NGO Participation in CSW Sessions

The active participation of NGOs is a critical element in the work of the Commission on the Status of Women. NGOs were influential in shaping the current global policy framework on women’s empowerment and gender equality -the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. They continue to play an important role in holding international and national leaders accountable for the commitments they made in the Platform for Action.

For more information on how NGOs may participate in the sessions of the CSW, please click on the action boxes or questions in the flowchart below. Alternatively, you may view a textual view of the same questions.


Please click on any of the action boxes or questions below to view the corresponding instructions and guidelines. Click here to close this pictorial view and change to textual view.

NGO Participation Eligibility

NGOs that are accredited to, and in good standing with, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), are invited to designate representatives to attend the sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women. NGOs can participate in several ways during the session:

  • observe the meetings
  • present written and/or oral statements
  • meet official government delegations
  • lobby delegations in the context of negotiations of agreed conclusions and resolutions
  • and organize parallel events during the session

NGO representatives may attend all open meetings of the Commission. They may also attend informal consultations held during the session of the Commission, if the chairperson of the informal consultations grants them permission. Usually, informal consultations are closed meetings restricted to government delegates.

For information on how to apply for ECOSOC accreditation and be included in the DESA NGO Section database, please visit DESA NGO Section at:

Invitation to NGOs to attend CSW sessions

Invitation letters to ECOSOC-accredited NGOs are sent out in September/October, electronically by e-fax and email to the NGO’s fax number and email address listed in the DESA NGO Section database, and followed up with air mail when fax and email attempts fail.

Please note that DAW sends invitation letters and confirmation letters only to the organization’s fax number listed in the DESA NGO Section’s database. Any change in an organization’s official fax number, telephone number, mail address or e-mail address should be notified to DESA NGO Section at:

In addition, a copy of the invitation letter is included in the DESA NGO Section’s package that is mailed out to all NGOs with ECOSOC Consultative Status, in November every year.

What should an eligible NGO do if it has not received the invitation letter?

In case an eligible NGO has not received the invitation, it should:

  • Check with its headquarters to see if they have received the invitation;
  • Verify with DESA NGO Section whether the organization’s fax and mailing address listed in their database are up-to-date;
  • Send a request to DAW through the designated e-mail address for the current CSW session ( to have the invitation re-sent. Please note that the letter can only be re-sent to the contact number listed in the DESA NGO Section database.


CSW Registration

Please address all official UN registration-related questions to the Division for the Advancement of Women through the designated e-mail address of the current CSW session ( with the subject line: CSW registration.

Steps for Registration

There are two steps:

  • The organization should PRE-REGISTER its representatives, either online at this webpage OR by fax (Fax number will be advised in October). Three business days after the completion of online or fax pre-registration, NGO representatives can download and print out their “Confirmation Letter”. During pre-registration, please make sure to include names of alternative representatives in case any of the proposed participants is unable to obtain an entry visa to the United States of America.
  • Upon arrival at the United Nations, each NGO representative should also REGISTER ON SITE to get a UN Grounds Pass. Details regarding on-site registration and issuance of a UN Grounds Pass will be provided in the “Confirmation Letter”.

How to pre-register online?

To pre-register representatives online, please click here. To login, please enter the organization ID and password provided at the bottom of the invitation letter. Any change in the organization’s information should also be made online here. Click here to retrieve the forgotten login ID and password.

If you have any problems using the online pre-registration system, please refer to our online help manual.

Please note:

  • Organization ID number and password are strictly confidential. Accredited NGOs should not give their user ID and password to any other organization. Giving an organization’s ID and password implicitly authorizes the recipient organization to remove all the participants registered up to that time and replace them with theirs.
  • If you have pre-registered online, please do not send any duplicate pre-registration forms by fax or mail as this will only delay the processing of your information.
  • Please note that it will take about three business days to process any new pre-registration and substitutions completed online or via fax.

What should be done when login fails?

Passwords are CASE-SENSITIVE. Please make sure to enter your password exactly as it appears on your invitation letter. If you receive your password by email, try to copy and paste it. 

If you have forgotten your password, click here to retrieve it via email. Passwords will only be emailed to the NGO's official email address registered with DESA NGO Section

If this still does not work, please use the designated email address ( to send your organization ID number, password, and list of participants, and DAW staff will register them for you.

How many representatives are allowed to register?

