At the end of August, the 21-members of Advisory Group to the Core Group (Advisory Group) were chosen by UN Women for the Generation Equality Forum.
The Civil Society Advisory Group to the Core Group (Advisory Group) will serve as the representative of civil society’s priorities for the Generation Equality Forum by guaranteeing participation on a co-equal basis of civil society with the other members of the Core Group.
The Advisory Group will champion civil society’s vision, inputs and expected outcomes of the Beijing+25 process by channelling information & opportunities from the Core Group. The Advisory Group will represent the diverse global women’s rights movement by consulting with the Advisory Working Group regularly.
Asia-Pacific Regional Review of the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Beijing+25 Review
27 – 29 November, 2019, UN Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
The Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25 Review will bring together Ministers and senior officials from relevant line Ministries (Ministries of Women, National Planning, Finance), civil society and other key stakeholders from across the Asia-Pacific region to
identify key strategic areas and actions required to overcome barriers to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
provide a platform to highlight innovative solutions and exchange good practices and lessons learned on strategies for change.
invigorate the momentum to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women through increased engagement with stakeholders of all ages.
Call for Proposals for Side events and Exhibitions
Side events and exhibitions will provide space to share knowledge and experience as well as to showcase good practices, innovative initiatives and cutting edge thinking to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The Call for proposals for side events and exhibitions is inviting interested Member States, UN partners, Civil Society, Academia and international organizations to submit concept notes using the downloadable template by 20 August 2019.
The main focus of the session will be on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. The review will include an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Bureau of the Commission plays a crucial role in facilitating the preparation for, and in ensuring the successful outcome of the annual sessions of the Commission. Bureau members serve for two years. In 2002, in order to improve its work and ensure continuity, the Commission decided to hold the first meeting of its subsequent session, immediately following the closure of the regular session, for the sole purpose of electing the new Chairperson and other members of the Bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/234).
The Bureau for the 64th session (2020) of the Commission on the Status of Women comprises the following members:
H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan (Armenia), Chair (Eastern European States Group)
Mr. Mohammed S. Marzooq (Iraq), Vice-Chair (Asia-Pacific States Group)
Ms. Jo Feldman (Australia), Vice-Chair (Western European and other States Group)
Ms. Nora Bellout (Algeria), Vice-Chair (African States Group)
Vice-Chair (Latin American and Caribbean States Group) – to be designated
National-level reviews: States are called upon to undertake comprehensive national-level reviews of the progress made and challenges encountered.
Regional 25-year review processes: The regional commissions of the United Nations are invited to undertake regional reviews and convene regional intergovernmental meetings. These will feed into the sixty-fourth session of the Commission.
As you know, 2020 will be a critical year for the gender equality and women’s rights agenda, marking not only the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action but also the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; the 5-year milestone of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs; the 10th anniversary of the creation of UN Women – all this in the context of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
We must take full advantage of these milestones to drive accelerated action and progress for women and girls. And UN Women is committed to ensuring civil society is at the forefront of this work.
Intergovernmental process and outcomes
National reviews are well under way, based on the guidance note that had been developed by UN Women in collaboration with the regional commissions last year. So far, we have approximately 100 reports submitted. These reports will inform the regional syntheses prepared by the Regional Commissions ahead of regional meetings later this year. They will also feed into a global synthesis report of the Secretary-General, prepared by UN Women, which will form the basis of deliberations at CSW 64 in March 2020. It is expected that the CSW will adopt a short, action-oriented Political Declaration.
In addition, the General Assembly has decided to hold a High-Level Meeting on Beijing+25 during the UNGA high-level week in September 2020. Member States are currently discussing modalities for the meeting, under the leadership of the Permanent Representatives of Qatar and New Zealand.
More information on the intergovernmental process can be found on this page.
Engagement of civil society and other stakeholders
As noted above, the active engagement of civil society and other stakeholders is a critical component of our efforts for Beijing+25. The guidance note for national reviews highlighted the importance of participatory reviews, which include multiple stakeholders. Further, all regional intergovernmental meetings will be preceded by a preparatory multi-stakeholder meeting to capture the voices of civil society. The Civil Society Division at UN Women, working in partnership with our regional offices, is providing technical and financial support for the preparatory meetings.
The engagement of civil society and other stakeholders will be further highlighted in the Generation Equality Forum, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico, with the leadership and partnership of civil society. Building on the Beijing+25 national and regional reviews and CSW64, the Forum will kick-off in Mexico in May 2020 (7th-8th May, likely) and culminate in Paris on 7th-10th July 2020.
The Forum is envisaged as a global public conversation for urgent action and accountability for gender equality. It will celebrate the power of activism, feminist solidarity and youth leadership to achieve transformative change. At a moment when the pushback on multilateralism and women’s rights is strong, the unique democratic and multi-stakeholder approach of the Forum will be a necessary counter response. This new model for accelerating the achievement of agreed goals on women’s rights and gender equality, through its outcomes – the setting up of Action Coalitions – results oriented hybrid partnerships among civil society, business, member states and other stakeholders (parliamentarians, mayors, trade unions etc.), is needed at a time when many of the existing models are vulnerable to the current backlash against women’s rights in some contexts, and to the way that multilateral forums are subject to the changing political preferences of their members.
On 27-28 June, UN Women convened France, Mexico and some members of civil society in the first planning meeting for the Generation Equality Forum. We had an excellent workshop and arrived at a common understanding of the vision, outcome, format of the Forum; its legacy; its governance structures; workstreams, timelines and next steps. More information on that can be found in the attached presentation. One of the crucial next steps is to identify the ways civil society can engage with the planning and execution of the forum. As such, we have proposed the following structures where civil society will be involved:
Core Group (decision making) – 4 members comprising 1 each from UN Women, France, Mexico and Civil Society. Civil Society to designate 1 member from the Civil Society Advisory Group (see below) who may rotate.
Civil Society Advisory Group to the Core Group (supporting Core Group decision making) – 10-15 civil society members representing regional (and thematic) diversity. This structure to be established by August 2019; membership of this group will be determined by civil society through a consultative process. The advisory group will nominate one representative to the Core Group (above). We have requested NGO -CSW New York to convene all our civil society partners (including youth partners) to consult with each other and agree on the membership of this group.
Multi-stakeholder Steering Group (supporting design, planning and implementation) – approx. 25-30 members comprising civil society, Member States, private sector and other stakeholders who are contributing to the Forum and its outcomes. To be established by end-August 2019. This structure will be established by the Core Group in consultation with partners.
UN Women will continue to update civil society, through focal point emails and also through periodically scheduled webinars, on the status of the Forum, to ensure wide reach and participation.
In preparation for Beijing + 25 in 2020, NGOs and civil society stakeholders must have their own independent process to report on progress made, challenges and recommendations. The purpose of these NGO Guidelines for Parallel Reports is to provide a common template for NGOs to use for country (city or state) reports. NGOs should adapt it to suit their local contexts and feel free to change it as needed. Although many questions are drawn from UN Women’s official Guidelines for governments, these are adapted to reflect NGO and civil society perspectives.
The drafting team included International Women’s Rights Action Watch—Asia and Pacific, Ivy Koek, Susan O’Malley, Sachini Perera, Jessica Pierson, Jenny Prisk, Saphira Ramashfar, Bandana Rana and Soon-Young Yoon. Thank you to Eleanor Blomstrom and Nurgul Djanaeva for adding training expertise. Consultations with NGOs, including the Center for Women’s Global Leadership were held. We are grateful to UN Women for its cooperation, although the contents are solely our responsibility.