Beijing+20: Review of progress underway
In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, representatives from Member States and civil society are gathering to assess the progress and challenges in implementing this landmark blueprint for women’s rights since its adoption in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Member States have recommitted themselves to Beijing at national-level reviews, held with the support of UN Women, which feed into regional-level assessments by the five UN regional commissions. Four reviews took place between November 2014 and February 2015. The outcomes of these meetings will be presented at the fifty-ninth Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) in March 2015, where Member States, UN entities and NGOs will discuss how to accelerate and address the gaps in achieving women’s rights and implementing gender equality and position women’s rights at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda.
More about the regional reviews:
With a record 21 countries submitting national reports, the Arab States high-level regional review meeting for Beijing+20 from 2-3 February was the most comprehensive review of the Beijing Platform for Action in the region to date. Organized in Cairo by the League of Arab States, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and UN Women, Member States agreed to actively ensure justice and equality for women in the Middle East.
Held in Santiago, Chile from 18-19 November, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and UN Women called for adequate resources to develop gender equality policies in the post-2015 development framework. Representatives, including founding Executive Director of UN Women and current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, also called for the establishment of a committee to address gender-sensitive budgeting and financing.
At the Asia-Pacific regional review on Beijing+20, organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and held in Bangkok on 19 November, the rights of migrant women and workers were at the top of the agenda for representatives of Member States and civil society organizations who attended the meeting. They also stressed the need to strengthen institutions, increase funding, build stronger partnerships and enhance accountability of Member States to fulfil gender equality commitments.
Read the Declaration from the meeting here.
Ahead of the Africa regional review of Beijing+20, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri called on African leaders to put gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda. On 17 November, representatives from 51 African nations came together at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa at the regional review to discuss the gaps remaining in achieving this goal, and the progress achieved since 1995.
In Europe, where the economic crisis has disproportionately impacted women, leaders at the high-level Regional Review Meeting for Beijing+20 in Geneva on 6-7 November recommended strategies to improve women’s participation in decision-making roles. While the Istanbul Convention was celebrated as a model for addressing violence against women, representatives of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), governments, experts, civil society and private sector organizations stressed the need to speed up progress on ending violence and achieving gender equality.
To read more about Beijing+20 review meetings around the world, visit our Beijing+20 campaign site.