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UN General Assembly Special Session (Beijing +5): Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the 21st Century
New York; 5-9 June 2000

BNT (version française)


Highlights from Tuesday 6 June

On Tuesday, 6 June, the Plenary met in the morning and afternoon. Working Group I, chaired by Kirsten Mlacak (Canada), met in the morning to discuss Sections II and III. Working Group II, chaired by Asith Bhattacharjee (India), met in the morning, afternoon and evening to discuss Section IV. Contact groups met in morning, afternoon and evening sessions to debate paragraphs on globalization and health. Photo left: Yakin Ertürk , Director, Division for the Advancement of Women, and Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs at the lauching of the Gender Awareness Information and Networking System. Delegates heard statements on the review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the PFA's 12 critical areas of concern. Speakers included two Vice-Presidents, one Head of Government, two Deputy Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers, four Vice-Ministers and two Chiefs of Delegation. Plenary statements can be found on the Internet at: IN THE CORRIDORS As at least one pundit-of-the-podium wittily refers to post-Special Session intersessionals, delegates are reflecting on options that include: no document, a weak document, a miracle document, or a document that is never completed - not an unprecedented event in UN history. One regional NGO caucus has announced its support for the first option, but observers note that there is no organized force to make political hay out of the fall of the Beijing process. Other activists say they've seen enough, and are ready to return to work on the national level. Meanwhile, there are some persistent advocates who still hawkishly follow the negotiations, even assisting UN security guards in keeping their compatriots out of last night's hot debate on reproductive health [and services]. Don't miss today's interdenominational prayer service for the outcomes document…

See below for photos and RealAudio from side events

The Role of Men and Boys in Ending Gender-based Violence Against Women
Best Practices to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls
Best Practices in Promoting Gender Equality in Population and Development
Launching of the Gender Awareness Information and Networking System
International Organisation of the Francophonie

(RealAudios below include Eveline Herfkens, Minister for Development and Cooperation, Netherlands, Noeleen Heyzer, UNIFEM Executive Director, and Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, Vice-President, Uganda)





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Working Group II Chair Asith Bhattacharjee (India) WGII discussed paragraphs on international and national actions, including on consumption and production patterns, international trade, action-oriented programmes, and human rights policies.


In Working Group I on armed conflict, JUSCANZ (left) proposed, while the EU supported and Bangladesh opposed, incorporation of language from GA Resolution 54/105 on the adoption of the Rome Statute of the ICC, which provides that, inter alia, rape and other forms of sexual violence are war crimes. The EU suggested, and JUSCANZ opposed, text on any other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity. Chair Mlacak referred the text to a contact group.

Panel Discussion: "The Role of Men and Boys in Ending Gender-based Violence"
Organized by the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, the Division for the Advancement of Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM and the UN Men's Group for Gender Equality, cosponsored by the CSW PrepCom. The panel, chaired by Richard Jolly, Special Adviser to the Administrator of UNDP (below right). Norman Tjombe, Legal Assistance Center, Namibia (below left) discussed rape and a new gender-neutral law in Namibia and said all rape trials should be made public. He discussed a national conference on organizing men against violence against women held in Namibia. Mufti Ziauddin, Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan (below center), discussed Islamic Law and implications for women and the lack of social justice in the legal system in Pakistan.

Above photo: Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UNIFEM

Spanish-speaking delegates request translation of the event (right)

Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UNIFEM (above) thanked all the men that are working toward breaking the cycle of violence. She discussed UNIFEM's zero violence campaign. She said the campaign addressed four kinds of violence: in the home, traditional practices, war and economic reasons, such as trafficking. She said the campaign was focused at four different levels: protection, prevention, social services and transformation of the justice system. She said 9 UN agencies came together in partnership with governments and civil society. She emphasized the power of the media. Violence against women is everybody's problem and they went to the schools to change curriculum and had the police put posters in the stations. She highlighted protocols between the police and the women's crisis centers.

Michael Kaufman, White Ribbon Campaign, Canada, discussed the epidemic of violence against women and said throughout the world men have been silent regarding violence against women, He said the collective silence has allowed the violence to continue. He said the violence is an outcome two sets of contradictory factors: men's power and their pain. Mechanism to assert power and to compensate for their fear and insecurity. He said understanding this is a bridge to develop ways and policies to reach men and to involve men in being partners with women. He said the white ribbon is worn by men and boys as a public pledge and promise never to commit violence against women and never to condone it. He said the campaign has spread throughout the world and has helped to break the silence. For more information:

Norman Tjombe, Legal Assistance Center, Namibia, Mufti Ziauddin, Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan , Richard Jolly, Special Adviser to the Administrator of UNDP

