Non--governmental Orgnizations (NGOs)

NGO Participation at CEDAW sessions

This section addresses the modalities of NGO participation in sessions of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee). For any other information on CEDAW, please click here.

NGOs may attend the open meetings of the CEDAW Committee, including the CEDAW Committee’s constructive dialogue with States parties presenting periodical reports. These dialogues generally take place during the first and second weeks of the session. Most meetings taking place during the third week of the session are closed.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

CEDAW 39th Session

NGOs can submit country shadow reports to the Committee. The Committee also holds informal consultation meetings with NGOs to obtain and clarify country-specific information.

Organizations wishing to follow a CEDAW session are advised to attend the Committee’s informal consultation meetings with NGOs.  For date and time of these informal meetings, please see the provisional agenda of the CEDAW sessions. 

Modalities of NGO Participation

1) Attendance as observer

Please note that the Division for the Advancement of Women does not send letters of invitation for NGOs to attend CEDAW sessions.

Non-governmental organizations interested in attending the session should submit the full name of their organization, the names of their representatives, and the proposed dates of attendance to: COU/DAW, Ms. Tsu-Wei Chang,, at least three working days prior to the start of each session so that arrangements can be made for the issuance of United Nations grounds passes to enter United Nations premises.

To receive the grounds pass, all applicants are required to bring a valid national passport or government-issued photo ID, such as driver’s license or state non-driver’s ID bearing a photograph, and appear in person at the United Nations Pass and Identification Unit, located at 801 United Nations Plaza at the corner of 1st Avenue and East 45th Street. The office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

2) Presentation of country-specific information

The Committee welcomes country-specific information from non-governmental organizations, in the form of:

Alternative or shadow reports or
Oral presentations by NGO representatives during informal consultation meetings with the Committee

NGO shadow reports

NGOs can submit their shadow reports to the CEDAW Committee prior to or at the session.

NGOs should send 40 copies of each shadow report, with enough lead time to ensure that they reach the Division for the Advancement of Women three working days prior to the session. Alternatively, NGO representatives could bring at least 40 copies of their reports to the session itself for distribution during the informal consultation meeting of the Committee with NGOs.

NGOs can also send their shadow reports to IWRAW-Asia Pacific, a non-governmental organization, in advance of the session.  IWRAW-Asia Pacific distributes NGO shadow reports electronically, and/or in hard copy, to CEDAW experts in advance of the session.  IWRAW Asia-Pacific contact details are as follows:

Wisma Dicklin
80-B, Jalan Bangsar
5900 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2282 2255
Fax: (603) 2283 2552.

Oral interventions

NGOs wishing to present information regarding the States that are reporting during the week, will have the opportunity to address the CEDAW Committee during the informal consultation meeting, usually scheduled on the first day of each week. For date and time of the informal meetings with NGOs, please see the provisional agenda of each session.

NGO representatives interested in addressing the CEDAW Committee (during the informal consultation meetings) are requested to submit the names of their representatives, the names of the organizations they represent and on which country they will be providing information to the Division for the Advancement of Women ( no later than the Friday of the week before the State party report will be considered.

Please note that there is no need to send the oral statement in advance.    

3) CEDAW Pre-Sessional Working Group Meeting

At each of its session, the CEDAW Committee meets in pre-sessional working groups (PSWG) to prepare for the next session. For example, the PSWG that meets during CEDAW’s 36th session prepares for the 37th session.

PSWG’s are always closed meetings, open only to the representatives of UN entities and NGOs whose country reports will be discussed.

UN entities will first provide information to the Committee in a closed meeting during which no one, except the UN entities that are providing information, is allowed to attend. Afterwards, NGOs will have the opportunity of a closed meeting with the Committee members to discuss their country report. Meetings are one hour to one-and-a-half hours long.

NGOs wishing to provide information in the PSWG meetings should submit the request to  Please state the name of the organization and its representatives to the PSWG, and which country report the information is related to.