Media advisory: Curtain-raiser press conference as 59th Commission on the Status of Women meets to assess global progress for women 20 years after Beijing Conference


Media Contacts:

Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]

Sharon Grobeisen, Ph: +1 646 781-4753; Email: sharon.grobeisen[at]

WHAT: On the occasion of the global review of progress made since the Fourth World Conference on Beijing in 1995 and ahead of International Women’s Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will brief members of the press on the upcoming 59th Commission on the Status of Women (9-20 March) and the Secretary-General’s summary report to be presented on the opening day of the session. The report presents the global review of progress on women’s empowerment, women’s rights and gender equality based on the unprecedented participation of 166 countries and inputs from civil society. It highlights the achievements made, but also concludes that progress overall has been far too slow. At the press conference, the Executive Director will also unveil a government-focused advocacy initiative PLANET 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality! urging concrete national actions and commitments.

WHO: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director

WHEN: Friday, 6 March, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Room S-0237, UN Secretariat

[The press conference will be live webcast at]

The SG’s report can be accessed at:

For press covering the press conference, UN press accreditation is required. More information at:


At the Fourth World Conference on women in Beijing twenty years ago, 189 world leaders adopted a concrete road map for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome of this conference, was an extraordinary achievement, and is still considered one of the most comprehensive blueprint for advancing women’s rights.

This year, the 59th Commission on the Status of Women occurs at a critical juncture — on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and ahead of the upcoming adoption of a post-2015 framework at the UN General Assembly in September. The Commission will take stock of the achievements and gaps 20 years after Beijing and review where women of the world stand today. Every year, world leaders and civil society organizations gather for this high-level conference. Setting a new record, more than 1,100 NGOs and a total of 8,600 representatives have registered to participate in this year’s session. About 200 side-events hosted by governments and UN agencies are planned alongside the official meetings of the Commission, with an additional 450 parallel events by civil society.