A sad and major update to share about CSW64.
Due to serious concerns about the spread of COVID-19, there was a meeting this morning inside the UNHQ to make a decision about whether or not to hold CSW64. Yesterday there was the first confirmed case of the virus in New York City, and there have been cases elsewhere in the NYC suburban area. Many civil society organizations were advocating over the past few days for the CSW to be postponed, as were a large number of member states. This situation has been rapidly evolving – just on Friday, emails went out saying that the conference would go ahead as planned, so a lot has changed over the weekend.
At this morning’s meeting, there was a discussion for a few hours about what to do, and ultimately, member states decided that the full CSW64 (9-20 March) will be replaced by a one-day procedural meeting on the 9th of March only to adopt the pre-negotiated political declaration and programme of work. The rest of CSW will be cancelled for now, and postponed to a later date (that has not yet been decided). Side events inside the UN and ministerial dialogues will also be cancelled. Tentatively, member states suggested postponing the CSW to sometime in July, but this has not been confirmed and we do not know when we will hear more information about this.
NGO-CSW, the body which coordinates civil society participation at CSW, has also just confirmed to us verbally that all parallel events, Consultation Day, and their reception are cancelled as well.
This means that essentially the entire CSW is cancelled, with the exception of the one day, 9 March, which will only be open to member states and New York-based civil society organizations. Your CSW passes that we obtained for you, therefore, will not be valid for entering the UN anymore.
We are extremely sorry to be sharing this sad news with you all, and had truly hoped that you all could join us at CSW64 next week. Ultimately, safety is the most important thing.
Please feel free to reach out directly with any questions and we would be happy to answer.