The United Nations is an international organisation founded in 1945. It currently consists of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the United Nations (UN) are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.


As well as the more visible elements of UN action around the world, such as Peacekeeping, the UN provides a forum for members to express their views in the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees. By enabling dialogue between its members, and by hosting negotiations, the Organisation has become a mechanism for governments to find areas of agreement and solve problems together.


In 2015, the UN celebrated its 70th Anniversary. ACWW has had Special Consultative status to ECOSOC since 1947.


ACWW Member Societies

  • Discuss current UN issues at society level
  • Prepare resolutions of international interest for discussion at ACWW Triennial Conferences
  • Write advocacy letters to their local governments and agencies
  • Participate in UN declared days, years or decades
  • Support UN initiatives through related projects
  • Communicate with the UN Committee


ACWW UN Committee Members

  • Attend UN related forums, conferences and commissions
  • Hold workshops, seminars and presentations relating to the UN and its work
  • Communicate to Member Societies and their affiliated groups through statements in support of UN declared observance days
  • Promote the aims of the UN Charter
  • Prepare reports on, and monitor activities at the UN, UNESCO and WHO
  • Communicate with UN agencies, UN Representatives and ACWW Member Societies and Individual Members

ACWW UN Representatives

  • Attend Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) committees and commissions, as well as UN agencies in New York, Geneva, Paris, Vienna and Bangkok
  • Attend discussion groups on relevant topics at UN centres
  • Draft and sign Statements to UN Commissions through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • Communicate with the UN Committee

ACWW Agriculture Committee liases with UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) via UN Representative based in Rome.


UN General Assembly

  • UN Children’s Fun (UNICEF)
  • UN Women (previously known as the UN Development Fund for Women)
  • Human Rights Council - successor to the Commission on Human Rights
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • UN Habitat
  • UN Development Programme (UNDP)

Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC)

This is the principal UN organ for:

  • Conference of NGOs
  • Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
  • High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) - established in 2013 to replace the former Commission on Sustainable Development


  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) - founded 1919, adopted as specialised agency of the UN in 1946


ACWW’s consultative status with ECOSOC allows us to:


  • Provide expert analysis on issues directly from our experience in the field;
  • Serve as an early warning agent;
  • Help monitor and implement international agreements;
  • Help raise public awareness of relevant issues;
  • Play a major role in advancing UN goals and objectives;
  • Contribute with essential information at organisation events.


How is this carried out in practice?


Many UN organisations expect NGOs to participate in Policy Working Groups, based on expertise that is present within their organisations. Participants of Working Groups meet, either in person or via the internet, regularly to discuss various relevant themes and provide evidence from their on-going, grass-roots investigations which can be used to influence UN policies.  For example, access to FAO depends on committee members participating in Working Groups (on women, nutrition, marketing, forestry, etc. ) via their local farmers’ unions and membership of Child Rights Connect obliges us to join one of their rights-based groups. Participants of rights-based groups normally have legal expertise and work to protect the rights of children at grass-roots level.


Where does ACWW’s institutional expertise come from?


There are 3 main sources:

  1. Information about important issues that affect rural women in developing countries comes from ACWW’s Women to Women project application forms, especially question 23 - 'Why is the project necessary?'  Or through dialogue with partners who are responsible for project implementation.
  2. Information about issues that affect rural women can be collected from members by Area Presidents in response to questions posed by Committee Members.
  3. A Global Survey of all members conducted by ACWW from time to time.


Information collected from the internet is no substitute for information that is collected directly from ACWW’s members and partners.

Spotlight on

ACWW Advocacy

Please use the folders below to download ACWW Advocacy resources in support of our policies.  All policy issues are decided by ACWW member societies around the world, passed at Triennial World Conferences.  Just click on the issue you are interested in, and it will start to download.

These resources are supplied as PDF files, with some additional PNG format files. If you need files in another format, please contact ACWW Central Office.

The Women Empowered Fund

16 Days of Global Activism

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