On December 7, 2018, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) published a statement submitted by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and Utah-China Friendship Improvement Sharing Hands Development and Commerce, NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC for the 63rd session of the commission on the status of Women (CSW63). It was prepared by Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) under the title “Mountain women and mountain targets have to be in the focus of 2030 Development Agenda.” The statement outlines UIMF’s concern that mountain women are left out of the UN 2030 Development agenda and calls for changes in the process of reviewing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by relevant ECOSOC forums, as well as highlights the effectiveness of UVU’s student engaged learning model for students’ professional growth, international recognition and for the advocacy of mountain women and sustainable mountain development agenda of the United Nations.
The statement is the result of efforts to start preparations for the 2019 advocacy campaign at ECOSOC by UIMF from our group, which includes UIMF members, such as Andrew Jensen, Angela Landa, Colin Fuller, and myself with mentorship from Dr. Butler and Dr. Abdrisaev Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev, and Michael Hinatsu.
In addition, we have sent the statement copy and letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of ECOSOC Inga Rhonda King, and 46 member-states who provided Voluntary National Reviews at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development. UIMF’s main priority in contributing to the agenda of CSW63 in this way is to get language concerning mountain women – who have been neglected in high-level forums on sustainable development in 2018 – into the final agreement of CSW63.
UIMF is continuing preparations for CSW63 by preparing to host a parallel event at CSW63 that will advocate for mountain women and showcase student engaged learning. The parallel event is currently scheduled at the second floor of the Church Center of the UN for Tuesday, March 19, at 8:30am. UIMF also continues to contribute to the preparation of the Zero Draft Outcome Document for CSW63 by participating in online sessions organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW/NY).
Michael Hinatsu, UIMF member