Commission on the Status of Women
12 January 1995
COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
New York, 15 March-4 April 1995
Item 3 of the provisional agenda*
PREPARATIONS FOR THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN
Report of the Secretary-General
INTRODUCTION ............................................... 1 - 2 2
I. CONFERENCE PREPARATIONS .............................. 3 - 66 2
A. Conference secretariat ........................... 3 - 26 2
B. Information and communication .................... 27 - 41 6
C. National level ................................... 42 - 45 8
D. Regional level ................................... 46 - 63 8
E. Intergovernmental level .......................... 64 - 65 11
F. Host country arrangements ........................ 66 12
II. ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM .............. 67 - 149 12
A. United Nations ................................... 68 - 121 12
B. Specialized agencies ............................. 122 - 149 22
III. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ....................... 150 - 154 27
1. At its thirty-eighth session, the Commission on the Status of Women, in
its resolution 38/10, on preparations for the Fourth World Conference on
Women, requested the Secretary-General to report to the Commission at its
thirty-ninth session on progress in the preparations for the Conference and,
in particular, on the further implementation of section V, on the information
campaign, of Commission resolution 37/7.
2. The present report contains information on the status of the
preparations of which the Secretariat has been apprised, at national, regional
and international levels. It also includes information on activities being
undertaken by non-governmental organizations. It mainly covers the period
from August to December 1994, updating the reports submitted to the Commission
on the Status of Women at its thirty-eighth session (E/CN.6/1994/10 and
Corr.1), and to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session (A/49/327 and
I. CONFERENCE PREPARATIONS
A. Conference secretariat
3. The Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations
Secretariat, as the core secretariat for the Fourth World Conference on Women
(hereinafter referred to as the Conference secretariat), has continued with
the substantive preparations for the Conference, including research and policy
analysis and the preparation of documentation, regional outreach and liaison,
information and communication, coordination with the activities of
non-governmental organizations and review of their applications for
accreditation and technical and logistical preparation of arrangements for
holding the Conference in Beijing, China.
4. Of the main substantive documents of the Conference, the 1994 world
survey on the role of women in development, before the Commission at its
thirty-ninth session in preliminary form (E/CN.6/1994/13), was completed in
October. Several agencies and bodies of the United Nations system contributed
to its preparation. An executive summary of the document was before the
General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, under item 88. The final version
of the survey will be issued as a United Nations sales publication.
5. Similarly, the Secretariat completed its draft of the report of the
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on progress
achieved in the implementation of the Convention, in accordance with the
Committee's request and guidance provided at its twelfth and thirteenth
sessions. After review, expansion and adoption by the Committee at its
fourteenth session, in January/February 1995, the report will be submitted to
the Conference, in accordance with Commission resolution 36/8.
6. The report of the Secretary-General on the impact of technical and
financial cooperation to benefit women, which was prepared with support and
funding from the World Bank, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNIFEM, was completed, ready
for submission to the Commission at its thirty-ninth session.
7. The eighteenth Ad Hoc Inter-agency Meeting on Women, for which the
Conference secretariat serves as secretariat, took place from 3 to 4 March
1994 at United Nations Headquarters, preceding the thirty-eighth session of
the Commission on the Status of Women. Inter alia, the Meeting proposed to
the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) to regularize the Ad Hoc
Inter-agency Meeting on Women after the Fourth World Conference on Women to
facilitate system-wide coordination of the follow-up to the Conference. The
Organizational Committee of ACC agreed to postpone discussion on regularizing
the status of the ad hoc body until after the World Conference.
8. The nineteenth Ad Hoc Inter-agency Meeting on Women is scheduled to be
convened prior to the thirty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of
9. The informal ad hoc inter-agency advisory committee on the Conference,
which was set up at United Nations Headquarters to advise on the preparations
for the Conference and to ensure effective coordination, has continued to
meet. Its meetings have facilitated timely receipt of contributions from the
United Nations system to a variety of reports under preparation in the
Conference secretariat, including the second review and appraisal of the
implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement
of Women, 1/ and the drafting process of the platform for action.
10. During the reporting period, the Secretary-General of the Conference
undertook an official visit to South Africa to assess the status of
preparations for the Conference.
11. The Secretary-General of the Conference also participated in several
major meetings at which she provided briefings on the Conference and its
preparations. Among others, she addressed the following meetings:
(a) Nordic Forum (Turkku, Finland);
(b) United Nations International Conference on Population and
Development (Cairo, Egypt);
(c) Ninety-second Inter-Parliamentary Conference (IPU) (Copenhagen,
(d) WHO Global Commission on Women's Health (Washington, D.C.);
(e) UNESCO Consultative Committee on Women (Paris);
(f) Round table on Women's Economic Potential to Overcome Poverty, held
by the German Foundation for International Development (Bonn, Germany).
