On 2-3 November, the Beijing+15 Regional Review Meeting on "New Challenges and Opportunities for Gender Equality in the ECE Region: Key Issues and Policy Responses" brought together over 370 representatives from UNECE Member States, NGOs and International Organizations to review the progress made during the past years in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action for the advancement of women
"The ECE region is diverse - diverse but united. United in the common commitment to advancing women and promoting gender equality as reflected in the Beijing Platform for Action adopted in 1995. Diverse in the variety of historical, political and economic contexts in which this Platform is being implemented"
Ján Kubiš, Executive Secretary of UNECE
UNECE Member States reported on progress made and remaining challenges in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) as well as the Outcome of the Twenty-Third Special Session of the General Assembly in 2000 (see National Responses).
At the meeting, member States highlighted and discussed achievements and challenges in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action since the last review in 2005 and shared policy experiences.
Three interactive panel discussions examined policy issues, challenges and opportunities in the following areas:
- Gender-sensitive economic policies in the context of the economic and financial crisis.
- Gender and the corporate sector.
- New partnerships, networks and alliances for gender equality.
Fifteen years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing significant challenges remain in all countries and areas of concern, notably with respect to the effective implementation of existing legislation.
UNECE Member States renewed their commitment to the eradication of all forms of discrimination against women and girls that restrict their full participation in development processes. Participants emphasized that the achievement of gender equality is an essential condition for sustainable economic growth, and reaffirmed the centrality of gender equality for the universal achievement of all Millennium Development Goals. In this context, conference participants welcomed the forthcoming UN gender entity and called for its prompt establishment.
Progress in the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action will be reviewed at the global level during the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2010. Ján Kubiš, Executive Secretary of UNECE, will report on progress in the European region during a panel discussion on regional perspectives in progress achieved and remaining gaps and challenges in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action which will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 4 March 2010.