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The Preparatory Process

The preparatory process for the Fourth World Conference on Women has been underway for more than three years now. This document contains many links to the steps taken along the way to Beijing. The most recent activities are listed first.

Here is a brief history of the process, prepared by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin at the conclusion of the last preparatory meeting for the Beijing Conference and our report on the 39th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. It should provide a good background document for the most recent informal consultations and the upcoming Conference.

The preparatory process has produced a Draft Platform for Action (which we have provided in HTML format). The Secretariat's version in ASCII is available in English , French and Spanish. (The Rules of Procedure for the FWCW is also available)

In early August 1995, informal consultations were held in New York in order to try and remove some of the brackets around outstanding (controversial and undecided) text in the Draft Platform for Action. We have provided informal briefing notes from those meetings:

The Chair of these consultations has also prepared a report.

At the informal consultations, three information papers were circulated. They are: A/CONF.177/INF/1 - Information for Participants and the correction to this document.

A/CONF.177/INF/2 - The report of the Informal Contact Group on Gender

A/CONF.177/INF/3 - A Comparison of language in the draft Platform for Action and agreed language from other conferences. (This document hasn't been posted by the Secretariat yet.)

The remaining official documents have been posted to the UNDP gopher server.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin published summaries at the Commission on the Status of Women and these focused on the negotiations on the Beijing document.

The documents to be approved by States in Beijing were negotiated at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the 39th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women from 15 March to 4 April 1995.

The document under negotiation at the 39th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women was the Draft Programme of Action, which is available from the United Nations in French, English and Spanish. We have prepared a summary of this document.

The document has been prepared by the Secretariat based on the outcomes of the five regional group meetings. The regional group meetings were organized by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ECAP), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Each meeting adopted a regional platform, which identified specific problems faced by women in that region.

There were also Expert Group meetings that focused on the subjects of: gender, education and training; women and economic decision-making; institutional and financial arrangements for the implementation of the FWCW's Platform for Action; and gender and the agenda for peace. The experts recommended specific actions to address the issues under discussion.