The Permanent Representatives of New Zealand and Qatar will conduct consultations on arrangements for a one-day, high-level meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25) in September 2020.
Ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing conference, UN Women launched a campaign called 'Generation Equality: Realizing women's rights for an equal future,' including demands for equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment, and health care services that respond to women's and girls' needs.
In March 2020, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will conduct a review and appraisal of the Beijing Platform’s implementation.
22 May 2019: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has agreed to convene a high-level meeting to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in Beijing, China in September 1995. The Permanent Representative of New Zealand, Craig John Hawke, and the Permanent Representative of Qatar, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, will conduct consultations on arrangements for the meeting.
In 1995, by the report of the Fourth Conference, governments adopted a 38-paragraph declaration and the 129-page Beijing Platform for Action. The Platform identifies 12 “critical areas of concern,” on which the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has conducted periodic reviews (in 2000, 2005 and 2010). The areas of concern are: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.
The UNGA meeting is an opportunity to “reclaim the agenda,” Espinosa said.
UNGA resolution 73/249, adopted on 22 May 2019, calls for a one-day meeting on the margins of the general debate of the 75th UNGA session, which will convene in September 2020. By the text, UN Member States recommend that the UNGA President conduct consultations to finalize the organizational arrangements for the meeting.
Espinosa has described “painfully slow” progress in achieving the Beijing Platform’s objectives, noting that women are denied basic rights and needs in every region, and at the current rate it will take 108 years to close the global gender gap and 202 years to achieve economic gender parity. In her letter appointing the co-facilitators, UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces writes that the high-level meeting in September 2020 is an opportunity to “reclaim the agenda.”
Ahead of the one-day celebration meeting, the CSW’s 64th session in March 2020 will conduct a review and appraisal of the Beijing Platform’s implementation. According to UN Women, the review will assess current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Chair of the Bureau for CSW 64 is Mher Margaryan of Armenia. In preparation for CSW 64 and the Beijing+25 review, the UN regional commissions are conducting regional reviews. National reviews also will contribute to the discussion.
UN Women notes that 2020 will mark not only the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform but also the five-year milestone in the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda; therefore, the year is a “pivotal” one for accelerating gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. In the leadup to the 25-year review, UN Women plans to build on this fifth anniversary of the SDGs, as well as the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and the tenth anniversary of UN Women’s establishment.
Launching a campaign called ‘Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future,’ UN Women says the Beijing Platform for Action remains “the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere,” and recalls that it “set out how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back” from equality in both the private and public spheres. The Generation Equality campaign demands equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and decision-making in all areas of life. [Co-facilitators’ appointment] [UN Women Webpage on Beijing+25 Preparations] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on Beijing+25 background and preparations]