Positive Outcome at Beijing +10
Wednesday, April 6, 2005 11:35 AM

From 4 to 11 March 2005, government officials and women’s rights advocates from across the globe came together in New York City to attend the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The focus of this gathering was the 10-year review of the groundbreaking women’s rights initiative, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing Platform), which had been signed into force 10 years prior in Beijing, China.

The ten-year review got off to a rough start when the U.S. delegation led by Ellen Sauerbrey insisted that no new rights be incorporated into the text of the Beijing Platform. However, by the end of the session, delegates and advocates were able to bridge their differences on the matter and come to a consensus on a number of issues. Importantly, participants adopted a declaration that reaffirmed the commitments made ten years ago in Beijing and called on governments to take further action to promote gender equality and the advancement of women.

The newly drafted declaration welcomed governments' continued support of the Beijing Platform and stressed that the global community still faced enormous challenges with regards to women’s human rights. In light of these ongoing challenges, the declaration urges governments to continue to make efforts to implement the recommendations found in Beijing Platform and encouraged the integration of a gender perspective in the high plenary review session of the Millennium Declaration. The declaration also recognized the combined importance of the Beijing Platform and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Finally, the declaration called on members of civil society, non-governmental organizations, as well as citizen women and men of to do their part to ensure the implementation of the Beijing Platform.

Kyung-wha Kang, Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women praised the declaration, calling it an “unqualified and unconditional reaffirmation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and a pledge of further action for full and accelerated implementation of Beijing.”

In addition to the declaration that reaffirmed the principles of the Beijing Platform, the CSW adopted ten diverse resolutions. Six formal resolutions addressed:

  • gender mainstreaming in national policies and programs;
  • the possible appointment of a special rapporteur on discrimination against women;
  • trafficking;
  • integrating a gender perspective in post-disaster relief, particularly in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster;
  • indigenous women; and women’s economic advancement.

The CSW also adopted four traditional texts on:

  • women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS;
  • the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW);
  • the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan; and
  • the assistance to Palestinian women.

Such resolutions are expected to aid in the implementation of the Beijing Platform and effect change in those communities most affected by these areas of concern.

Compiled from:

Declaration Adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women at its Forty-Ninth Session as Orally Amended, E/CN.6/2005/L.1, Commission on the Status of Women, Forty-Ninth Session, 3 March 2005.

Commission on the Status of Women Adopts 10 Wide Ranging Resolutions, But Fails to Conclude Current Session, Press Release, WOM/1504, Commission on the Status of Women, Forty-Ninth Session, 11 March 2005.

Governments Pledge to Accelerate Efforts to Achieve Equality for Women and Fulfill Beijing Commitments, as UN Concludes, Press Release, Published by the UN Department of Public Information, March 2005.