On 26 January 2023, the Geneva Hub held its Biannual Champions Meeting, hosted by the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC). The event saw the participation of over 40 Geneva Champions, including Heads of International Organisations, Heads of Civil Society Organisations and Permanent Representatives.
Sameer Chauhan, Director of the UNICC and member of the Geneva Steering Committee, opened the event by outlining key IGC and UNICC initiatives towards promoting gender equality. He was followed by Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Chair of the IGC Global Board. Mr. Chungong issued a powerful call to action for leaders to advance gender equality in light of unprecedented global challenges and trends that threaten to undermine progress made thus far.
Ms Doreen Bogdan Martin – recently appointed as Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the first woman in the organisation’s history to hold this position – delivered the keynote speech. She shared her personal story of navigating the various roadblocks women used to and continue to face in their careers. She also highlighted the importance of closing the digital gender gap and building towards an inclusive digital future for all.
Following these inputs, Esther Dingemans, Executive Director of the Global Survivors Fund, facilitated an open discussion for Champions to connect and exchange. Interventions included updates from existing and emerging impact groups, such as sharing key themes from initial conversations around the formation of the new Climate Impact Group and plans to create a Peace and Security Impact Group, the launch of a new Champions initiative to promote men engagement as allies for gender equality, and a reminder of the importance of effective role-modeling to foster work-life balance in International Geneva.