Subject: [fem-women2000 135] UN Women Watch Update(2000.01.27)
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 15:15:11 +0900
Seq: 135




Preparations for Beijing+5 - Special Session of the General Assembly,
Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the
                   Twenty-first Century
             [ last updated: 27 January 2000]

1. At its forty-third Session, the Commission on the Status of Women
acting as Preparatory Committee for the Special Session adopted
resolution (E/CN.6/1999/L.2 Rev.1) on Preparations for the Special
Session. The following is an up-date on responses to the resolution
and activities currently underway or being planned.

Preparations at the national level

2. The Commission invited Governments that had not yet done so to
prepare national action plans. As of 27 January 2000, 116 Governments
and two Observers had prepared such plans and submitted them to the
Division for the Advancement of Women.

3. As of 12 January,2000,  133 Member States and two Observers had
responded to the Secretary-General’s questionnaire on the
implementation of the Platform for Action.  These reports are
available for review at the DAW. They will also be made available on
the DAW website.

Preparations at the regional level

4. The CSW encouraged all UN regional commissions and other
intergovernmental organizations to carry out activities in support of
the preparations. In this regard, the schedule of regional preparatory
meetings is as follows:

ESCAP ? High-level meeting to Review the Implementation of the Jakarta
Declaration and Plan of Action and Regional Implementation of the
     Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was held 26-29 October,
1999, Bangkok, Thailand;

ECA ? Sixth African Regional Conference on Women to assess progress in
the implementation of the Beijing and African Platforms for Action was
held 22-27 November 1999, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;

ESCWA ? Second Arab Meeting to follow-up Beijing was held 15-18
December 1998; Arab Conference on Integrated Follow-up to Global
Conferences was held 29 November - 1 December, 1999, Beirut, Lebanon;

ECE ? ECE Regional Preparatory Meeting on the 2000 Review of the
Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action was held
19-21January 2000, Geneva and adopted agreed conclusions.

ECLAC ? 8th Regional Conference will be held 8-10 February 2000, Lima,

5. On 10 May, the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of
Women wrote to a number of intergovernmental organizations such as the
OAU and the OAS, encouraging their active involvement in the
preparatory process at various levels, and inviting them to take
special initiatives to maintain the momentum of the Beijing Platform
for Action.

Preparations at the global level

CSW as Preparatory Committee

6.  Ms Rose Odera of Kenya was elected  on 28 June, 1999 as the
Chairperson of the PrepCom.  This election followed receipt of
information by the Secretary from the Government of South Africa that
Ms. Irma Engelbrecht, the elected Chairperson of the PrepCom, would no
longer be available to serve.

7. A  joint meeting of CSW and CSW PrepCom Bureau's met on 11 October
to discuss the programme of work for the 44th Session of the CSW and
the third Session of the PrepCom.

8. An advance unedited version of the provisional agenda, with
annotations and the work programme for the CSW and PrepCom are
available from the DAW website(E/CN.6/2000/1 and  E/CN.6/2000/PC/1).

9. Informal consultations were held by the Bureau of the Commission on
the Status of Women acting as the Preparatory Committee for the
Special Session on 14 October to discuss the Political Declaration,
other documentation for the PrepCom in March and the Special Session
in June, and the provisional agenda for the CSW/PrepCom.  Further
consultations were convened on 23-24, 29 November, and 2-3 December,
1999.  Three issues were brought to the attention of delegates for
consultation: 1) the draft political declaration; 2) proposed
structure for the outcome document; and 3) modalities for NGO
participation in the Special Session.

10. The Bureau decided that two panel discussions will be held during
the 44th Session of CSW and the third session of the PrepCom,
respectively.  The first panel will be on emerging issues, trends and
new approaches affecting women or equality between women and men.  The
second panel will discuss an outlook on gender equality, development
and peace beyond year 2000.  The PrepCom Bureau will select panelists
>from among candidates nominated by Governments, the UN system and
civil society.