12. The Secretary-General and members of her staff attended the five
regional preparatory meetings for the Conference (see sect. D below).
13. Forums for non-governmental organizations were held immediately prior to
four of the regional conferences. The Secretary-General of the Conference
addressed each of them. Input from these events was made available to the
regional preparatory conferences. The NGO Forum for the Jakarta Conference
had been held in November 1993 in Manila.
14. In accordance with the youth strategy developed by the Conference
secretariat, which aims at ensuring the involvement of young people in the
Conference and its preparatory process, youth workshops were convened in
conjunction with each of the five regional preparatory conferences. Working
from the respective regional draft programmes of action, they provided their
specific comments for consideration by the regional preparatory meetings.
15. The secretariat intends to convene a similar youth workshop in
conjunction with the thirty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of
Women, and at the Conference itself.
16. The Conference secretariat has organized, participated in and
contributed to a number of meetings considered to be of relevance for drafting
documentation requested by the intergovernmental bodies in the preparatory
process, including the following:
(a) Expert group meeting on gender, education and training;
(b) Expert group meeting on women and economic decision-making;
(c) Expert group meeting on gender and the agenda for peace;
(d) Expert group meeting on institutional and financial arrangements for
implementation and monitoring of the platform for action;
(e) Consultation for non-governmental organizations from Eastern
(f) Conference on traffic in persons.
17. The Secretary-General of the Conference has continued to seek additional
voluntary contributions to the trust fund established for Conference
preparations and for the participation of the least developed countries in the
Conference and its preparatory meetings, as requested in Assembly resolution
48/108. Voluntary contributions from several member States have been received
for the purpose of facilitating the participation of governmental
representatives in the Conference and the thirty-ninth session of the
Commission on the Status of Women.
18. The Assembly decided in its resolution 49, that in order to support
developing countries, in particular the least developed among them, in
participating fully and effectively in the Conference and its preparatory
process, each of the least developed countries, to the extent that
extrabudgetary funds permit, may be provided from the trust fund established
for the Conference with travel expenses and, on an exceptional basis, daily
subsistence allowance for representatives attending the thirty-ninth session
of the Commission and for the Conference itself. Following the adoption of
the resolution, the Secretary-General initiated the necessary steps to
19. The Expert Group on Women in Development - a subsidiary body of the
Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) - continues to coordinate OECD members' support to
developing countries in their preparations for the Conference. Regular status
report updates aimed at circulating and sharing information on progress made
at various levels, including funding requests received, have been prepared and
made available to the members of the Group and other interested parties.
20. In accordance with Commission resolution 38/10, the Secretary-General
convened, after discussions with the Bureau, informal open-ended consultations
to exchange views on the draft of the platform for action, in conjunction with
the consideration of the item on the advancement of women by the Economic and
Social Council and the General Assembly.
21. The consultation in conjunction with the substantive session of the
Economic and Social Council took place on 18 July. In addition to a briefing
note, the Secretary-General of the Conference gave an oral progress report on
activities of the Conference secretariat. A large number of delegations
participated in the consultation.
22. A second set of consultations was held, in conjunction with the forty-
ninth session of the General Assembly, from 7 to 9 December 1994, after the
conclusion of the last of the regional preparatory conferences and immediately
after the conclusion of the general debate on the item on the advancement of
women in the Third Committee.
23. Each of the meetings was devoted to an exchange of views on specific
sections of the draft platform for action. On the basis of the views
expressed during the consultations, the texts contained in the annex to
Commission resolution 38/10 and taking into account the relevant results of
the regional preparatory meetings, the Secretary-General further refined the
draft of the platform for action, for consideration by the Commission at its
24. At its thirty-eighth session the Commission accredited for participation
in the Conference 102 non-governmental organizations that are not in
consultative status with the Council or on the roster. The organizations were
notified of their accreditation by the secretariat. Further information
concerning the logistics of participation in the thirty-ninth session of the
Commission and in the Conference will be communicated to them in due course.
After reviewing the applications for accreditation, the Conference secretariat
prepared a list of non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental
organizations that would be proffered to the Commission for accreditation at
its thirty-ninth session, in keeping with General Assembly resolution 48/108.
Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council have
been asked to notify the Conference secretariat as soon as possible if they
wish to attend the Conference.
25. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/108, the Conference
secretariat has continued to disseminate widely information concerning the
process of accreditation. At the request of delegations at the informal
consultations convened from 7 to 9 December, a note on the participation of
non-governmental organizations in the Conference and its preparatory process
was made available by the secretariat. Information on the preparations for
the NGO Forum on Women was made available by its organizers.
26. The Conference secretariat continues to liaise closely with the NGO
Planning Committee for the NGO Forum on Women '95 and the NGO Committee on the
Status of Women in New York.
B. Information and communication
27. The Conference secretariat continues to produce and distribute the
newsletter entitled Women on the Move, which provides updated information on
Conference preparations. The newsletter is now published every two months,
with a new design. The newsletter is widely distributed to national
committees, United Nations field offices, non-governmental organizations,
member States and the media; it is also distributed electronically through
TogetherNet and the APC network. Published in the six official languages of
the United Nations, it also contains a regularly updated calendar of events of
which the Secretariat has been apprised.
28. Three databases containing updated records of non-governmental
organizations, institutions, individuals and the media have been set up by the
Conference secretariat, and information packets have been distributed.
29. There has been considerable increase in the requests for information
from the general public and the media and for print, television and radio
interviews about the Conference. During the reporting period, the Secretary-
General of the Conference has undertaken a full schedule of media interviews,
including a television special for China television. Regular briefing
sessions for the media are held. The Secretariat has begun to issue its own
press releases. They covered three of the expert group meetings and other
30. In accordance with the United Nations-system preparations for the
Conference, the Department of Public Information has developed and is
implementing an information strategy. It was developed with input from United
Nations agencies and the Conference secretariat and focuses on raising
awareness of the Conference, its priority themes, and the critical areas of
concern defined in the draft platform for action.
31. The strategy specifically addresses a number of target audiences and
places primary emphasis on print and broadcast media individuals and
organizations in both mainstream and non-mainstream traditions. The strategy
also targets the United Nations system, women's and grass-roots organizations,
youth, academia, and the non-governmental organization community. Through
language adaptations and reprints coordinated by the Department's senior
information officer in Beijing, the strategy also addresses the particular
requirements of the host country audiences.
32. The core of the Department's efforts to provide print materials to
publicize and provide historical, practical, and logistical information on the
Conference includes production and distribution of a pre-Conference brochure,
Conference backgrounders, and a series of fact sheets.
33. The Department of Public Information continues to produce and
disseminate a series of feature articles in cooperation with United Nations
agency partners, including the following: women and literacy; women and AIDS;
women and violence; women and poverty under structural adjustment; women and
statistics; women's non-governmental organizations and the NGO Forum; women
and natural disaster preparedness; women and politics; women and economic
decision-making; women and the media.
34. The Department is producing a number of pamphlets to provide concise
information on other Conference-related themes, including a summary of the
draft platform for action, and a pamphlet on the Declaration on the
Elimination of Violence Against Women. 2/ The official Conference poster will
be issued in six languages and will be produced in December 1994.
35. Preparations are under way for the Conference press kit, which will be
issued in July 1995 in English, French and Spanish; it will be translated into
Chinese in Beijing.
36. Audio-visual materials produced in connection with the Conference
include at least six editions of UN in Action, focusing on women, the
production and placement of radio and television spots, editions of World
Chronicle featuring Conference and Conference-related authorities, and regular
and special radio programmes, including the weekly series Women.
37. The Department of Public Information continues to provide assistance to
a number of outside audio-visual productions, including an independent
Canadian production company for two one-hour programmes to be aired prior to
the Conference. These materials will also be available to the Department for
adaptation into a half-hour programme incorporating Conference footage for
further use and distribution after the Conference.
38. The Department provided assistance to each of the five regional
preparatory conferences, including media liaison, print and audio-visual
coverage, and supplied press kits and information materials related to the
Conference and its themes.
39. A number of other outreach and informational activities have been
organized and are being implemented by the Department, including assistance
for local language adaptation for various products, media encounters,
identification of and assistance to eminent persons and advocates promoting
the Conference, and coordination of press briefings, publication launches, and
the adaptation of the travelling exhibit for Beijing.
40. The Department is also supporting outside publications including a book
on women in politics, based on the Department's Women and Literacy programme
in September 1994, and a collection of feature articles related to the
Conference in a small book format.
41. To integrate the Conference into the other ongoing activities of the
United Nations, the Department is highlighting Conference-related themes in
special and commemorative events in 1995, including International Women's Day
and World Environment Day. In addition, it has been liaising with cultural
institutions (e.g., Women Make Movies and the Museum of Women's Art) in
connection with the Conference.
