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United Nations Department of Public Information


The new year, 2017, starts at the United Nations with a new Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and a fresh approach

to the key pillars of the work of the United Nations - peace and security, human rights and development. Against a

background of ever more complex global challenges, Mr. Guterres has set a marker that the UN, as the "cornerstone of multilateralism," must be ready to change and reform the way it works if it is to be able to tackle the conflicts, threats and megatrends of today. This is a time of increasing inequalities and of fears and anxieties, when peoples and their leaders need to reconstruct relations in a spirit of caring and solidarity, supportive of universal values.

Mr. Guterres has emphasized thatthe Organization needs to strengthen its ability to communicate better about what it does

in ways that everyone understands. This will require continuing to reform our communications strategy, consolidating a

"digital first" approach, making the best use of technological progress and putting a revitalized emphasis on multilingual platforms that have the ability to reach a global audience.

In his address to Member States on 12 December, Mr. Guterres outlined three strategic priorities for change- in the UN's work for peace, in its support for sustainable development, and in its internal management.

On the peace and security front, the Secretary-General said more effort needs to be devoted to preventing crises by addressing the root causes and supporting strengthened institutions, resilient societies, and full respect for human rights. When prevention fails, more must be done to resolve conflicts via mediation, arbitration and creative diplomacy.

A continuum must be created, from conflict prevention and resolution, through peacekeeping, peacebuilding and

development, to ensure that peace is sustained. This will require reform of the UN's strategy and structures for peace and security, as well as for countering the threat of terrorism.

Secondly, the UN will strengthen development's position at the centre of its work to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This will require needed reforms of the UN development system at Headquarters and country levels and a closer link between the humanitarian and development spheres as crises erupt. Implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change will be a critical facet of that process.

spheres as crises erupt. Implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change will be a critical facet

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA)

Cases of SEA, and in particular those committed by peacekeepers, continue to damage the reputation of the United Nations. In a major step towards accountability and transparency, the Secretary-General has started to name countries whose uniformed personnel are implicated in SEA allegations. In 2016, the Secretary- General appointed Jane Holl Lute as Special Coordinator


on improving the UN's response to SEA. In 2017, we will continue to underscore the UN's commitment to stamping out all cases of SEA and to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability in the handling of cases. DPI will continue to advocate for a more proactive communications stance, and encourage UN senior leadership to speak out on SEA issues more frequently.




The need for a comprehensive approach to addressing all stages of conflicts will be more vital than ever in 2017.

A formal review of the UN's peacebuilding architecture

in 2016 outlined how the entire UN system, with the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Commission in key roles, should implement an agenda of "sustaining peace". The Secretary-General has been

tasked with reporting on progress on this agenda at a high-level gathering during the 72nd Session of the General Assembly. The participation of women and youth in peace processes will be especially critical and our communications need to stress this, including in the lead-up to the release of a progress study on Youth, Peace and Security due in December 2017.


Despite greater support for women and girls in conflict- affected countries by UN programmes and agencies, and more inclusive peace processes, much still needs to be done on the women and peace and security agenda. Mr. Guterres noted that "the protection and empowerment of women and girls is paramount. Gender equality is key to development, and there is growing evidence of its critical

role in building and maintaining peace." In 2017, DPI will support the Security Council and the Secretary-General

as they take the women and peace and security agenda

forward. The International Day for the Elimination of

Sexual Violence in Conflict (19 June) will raise awareness

of the need to end conflict-related sexual violence, to

stand in solidarity with survivors around the world and to

pay tribute to all those working on the front-lines, often

at great personal risk, to eradicate this scourge.










UN General Assembly, Security


Council, Economic and Social Council, Peace Building Commission session on Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Agenda Global Conference on Preventing


Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (tbc) Fifty-year anniversary of the


occupation of Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem Anniversary of Security Council


Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security UN Police week Second anniversary of Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security

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The ongoing forced displacement of populations is a

global crisis that has dominated the international agenda and media headlines in 2016. The General Assembly hosted a high-level summit to address large movements

of refugees and migrants. All 193 Member States, in

adopting the New York Declaration, came together behind a single plan committing to a more humane and coordinated approach. In 2017, communications will focus on two tracks of work. Firstly, to ensure pressure is maintained on Member States to honour their

commitments and work towards adopting two Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants in 2018. Secondly, to roll out the "Together" initiative - a UN-Ied global campaign that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants and to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants. "Together" is an exciting communications opportunity for the whole of the UN system. More details are on page 10.