The United Nations encourages a broad participation and representation of NGOs. There is no limit on the number of representatives each organization can register at the moment. However, due to limited space in the conference room, and security and safety concerns, the Security Officers at the doors of the conference rooms may limit the number of representatives attending the meetings.

Confirmation letters (Available on-line)

Three business days after the completion of online or fax pre-registration to attend a session of the Commission on the Status of Women, NGO representatives can download and print out their Confirmation Letter.

At the same time, the NGO Information Note that DAW prepares for each specific session of the Commission, may also be downloaded,. The NGO Information Note provides helpful information and tips for your participation in the session and your stay in New York. 
Please note that the organization’s ID and associated password are required in order to login (the same ones used for pre-registration). Once logged in, click the "representatives" menu option. Then, scroll through the list of your organization’s representatives. Next to each representative listed you will see a "retrieve" button. Please click this button to access the confirmation letter for each of your representatives. (Please also double-check your organization’s list of representatives to ensure that it is accurate and complete.)

Finally, print out the "Confirmation Letter". If you have problems retrieving the letters online, please send an e-mail containing your organization’s ID to the designated e-mail address for assistance (

DAW will only honour confirmation letters that were officially posted on its website.

Instructions on changing / editing names of representatives who have already been pre-registered

Organizations can review and change the names of their pre-registered representatives on-line by logging-in on the login page.

Pre-registered names can be deleted using the “unlist” button and a replacement name can be added.

If there is spelling error in a name already pre-registered, please use the “unlist” button to remove the name on-line, and add the correct name as a new record. 

Change of NGO representatives can also be made through a faxed request to DAW. Please note that faxed requests will only be processed by DAW if the request is  accompanied with the official NGO letterhead AND includes the organization ID and password.

Delays in processing fax requests may occur closer to the opening of the CSW session, NGOs are, therefore, strongly encouraged to make such changes on-line and before the session starts. After the session starts, organizations can still make necessary changes on-line or by fax, but no requests can be processed at the DAW registration desk during on-site registration.

After a change has been made, DAW will need at least two working days to post on-line confirmation letters for the corrected or newly-added names.

Can the United Nations help NGO representatives get financial support for travel expenses and an entry visa to the United States of America?

The United Nations will not send letters of invitation or confirmation to U.S. embassies overseas; nor will it facilitate the travel or other subsistence arrangements for participants to the sessions on the Commission on the Status of Women.  All arrangements surrounding travel, including visas, accommodation and daily subsistence costs, are the responsibility of the participants.

Please note that participants are required to submit their visa applications at least three (3) months in advance to their US Consulate to allow sufficient time for processing. 

Information regarding possible accommodation in New York City can be downloaded here.

What is the procedure for obtaining media accreditation?

The media accreditation form and other related data can be accessed at
For further media enquiries and to receive press releases relating to the CSW and other women's issues, please email:

Media representatives wishing to attend the CSW should contact:

Media Accreditation & Liaison Unit
Department of Public Information
Room S-250, New York
NY 10017, USA 
Fax: 1-212-963 4642


Modalities of NGO Participation at CSW

1) NGO Committee- and DAW-sponsored Roundtables prior to CSW

In preparation for each session of CSW, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women and DAW organize Roundtable Discussions at the UN headquarters on the thematic issues considered by the CSW. The dates and venue of these roundtables are announced in the UN Journal.

2) Submitting a written statement

NGOs can provide written statements on the thematic issues considered by CSW. ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31 provides details on the conditions regarding the submission and circulation of written statements. The written statement shall be submitted in one of the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). In case of NGOs with general consultative status, the statement should not exceed 2,000 words, and in case of NGOs with special consultative status, it should not exceed 1,500 words. Please note that all text, including the names of the organizations in the text will be counted.

For detailed guidelines relating to written statements, please check resolution 1996/31 at

NGOs must submit their statements no later than 10 weeks prior to the start of the session, i.e. for the 52nd session, the deadline for submission was 10 December 2007 . Please keep in mind that the United Nations requires ample time to process these statements as official United Nations documents for the Commission. Kindly submit these statements through the designated email address for CSW (, with subject line “Written Statement”.  DAW will forward them to the Secretary of CSW for processing.

3) Making an oral statement (updated on 11 February 2008)

A number of NGO representatives (from NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council) will be able to speak during the general debate and interactive panel discussions. The chairperson of a meeting will call on NGO speakers, subject to time availability.

In an effort to bring broad-based views of the NGO community to the inter-governmental process, preference will be given to NGO participants speaking on behalf of a group of organizations or a caucus. Whenever possible, NGO representatives are, therefore, encouraged to prepare joint statements.

