The review and appraisal will take place in the context of the 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York from 28 February - 11 March 2005.
The Commission will be focusing on two thematic issues as outlined in its multi-year programme of work:
1) Review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century"; and
2)Current challenges and forward looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women and girls
At its 48th session in 2004, the Commission decided that the review and appraisal would focus on implementation at the national level, through the expanded use of interactive dialogue, and with broad-based participation of governmental delegations at the highest level of responsibility and expertise, and of civil society and organizations within the United Nations system. There will be emphasis on the sharing of experiences and good practices in overcoming remaining challenges to implementation.
The Commission also requested the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to convene a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to which the Commission on the Status of Women will transfer its general debate during the time of its forty-ninth session on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.
The Bureau of the Commission is currently developing a proposal for a programme of work for the Commission in 2005, for the approval of Members of the Commission.
It is hoped that there will be high-level participation during the review and appraisal in the Commission on the Status of Women. This would bring a strong message of renewed and enhanced commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The first week of the Commission will offer interesting opportunities for high-level participation - at the high-level opening; the high-level roundtable on innovations in national mechanisms for gender equality; the General Debate where Member States will make national statements on achievements, gaps and challenges and renewed commitments (which may be held in the General Assembly); other interactive events mentioned earlier; and the celebration of International Women's Day with a commemoration of 30 years of United Nations efforts for gender equality. This will be held in the first week of the Commission, and not on 8 March, in order to allow for Ministers and other senior officials to return to their countries for the national-level commemoration of International Women's Day.
The United Nations Secretariat will prepare a Secretary-General's report for submission to the 49th session of the Commission. The report will be based on a variety of sources of information and statistics. These include responses to a questionnaire submitted to Member States of the United Nations, the national action plans designed to implement the Platform for Action (and submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women in 1998 and 1999); reports submitted since 1995 by States parties under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and information generated since 1995 during the review by the Commission on the Status of Women of the 12 critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action, including through expert group meetings organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women.
Other sources of information which will be utilized include Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, (PRSPs), national Human Development Reports and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) reports. National reports on other areas, such as social development and sustainable development, will also be utilized. Official statistics available from the United Nations Statistics Division, the Population Division, the regional commissions and other entities in the United Nations system (ILO, UNESCO, WHO, etc.) will be used.
Coordination has been established with United Nations entities responsible for follow-up to other global conferences in order to exchange pertinent country information, in particular with UNFPA on follow-up to the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and its review in 2002, as well as the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development in 1995 and its review in 2005.
Draft Provisional Agenda