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The list below highlights many of the rapidly evolving conflicts and political crises on which the UN will continue

to focus its efforts in the new year. Further guidance and

strategies will be forthcoming for each, reflecting the engagement of the new Secretary-General.

Syria: The conflict in Syria is entering its sixth year amid

a dramatically deteriorating situation and continued

divisions within the Security Council. Our communications

priorities are two-fold: firstly, to underscore the importance

of the intense diplomatic efforts by the UN's Office of the

Special Envoy for Syria, alongside partners, to bring about

a negotiated political solution; secondly, to work alongside OCHA, UNHCR, WHO and other humanitarian actors to call

for sustained support for one of the most dire crises the

world has seen.

Yemen: The UN Special Envoy for Yemen will continue

mediation efforts to revive the peace talks between the

Houthi rebels and

initiative. Our communication efforts in 2017, working alongside political and humanitarian partners, will aim

the Government based on a new peace

to attract greater global attention to this conflict. The

UN will launch a new humanitarian appeal, reflecting a

worsening humanitarian and socio-economic situation, with the UN estimating at the end of 2016 that over 18

million people are in need of humanitarian aid and half of Yemen's governorates are in urgent need of food.

Iraq: The United Nations, through the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), continues to assist the Government and people of Iraq in addressing ongoing challenges of security, political dialogue and reconciliation, human rights and economic development. One of our communications priorities will be a continued focus on the military operations in Mosul, where DPI has established a crisis communications coordination group to exchange information and ensure that the UN's messages remain consistent.

Middle East: The absence of political progress continues to undermine prospects for a peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, 50 years after the Israeli occupation began and 70 years after General Assembly Resolution

181 proposed a partition of the land. Our communications

priority, working alongside the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), will be to promote the UN's efforts in restoring confidence and hope in the viability of a two-

state solution and final status issues.

Libya: The UN continues to seek a solution through diplomacy and mediation between the warring sides in

the country. We will continue to assist DPA and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to highlight the UN's efforts towards a political process, including the possible re-establishment of the Mission in Tripoli, security conditions permitting.

South Sudan: With Government and opposition forces continuing to clash in various parts of the country, the protection role of peacekeepers remains under the media spotlight. At the end of 2016, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was protecting over 200,000 internally displaced persons in its camps, while around 1.6 million people remained displaced across the country. The UN will continue to voice concern over human rights violations and hate speech, and will need communications support to manage expectations for the planned deployment of a 4,000-strong Regional Protection Force in 2017.

Mali: The Security Council placed the implementation of the peace agreement and the gradual restoration of State authority at the centre of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) mandate, providing additional resources and calling for a more robust posture. The stabilization of Mali remains jeopardized by a series of challenges, including attacks by violent extremist groups against Malian forces, MINUSMA and international forces, as well as clashes between communities and signatory groups to the peace agreement. In 2017, our communications efforts will focus on creating a better understanding of the Mission's mandate among the Malian public, as well as to build international support for the Mission.

Central African Republic: The Security Council renewed the Mission's mandate in July 2016, with the key strategic objective of working towards the sustainable reduction of armed groups while maintaining its core tasks of protection of civilians, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of human rights. Within a fragile security situation, MINUSCA continues to assist in the maintenance of rule of law and


the fight against impunity through its Urgent Temporary Measures mandate. In 2017, our communication efforts will focus on maintaining international support, in particular on the disbursement and implementation of the pledges following the donors' conference in Brussels

in November 2016.

Cote d'lvoire: In 2017, we expect a successful completion

of the United Nations Operation in Cote d'lvoire (UNOCI)

within the timeline set by the Security Council and a smooth assumption of the UNOCI residual tasks by the United Nations Country Team. Our efforts will focus on promoting the success of UNOCI and of the United Nations as a whole in Cote d'lvoire over the past years, including lessons learned and good practices.

Colombia: The United Nations has strongly supported

the peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia- People's Army (FARC-EP). In 2016, the Security Council established a political mission of unarmed international observers to monitor and verify the laying down of arms and as part of the tripartite mechanism to monitor and verify the bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.

A total of around 400 observers will be deployed by

early 2017. We will focus our communications efforts on

garnering support and understanding for the mandate

of the UN's most recently established peace operation,

particularly in relation to the tripartite Monitoring and

Verification Mechanism (MVM).