Review and appraisal of the implementation of the Platform for Action

11. The Division for the Advancement of Women has been analysing the
responses to the questionnaire on implementation of the Platform for
Action in order to prepare the comprehensive review and appraisal
document to be submitted to the Preparatory Committee in March 2000.
Responses received from Governments after the deadline of 30 April
1999 have been taken into account in the review.  A total of 133
reports from Member States and two reports from observers have been
analysed.  Those reports that were received after end of December 1999
could not be included in the analysis.  The review and appraisal is
made up of three parts: Part I: background and overview of trends in
the implementation of the Platform for Action; Part II: critical areas
of concern, institutional and financial arrangements; Part III: trends
and challenges of global change.  The report is now available online
on the DAW website in advance unedited version.

12. The United Nations agencies have been invited to supply
information to DAW for the assessment of the implementation of the
System-wide medium term plan for the advancement of women (1996-2001),
or SWMTP. The SWMTP is the UN system response to the Platform for
Action and related conference agreements. This assessment will be
submitted to the CSW in March 2000 as part of review and appraisal.

13. An international workshop on "Beijing +5 - Future Actions and
Initiatives" was convened by the Division for the Advancement of
Women, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission for
Western Asia (ESCWA) at the United Nations House in Beirut (Lebanon),
>from 8 to 10 November 1999.  The workshop was attended by experts from
all regions and observers from the United Nations system.   The
recommendations of the workshop will be forwarded to the Commission on
the Status of Women acting as the Preparatory Committee for the
Special Session.

WomenWatch online working groups

14. WomenWatch has conducted online Working Groups on the 12 critical
areas. The discussions by these Working Groups are summarized in a
report and will be submitted to the CSW acting as the Preparatory
Committee for the Special Session (E/CN.6/2000/PC/CRP.1).   The
discussion and weekly summaries are available from the WomenWatch

Activities of the UN system

15. In regular reports by the Secretary-General to the General
Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women and the ECOSOC (see
for example, E/CN.6/1999/2), the Secretariat compiles information on
follow-up to the Beijing Conference by UN agencies, intergovernmental
bodies, and NGOs. Moreover, the report on the Initiation of the
Comprehensive Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the
Platform for Action (E/CN.6/1999/PC/3) submitted to the Preparatory
Committee in March 1999, contained specific information on
preparations for the Special Session.

16. The following is an interim update on activities reported to be
underway or planned by a number of entities of the United Nations
system related to preparations for the five-year review:

    IACWGE ? has developed a draft statement on Gender Equality:
    a vision for the 21st century for adoption by the ACC at its
    Fall session, 1999.

    UNDP - has been working in the context of the country
    programmes to collect good practices with a focus on
    political and economic empowerment issues linked to poverty
    eradication and identifying challenges to institutions in
    introducing gender mainstreaming. In June, a workshop on
    gender based budgeting was held in New York. The Africa
    Bureau is doing an evaluation with the assistance of DAW of
    gender mainstreaming in UNDP projects in that region.

    UNICEF - has been consulting its national and regional
    offices to develop its activities and to assess at the
    country level, the impact of the Beijing follow up. A
    progress report on follow up was before the Executive Board
    in June 1999.

    The Department of Public Information has developed an
    information strategy for the Special Session in
    collaboration with DAW which includes print, television and
    video, radio and use of the internet.

    WHO is focusing on: violence against women, improving women
    ’s health, gender differences in epidemiology, health
    promotion, non-communicable diseases, gender mainstreaming,
    information dissemination, and advocacy. A report reviewing
    WHO activities in connection with the Platform for Action
    has been already issued.

    The World Bank is preparing a Policy Research Report on
    gender and development to be published in spring 2000.

    The OHCHR is focusing on trafficking on women and girls. The
    ITC is considering making a contribution in the area of
    export-led poverty eradication

    The World Intellectual Property Organization organised an
    exhibition of women inventors.

    WFP has conducted a review of the implementation of its
    Beijing commitments and the Executive Board has made
    recommendations for further action.

    UNFPA is preparing a series of publications focusing on:
    progress in the implementation of both the ICPD and the
    Beijing agreements, success stories collected at the
    national level on mainstreaming gender concerns in
    Population and Development programmes, UNFPA's experience in
    implementing the Beijing Platform for Action, progressive
    gains on reproductive and sexual health, including
    reproductive rights, in the various international
    conference.   It plans to hold a high-level forum on Best
    Practices in Gender, Population and Development during the
    UNGASS in June 2000.   During this Forum selected national
    delegates will be able to present success stories in
    mainstreaming Gender in Population and Development.