C. National level
42. As at 15 December 1994, the Secretary-General had been formally apprised
of the establishment of 107 national committees for the Fourth World
Conference on Women. Other sources indicate that over 150 national committees
have been established.
43. The role and importance of national reports that gather facts, assess
obstacles and identify priorities for concrete action has been stressed
repeatedly by the Commission, as well as by the Assembly. In its resolution
49/161, the Assembly reiterated its appeal to countries that have not yet done
so to compile their national reports in earnest and to forward them to the
secretariat of the Conference.
44. The national reports that have already been received by the Conference
secretariat have been very valuable in the preparation of documents that will
be before the Conference, including the second review and appraisal of the
implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies, and the platform for
action. Member States may wish to make their national reports available at
the Conference, at their own expense, as a way of sharing experience with
regard to the advancement of women.
45. As at 15 December, the Conference secretariat had received national
reports from 125 member States. Two permanent observers and 17 others also
have submitted their national reports to the Conference secretariat.
D. Regional level
46. Regional preparatory conferences for the Fourth World Conference on
Women were held in the five United Nations regions under the auspices of the
respective regional commissions, in some cases as part of previously scheduled
regional meetings. The five regional preparatory conferences included:
(a) Second Asian and Pacific Ministerial Conference on Women in
Development, Jakarta, 7-14 June 1994;
(b) Sixth Regional Conference on the Integration of Women into the
Economic and Social Development of Latin America and the Caribbean, Mar del
Plata, 26-30 September 1994;
(c) High-level Regional Preparatory Meeting of the Economic Commission
for Europe, Vienna, 17-21 October 1994;
(d) Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting of the Economic and Social
Commission for Western Asia, Amman, 6-10 November 1994;
(e) Fifth African Regional Conference on Women, Dakar,
16-23 November 1994.
47. Each of the regional preparatory conferences adopted a regional platform
or plan of action. These texts were before the Commission in document
E/CN.6/1995/5 and Addenda. They are:
(a) Jakarta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women
in Asia and the Pacific;
(b) Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin America and the
(c) Regional Platform for Action - Women in a Changing World - Call for
Action from an ECE Perspective;
(d) Arab Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women to the Year 2005;
(e) Dakar Declaration and African Platform for Action.
48. Information on additional activities carried out by the regional
commissions since August is given below, by region.
49. In preparation for the regional conference, ECA organized five
subregional workshops aimed at sensitization and consensus-building, and
designed to assist member States in the preparation of national reports. Two
expert group meetings were held (Tunis, June 1994; Addis Ababa, October 1994)
to prepare the draft African platform for action.
50. ECA undertook extensive information and communication activities in
order to publicize widely the regional conference. They included:
(a) Brochures and pamphlets on the conference and a periodic newsletter
on preparatory activities at the regional level were published and widely
disseminated throughout the region and world wide;
(b) A six-minute radio publicity spot targeted to rural women was
prepared prior to the Conference in conjunction with the Union of Radio and
Television Stations of Africa (URTNA) and disseminated to all radio stations
in the region;
(c) A two-day seminar for journalists covering the conference was
organized in Dakar prior to the conference;
(d) Extensive coverage of the conference itself included daily press
releases, radio and TV coverage, locally and through satellite, to all media
agency users, daily press conferences for all journalists of local and
international media agencies on the proceedings, and press conferences by,
inter alia, the Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference, various
United Nations agencies, and several African women's associations.
51. A documentary on the Conference is currently being edited and produced
by URTNA and will be available on video cassette.
2. Asia and the Pacific
52. With the view to accelerating the implementation of the Jakarta
Declaration and the preparations for the World Conference, the ESCAP
secretariat organized a regional meeting of national coordinating bodies of
non-governmental organizations at Bangkok from 29 November to 2 December 1994
in collaboration with the Asia and the Pacific NGO Working Group.
53. The ESCAP secretariat is organizing a regional meeting on strengthening
national machineries for the advancement of women at Manila from 15 to
18 December 1994, in collaboration with the National Commission on the Role of
Filipina Women. The meeting will identify problems in implementing the
Jakarta Declaration in each country, discuss ways to overcome them and
formulate recommendations for strengthening national machineries for the
advancement of women.
54. ESCAP organized a series of national workshops in the Islamic Republic
of Iran, Papua New Guinea, and the Lao People's Democratic Republic on the
establishment of women's information networks. Another workshop will be held
in Nepal in January 1995. The implementation of the Jakarta Declaration and
preparations for the Fourth World Conference were also major concerns of the
55. As part of the preparation for the Beijing Conference and implementation
of the Jakarta Declaration, ESCAP is producing a video on issues contained in
the Jakarta Declaration. The video will be available in various languages,
including local languages, subject to availability of funding.