These unfortunately are not the only crises in the spotlight: the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Great Lakes region, Somalia and Afghanistan are among those crises that will require sustained engagements by communicators across the UN system in 2017.


DPI continues to work in close partnership with the World Health Organisation, ensuring the UN has a consistent voice on health security issues.

Cholera in Haiti: Working with the Haitian Government and partners, the UN has helped reduce the annual number of cases by 90% since the peak in 2011. As of November 2016, there were nearly 800,000 cases of cholera and almost 9,300 deaths. The Secretary-General apologized to the people of Haiti and announced a two- track approach to address cholera. Track One involves intensifying the Organization's support to reduce and ultimately end the transmission of cholera, improve access to care and treatment, and address the longer- term issues of water, sanitation and health systems in Haiti. Track Two involves developing a package that will provide material assistance and support to those



Haitian communities and families most directly affected by cholera. In 2017, the communications priority will be to promote the UN's efforts to combat the disease, harnessing both DPI and MINUSTAH platforms and social media tools.

Zika response: The Zika virus and its associated consequences remain asignificant, enduring public health challenge requiring intense action. Given the long-term nature of the disease and its associated complications, the issue has been escalated to a sustained programme of work for WHO and partners, from the previous status of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern. In 2017, communication efforts will focus on both public health risk awareness, and fund-raising for much needed research and development.

Promoting respect for human rights, as one of the core purposes of the United Nations, will remain a strong focus of our communications work throughout 2017. As Secretary-General Guterres emphasized in his address to Member States on 12 December, "we want the world our children inherit to be defined by the values enshrined

in the United Nations Charter: peace, justice, respect,

human rights, tolerance and solidarity."

The year-long "Stand up for someone's rights today" campaign, launched by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Human Rights Day 2016, provides

a framework for communicating the need for greater

freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion. The campaign encourages everyone to make a difference for

human rights - in the workplace, on the sports field, or

at school. We will continue to support and promote this

campaign, calling on people around the world to take a stand and step forward to defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence.

"Together - Respect, Safety and Dignity for All," the UN-Ied global campaign that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants (see below), will continue to provide a platform for promoting non-discrimination, solidarity and inclusion.

Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) and Human

December) present prominent occasions

to highlight the values of human dignity, equality, justice

and compassion and call on States to fulfill their human rights obligations.

Rights Day (1 0

Strategic Communications Division • UN Department of Public Information


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also provides opportunities for communicating the need for advancing and realizing the human rights of all. With equality and non-discrimination at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals, communications on human rights will aim to make a stronger linkage to the sustainable development agenda.

The work of the Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures, including country visits by mandate holders, will continue to be prominently promoted, along with the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in 2018) which we will start to highlight in 2017.


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Nelson Mandela International Day (limited seed funding is expected to be available to UNICs)



Human Rights Day (limited seed funding is expected to be available to UNICs)


"Together - Respect, Safety and Dignity for All" is the UN-Ied global campaign that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants and to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants. It was with the aim of addressing the toxic, xenophobic and often racist narrative toward refugees and migrants taking hold in many parts of the world that the Secretary-General launched "Together" on 19 September 2016 during the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants. In the New York Declaration emanating from the Summit, Member States unanimously welcomed the initiative and committed to implementing it.

"Together" will promote existing campaigns and global action in support of non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It will run at least until 2018, when Member States are expected to adopt two Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants. The core values of the United Nations and the determination to "leave no one behind" are at the centre of the campaign, which is closely linked to the SDGs, in particular to Goals 16 and 17.

"Together" will build empathy and provide a platform

for stories about and by migrants and refugees and of host communities that have benefitted from the inclusion of refugees and migrants. It will tell stories of children on the move. It will engage and mobilize global citizens to show support for refugees and migrants, creating a strong, persuasive narrative of solidarity, and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities.

"Together" will harness the creative community, influencers and technology partners to break existing frames and support innovative products and outreach tools to reach more effectively the target audiences.

The network of Information Centres and other UN field offices form the backbone of the "Together" architecture, and will be provided with public information tools and products that they will adapt and tailor to fit context- specific circumstances and needs. In 2017, "Together" is expected to reach maximum visibility with a myriad of Together-branded activities led by UN field offices and at UN Headquarters. The multilingual hub will engage and mobilize virtually the general public.


