmes focus on immunization, primary health care, nutrition and basic education.
The UN team, New York works closely with UNICEF and is part of the NGO Committee on UNICEF, which facilitates the NGO working group for girls.
WAGGGS is a key player in the global movement for children and actively participated in the preparatory committee meetings for the first ever special session on children, which took place in New York in 2002. The session was attended by nearly 70 heads of state and government and other high-level government participants, as well as several thousand other delegates including 600 children from more than 154 countries. Young delegates representing WAGGGS attended the event and spoke out about issues affecting girls and young women.
In 2003, WAGGGS and UNICEF signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding, which heralded a closer collaboration within the framework of the WAGGGS “Our Rights, Our Responsibilities” 2002~2008 theme. UNICEF and WAGGGS worked together to identify and support rights-based approaches to help solve the many complex problems that affect children’s lives, such as HIV/AIDS, child labour, malnutrition, lack of access to basic education and armed conflict.
WAGGGS most recently became a launching partner of the social networking platform www.uniteforclimate.org which was initiated by UNICEF.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)
The Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS was formed in 1996 by the United Nations to address the challenge of the Aids epidemic. UNAIDS is co sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, UNDCP, UNFPA, WHO, UNESCO, the ILO and the World Bank.
As the main advocate for global action on HIV and AIDS, UNAIDS leads, strengthens and supports an expanded response aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV, providing care and support, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV and AIDS, and alleviating the impact of the epidemic.
The UN Team, Geneva works closely with UNAIDS. WAGGGS launched an AIDS Badge Curriculum with UNAIDS and the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations.
Lesley Bulman, former WAGGGS’ Chief Executive, attended the first ever meeting of the Steering Committee for the New Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. This aims to be a highly visible group of men and women, including activists, government representatives, community workers and celebrities, that seek to stimulate concrete action on the ground to improve the daily lives of women and girls. The Global Coalition funded the WAGGGS HIV and AIDS Training Toolkit published in 2008. The Toolkit is a collation of best practice thinking about how girls and young women can help in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Member Organizations can use this training toolkit to equip leaders in their organization with the knowledge, experience and tools to support girls and young women in combating this disease.
WAGGGS also attended the international AIDS conferences in Thailand 2004, Toronto 2006 and Mexico City 2008 and will be at the AIDS conference in Vienna in 2010.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The UN Environment Programme works to encourage sound environmental practices everywhere. It provides leadership to enable people and nations to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
The UN team, Nairobi works closely with UNEP.
Members of the UN team, Nairobi attend regularly the Global Civil Society Forums to formulate ideas and make demands to the Governing Council. They also attended various meetings of international and local NGOs and mounted a WAGGGS’ display in the main lobby of the conference, which generated a substantial amount of interest and informed delegates of WAGGGS’ activities with girls and young women.
WAGGGS is also one of the main NGO partners for TUNZA, the youth programme run by UNEP.
In August 2009, at the TUNZA International Children and Youth Conference in Korea, young people discussed and agreed upon a youth declaration on Climate Change, which will be used to lobby national governments and other decision-makers to take significant action at the UN climate change conference at Copenhagen in December and beyond.
The four WAGGGS World Centres in India, Mexico, UK and Switzerland and further sites in Australia, Greece and Kenya were connected via webcasting with over 1,000 participants at the conference and virtual participants from eight other sites around the world. They brainstormed ideas, discussed priorities, exchanged personal experiences and views and voted on positions that will be put forward.
The UN team, Nairobi has held several meetings with UNEP officials to engage in each other’s environmental work programmes and work towards a Memorandum of Understanding between WAGGGS and UNEP.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
UN-Habitat assists people living in health-threatening housing conditions and promotes development in sustainable human settlements.
The UN team, Nairobi works closely with UN-Habitat and attended civil society and youth forum meetings at their annual governing council meetings. The Team is seeking WAGGGS accreditation to HABITAT to facilitate future partnership.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The UN Development Programme is the UN’s largest provider of grants for sustainable human development worldwide. It focuses on poverty elimination, environmental regeneration, job creation and advancement of women, and is actively involved in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
UNDP also co-ordinates relief work when disasters occur, while promoting recovery and long-term development.