    UNIFEM is preparing a report on women’s progress towards
    empowerment and gender equality and will support
    participation of NGOs at CSW and the Special Session. UNIFEM
    has launched a Beijing +5 website which has regularly
    updated information on activities being undertaken at the
    country level.  It is developing and implementing media
    strategies to stimulate widespread coverage of Beijing +5
    activities and results to ensure widespread access to and
    participation in Beijing +5 discussions and debates. It has
    also supported government and non-governmental partners to
    undertake analysis and preparation of reports at the local,
    national, regional and international level that lead to
    recommendations and commitments emerging from Beijing +5

    17. In keeping with resolution L.2 Rev.1 of the Preparatory
    Committee (operative paragraph 10), the UN system, in the context
    of its WomenWatch internet project, is collaborating with a
    network of NGOs to gather views for the review and appraisal of
    the critical areas of concern.

    Preparations by non-governmental organizations and
    intergovernmental organizations

    18. The Inter-parliamentary Union sent a questionnaire to
    national parliamentarians to gather information on women’s
    political experience and their contribution to democratic
    processes in follows up to the Platform for Action. The results
    of this questionnaire will be shared with the Division for the
    Advancement of Women for use in the review and appraisal. The
    Parliamentarians for Global Action are developing a project to
    exchange information on the follow-up to Beijing among

    19. Soroptomists International is considering sending a
    questionnaire to its members worldwide to gather information on
    progress in implementing the Platform for Action. The ICFTU
    Equality Committee will gather information from women trade
    unionists on follow up to the Platform for Action. The
    International Women’s Tribune Centre has published two issues in
    a series entitled Preview 2000 that cover plans and preparations
    for the five-year review of the Platform for Action. NGOs based
    in Canada are mobilizing worldwide participation in a World March
    of Women to take place in the year 2000 ending in New York in
    October 2000. Flora Tristan with UNICEF and UNIFEM has published
    case studies, entitled Roads to Beijing, which reflects on the
    Beijing process in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Women’s
    Sports Foundation and the International Olympic Committee with
    the Friends of the United Nations are planning a seminar/event on
    the crosscutting issue of women and sports to be held in March
    2000 during the CSW.

    20. The preparation for the NGO Working Session, 3-4 June 2000,
    is on its way. The Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations
    in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO)
    facilitated the first meeting of the international planning
    committee on 11 August 1999. Some initial discussions took place
    on coordination modality with inputs and clarification from the
    Division for the Advancement of Women. Next meeting date of the
    international planning committee is to be announced.

    21. CONGO is inviting groups preparing alternative reports for
    their country and/or region on the implementation progress of the
    Beijing Platform for Action. CONGO regards that such reports are
    vital in determining the level of interest and action in the
    subject and hopes to launch regional and global alternative
    reports. So far, information has been received from Japan and the
    Pacific region. Interested NGOs are invited to contact CONGO at or Women’s GlobalNet at Women’s
    GlobalNet is a bi-weekly email/fax bulletin of regional and
    sub-regional activities and initiatives worldwide, monitoring
    initiatives around the Beijing Platform for Action.  CONGO and
    NGOs for Women 2000 will hold an open panel discussion on
    "Beijing +5: Setting Targets" on 22 November 1999.

    22. A score card/checklist for monitoring implementation of
    critical areas of concern on women and the media has been
    completed by Global WENT 99 as a possible template for other
    critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action. It
    will be disseminated to media networks, NGOs and other civil
    society organisation worldwide. For further information contact:

    23. As part of their campaign for the Beijing +5 Special Session
    next year, Equality Now is highlighting laws which explicitly
    discriminate against women. Despite repeated legal affirmations
    of the commitment to equality that are often incorporated into
    national constitutions as well as international law,
    discriminatory laws remain in force. They are collecting texts of
    discriminatory laws in preparation for the campaign. Furthermore,
    a Women’s Action has been issued to cite these laws and call on
    the government responsible for them to ensure that the laws are
    rescinded or amended before the Beijing +5 summit. At the Special
    Session their actions will be highlighted as a show of genuine
    commitment to, rather than disregard for, the fundamental tenets
    of the Platform for Action.