56. ESCAP plans to organize an expert group meeting in Bangkok in
February 1995, to complete ESCAP's contribution to the Fourth World
Conference, in line with the draft platform for action.
57. In preparation for the regional meeting, the ECE secretariat held
regular consultations with member States, United Nations bodies, other
intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. It
prepared a total of six substantive reports for the meeting.
58. A preliminary draft of the regional platform for action was prepared by
the secretariat and examined by an expert group in June 1994. A revised draft
was considered by an intergovernmental meeting in September 1994, the outcome
of which was put before the Regional Preparatory Meeting in Vienna. United
Nations bodies were consulted at two meetings, in February and September 1994.
Non-governmental organizations were involved at all stages of the preparatory
process, and at the meeting itself.
59. More than 1,200 persons took part in the Meeting, including the
representatives of 45 member States, 11 observer States of ECE, and
representatives of 299 non-governmental organizations.
60. Part V of the regional platform emphasizes that the follow-up to and
implementation of the platform should be carried out primarily by the existing
regional organizations, such as the ECE, the Council of Europe, OECD, CSCE,
and the European Union. The platform also describes the regional role to be
played by the United Nations system in implementing and monitoring the
strategic objectives, in close cooperation with other global and regional
61. With regard to ECE's role in implementation and follow-up, the platform
asks it to mainstream women's issues and the gender perspective within its
existing mandate and activities, including statistics and economic analysis.
The establishment of mechanisms and processes to ensure such implementation
and follow-up should be considered by ECE at its next annual session, which
will be held in April 1995.
4. Latin America and the Caribbean
62. The Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin America and the
Caribbean, 1995-2001, was adopted by consensus at the sixth regional
conference. Complementary strategic actions to be included in the Programme
were finalized at the open-ended twentieth meeting of the presiding officers
of ECLAC, held at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, from 16 to 18 November 1994.
The meeting was open to all countries that wished to participate. The
enormous interest in the event by the countries of the region was shown by the
fact that 445 proposed amendments or additions to the strategic actions and
new actions to be added to the Programme were submitted at Mar del Plata, thus
obliging the conference to lengthen the period of deliberations.
63. In 1995, in addition to disseminating the Regional Programme of Action,
the ECLAC secretariat plans to issue a publication that includes the
substantive documents of the Mar del Plata meeting and a summary of the
national reports as a contribution to the Fourth World Conference on Women.
E. Intergovernmental level
64. At its forty-ninth session, the General Assembly considered the item on
the advancement of women from 1 to 6 December. A total of 75 speakers - 69
member States, 2 observers, 2 intergovernmental organizations, and 2 United
Nations bodies - took the floor.
65. In resolution 49/161, on the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-
looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, the Assembly, inter alia,
requested that the report of the Fourth World Conference on Women be submitted
to the Assembly at its fiftieth session for consideration and action and
requested the Secretary-General to prepare for the consideration of the
Assembly, also at its fiftieth session, a report on follow-up to the
Conference, taking into consideration the recommendations made at the
F. Host country arrangements
66. The host country agreement for the Fourth World Conference on Women was
signed in Beijing on 14 September by Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-
General of the United Nations on behalf of the United Nations, and
Mr. Qian Qichen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, on behalf of China.
II. ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM
67. In general, the agencies, programmes and funds of the United Nations
system continue to implement ongoing activities launched since the inception
of the preparatory process for the Fourth World Conference on Women. An
account of such activities was included in the reports of the Secretary-
General on preparations for the Conference submitted to the Commission on the
Status of Women at its thirty-eighth session (E/CN.6/1994/9 and Corr.1), and
to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session (A/49/327 and Corr.1). The
present report updates information previously provided to the Commission and
the Assembly, and reports on new initiatives started since August.
A. United Nations
1. Statistical Division, Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis
68. Research, data compilation and analysis for the special issue of The
World's Women: Trends and Statistics for the Conference were completed in
December 1994. Final publication in all languages is scheduled for early
69. A complete update of the Women's Indicators and Statistics Database
(WISTAT), supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was
completed in August, in close cooperation with the regional commissions.
WISTAT is the main data source for The World's Women and will be issued in
early January 1995 on diskettes and CD-ROM. The manual in preparation by the
Division for national use on how to compile and organize statistics on gender
issues and how to present tables and charts and write up the quantitative
analysis was completed and will be published in the first half of 1995.
