PLANNING FOR BEIJING +15
On the agenda at the recently concluded 2009 Commission on the Status of
Women (CSW) were four brainstorming sessions focusing on plans for the 15th
anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA +15) which will take
place next year. Although there will be no special session for Beijing +15
convened by the UN, ideas proposed by NGOs for the 15-year anniversary
include the following:
report on the current condition of women, to create a vision of the
future, and to address the gap between words and deeds.
renew awareness, commitment and engagement on the need to implement
the Beijing PFA at all levels, including international, regional,
national and local.
promote the critical need for implementation, monitoring and evaluation
of the PFA.
Participants also stressed that the
NGO Beijing +15 event should support the Gender Equality Architecture
Reform campaign (GEAR) which is advocating for the
development of a new international women's agency at the UN and capitalize
on GEAR infrastructure, mobilize existing allies while engaging new ones,
particularly men and youth groups, and strategically communicate to
The idea was put forward to launch a Beijing +15 campaign which would
include the development of a Beijing + 15 Communications Toolkit that could
be disseminated at the regional and country level to support each country's
effort to deliver one key output: a document identifying 12 key
accomplishments that have been made since Beijing and highlighting 12 key
areas where critical gaps remain. October was proposed as a campaign launch
date, with country-level events held monthly from now until the March 2010
CSW. It was envisioned that the final NGO event would take place in
the days prior to the CSW, with country-level and New York-based rallies
occurring simultaneously to create awareness about BPFA, and to bring
specific attention to national priorities.
To coordinate this campaign, it was suggested that an NGO Coordinating
Committee be formed to include the NGO CSW Working Group, participants from
GEAR and other international and national networks, NGOs at all levels, and
relevant government ministries. Participants emphasized the need to
collaborate with schools, the private sector, religious and traditional
leaders, ambassadors, academia and celebrities to execute national plans,
although there was general consensus that appropriate partnerships would
need to be considered on a country-by-country basis. It was also suggested
that an honorary board of directors be created to act as public figures in
support of the event.
Several key challenges emerged that require on-going consideration in the
groups voiced the need to be included in the coordination committee.
They stated that there is currently both a lack of general
awareness and a need for youth to explore how Beijing is relevant to
them in order to ensure that it continues to have relevance moving
second issue expressed by representatives from developing countries
was the logistical and financial constraints of holding events on a
monthly basis in the run-up to the 2010 CSW and the challenges on
managing events at home while preparing to be in NYC for the CSW.
third issue raised was the need to ensure that any communications
strategy developed could be adaptable to the conditions of different
countries. For countries where ICT is integral, blogs and interactive
tools would be key. In countries with low literacy rates and/or
limited access to electricity, radio should be a primary vehicle, etc.
PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR REGIONAL BEIJING + 15
MEETING IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
The Asia -Pacific Women's Watch has started preparations for the
Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing + 15. It will be held in the Philippines on
October 1-25, 2009
and will be hosted by Miriam College. The Forum will highlight the
accomplishments and contributions of civil society, especially women's
organizations towards the attainment of the strategic objectives of the
Beijing Platform for Action.