NGO representatives requesting to make an oral statement are kindly reminded to focus their intervention on the theme being discussed at specific meetings. There will be interactive panels on the priority theme, the review theme and the emerging issue theme. Inputs should be focused on the particular theme being considered at the time of the intervention. Interventions during the interactive panel discussions should not be in the form of a prepared statement.  Speakers should contribute to the ongoing discussion and/or ask questions to the experts on the panel. In all interventions, NGOs are requested to adhere strictly to the time limits.

a)      Requests to speak during the CSW General Discussion

Representatives of NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council who wish to make an oral statement during the Commission on the Status of Women should submit a request to Such requests should be submitted no later than FEBRUARY 23, 2008.

Requests should clearly indicate:

  • the topic(s) covered by the statement (in summary form)
  • the preferred session (general discussion or interactive panels; see below)
  • the organization(s)
  • the name of the speaker
  • an email address at which the speaker may be contacted
  • a local (New York) phone number at which the speaker may be contacted.

In addition, NGOs need to bring 22 copies of their oral statement to the DAW NGO registration desk (in the UN Secretariat Visitors’ Lobby) or the DAW information desk (in the UN Secretariat building basement neck area) at least and no later than 24_hours before the session at which the NGO is invited to speak. Failure to adhere to this deadline will result in the NGO being removed from the Speakers’ List.

Oral statements are not to exceed three minutes (i.e., about two pages double-spaced using font 12).

Only a limited number of NGO representatives can be given the floor due to time constraints. In an effort to enable the diverse views of the NGO community to enrich the intergovernmental process, preference will be given to joint statements prepared on behalf of several organizations or caucuses.

DAW will notify the requestor by email when the Speakers’ List has been compiled. Please check your email frequently.  In addition, updated versions of the Speakers’ List are posted in Conference Room B as they become available.

Representatives of NGOs who are on the Speakers’ List will be seated in a specially-designated area of the conference room and are expected to be present during the session in which they will be given the floor.

b)     Requests to speak during the CSW interactive panels on the priority theme, the review theme and the emerging issue theme

Representatives of NGOs are requested to submit a request to speak to at least 24 hours before the CSW interactive panels begin and provide a short summary on the intervention.  Please also adhere strictly to the three-minute time limit during these interventions.

Representatives of NGOs are not required to submit copies of interventions they wish to make during the interactive panel discussions. These interventions should aim to contribute to the ongoing discussions and may take the form of questions to the experts on the panels.


4) Parallel events

Parallel events should be requested via the Parallel Event Request system

ECOSOC-accredited NGOs wishing to organize a parallel event during the CSW session should do so via the Parallel Event Request System specific to NGOs, using the ID number and password indicated in the invitation letter, and submit it by 28 December 2007Please submit one form per event.

The UN premises are reserved for parallel events sponsored by Permanent Missions or UN entities, as well as parallel events organized by Permanent Missions or UN entities, in collaboration with NGOs. In both cases, if the event is arranged to be held on UN premises, the sponsoring Permanent Mission or UN entity needs to make the request through the Parallel Event Request System specific to missions and UN entities. The sponsoring Permanent Mission or UN entity would assume responsibility for paying any expenses related to the hosting of the event on UN premises, and should be present at the event.

If you have any problems using the online Parallel Event Request system, please refer to our online help manual.

NGO-organized parallel events usually take place in the Church Center (located at the intersection of 44th Street and First Avenue, New York), and no equipment will be provided. However, NGOs organizing the events can bring their own equipment.

Non-ECOSOC-accredited NGOs do not need to complete the parallel event request form. Instead, they should contact the NGO Committee on the Status of Women to have their event included in a list of events compiled by the Committee.

All decisions on scheduling NGO-organized parallel events, using the venues arranged by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, are taken by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. All queries about NGO-organized parallel events should be addressed to:

The NGO Committee on the Status of Women
            PO Box 3571
            Grand Central Station
            New York, NY 10163

            Phone: +1 (212) 209-3961
            Fax: +1 (212) 209-7161

            Focal point contact: Ms. Vivian Pender

            Email address:

In case, the NGO organized parallel events are held in venues other than the ones reserved by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, the organizer could inform both DAW and the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in order to have the events listed in the Calendar of Events.

A calendar of all parallel events organized by Permanent Missions, UN entities, and NGOs will be posted on DAW web site one week prior to the CSW session, and updated regularly.