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Memoranda of understanding






The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)


  1. the United Nations Charter, which specifies the entitlement of men and women to enjoy equal rights
  2. the Beijing Platform for Action, which calls for empowerement of women and gender mainstreaming into the economy,
  3. the statement on «Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in the Work of the United Nations System : A commitment for Action in 1998, «adopted by ACC at its regular session in 1998 ; and ACC Guideline Note on Regional and Sub-regional Development Cooperation, approved on behalf of ACC by the CCPOQ in 1999, which calls for strengthening inter-agency cooperation at the regional level,
  4. the agreed conclusions of the ECE Regional Preparatory Meeting on the 2000 Review of Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the confirmation that member countries wants the Commission to be further involved in gender issues, particularly as they relate to countries in transition,
  5. the UNIFEM mission to act as a catalyst within the United Nations system, supporting efforts that link the needs and concerns of women to all critical issues on national, regional and global agendas;

wish to coordinate their efforts in order to pursue their common objectives, establish general principles and identify areas in which cooperation may take place for the benefit of women in the ECE region, especially in transition countries, and therefore hereby agree to the following principles governing their cooperation:

Article 1


The purpose of this memorandum is to establish a framework for collaboration and coordination between UNECE and UNIFEM based on the comparative advantages of these two agencies with the following objectives:

  1. to strengthen regional cooperation in gender mainstreaming through the exchange of experiences and best practices and facilitating policy convergence,
  2. to develop a framework to analyze and monitor the impact of economic development on women in the ECE region, especially in countries in transition, and promote the incorporation of the findings from such analysis into policy dialogue and decision-making,
  3. to raise awareness, encourage and strengthen the capacity of governments, intergovernmental organizations and the private sector to review and revise, as appropriate, their respective policies and practices to address both the challenges and opportunities of the transition and globalization processes on women.

Article 2

Areas of collaboration and coordination

The areas of collaboration and coordination between ECE and UNIFEM will include the following:

  1. developing new initiatives aimed at introducing a gender perspective into macroeconomic analyses, policies and practices;
  2. improving gender responsiveness of legal and regulatory frameworks in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States building upon the United Nations norms and standards and using the Acquis Communautaire as one entry point;
  3. providing support for the diversification of job and employment options for women in transition countries such as entrepreneurship, home-based work and other atypical forms of work.

Article 3

Responsibilities of ECE and UNIFEM

  1. ECE can contribute by providing:

    1. a regional forum for the discussion of policies and best practices in  areas of collaboration with UNIFEM,
    2. expertise in gender statistics and in analysis of economic trends in the ECE region,
    3. expertise in and developing guidelines for legal frameworks including norms and standards at a regional level.

  2. UNIFEM  can contribute by:

    1. facilitating dialogue between government and civil society to promote advocacy for gender responsive economic and social development;
    2. contributing to the development of national and regional capacity to incorporate gender equality considerations in policy formulation and implementation;
    3. providing guidance and support to ECE on matters related to gender mainstreaming into the economy;
    4. facilitating the establishment of working contacts at national and sub-regional level through the network of UNIFEM staff and partners in the region.

  3. ECE and UNIFEM will:

    1. share information and coordinate their activities at the regional and sub-regional level;
    2. coordinate efforts to secure funding for analytical and operational activities related to the areas of collaboration;
    3. carry out joint projects at regional and sub-regional level such as training and advisory services related to agreed areas of collaboration;
    4. adapt and/or develop, translate and disseminate training materials, guidelines and other materials related to the agreed areas of collaboration.

Article 4

General conditions

  1. Any specific activity undertaken jointly by ECE and UNIFEM shall be the subject of a separate document and/or exchange of letters stating respective responsibilities, including, if necessary, funding. It is understood between the Parties that no such activity shall be implemented until it has been fully funded.
  2. This Memorandum will enter into force upon its signature and shall be of indefinite duration.
  3. This Memorandum may be modified at any time subject to the mutual written consent of the Parties.
  4. Any Party upon 90 days’ written notice may terminate memorandum. Notwithstanding its termination, the provisions of this Memorandum shall survive to the extent necessary to permit the orderly settlement of accounts between the Parties and any other body concerned and to bring ongoing activities to a proper close.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the duly authorized representatives affix their signature to signify their agreement.

For the United Nations Development Fund
  for Women
For the Economic Commission
  for Europe
Noeleen Heyzer Danuta Hübner
Executive Director, UNIFEM  Executive Secretary ECE