Soroptimist International of Europe is proud to hold consultative status at the United Nations’ ECOSOC, participatory status at the Council of Europe and the European Women’s Lobby, and to contribute to the work of the OSCE.
United Nations’ ECOSOC
Together with only 150 other NGOs, we hold general consultative status at the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This status allows Soroptimists to advocate for women’s rights and for the improvement of the lives of women at the international level by making statements and participating in panels, meetings and round tables organised by the UN that are of concern to women.
Through its ECOSOC status, Soroptimist International of Europe participates in the work of the United Nations’ Commission for the Status of Women (CSW). Our representatives contribute to the work of the CSW NGO Committee throughout the year and take part in the annual CSW session at the United Nations in New York. There they take part in state- and NGO-led sessions to raise the concerns of women in the 60 countries that Soroptimist International of Europe is active in and to advocate on behalf of their members and women around the world. For Soroptimists, the contributing to the work of the Commission on the Status of Women is an opportunity to learn from others working to improve the lives of women and girls, and to share the experiences and best practices established by Soroptimists in this regard.
Soroptimist International of Europe also contributes to the work of the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which meets several times a year in Geneva, and to the work of the UN’s Human Rights Council which often addresses issues of concern to women.
Last but not least, through appointed permanent representatives, Soroptimists have an ongoing presence at the United Nations centres in New York, Geneva and Vienna, UNESCO in Paris, the FAO in Rome, and UNEP in Nairobi.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Soroptimist International of Europe is also proud to hold participatory status at the Council of Europe (CoE). Soroptimist International of Europe supports the work of the Council of Europe in the promotion of human rights by lobbying for the implementation of its various conventions concerning women and children.
Soroptimists have thus continue to advocate for the implementation of the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention) as well as the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, and the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in their countries.
Through our permanent representatives, we are also actively engaged in the Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs.
EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY
Soroptimist International of Europe also has participatory status at the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the largest umbrella organisation for women’s associations in the European Union.
The EWL represents the interests of about 2,500 women’s organisations and works to “achieve equality between women and men, to promote women’s rights in all spheres of public and private life, to work towards economic and social justice for all women in their diversity, and to eliminate all forms of male violence against women.”
With more than 20 years’ experience of lobbying and advocacy work at the European level, the EWL continues to be a fantastic example and resource for Soroptimists for targeted advocacy work. Soroptimists are actively engaged in supporting EWL actions and campaigns and in raising awareness about issues highlighted by the EWL.
Soroptimist International of Europe also participates in the work of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organisation.
Through its permanent representatives, Soroptimist International of Europe contributes to the work of the OSCE’s oldest institution, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) which, amongst other things, deals with human trafficking, violence against women, and gender equality.
OTHERSoroptimists also regularly participate in various NGO forums of concern to women at the national and international levels.