In 1993, FAWCO President Barbara Johnson suggested applying for UN accreditation starting with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and pursued this goal with FAWCO 1st Vice President, Peggy Rigaud. On June 15, 1995, FAWCO was approved for association with the UN DPI.
In August 1995, seven FAWCO delegates joined 30,000 women for the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China: Helen Hootsmans (AWC Amsterdam), Lois Pott (AWC The Hague), Becky Tan (AWC Hamburg), Donna Sebti (AW Casablanca), Jeanne Schapp (AW London), Leslie Fiac (The Taunus), and Peggy Rigault (AWG Languedoc-Rousillon). The Beijing Conference was the stimulus for increasing FAWCO's UN involvement, leading FAWCO to apply for accreditation with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
FAWCO was granted special consultative status with ECOSOC on August 14, 1997.
FAWCO’s early UN representation was spearheaded by Pam Perraud in NY. Other early representatives were Lise Chase in NY, Joanne Gallagher in Geneva and Phyllis Reimer in Vienna.
In 1999, FAWCO 1st Vice President Paula Daeppen started representing FAWCO on a regular basis at the United Nations. Together with Pam Perraud in NY, she actively promoted FAWCO at the UN and set the course for FAWCO as a UN NGO.
FAWCO’s first ECOSOC Report for the period 1997 through 2000 was prepared by Pam Perraud and Paula Daeppen, who recognized the need for a continuing active focus on global issues in order to retain ECOSOC status.
In 2001, Paula Daeppen was appointed FAWCO’s first NGO Director (2001- 2008) charged with expanding FAWCO’s NGO involvement and trying to link UN NGO activities with FAWCO’s global committees.
FAWCO delegates at the Luxembourg Conference unanimously adopted a mandate “to urge the US to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)”.
FAWCO joined CONGO (Conference of NGOs with ECOSOC consultative status), the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), NGO Committee on Human Rights, Committee on Aging and the Committee on HIV/Aids.
With Pam Perraud and Paula Daeppen, FAWCO took part in the 3rd UN Preparatory Meeting for the Special Session on Children in NY.
FAWCO participated in the UN Special Session on Children in NY represented by Paula Daeppen and Pam Perraud.
Delegates to the FAWCO Florence Conference adopted a mandate on the special needs of aging women.
FAWCO participated in the UN World Assembly on Aging in Madrid, represented by Paula Daeppen, Arline Coward and Dolores Cuellar.
FAWCO joined GINA – Geneva International Network on Aging working with WHO.
FAWCO participated in the UN Prep Coms for the World Summit on the Information Society.
FAWCO’s Resolutions & Recommendations began to reflect our UN advocacy, in particular regarding the environment, the CRC and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and sexual and reproductive rights.
The concept of a “carbon neutral conference” was introduced by Valerie Garforth and the emissions of carbon dioxide resulting from travel to and from the Conference were offset by donations to buy trees for the FAWCO Millennium Forest.
FAWCO’s Millennium Forest Project, organized by the AIWC of Casablanca and funded in part by donations from FAWCO clubs worldwide, was featured in a United Nations publication on success stories supporting the Millennium Development Goal for Environmental Sustainability.
With recognition for the need of a major global focus for ECOSOC status, NGO Director Paula Daeppen proposed to the FAWCO Board the need for a focus on one major global project in support of the MDGs. The suggested focus was malaria prevention.
At the FAWCO Conference in Birmingham, delegates unanimously agreed to take up the global challenge for reducing poverty and improving lives by supporting the MDGs and by making a significant commitment to worldwide malaria prevention – with an initial fundraising target of $75,000 by the 2006 conference in Berlin for FAWCO’s 75th birthday.
FAWCO’s NGO malaria initiative, called “NetWorks”, became the first project where all FAWCO clubs joined together on a global issue.
FAWCO took part in World Swim for Malaria.
FAWCO partnered with the Biovision Foundation on malaria prevention to fund mosquito nets, integrated vector management and education for malaria elimination.
FAWCO member Laurie Childers is named Secretary of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva, for the first time giving FAWCO a position on this board.
FAWCO’s goal of $75,000 for NetWorks was surpassed and $165,885 raised directly with an additional grant of $100,000 obtained from the Hilton Foundation for our partner organization Biovision.
FAWCO’s Global Concerns Fund was established to continue FAWCO’s focus on one major global issue in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in conjunction with the ongoing concerns of FAWCO’s Global Concerns Committees and UN Liaisons, who proposed the project. The first GCF continues with the mandate of FAWCO’s successful NetWorks campaign to focus on the eradication of malaria.
