The 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference has officially opened in New York with the world mourning the death of 157 people who perished in the Ethiopian air crash.

During the official opening ceremony, a minute of silence was observed in honor of the 157 deceased.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres revealed that among the deceased people included 21 employees of the United Nations.

Turning to the forum, the UN Secretary General said the world must come up with robust negotiating processes to end conflicts and bring peace, adding that women are a critical sector that must be included at all levels, hence the need to be gender sensitive when recruiting employees.

“Women are key in peace building and sustainable development of the world,” he said.

The CSW Chairperson, Geraldin Byrne said comprehensive social protection systems must be adopted by governments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

She said there is no going back in the drive to change the narrative of women who are yet to be fully embraced by societies.

More than 100 000 women from UN member countries are participating.

Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa is attending the conference together with a delegation of senior government officials that include Senate President Marble Chinomona, ministers of state for provincial affairs; Cde Appolonio Munzverengwi, Cde Mary Mliswa and Cde Monica Mavhunga, and the Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Fredrick Shava.