World Food Programme (WFP)
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest international food aid organization for both emergency relief and development. Hunger afflicts one out of every seven people on earth.
In 2000, WFP delivered 3.7 million tons of food aid to 83 million people in 83 countries – including most of the world’s refugees and internally displaced persons and one third of emergency food assistance worldwide.
Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Catherine Bertini, received the WAGGGS World Citizenship Award in 2002.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
The UN Population Fund is the largest international provider of population assistance. It assists developing countries to find solutions to their population problems, and improve reproductive health and family planning services on the basis of individual choice.
UNFPA believes in safeguarding and promoting the well-being of children, especially girl children. UNFPA is committed to the autonomy and empowerment of women everywhere.
The UN team, New York works closely with UNFPA.
The WAGGGS and Family Health International (FHI) project, Health of Adolescent Refugees Project (HARP), was funded by UNFPA from 1997 to 2000. The project aimed to improve the health, particularly reproductive health, of adolescent girls and young women refugees in Egypt, Uganda and Zambia. A UNFPA/WAGGGS/FHI Adolescent Health Badge curriculum was developed for this project.The project was so successful that UNAIDS recognised it as an example of international best practice.
Since 2000 The HARP project continues successfully in Zambia and Uganda with funding from the Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium and either UNAIDS or UNHCR.
The UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel includes young WAGGGS members from Brazil, South Africa and Burundi.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees leads and co-ordinates international action to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. Its work involves providing the world’s uprooted peoples with basic necessities such as shelter, food, water and medicine in emergencies and seeking long-term solutions to refugee problems.
An estimated 20 million people who have fled war, persecution or human rights abuse — refugees and displaced persons — are currently of concern to UNHCR in more than 120 countries. Since it was established in 1950, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people restart their lives.
In December 1993, UNHCR and WAGGGS signed a Memorandum of Understanding as part of a three year ‘Peace Initiative’. The co-operation focused on the sensitisation of WAGGGS members to the plight of refugees, and activities included a joint UNHCR-WAGGGS merit badge on refugees and the collection of educational supplies and personal items for ‘Peace Packs’ to send to refugee children. By 1997, over a quarter of a million packs had been distributed to refugee children and close to 1.7 million girls and boys* had committed themselves in the initiative. Many Member Organizations still continue to send Peace Packs to refugee children.
*The Scout Association joined in the Peace Pack project and both girls and boys participated in the collection.
The Office of the United nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’s mission is to ensure the universal enjoyment of all human rights. The Office promotes and protects the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of all people by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of the world community as expressed by the United Nations.
The UN team, Geneva works closely with OHCHR and attends the Special Committee of NGOs on Human Rights.
Former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, was presented with the WAGGGS’ World Citizenship Award in 1996.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The mission of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is to work with the nations and the people of the world to tackle the global drug problem and its consequences. The UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention is a world leader in the fight against illicit drugs and drug trafficking.
The UN team, Vienna works closely with the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, attending UNDCP meetings and the NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs. WAGGGS’ Representatives in New York also participated in the General Assembly’s 20th special session on the world drug problem.
The UN team, Vienna has attends two high profile commissions: the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, where they helped raise WAGGGS profile amongst the NGO Community.
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality. It works to ensure the participation of women in all levels of development planning and practice, and acts as a catalyst within the UN system, supporting efforts that link the needs and concerns of women to all critical issues on the national, regional and global agendas.
Say NO-UNiTE and WAGGGS have partnered to develop a non-formal education programme to stop violence against girls and young women and to support girls and young women to understand their rights and have the skills to claim those rights for themselves and others. The programme has initially been rolled out in 25 countries.
The UN team, New York works closely with UNWomen and is a member of the NGO committee on the Status of Women.