FAWCO’s efforts in malaria prevention were noted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their publication "From Vision to Action: NGOs Promoting Health in a Globalized World". This publication was produced in support of the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalized World and featured best practices of 27 selected NGOs. FAWCO’s NetWorks initiative and partnership with Biovision is described in detail. [http://www.alliance4healthpromotion.org/files/documents/PublicationWHO_final.pdf]
FAWCO contributed to a comprehensive 32-page report written in advance of the 2007 session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The publication titled “A GIRL’S RIGHT TO LIVE; Female Foeticide and Girl Infanticide” [https://www.crin.org/en/library/publications/girls-right-live-female-foeticide-and-girl-infanticide] is a compilation of information addressing serious human rights violations against the girl child.
FAWCO joined a group of NGO members of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) Geneva in a task force called Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt (HER) to recognize Eleanor Roosevelt as the driving force behind the creation and adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948.
With Paula Daeppen, Pam Perraud and Alicia Higa, FAWCO took the lead as the initiator, sponsor and host of the HER website. [erooseveltudhr.org.]
At the urging of Pam Perraud, the FAWCO Board approved a donation of $3,300 in scholarship funding for the Eleanor Roosevelt Center Girls Leadership Workshop [http://ervk.org/] at Val Kill, New York, to encourage the leadership development of young women with a commitment to social justice and human rights.
Member clubs were encouraged to organize events such as teas, candlelight services, letter-writing campaigns and essay contests related to Eleanor Roosevelt and the 60th anniversary of the UDHR to honor Eleanor Roosevelt and call attention to the fact that, 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, women are still waiting for their rights.
FAWCO was instrumental in the erection of a memorial to Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated on December 5, 2008 at the Place des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, recognizing her as the driving force behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A booklet on Eleanor Roosevelt’s role and the importance of the UDHR accompanied the ceremony inaugurating the plaque.
FAWCO worked with the US Mission to the UN in Geneva to publicize Eleanor Roosevelt and the UDHR. In June, the US Ambassador to the UN hosted a concert in his home in Eleanor Roosevelt’s memory and invited the Ambassadors of the 17 other countries on the Human Rights Commission that worked on the UDHR, as well as FAWCO and the other members of the HER Task Force.
The UN Team also worked with the HER Task Force to organize, edit and promote a bilingual brochure on Eleanor Roosevelt and the UDHR to be used in Swiss schools.
In September, Paula Daeppen and Pam Perraud attended the annual UN NGO Department of Public Information (DPI) conference held in Paris at UNESCO, where FAWCO distributed information about the HER plaque in Geneva and the Eleanor Roosevelt website.
FAWCO UN Reps Sara von Moos and Anne Cameron Rutschmann attended a two-day Global Women Leader’s Summit in Geneva organized by Allida Black of the Eleanor Roosevelt Project of George Washington University, who had helped write the booklet on ER in conjunction with the ER plaque project. A highlight of the Summit was the presentation of the Eleanor Roosevelt Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Rights to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
FAWCO UN Director Pam Perraud attended briefings at UN Headquarters in New York in commemoration of the International Year of BioDiversity as well as a special event honoring Cheri Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister, for her work with “Stop the Traffik”, an NGO fighting human trafficking.
UN Youth Representative Sarah Gogel attended a special session in NY on the issue of Children and Armed Conflict, while UN Rep Marge McGowan attended regular meetings of the CSW and the Working Group on Women, Peace and Security as well as meetings on The Child’s Right to Health and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
In Houston, UN Director Pam Perraud and UN Rep Louise Greeley-Copley attended a meeting of the World Affairs Council where they met Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize in 2004 for her environmental work starting the Green Belt Movement. FAWCO's UN Director was invited to speak about FAWCO’s environmental activities at a screening of a PBS special on Wangari Maathai’s life entitled “Taking Root.”
The FAWCO Board announced plans to initiate a four-year Target Program designed to support the UN Millennium Goals (MDGs). The UN Director worked with the Vice President for Global Issues and the FAWCO Foundation to set up an application and evaluation process to assess proposals for the new program.
The FAWCO UN Director announced plans to expand the UN Team to include UN Advocates to include volunteers in local clubs who do not live near UN Headquarters in NY or UN Offices in Geneva or Vienna who could serve as liaisons and promote the UN to local clubs.
FAWCO member clubs voted to select Clean Water as the Target Issue for the new Target Program, FAWCO’s main program to support the UN Millennium Development Goals. The FAWCO UN Director worked as advisor to the Target Selection Committee, which ultimately chose Wells for Clean Water sponsored by the Tabitha organization in Cambodia as the Target Project for the next three years.
FAWCO continued to promote, support and contribute funds to the Eleanor Roosevelt Girls’ Leadership Workshop. The FAWCI UN Director was invited by the Eleanor Roosevelt Center in Val Kill to a reception in NYC to meet Curtis Roosevelt, grandson of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt.
Pam Perraud, UN Director, attended the 2010 Global Forum on Women Beijing+15 and the 45th annual CSW in NY where she attended briefings at the US Mission with US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Melanne Verveer, US Ambassador–at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.