Continuing outbreaks of violence and conflict in many parts of the world reinforce a truth seen time and again: that where societies are not inclusive, and where governments are not responsive and accountable, peace, equality and shared prosperity cannot take hold. The annual observance of International Democracy Day on 15 September provides the international community with an opportunity to underscore the need to do more to


Human Rights up Front (HRUF) is a Secretary-General initiative, launched in 2013, to strengthen UN preventive action aimed at addressing serious concerns that cut across the Organization's three pillars of peace and security, development, and human rights, and especially issues with grave human rights consequences. The initiative seeks to bring the UN System together in a way that is mutually supportive, helps prevention, and prioritizes human rights. In the worst situations, the initiative also seeks to prevent the most serious life- threatening violations.

HRUF aims to bring about a cultural change within the UN system, so all staff and UN entities conduct their work with an awareness of their wider responsibility to support the UN Charter and overall UN mandates. It encourages staff


In accordance with relevant General Assembly resolutions, the Department will continue to implement its special information programme on the question of Palestine, aiming to sensitize public opinion to the question of Palestine and Middle East peace efforts, including through the annual United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East and the Department's five-week annual training programme for Palestinian journalists. DPI will also continue to support and promote activities of the UN Committee on



empower individuals, focusing on the billions of people who are underprivileged, marginalized, jobless, and without hope. More needs to be done to ensure they are heard and can take an active part in their future.

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International Day of Democracy

to take a principled stance and act with moral courage to prevent serious and large-scale violations of human rights, and pledges Headquarters support for those who do so. The initiative seeks operational change, providing for coordinated action across the UN's three pillars both in the field and at Headquarters, and better early warning and response mechanisms, as well as change in UN engagement with Member States, envisaging proactive collaboration with national authorities with regard to identified and potential concerns, and early engagement to prevent large-scale human rights violations. DPI will continue working as part of the Secretariat-wide Human Rights up Front team to help raise understanding of and support for this initiative among internal and external key audiences.

the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (the Committee) and collaborate with DPA's Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR).

The year 2017 has an added significance for the question of Palestine as it marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. In this connection, the General Assembly has requested the Committee to focus its activities throughout 2017 on efforts and initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, and

2017 Communications Guidance

to organize activities in this regard, in cooperation with Governments, relevant organizations of the UN system, intergovernmental organizations and civil society, aimed at raising international awareness and mobilizing efforts as a contribution to the achievement of a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the question of Palestine in all its aspects.

Throughout the year, DPI will strive to work with DPR, UNRWA, UNSCO and other partners on special events and other activities relating to Palestinian issues. It is expected that the observance of the 50th anniversary will culminate at a high-level event at UN Headquarters


First meeting

of the UN


Committee on the Exercise of


the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Delegation Speaking Tour in Latin America (Nicaragua and Central America/ the Caribbean)


Capacity-building Seminar regarding Sustainable Development Goals for Staff of the Government of the State of Palestine


in New York, which is being tentatively planned for early June 2017. Additional activities will be organized in the context of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November).

In conducting communications activities on the question of Palestine, it will be important to have in mind that the year 2017 will also mark the 70th anniversary of historic General Assembly resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, which proposed a partition of the land, envisaging independent Arab and Jewish States and a special international regime for Jerusalem.


[DPI]International Media


Seminar on Peace in the Middle East International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem


UN high-level event and civil society forum to commemorate fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation


UN Annual Training



for Staff of the Government of the State of Palestine (New York & Geneva)


[DPI] Annual Training Programme


for Palestinian Journalists


International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People


DPI will continue to disseminate information about decolonization in the context of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011- 2020). Using both traditional and new information and communications technologies, it will highlight the need for immediate and full implementation of the 1960 United

Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. The work of the Special Committee on Decolonization (also known as C-24), which is the intergovernmental body devoted to advancing the United Nations decolonization agenda, will remain at the centre of the Department's outreach

Strategic Communications Division • UN Department of Public Information


activities with media, civil society and educational institutions. In line with its efforts aimed at raising public awareness of United Nations activities in the field




of decolonization, DPI will continue to work in close consultation with other UN stakeholders towards this goal.


