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Governments Set Plans for Beijing+25 in 2020

9 September 2019: UN Member States have agreed on the scope, modalities, format and organization of a high-level meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25). The final text calls on governments to present concrete actions and commitments to accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 (Beijing Platform for Action) was developed at the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) in Beijing, China, the largest gathering of gender equality advocates in history. Through the Beijing Declaration, adopted by 189 governments, countries committed to taking action in 12 key areas: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.

Arrangements for Beijing+25 were the subject of months of negotiations led by Craig John Hawke, Permanent Representative of New Zealand, and Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar. The final text of the modalities resolution is before the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for adoption on 12 September 2019.

By the draft resolution, the Assembly would decide that Beijing+25 will be a one-day event, held on 23 September 2020 in New York, US, on the margins of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) general debate, from 9 am to 7 pm. The event would consist of an opening segment, a plenary segment for general discussion, and a closing segment.

Themed ‘Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,’ the high-level meeting would aim to highlight achievements, best practices, gaps and challenges, while “recalling” that the theme of UN’s 75th anniversary, ‘The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism,’ will guide all UN activities in 2020. The draft resolution “encourages” governments to present concrete actions and commitments to accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030, also inviting the Inter-Parliamentary Union to contribute.

The event’s opening segment would feature statements by the UNGA President, the UN Secretary-General, a representative of China as the host country of the Fourth World Conference on Women, the Executive Director of UN-Women, the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Chair of the Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice, the HRC’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women, an “eminent champion of gender equality,” a representative of civil society, and a “young woman leader” to be selected by the UNGA President in consultation with Member States. The plenary segment would consist of statements by UN Member States and observers, specialized agencies and entities that have observer status. The concluding segment will feature closing remarks by the UNGA President.

The resolution requests the UNGA President, with support from UN-Women, to organize an “interactive multi-stakeholder hearing” following the 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), with participants from UN Member States and observers, UN specialized agencies, private sector, and invited civil society organizations, to take stock of outcomes and recommendations of other processes, including the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). By the text, governments would request the UNGA President to prepare a summary of the hearing in preparation for Beijing+25.

UN Women aims to build momentum for accelerating the achievement of gender equality through Beijing+25 through a multi-generational campaign, ‘Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future,’ and by building on other 2020 UN anniversaries: the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; the tenth anniversary of UN Women’s establishment as the global champion for the empowerment of women and girls; and the fifth anniversary of the SDGs. [Draft Resolution] [UNGA President’s Letter] [UN Women Website]