UN Rep Sara von Moos attended meetings of the NGO CSW and Human Rights subcommittees in Geneva and did extensive research on obstetric fistula. Sara von Moos, Alicia Sauer, Anne Cameron Rutchmann along with UN Director Pam Perraud attended the Human Rights Day Celebration on Dec. 10 and met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
For the first time, FAWCO sent two representatives, Katherine Crick and Erica Higbie of AWC Perth, to the annual UN NGO Conference sponsored by the Department of Public Information (DPI) held in Melbourne, Australia, where the focus was on Global Health.
On March 8th, UN Reps in NY, Geneva and Vienna all attended special commemorations for the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD) in their respective cities and the UN Director made a presentation in Paris in honor of IWD.
Michelle Jackson, UN NGO Advocate from Frankfurt-Taunus (Germany) represented FAWCO at the annual UN DPI conference on Sustainable Societies in Bonn, Germany in September.
On Sept. 26, for the first time ever, FAWCO sponsored a High Level Panel for the UN Human Rights Council at its 18th session in Geneva at the Palais des Nations. The topic was “Women and the Right to Water”, in keeping with FAWCO’s Target Program theme of Clean Water. Lois Herman of AWA Rome and Chair of the Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN) organized the event with the assistance of Sara von Moos, UN Rep in Geneva.
The FAWCO UN Director wrote a review of the previous 15 years of FAWCO activities at the UN and presented a proposal to the FAWCO and FAWCO Foundation Boards recommending that FAWCO adopt Women as our main focus for UN activities and organize global projects around four main areas of focus: education, environment, health and human rights.
FAWCO joined the UN Women National Committee of the United States and the UN Director was invited to join the regular Board calls with local chapter presidents in the US.
On Oct. 24, UN Day, AWA Vienna and IWC Bratislava had a tour of the UN in Vienna followed by a talk by experts from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on human trafficking.
In November, UN Reps Laurie Richardson and Tonya Teichert attended a symposium on Femicide organized by the Academic Council of the UN at the UN in Vienna.
Through the Global Task Force on Ending Violence Against Women and Children (EVAWAC), FAWCO participated in the UN-endorsed 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign by encouraging FAWCO members to read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn. In September, UN Director Pam Perraud and EVAWAC Task Force member Therese Hartwell attended a screening in Houston of the PBS film Half the Sky with Sheryl Wu Dunn.
In conjunction with the FAWCO Conference in Bern, UN Rep Sara von Moos helped organize a tour of the UN in Geneva where participants visited the US Mission and heard from staff working on women’s issues at the UN.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Betty King gave the keynote address at the Conference. She also participated with FAWCO members on the “Meet Me on the Bridge” march in solidarity with Women for Women International around the world.
At the conference, Anne von Oorschot, Chair of the Target Program, announced that since 2009, a total of $165,000 had been raised, with $135,000 going to Tabitha Foundation in Cambodia for new wells and $30,000 going to water-related projects in other countries.
The Board announced that the next Target Program theme would be Human Rights for Women: Protecting the Rights and Improving the Lives of Women and Girls.
UN Rep Erica Higbie became Chair of the Advocacy Task Force of the Working Group for Girls. She attended the annual CSW conference in March in NY and gave daily updates in blogs on FAWCO's website.
At the invitation of UN Ambassador Betty King, FAWCO’s 2013 Friendship Quilt entitled “Time” was displayed at the Palais des Nations at an exhibition organized by the US Mission in Geneva “Quilts for Change.”
NGO CSW Geneva President Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda appointed UN Rep Sara von Moos Task Force Co-Chair of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Beijing +20 Regional Review NGO Forum to be held in Geneva in November 2014.
Sara van Moos, Vice President of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Geneva, was appointed FAWCO's UN Director in January 2014.
FAWCO's Annual Conference in Rome featured UN Keynote Speaker Dr. Moez Doraid, Director of the Coordination Division of UN Women and co-founder of UN Women's He For She campaign.
Grace Christovasilis became FAWCO’s first representative to a UN Agency. Due to her engagement in social issues and Greece’s strategic location as a pathway for migrants and refugees, Grace was assigned to the UNHCR office in Greece and became the UN Team’s focal point for Refugees and Migration.
Led by Sara von Moos, FAWCO UN Reps Stacy Lara and Anne Riz were involved in the planning and organization of the UNECE Beijing+20 Regional Review NGO Forum in Geneva in November 2014. A delegation of 16 FAWCO members participated in the Forum, with several playing important roles: Paula Daeppen, Laurie Richardson and Sallie Chaballier served as Rapporteurs for plenaries and round tables. Robin Goldsby and her daughter Julia Goldsby composed and performed the Forum theme song, Maybe It’s You, during the closing ceremony. As FAWCO Youth Ambassador, Julia Goldsby joined the Forum planning team as an intern.
