The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted in 1995 by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and reconfirmed at the Twenty-third Special Session of the General Assembly in 2000. The Beijing Platform for Action constitutes a global framework for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
The Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) calls upon governments, the international community and civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to take strategic action in the following critical areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, the economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights, the media, the environment and the girl child.
Review of the Beijing Platform for Action
Progress in implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action is reviewed by the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) every five years. To date, there have been three reviews - 2000, 2005 and 2010 - with each review resulting in an outcome document that reinforces global commitment to the empowerment of women and girls and outlines priority actions for the coming five years.
In 2015, the CSW will carry out in its 59th Session a review of the implementation of the BPFA after twenty years of its adoption. In this connection, the UN Regional Commissions (including UN-ESCWA) have been mandated to prepare, in collaboration with regional organizations, regional reports on progress made towards the implementation of the BPFA. These reports, to be based on national reviews conducted by each of the UN member countries, will feed into a global report to be consolidated by CSW Secretariat at UN-Women for the Secretary General to present it to the General Assembly.
In order to facilitate the conduct of comprehensive national reviews, UN Women and the United Nations Regional Commissions prepared the Guidance Note for the Preparation of National Reviews. Alongside the guidelines on how to undertake a national-level review, the Guidance Note (English, Arabic, French) contains four substantive sections: overview and analysis of achievements and challenges since 1995, progress in the implementation of the Critical Areas of Concern since 2009, data and statistics and emerging priorities. Member States are invited to review national-level implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, covering the period 1995 to 2014, and submit their national review reports by 1 May 2014.
In addition, the ESCWA Centre for Women (ECW), in partnership and close collaboration with UN Women Regional Office for Arab States and the Women and the Family and Childhood Department of the League of Arab States, have planned for a number of in view of the preparation of the Beijing+20 Review Report for the Arab Region, including (a) Training workshop to support the process of preparation of national reports on Beijing+20; (b) Regional consultation workshop with Arab civil society organizations on Beijing+20 to solicit input on progress achieved in the region on the implementation of BPFA over the last 5 years; (c) Regional review report on the implementation of BPFA in the Arab region to synthesize the main findings of national reports; (d) EGM for review, validation and adoption of the regional report on progress achieved in the Arab region in the implementation of BPFA; (e) In-depth study on "the Arab region in the context of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action-20 years after" to provide an analytical evaluation of the Arab region from the perspective of BPFA; and (f) High level regional conference to endorse the conclusions of the regional review report and reaffirm the commitment of Arab countries to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Actions.