The World Federation at the United Nations

In Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

The World Federation of Methodist Women in partnership with the Woman’s Division of the Board of Mission of the Methodist Church had an United Nations Intern Program from 1967 to 1972. A Federation intern spent one year at the Methodist Office for the UN in New York, learning about the UN, working with the UN Seminar Program and sharing with the Federation UN concerns for women and children, war and peace.

From 1972 to 1981 the Program enabled teams representing several Areas of the Federation to attend meetings and conferences organized by the United Nations. The World Council of Churches extended its NGO accreditation for the teams to attend these UN events. In 1980 the World Federation team attended the Mid-Decade Conference United Nations on Women in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1983 the World Federation was granted its own NGO Representation at the United Nations, in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC. The Federation is also a member of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO) and Renate Bloem, the Federation’s NGO Representative in Geneva, has been the President of the CONGO since 2000.

Since 2000, the World Federation has participated in the following UN Conferences: Racism, 2001 in South Africa, Ageing, 2002 in Spain, Sustainable Development, 2002 in South Africa, World Summit on the Information Society Part I, 2003 in Switzerland and Part II, 2005 in Tunisia. In addition the Federation’s Representatives attend the annual Commission on the Status of Women and numerous meetings held at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva.

Engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals: through worship, social action and prayer.

The World Vice-President is responsible for coordinating the UN representation. In her report to the World Executive in 2019, Matilda Johnson wrote:

‘On Friday, 25 September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs), referred to as the Global Goals, to come into force in January 2016; and run until 2030. It is the development priority blueprint for the next 15 years and aims to “complete the unfinished business of the MDGs”. The SDGs are universal, and apply to all countries rather than just the developing world.

Our 13th World Assembly theme- …’Chosen people’ -reminds us that as Federation women we definitely have a role to play in the implementation of these international goals, around the world. ‘ Called to proclaim’ – reinforces our advocacy role in campaigning and awareness raising on issues affecting the poor and vulnerable- climate change, hunger, inequality, injustice etc.’

Engaging with the SDGs – 2016-2021

World Federation in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, is engaging with the SDGs through: worship, social action and prayer.

The Federation is represented at New York by Dr. Brenda Smith and Chloe Jones; at Geneva by Rachel Allison and in Latin America by Ivonne Pereira-Diaz. Our representatives attend and participate in meetings, workshops and seminars at the UN and send reports to the Federation regularly. The work of the Federation at the United Nations is coordinated by the World Vice-President- Matilda Johnson.

Working with the SDGs for the Quinquinium- 2016-2021, each of the nine geographical areas have selected specific SDGs to engage with:

Area                     SDGs to work with
Britain & Ireland        SDG 4, 5 & 10
Europe Continental       SDG 1, 5 & 16
East Asia                SDG 11, 16
South Asia               SDG 5, 6 & 10
Latin America            SDG 3, 5 &10
North America            SDG 3, 4 & 5
South Pacific            SDG 13, 14 & 15
West Africa              SDG 1, 3 & 4
South Africa             SDG 1, 2, 4, 5 & 13

Brenda Smith

United Nations Representative

[United States of America]

Contact the UN Representative

Dr Brenda L. G. Smith is currently our official representative to the United Nations in New York, attending many meetings each year and reporting back faithfully to the World Officers of the Federation. Dr Brenda has enabled other Federation women to participate in sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and to engage with Ecumenical Women in leading worship and providing statements to the CSW.