United Nations

In order to bring the voices of our grantees to the bigger discussion of these important issues, VGIF has established a presence at the UN in New York. By engaging with UN agencies and with other NGOs, we are also able to gather information that can be useful for our local grantees and that helps VGIF make strategic decisions about its own grantmaking.

VGIF Grantees and the United NationsUN treaties, decisions, and outcome documents of meetings like the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) can be important tools for VGIF grantees. They are often used to advocate for certain rights and to hold governments accountable for meeting commitments they have made in regards to gender equality. In October 2014, VGIF polled its grantees to learn if and how they use these potential tools. When asked how they currently use UN information or documents in their work, ninety-one percent (91%) of respondents reported using UN information or documents to educate women and girls about their rights. Close to three-quarters (71%) of respondents said they use UN information or documents to educate community members, including men and boys.

Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals

VGIF Funding and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

As the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approached, governments realized that many of the goals would not be met, and thus discussion began on a set of new and better goals that would replace them. After two years of intensive input and months of Member State negotiations, in September of 2015, all 193 countries agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals. Over the next 15 years, these 17 goals and 169 targets are expected to end poverty and heal the planet.

VGIF's grantmaking is rooted in women and girls gaining access to human rights and social justice. Our grants overlap with many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, 11 of the 17 directly relate to VGIF's funding and our grantees' work.

This list shows how VGIF’s 2014 projects align with the SDGs.

VGIF projects (57% of 2014 projects) addressed women's economic development and empowerment.
Relates to:
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development.

projects (30%) addressed women's and girls' access to food and water, resources, safe and sustainable agricultural practices and land use.

Relates to:
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

projects (27%) addressed women's and girls' health, wellness, and bodily integrity, supporting efforts to increase women's access to healthcare services as well as efforts to reduce violence against women.
Relates to:
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

projects (27%) addressed laws and policies related to women's and girls' rights, representation, and leadership.

Relates to:
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

projects (16%) addressed women's and girls' access to formal schooling and to literacy education for unschooled individuals.
Relates to:
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

VGIF Internship Program

VGIF draws on the local talent and interests of university students in and around New York City as representatives to the United Nations. These students help keep VGIF connected to the UN on a weekly basis. The internship also provides a unique opportunity for young women (and men) to learn about both the UN work and how it relates to international development efforts at the grassroots level. The UN interns report back to VGIF information that can be shared with grantees, VGIF board/staff, and can help inform our grantmaking. Blogs written by our UN interns also help us keep our members and grantees informed of important happenings at the UN.

VGIF's UN Interns

Current UN Internship Opportunities

VGIF's Official Presence at the UN

1997 - VGIF was recognized by the United Nations’ Department of Public Information (DPI).2004 - VGIF was granted consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).   

UN NGO groups where VGIF is a member
VGIF links with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and NGO committees focused on women and girls accessing their human rights, development issues, and poverty reduction in order to strengthen our grantmaking and to provide knowledge both to our members and to our grantees.  

Working Group on Girls
The Working Group on Girls (WGG) is a coalition of over 80 national and international non-governmental organizations with representation at the United Nations dedicated to promoting the human rights of the girl child in all areas and stages of her life, advancing the inclusion and status of girls and assisting them to develop their full potential as women.
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY supports the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women. The NGO CSW/NY advocates for gender architecture reform at the UN, women’s rights and the advancement of women and girls worldwide. In its work with the NGO Committees on the Status of Women in Geneva and Vienna, the NGO CSW/NY supports the Beijing Platform for Action, UN Security Resolution 1325, the Millennium Development Goals and CEDAW.
NGO Committee on Sustainable Development
The NGO Committee on Sustainable Development advocates for sustainable development as defined in Agenda 21, adopted by the UN Conference on Environment and Development, as incorporated into the Johannesburg Plan of Action adopted at the World Summit for Sustainable Development, and as incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the Millennium Summit. The global climate crisis, a cross-cutting issue, is an important Committee focus.
NGO Committee on Social Development
The NGO Committee for Social Development is dedicated to raising awareness and holding discussions on social development issues taken up by the UN System and in particular by the UN Commission for Social Development. The Committee also advocates on social development issues in other forums such as the Commission for Sustainable Development, Commission on the Status of Women, Economic and Social Council, and the General Assembly. Committee members keep one another informed and deliver group statements to the UN voicing ideas and positions on key social development issues. In addition, the Committee is focused on reviewing the outcome of the World Summit on Social Development.
NGO Committee on Financing for Development
The NGO Committee on Financing for Development at the United Nations advocates for a worldwide economy that is environmentally and socially sustainable, ethical, and people-centered. Guided by the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, it urges policymakers to support development strategies that end global poverty and advance human rights. This committee seeks international financial systems that are fair and truly representative of all people. It is motivated by the moral imperatives underlying the United Nations Charter and the missions of the organizations its members represent.
CONGO’s vision is to be the primary support and platform for a civil society represented by a global community of informed, empowered and committed NGOs that fully participate with the UN in decision-making and programs leading to a better world, a world of economic and social justice