Timeline to 2020:
1995 Beijing Conference +25
Key website: Beijing+25: Celebrating 25 years of championing women’s rights (UN Women)
The 1995 Beijing Conference was the Fourth World Conference on Women organized by the United Nations. The first Conference took place in Mexico City in 1975, followed by Copenhagen in 1980, and Nairobi in 1985. At the 1995 Beijing Conference, 189 UN Member states unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) as a global agenda for ensuring the improvement of human rights for women and girls. The BPFA sets strategic objectives for the achievement of gender equality in twelve critical areas of concern, including poverty, education and training, armed conflict, and economy.
The Fourth World Conference on Women marked a significant turning point in achieving the global goal of gender equality. An unprecedented 17,000 participants attended, including 6,000 government delegates, 4,000 accredited NGO representatives, a multitude of international civil servants and around 4,000 media representatives. Due to its empowering and long-term impact on women’s rights, the Platform for Action is reviewed and appraised every five years to continue to implement its commitments. The next review is scheduled for 2020, a year which will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Declaration and Platform for Action.
Key Decision Points (2018-2020):
During the 62th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 62) in March 2018, two resolutions pertaining to Beijing +25 were adopted for action by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The text of resolution E/CN.6/2018/L.7 mandates a one-day high-level meeting during UNGA75 (2020), the outcome of which is to take the form of a Chair’s summary. Additionally, resolution E/CN.6/2018/L.6 (which speaks more broadly to the Commission’s methods of work) decides that at its sixty-fourth session, in 2020, the Commission will undertake a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. It also calls for national and regional-level reviews, the outcomes of which will feed into the 2020 review to be undertaken by the Commission. In this vein, the resolution encourages governments to collaborate with NGRIs, non-governmental organizations, and other relevant actors in preparation for the 2020 review.
CSW 64 will take place in March 2020, preceding the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing Conference, which will take place in September that year.
Additional Links & Resources:
[Core Document] Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, 4-15 September 1995
Past Anniversary: Beijing Platform for Action Turns 20 (UN Women)
UN Women Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021, 30 August 2017
- E/RES/2016/3, “Multi-year programme of work of the Commission on the Status of Women”, 22 July 2016
- Requests the Commission to make recommendation on how to best utilize 25th anniversary of Fourth World Conference on Women (2020) at 62nd session (2018).
- E/CN.6/2018/L.6, “Future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women” 21 March 2018
- E/CN.6/2018/L.7, “Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women” 21 March 2018