Panel Discussion: Best Practices in Promoting Gender Equality in Population and Development
Organized by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Panelists included Eveline Herfkens, Minister for Development and Cooperation, Netherlands, Aicha Belarbi, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco, Moderator Nafis Sadek, Executive Director, UNFPA, Mu Sochua, Minister of Women and Veteran's Affairs, Cambodia, Hadja Mariama Bruce Aribot, Minster for Social Affairs, Gunieau, Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, Vice-President, Uganda (left)

Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, Vice-president, Uganda (left), said there are many issues that cut across all cultures. She challenged the UN system to put money into researching and working with men so that men tell women what they are afraid of. She discussed serious issues, such as HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation, with humor. Mu Sochua, Cambodia (below center), outlined her strategy in using the Beijing Platform for Action in promoting gender equality. She highlighted challenges such as, high fertility rates, high maternal mortality rates, spread of HIV/AIDS, and increasing rates of trafficking. Hadja Mariama Bruce Aribot, Minister for Social Affairs, Guinea (below right), described the "laying down of scalpels" - the eradication of FGM practices in her country. She identified necessary conditions, such as, inter alia, a favorable environment, well-defined targets, well-committed people, and good follow-up and evaluation. Aicha Belarbi, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco, described the nature of Islam and women, stating that gender equality not linked only to religion but also to levels of democratization and development. She summarized the actions by the Moroccan government to forward women's issues, including, inter alia, programmes to integrate women and development.

Eveline Herfkens, Minister for Development and Cooperation, Netherlands, stressed that youth are the missing link and urged governments to include youth on their delegations as the Netherlands has. She discussed Dutch development cooperation in Africa, particularly with respect to AIDS and safe sex and reiterated the case of Uganda, where people are beginning to discuss the issues. She said she is the only development cooperation Minister attending the conference.

Nafis Sadek, UNFPA Executive Director (left) and Aicha Belarbi, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Morocco

Panel Discussion: "Best Practices to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls"The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom hosted a panel discussion on women in armed conflicts facilitated by Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini of International Alert. Participants highlighted: the role of women in peace keeping and building; the role of international institutions, tribunals and NGOs in protecting civil society during armed conflicts; and the responsibility of states in curbing military budgets and weapon production. Many underscored the difficulty faced by women in reaching high-levels of decision-making due to lack of education and political knowledge, language barriers or religious and patriarchal traditions, and called for a change of attitude at all community levels. Participants also evoked issues related to women in post-conflict situations, including: trauma relief; women's need for a sense of justice; subsequent rejection of women from political parties; the rise of civil and domestic violence; and prioritization of religious or political issues over gender ones. Mariam Abdulle Gawane of the Coalition Grassroots Women's Organization, on the situation of women in Somalia (below left), called for integration of peace processes and women's programmes, both at the survival and the political levels. She noted women are often not educated on issues and tend to adopt men's viewpoint. Tsering Tsomo of the Tibetan Women's Association said the situation of Tibetan women had not improved since Beijing and deplored that the root causes of armed conflict were not addressed. She called for the promotion of non-violent women's movements. Kate Mc Cullough of Northern Ireland Women's European Platform spoke of the situation of women in Northern Ireland. She said women are still discouraged from taking an active role in politics and deplored the lack of international and national consideration of post-conflict situations. Joan Russow (below right)illustrated the linkages between military spending and development. She called for building a culture of peace, a 50% reduction of military spending, and the recognition of the International Court of Justice jurisdiction.

Launching of the "Gender Awareness Information and Networking System (GAINS)" organized by the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)

GAINS is a virtual workshop that will consist of, inter alia: a consultative network of key stakeholders to interface researchers with policy makers, action NGOs, development practitioners and women at large, through ad hoc task forces on critical gender issues; a global electronic platform of researchers from both developing and developed countries to dialogue and undertake global collaborative research, address emerging issues and advance knowledge from a gender perspective; an international network of trainers on gender issues to facilitate the transformation of knowledge into practical action for capacity building, using e-Education and e-Training through the digital classroom; and a global database of research and training resources and materials. From more information visit or email: [email protected]

The International Organisation of the Francophone

The International Organisation of the Francophone has programmes in international policy, working for peace, democracy and human rights, and cooperation policy, working for education, the economy and development and cultural diversity. A few specific programmes include the Francophone Information Highway Fund (, the African Performing Arts Market (, Cultural activity and reading centers, and the Programme to revive French in international organizations. For more information visit

International Day of the Franophonie: March 20

ENB Summary of CSW-44 and the Informal Consultations
Linkages FWCW page
UN Division for the Advancement of Women Beijing +5 Site with official documents and information for participants

Special Events during the Special Session
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