Efforts are also under way to organize training workshops in gender statistics
and an exhibit of national and international gender statistics publications at
2. Population Division, Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis
70. The Population Division, in collaboration with UNFPA, provided
substantive support for the International Conference on Population and
Development (ICPD). The many gender-related recommendations contained in the
ICPD's Programme of Action also have relevance for the World Conference for
71. Gender-specific statistics and analytic studies from the Population
Division have been employed in preparations for the Conference in various
ways, including use in the new edition of The World's Women. The WISTAT
database also contains a variety of data series from the Population Division.
The Division regularly produces population estimates and projections, by age
and sex, for all countries and areas of the world, and such estimates and
projections were recently published separately for rural and urban areas.
Apart from their direct interest, these statistics serve as "denominators" for
gender-disaggregated estimates and projections in areas such as school
enrolment and employment which are produced within and outside the United
Nations system. The Division also regularly monitors fertility, contraceptive
practice and mortality levels, by sex, and government policies related to
population concerns. Special studies and expert meetings in recent years have
dealt with female migration, education and fertility, abortion policy, gender
differences in age at marriage, and living arrangements of women and children,
including women-headed households. Ongoing studies deal with sex differences
in infant and child mortality, among other topics.
3. Department for Development Support
and Management Services
72. The Department has signed an agreement with the Government of Israel to
conduct a workshop on strategies for enhancing the participation of women in
the development process. Approximately 25 women from countries in Northern
Africa will be trained on issues relating to community development and
4. United Nations Centre for Human Rights
73. Ongoing and planned activities of the Centre for Human Rights are
contained in the report of the Secretary-General on a joint work plan of the
Division for the Advancement of Women and the Centre (E/CN.6/1995/CRP.2).
5. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
74. An UNCTAD expert group meeting on women in development in the least
developed countries will be convened in Niamey, Niger, from 24 to 26 January
1995. The UNCTAD secretariat has prepared background studies for the meeting.
Moreover, a number of selected country case-studies will be presented to the
meeting on topics, including: family planning through the empowerment of
women in Madagascar; opportunities and constraints for female petty traders in
Sierra Leone; involving women in social forestry programmes in Nepal; and
female education programmes in Niger.
75. With respect to gender aspects of poverty alleviation, the UNCTAD
secretariat's current research work shows that women from poor households
figure prominently among income-earners in export-oriented small-scale
enterprises and non-traditional agro-export producers. Research being carried
out by the secretariat on how to make official development assistance (ODA)
more cost-effective in reaching the poor is examining ways to empower women
through improved access to education, health, credit and other services. The
findings of these two research projects will be presented and discussed at the
third session of the Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation which will meet
in June 1995.
76. The UNCTAD secretariat continues to provide substantive support to the
deliberations of the Working Group on Gender, Science and Technology of the
Commission on Science and Technology for Development, which is due to meet in
July 1995. In collaboration with the International Development Research
Centre of Canada, UNCTAD's Division for Science and Technology has been
involved in the preparation and compilation of a statistical database on
gender, science and technology, which has involved elaborating methodological
issues and procedures. Furthermore, the first draft of the 24-page report of
the Working Group on Gender, Science and Technology has been completed, the
final version of which will serve as the critical input on this topic to the
platform of action of the upcoming Conference.
6. International Trade Centre (ITC)
77. In December 1992 ITC launched its ongoing world-wide survey identifying
the present status and needs of national machineries and women's business
organizations in promoting the integration of women in the various facets of
domestic, regional and global trade. The results are contained in ITC's WITD
(women in trade development) database which will be available at the
78. ITC submitted reports on the integration of the trade dimension into
gender-sensitive sustainable development strategies and programmes to three
regional preparatory conferences (Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and
Africa), including the interim analysis of ITC's world-wide survey. ITC
intends to prepare the regional reports for Asia and the Pacific and Western
Asia. Its final report on this topic, giving a global perspective and region-
specific reports, will be presented at the Conference.
79. ITC participated in the European and African regional preparatory
conferences in an effort to ensure the inclusion of the trade dimension, in
particular as it complements entrepreneurship, including small and medium-
sized enterprise and private-sector development.
80. ITC organized with the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) secretariat and
several women's business associations and chambers of commerce the first
buyers/sellers meeting for women in business in the PTA region. The meeting
was held from 10 to 13 October 1994 in Nairobi, within the framework of the
PTA Trade Development and Promotion Programme. More than 120 enterprises from
17 countries in the subregion participated. The meeting also formulated
recommendations for follow-up actions ensuring an active participation of
women in business in intra-PTA trade expansion activities and in external
trade- related issues of the African Platform for Action, which were
subsequently presented to the regional preparatory conference.