One of the year’s highlights was Gavin Higbie joining the UN Team as our first UN Youth Rep. Gavin brought a fresh perspective to issues through his blog posts. He attended UN Youth Assemblies in NY, together with thousands of youths from around the world to discuss the role of young people as the UN moves towards the sustainable development agenda.
UN Rep Laurie Richardson was appointed UN Liaison in January 2015, and continued in her capacity as Secretary of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women Vienna. FAWCO's UN NGO Reps took on increasingly important leadership roles on NGO Committees in NY, Geneva and Vienna. Erica Higbie (FAUSA), FAWCO's Main Representative at the UN in New York, serves as a Director on the UN Department of Public Information NGO Executive Committee, and is Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Working Group on Girls. Erica also serves as Treasurer of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW) in New York. Jane Politi (AWA Rome) is Member at Large of the NGO Committee on Migration in New York. Anne Riz (AWC Bern) is Treasurer of the NGO CSW in Geneva.
In March, a delegation of 17 FAWCO women from around the world gathered at the 59th session of the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59 Beijing+20). Our delegates posted blogs on FAWCO's website and Facebook about gender equality, women's empowerment and the CSW59 Political Declaration.
The second FAWCO UN Youth Rep, Valia Mitsakis, was selected to join the UN Team in 2015 and took part in the Young Women and Girls Forum connected to CSW59.
Together with the Human Rights Task Force and member clubs, we continued to support refugees fleeing conflict zones in unprecedented numbers. We collaborated with the UNHCR in Athens; partnered with a grassroots NGO in Jordan; and joined local refugee assistance initiatives in FAWCO communities across Europe. FAWCO joined in advocacy on behalf of refugee women and children through our involvement with the NGO Committee on Migration. Our UN Representative in Athens worked with local UNHCR contacts to promote their work and raise awareness of the needs of refugees.
FAWCO's Environment Task Force and UN Reps Team worked together to inform members about the ground-breaking UN conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris.
FAWCO UN Reps serve in leadership on three NGO CSWs: Erica Higbie is Treasurer in New York, Anne Riz is Treasurer in Geneva, and Laurie Richardson is Secretary in Vienna. Jane Politi is now Vice-Chair of the NGO Committee on Migration in New York.
FAWCO's delegation of 14 attended CSW 60 in March 2016. Jane Politi helped organize an NGO Committee on Migration (NGO CoM) panel “Empowering Syrian Refugee Women and Children for a Better Future: Challenges and Innovative Solutions in Early Childhood Development” (co-sponsored by FAWCO). UN Liaison Laurie Richardson represented FAWCO and NGO CSW Vienna at a morning NGO Briefing, and made a statement on women and girls displaced by conflict to UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at an NGO Briefing.
Jane Politi represented FAWCO at NGO Briefings at the UNHCR in Geneva.Tara Scott represented FAWCO's Education Task Force at the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) NGO Conference "Education for Global Citizenship" in Korea. Sam Witt attended the UN Youth Assembly in New York in August with FAWCO's UN Youth Rep Valia Mitsakis.
Anne Riz was involved in planning the NGO CSW Geneva forum “Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Sustainable Perspective” on October 10, supported in part by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
Stacy Lara played a lead role on the NGO CSW Geneva team organizing a flashmob on the Place des Nations to mark the International Day of the Girl on October 11.
The FAWCO/FAWCO Foundation Symposium Stand Up against Human Trafficking in The Hague in October 2016 included a panel on Tools for Sustainable Change in the Private Sector. One of the panelists was Ms. Eppy Boschma, Senior Advisor to the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands. UN Liaison Laurie Richardson made a presentation on the Symposium at an event co-sponsored by FAWCO on “Preventing Trafficking, Trade and Exploitation of Women and Children: A victim-centered approach” at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's Conference on Transnational Organized Crime in October.
Grace Christovasilis worked with UNHCR Greece, UNHCR Spain, FC Barcelona Veterans and PAS Giannina FC to organize an event for over 540 refugees, including a visit by FC Barcelona players to a refugee camp, soccer workshops for children, and a Solidarity Match between PAS Giannina FC Veterans and FC Barcelona Veterans.
The UN Team, Human Rights Task Force and Target Program collaborated on a Twitter Teach-In as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, sharing messages about FAWCO's work in education and preventing violence against women.
In 2017, FAWCO will celebrate 20 years of increasingly active engagement promoting the UN's development agenda as a UN-accredited NGO with special consultative Status to ECOSOC.
FAWCO UN Directors Since 2001
Paula Daeppen, UN Director 2001-2008
Pam Perraud, UN Director 2008-2013
Sara van Moos, UN Director 2013-2014
Laurie Richardson, UN Liaison 2015-present