    24. The Institute for Women's Leadership is organizing the Global
    Forum of Women Political Leaders from 17-19 January 2000 in
    Manila, Philippines. In preparation for the Beijing+5 Review,
    female senior politicians and members of political parties as
    well as NGO and trade union leaders will gather together to
    assess the changes in women's power and decision-making. The
    Forum will examine the impact of women's political leadership on
    public policy, political processes, and governing institutions,
    and negotiate strategic actions.

    25. The NGO Working Groups on Girls (New York and Geneva) are
    preparing an alternative report to that of governments, through
    evaluating recent progress for girls. The purpose of the report
    is to document the gaps between commitments and action,
    obstacles, and successful efforts by governments and NGOs. The
    report is to be presented to governments and NGOs at the Special
    Session in June 2000.

    26. Isis International-Manila has prepared the Primer on the
    Beijing+5 Review which contains basic information on activities,
    schedules, contact organizations and individuals involved in the
    preparations and the actual conduct of the Special Session. The
    Primer is designed to inform and encourage the involvement of
    women's groups and organizations in the Asia and the Pacific
    region in assessing an international policy document that seeks
    to advance and promote women's empowerment and development. The
    Primer can be accessed at website:

    27. The Asian Women's Resource Exchange of AWORC is an
    internet-based women's information service and network in Asia.
    It is an initiative geared towards developing cooperative
    approaches and partnerships in increasing access and exploring
    applications of new information and communication technologies
    for women's empowerment. AWORC has set up a website
    ( as its contribution to the
    Beijing+5 review process in Asia and the Pacific. The site
    highlights resources, activities and organizations of women in
    the region. It aims to serve as an information and communication
    channel for women's organizations working on various aspects of
    the review process.  AWORC organised the Asian Women's Electronic
    Network Training Workshop from  21-26 June 1999 at the Sookmyung
    Women's University in Seoul, Korea. The workshop was designed to
    assist other women NGOs in developing online information for the
    Beijing +5 review

    28. The Feminist Majority Foundation will be organizing Feminist
    Expo 2000 from 31 March to 2 April 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland,
    USA. It intends to bring together women's groups from all over
    the world and every sector of the women's movement to "showcase
    the power of the feminist movement, its ideas and vision for the
    twenty-first century, as well as the diversity of its work,
    constituencies, and accomplishments". Preparations for the
    Beijing+5 Conference and strategies for realizing the Beijing
    Platform for Action will be discussed. Further information can be
    obtained from

    29. Zonta International has sent out a survey questionnaire to
    its clubs to gather information about progress for women in each
    Zonta country and to establish the skills necessary for effective
    advocacy through the process of obtaining this information. Zonta
    International intends to feed the findings of the survey into its
    preparation for the Beijing+5.

    30. The National Council for Research on Women, in  collaboration
    with DAW and UNDP, held its 1999 Annual Conference from December
    9-11 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Focused on
    the visions and values of women's and girls leadership, the
    Conference featured key women leaders.  It also discussed women's
    and girls' agendas for the year 2000 election in the United
    States and the five-year review of the Beijing Platform for

    31. Women Action 2000, a global NGO electronic network for
    Beijing Plus Five, is working to develop a communications network
    and information-sharing strategy that will allow women in every
    world region to participate and impact on the Beijing +5 review.
 Supported and sponsored by WomenWatch, Women Action 2000 held a
    five day workshop from September 27 to October 2, 1999 in Seoul,
    Korea, to train regional information facilitators, regional
    website construction and maintenance people, to develop a global
    website that would serve as a central site for the collection,
    sharing and linking of information on the review process.
    WomenAction 2000 has also undertaken the facilitating of the
    WomenWatch online working group on Women and Media. The global
    website has been launched. For further
    information, contact :

    32. US Host Committee has been set up to coordinate and organize
    a NGO forum in New York in parallel with the special session. For
    further information, contact Ms. Promita Sengupta, Programme
    Coordinator, US Host Committee, c/o Sister Fund, 116 East 116th
    Street, 7th floor, New York, NY 10003, USA, tel: (212) 228-9605,
    fax: (212) 260-4633, email:

          [Last updated:26 January 2000]

G1 Awar

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