81. In addition, an ITC Handbook on Women, Entrepreneurship and Trade is
planned for presentation at the Conference, as well as an information bulletin
to ITC's WITD network of correspondents and to the international community.
7. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
82. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has, to date, undertaken a
broad range of awareness creation, advocacy and operational activities in
support of the upcoming Fourth World Conference.
83. The International Conference on Population and Development, which took
place in Cairo (5-13 September 1994), underscored the centrality of women. It
clearly recognized that the empowerment of women was an important end in and
of itself and that the goal of sustainable human development would only be
reached with the full and equal participation of women in all aspects of the
development process. Principle 4 of the Programme of Action, adopted by the
Conference 3/ specifically addresses this issue.
84. As one of its principal preparatory activities for the upcoming World
Conference, UNFPA is fully committed to assuring that the relevant portions of
the Programme for Action are integrated into the Beijing platform for action.
Indeed, many of the quantitative goals of the ICPD Programme of Action
directly pertain to the aims of the World Conference - namely, the reduction
of maternal, infant and child mortality; the provision of universal access to
education, particularly for girls; and the provision of universal access to a
broad range of quality reproductive health care and family planning services.
85. The Fund participated in the various expert group meetings and, in
particular, provided funding to UNCTAD to organize the Expert Group Meeting on
Women in Development in the Least Developed Countries. UNFPA has helped the
Women's Feature Services, a news network, to undertake special initiatives
focusing on the World Conference.
86. At the regional level, UNFPA was represented by senior staff from
Headquarters and field offices at all the regional preparatory meetings.
Recognizing the importance of the participation of non-governmental
organizations, UNFPA provided assistance to members of women's
non-governmental organizations to enable them to take part in those regional
meetings. In connection with the regional meetings of the Economic Commission
for Europe (ECE) and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UNFPA extended
funding to the Commonwealth Medical Association to conduct a round table on
women's reproductive health.
87. During the coming months, UNFPA will intensify its activities in support
of the Conference. As part of its awareness creation activities, the Fund's
1995 State of the World's Population will focus on the empowerment of women.
The initial section of the report considers in some details the pathway "from
Cairo to Beijing". UNFPA will continue its technical and financial support to
the Statistical Office of the United Nations Secretariat for the upcoming
edition of The World's Women, one of the official Conference documents, and
for the upgrading of WISTAT, the database on women. UNFPA will assist the
Global Commission on Women's Health, particularly in connection with its
special activities for the Conference.
88. With respect to country-level activities, UNFPA's Executive Director has
directed all UNFPA field offices to work closely with national committees and
non-governmental organizations in preparation for the Conference and the NGO
Forum, taking place at the same time. UNFPA will provide funding to enable
women to participate in the final session of the Preparatory Committee and in
the Conference itself.
89. As part of its efforts to facilitate the Conference process, UNFPA has
arranged a number of briefings between the ICPD secretariat and the
secretariat of the Conference. In its advocacy and operational initiatives,
UNFPA will continue to collaborate with other United Nations agencies and
organizations and with women's non-governmental organizations at the
international and local levels.
8. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
90. A project entitled "technical cooperation and women's lives:
integrating gender into development policy", funded by UNDP and implemented by
UNRISD, is designed to strengthen national capacity to undertake gender
analysis and to integrate gender into mainstream development policy. Drawing
on activities of phase I of this project, UNRISD is preparing three
substantive papers, to be issued together in book form, to be presented at the
Conference. The three papers cover interrelated themes.
91. The first paper is an overview of the conceptual shifts in the women and
development discourse over the past two decades, focusing in particular on the
shift from women in development to gender and development (WID/GAD), its
reasons and consequences. The second paper provides an analytical account of
donor agency approaches to WID/GAD, based on secondary and primary material.
The third paper provides a substantive discussion of governmental approaches
to integrating gender into the state development processes, based on
experiences in six countries included in phase I of the project.
9. United Nations International Drug Control Programme
92. Since 1992, the Drug Control Programme has produced a series of reports
and studies on women, drug abuse and drug control, and has undertaken other
activities, details of which were reported earlier.
10. United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice
93. The Institute has completed the preparation of an international
bibliography on violence in the family, focusing on violence against women and
children. The bibliography comprises a collection of data and a qualitative
analysis of the literature collected. A summary of the work will be published
in the series Issues and Reports.
