IWTC Women's GlobalNet #327
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

November 5, 2007
By Mavic Cabrera Balleza


WOMEN weigh in with gender perspectives on globalization and governance discussions at the un

Begun by the Finnish and Tanzanian governments in 2002, the Helsinki Process is an initiative that aims to accelerate global problem solving and to push for the implementation of global commitments. It addresses the following issues: anti-corruption; effective global governance; gender equality; human trafficking; migration; poverty and development; promoting information and communication technology; and water and sanitation. 


1. On November 7, just weeks before the second phase of the Helsinki Process culminates in a conference in Tanzania, a half-day panel discussion featuring the highlights of this phase will take place at a meeting of the United Nation’s Second Committee (responsible for finance and economic issues).  The International Women’s Tribune Centre has been working with partner organizations in different countries to ensure that women’s voices are heard during this discussion.

2. Plans are now in place to convene the global cyberdialogue “Gender, Globalization and Governance: Linking Community Issues to Global Policies” to link community and women’s organizations from Brazil (Association for Progressive Communication), Finland (UN Association of Finland), South Africa (Women’s Net), the Philippines (Women & Gender Institute, Miriam College), Tanzania (Tanzania Media Women’s Association and the Tanzanian Women in Peace Networking) and New York.  Each site will host a national dialogue, the outcome of which will feed into the global cyberdialogue that will immediately precede the UN panel discussion.  Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and founder of the Ethical Globalization Initiative will join the cyberdialogue from the IWTC offices. It is hoped that she will bring the messages from the cyberdialogue participants to policymakers and panel participants at the UN.


3. The cyberdialogue builds on the “Gender Equality Road Map” led by South Africa in the second phase of the Helsinki process. “Road Maps” and “Roundtables,” each led by a different government, were an innovative feature of this second phase.  The “Gender Equality Road Map” aims to increase attention to gender equality and specifically on violence against women and calls for:   

- Universal and effective implementation of the International Convention against All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW) and other relevant international and regional instruments;

- Achievement of  the objectives of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence

against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the

Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals related to


- Strengthening the protection system for women’s rights at the national level,

 with increased attention to the elimination of violence against women;

- Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325; and 

- Strengthening international cooperation to promote gender equality. 


Following the cyberdialogue and the panel discussion at the UN Second Committee, the Helsinki Process Conference 'Inclusive Governance - Bridging Global Divides' will be organized in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on November  27-29, 2007.  This conference will:
- Review the achievements of the Road Maps and Roundtables;
- Evaluate lessons learned from multi-stakeholder cooperation in different contexts and with different topics;

- Make recommendations for the future regarding which issues to pursue and how to organise multi-stakeholder cooperation in different contexts.

Countries participating in the Helsinki Process are
Algeria, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Hungary, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.


For more information about the Helsinki Process:



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