UN Advocacy

UN Advocacy


Advocacy can be done in a lot of different ways, but also on a lot of different levels. Within each of these levels, you target different people, such as community leaders or the Mayor (local), Members of Parliament and policy makers (national), international companies, organizations, or delegates at a United Nations meeting (international).

When advocacy is done on a local level, it often targets and is driven by the local community. Local advocacy tries to positively affect the local communities directly by involving them in the campaign and cooperating with them to ask for change!

We speak of national advocacy when it is done at a national level. National advocacy can target a change where the entire country benefits from, or also a change at the state/province level.

International advocacy targets a worldwide audience and national policymakers who are involved in international processes and often wants to bring change in international agreements about a specific issue. However, without advocacy on the local and national level to move decision-makers to implement international agreements, it is difficult to keep governments accountable. 


United Nations Advocacy

Whether it’s your first time or you are already a well-weathered advocate, preparing to attend a New York based United Nations (UN) event like the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), or the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), can be a daunting task. But we got your back! 

The 'So you're going to the UN, Now What?' infographic aims to help young people successfully advocate for their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). 

There are many different reasons to go to the UN. You can go to advocate for your rights, to learn, to share your experiences, to network, to gain professional experience, etcThis resource was created for anyone looking to learn more on how to successfully prepare to attend a UN process in New York. The is focused primarily on young people who want to do advocacy at the UN in New York, but it can be useful for a broader audience. It includes information on:

  • How to conduct evidence-based advocacy,
  • Creative methods for capturing public attention and support
  • How to follow-up on international commitments back home,
  • and even a hand packing list!

Factsheets on UN processes

These factsheets provide you with information on what the process is about, why it is important, and how you can get involved. This series includes Factsheets on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the 2030 Agenda, and the Human Rights Council.


2030 Agenda

Also referred to as the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or simply as the Global Goals, the 2030 Agenda provides a global blueprint for international development for the coming fifteen years. The 2030 Agenda consists of 17 SDGs and 169 Targets which cover a broad range of development issues, including improving health and education, gender equality, combatting climate change, and ending poverty.

Together with Rutgers, we developed a resource that will help you to incorporate the 2030 Agenda and SDGs in your advocacy work. Download the youth friendly guide to effective SRHR advocacy using the 2030 Agenda.You can also read all about the 2030 Agenda in our 2030 two-pager.


Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) helps the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to monitor, review, and assess the implementation of the Beijing Programme for Action (BPfA) at the national, regional, and international level. Every year member states gather at UN headquarters in New York to discuss issues related to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and to negotiate a series of action-oriented outcome documents in the form of agreed conclusions and resolutions based on one of the issues highlighted in the BPfA.

Download our Factsheet on the CSW in EnglishFrench or Spanish.


Human Rights Council

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an important part of the UN system which is responsible for the strengthening, promotion, and protection of human rights around the world. This factsheet provides you with an overview of the essentials: what is the HRC, why is it important, and how you can engage with it.

Download our Factsheet on the HRC in English, French, or Spanish.


Commission on Population and Development

The Commission on Population and Development (CPD) helps the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to monitor, review, and assess the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA) at national, regional, and international levels and advises ECOSOC on: issues and trends regarding population and development strategies, the ICPD PoA etc. The CPD takes place yearly in New York to address key thematic issues which include adolescents and youth, ageing, environment, family planning, fertility, HIV/AIDS, international migration, marriage and unions, mortality, population policies, population trends, and urbanization.

Download our Factsheet on the CPD in EnglishFrench or Spanish!


A note on language

Now that you know what you want to advocate for and who you are going to target, it's time to get started on your advocacy-journey. However, when engaging with decision-makers you'll notice that they tend to use technical and dense language that's hard to understand. But don't worry, we're going to help you get hip with the lingo! Check out the resources below, save them to your laptop or print them out to have your on-the-go advocacy dictionary with you. 

The CHOICE SRHR glossary

This glossary provides short and youth-friendly definitions of key sexual and reproductive health and right terms. It offers you a searchable database explaining all key terms you will come across when engaging with United Nations advocacy on sexual and reproductive health and rights. 


An Advocates guide to UN Language

“PP? OP?? BIS? TER?” WHAT?! With all of the different terms flying around, it can at times really feel like the United Nations (UN) has its own special language, and it can be difficult to break through all the confusing technical language. CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality has developed this guide on UN Language especially for youth advocates who are advocating for young people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in order to help them successfully navigate language advocacy at the UN. It explains what UN Language is, why it is important, and how to get involved in it.  




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