Opening of the 2016 Session of the Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24)


25-31 MAY

International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self- Governing Territories


Regional Seminar on Decolonization



12-23 JUNE

2016 Substantive


of the Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24)

ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting, under agenda item "Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations" Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) - Decolonization Segment


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have had a strong first year since entry into force, rallying global action, with many countries already aligning their national plans with their development planning. DPI's umbrella campaign, "Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World," will continue to raise awareness of the Goals, communicating what they are, highlighting the bold actions and commitments that governments, the private sector and civil society are taking to integrate the SDGs into their action plans, and sharing how individuals can take action on the Goals.

To reach scale on this awareness, partnerships will continue to play a critical role in communicating the SDGs and will remain a core tool in reaching the widest possible audience. For 2017, DPI will continue to


strengthen existing partnerships, while leveraging new ones in the advertising, mobile phone, entertainment and media industries.

It will also be increasingly necessary to demonstrate progress to eliminate poverty by 2030, reduce inequalities within and among countries, tackle climate change impact, and ensure all people have, among others, opportunities for decent work, education, food security and access to water and sanitation. A key moment for highlighting SDG implementation will be in July when countries once again meet at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to demonstrate the robust actions that they are taking to implement the Goals.

2017 Communications Guidance

Otherkey markersfor2017 includethe Ocean Conference, which is directly aimed at supporting implementation of SDG Goal 14, and for which DPI is preparing a full communications package, including a visual identity.

The special focus on gender equality and on young

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UN World Data Forum


47th Annual Meeting of the

7-10 MARCH

World Economic Forum 48th Session of the UN


Statistical Commission ECOSOC Partnership Forum

15-16 MAY

Multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals



ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development



2nd UN Environment Assembly

5-9 JUNE

The Ocean Conference

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people will continue this year. Women's economic empowerment will be a theme throughout 2017 and empowering youth, particularly by allowing their voices to be heard by decision-makers, will remain a central objective, as well as elevating the importance of youth- led solutions to global issues.















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Global Sustainable

Development Report


SDGs in action week


Sustainable Development

High Level Political Forum on


Goals Report World Economic and Social

10-14 JULY

Survey 2017

17-19 JULY

Sustainable Development ECOSOC High-level segment


SDG Moment - 72nd UNGA


General Debate UNFCCC COP 23


15th Session of UNCTAD


There is a need to keep climate change high on the international agenda in 2017 as the work of implementing the Paris Agreement gets under way. Actions over the next five years will largely determine whether emissions will peak in time to keep global average temperature rise to under 2°C this century. Climate communications will focus on the climate science, political developments relating to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and preparations for 2018, when countries will meet to review their commitments on climate change. COP 23, which will take place in Bonn, Germany, in November, will be instrumental in gauging parties' commitment to accelerating action. Also important for climate communications is the need to further integrate climate

action messaging into broader communications efforts to highlight the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.






Strategic Communications Division • UN Department of Public Information



The General Assembly has mandated a conference to support the implementation of SDG Goal 14 on 5-9

June. The conference will be held at UN Headquarters

profile of the many

threats to the world's oceans, ranging from land-based pollution to coral bleaching, overfishing, marine habitat degradation, ocean acidification and the impacts of climate change, as well as the importance of healthy oceans to sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs. The conference will bring together Member States, civil society and business groups to highlight the perilous state of the world's oceans, as well as new commitments, partnerships and solutions. Working with

in New York. It aims to raise the


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the Conference Secretariat, the President of the General Assembly and the UN System, DPI will coordinate the implementation of a communications strategy aimed at raising global awareness of the state of the world's oceans and galvanizing public support to achieve Sustainable Goal14. The strategy will emphasize public engagement, media outreach, and the involvement of stakeholder and civil society groups.

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Working for and with women and girls remains a priority for the UN, including through Sustainable Development Goal 5. One of the priority themes for gender equality in 2017 will focus on women's economic empowerment, including through the presentation of the UN Secretary- General's High Level Panel final report. Major events, such as the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women and International Women's Day, will underscore the rights of women in the changing world of work. The International Days for the Girl Child and the Elimination of Violence against Women will also be opportunities to raise awareness on progress in achieving gender equality.

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International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation



International Day of Women and


Girls in Science International Women's Day

13-24 MARCH

61 st Commission on the Status of Women



Day to End Obstetric





Day for the


Elimination of Sexual Violence on Conflict

International Widows' Day




Day of the Girl Child



International Day of Rural Women



International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


2017 Communications Guidance