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44th Session of the Commission on
the Status of Women (Beijing +5 PrepCom)
New York, 28 February - 17 March 2000

Highlights from Monday, 28 February

The 44th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-44) opened today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Commission heard opening statements from Angela King, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, and began general debate on Agenda items 3 (follow-up to the FWCW) and 4 (comprehensive review and appraisal of the Platform for Action) with statements from delegates, NGOs, and international organizations. During the first four days, the CSW is expected to continue its work with the follow-up to the Fourth World Congress on Women (FWCW), while the remainder of the session will be dedicated to the CSW acting as the Preparatory Committee for the Beijing +5 GA Special Session in June 2000.

The Commission also elected the bureau members for CSW-44. Dubravka Šimonovic (Croatia) was elected CSW-44 Chair. Vice-Chairs Kirsten Geelan (Denmark), Misako Kaji (Japan), Loreto Leyton (Chile), and Mankeur Ndiaye (Senegal) were also elected.

Two panel discussions will be held during the session: Emerging issues, trends and new approaches affecting women or equality between women and men (Wednesday, 1 March); and Outlook on gender equality, development and peace beyond year 2000 (Monday, 6 March)

The Division for the Advancement of Women has been analyzing 133 reports from Member States and two reports from observers on national implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in order to prepare the comprehensive review and appraisal document to be submitted to the Committee in March 2000.  Report of the Secretary-General on follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Photos: CSW-44 Chair Dubravka Šimonovic, Croatia (above right); and Angela King, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (left)



Listen to Angela King's opening statement

She called for continued efforts to, inter alia: reduce intensified women's poverty; curb domestic violence; address factors affecting women's health care and women's rights violations; prevent traditional harmful practices affecting women and girls; and recognize women's home-based work. She urged states to ratify the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and called for the eradication of gender stereotypes and attitudes.


Outgoing CSW Chair Patricia Flor (Germany)

Yakin Erturk, Director, Division for the Advancement of Women (listen to her statement)

Angela King, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, consulting (left) and greeting CSW-44 Chair Dubravka Simonovic, Croatia (right)

Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China

She noted: the lack of resources as a barrier to implementing the Beijing commitments; challenges posed by globalization and the spread of HIV/AIDS; and the importance of access to new and improved technologies. She called for provision of resources to facilitate the translation of the Beijing commitments into concrete actions.

Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union

He stressed: involvement of civil society; coordination among relevant commissions; and positive developments since the Beijing Conference. He noted efforts to address the issues of: violence against women; trafficking in women; women in decision-making; women in education; economic development; and sexual and reproductive rights.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF,

She identified education, health, and human rights as priority areas. She shared three lessons learned in the follow-up to the World Conferences: no real change will take place unless there is full political commitment to human rights; education is the key to fulfilling these rights; partnerships are becoming increasingly important.

The International Federation of University Women, speaking on behalf of the Girls Caucus/Women's Group on Girls, called on governments to: fulfil their promises in Beijing to girls, to provide girls with quality education to the age of 18, to involve girls in the design of programmes and policies affecting them, to actively build partnerships with NGOs, and to raise awareness in order to encourage the formation of positive attitudes towards girls.

ENB Summary of CSW-43
Linkages Coverage of the Fourth World Conference on Women
Linkages Coverage of CSW-43

Secretariat web site with official documents and information for NGO participants
ENB's Background Information on CSW-44
Other links (NGOs, research institutes, etc)
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