94. The Institute's analysis of the data on women victims of crime in
developing countries, collected during the 1992-1994 International Crime
(Victim) Survey, will be ready for distribution at the beginning of 1995. The
analysis will compare 13 cities/urban areas in developing countries and will
present, among other information, data on the circumstances surrounding sex
crimes, reasons for not reporting, satisfaction with police work, existing
mechanisms of victim support, and fear of crime. Part of the material was
incorporated in the updated edition of The Worldžs Women.
95. The above-cited reports will also be presented at the forthcoming Ninth
United Nations Congress for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders. The issue of violence against women will be discussed during the
workshop on the prevention of violence under the priority topic "Crime
11. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
96. UNHCR focal points at the national level contributed to the national
reports on the situation of refugee women in their countries, based on
consultations with the refugees and UNHCR's implementing partners
(non-governmental organizations and government ministries). Based on national
reports, UNHCR focal points have produced reports on the situation of refugee
women in Asia, Central America and the Middle East, and position papers on
Africa and Europe. This bottom-up approach aims at exposing UNHCR staff and
implementing partners to policy makers in the field of women in development,
whom they would not necessarily meet in the normal course of their duties. It
is expected that this two-way information exchange will greatly contribute to
an understanding of refugee women's issues, at both the national and the
97. UNHCR's Public Information Section has prepared a calendar, a video,
posters, and greeting cards with a focus on refugee women.
12. United Nations Children's Fund
98. UNICEF regional and country offices were actively associated with all
five regional preparatory conferences for the Fourth World Conference on
Women. The main areas for support included the preparation of country reports
and information materials, networking among non-governmental organizations,
public awareness campaigns and mobilization of women's groups around gender
issues. The central theme of UNICEF's advocacy was on the elimination of
gender disparities from the life-cycle perspective, priority action for girls,
capacity-building and the empowerment of women and girls.
99. At headquarters, UNICEF's task force for the Conference works closely
with the Conference secretariat as an active member of the ad hoc inter-agency
committee and participant in the expert group meetings on selected themes and
the regional conferences. UNICEF is collaborating with other United Nations
agencies and non-governmental organizations in the organization of special
events at the NGO Forum and Youth Consultation at Beijing, including the
production of special information materials.
13. United Nations Development Fund for Women
100. UNIFEM has launched a visibility campaign to raise the awareness of
donors and non-governmental organization partners, through the mainstream
media, on women-in-development issues and the Fourth World Conference. To
begin this process, UNIFEM implemented a media advocacy project to train its
professional staff to interact with the media and incorporate information and
communications throughout its regular programme and project work.
101. UNIFEM is producing information and advocacy materials, including a
co-publication with United Nations/Non-governmental Liaison Service, on how
non-governmental organizations can participate in United Nations world
conferences and international decision-making, and a co-publication with
UNICEF, on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women and women's human rights. In addition, UNIFEM is sponsoring a
world-wide magazine editors' campaign to encourage women's magazines to
highlight women-in-development issues and the Conference in their publications
leading up to 8 March, International Women's Day. Other materials include
posters for the regional preparatory conferences.
102. UNIFEM prepared and organized press briefings, press kits, and exhibits
on issues related to each regional preparatory conference, and has funded
non-governmental organization newsletters, publications, and workshops, to
provide regional information on the preparatory process for the Conference.
Regional offices supported preparations of comprehensive non-governmental
organization directories and country profiles to facilitate the information-
sharing and to provide a regional perspective on the preparatory process.
UNIFEM launched several poster, cartoon, and video competitions in the
103. Through its umbrella project for the Conference, UNIFEM has put into
operation more than 90 global, regional, and nationally based initiatives in
preparation for the Conference, in collaboration with other development
partners, including the Conference secretariat.
104. UNIFEM assisted in identifying key women's non-governmental
organizations and networks, giving particular attention to new ones and
supporting them with training, information, and opportunities to plan
strategies and participate at all levels of the preparatory process. It has
been funding and facilitating the participation of non-governmental
organization members in the regional preparatory meetings and has been funding
their preparations for the Conference.
105. UNIFEM supported the Conference secretariat's youth strategy. It
participated in the inter-agency group meeting for youth involvement, convened
by the secretariat. It also assisted the secretariat in convening youth
meetings prior to the regional preparatory conferences.
106. Part of UNIFEM's strategy for the Conference is to provide women with
the skills and information they need to participate more effectively in
international fora. To that end, UNIFEM conducted workshops on putting gender
on the agenda of United Nations conferences, in Seoul, Beijing, and Dakar.
The Technical Advisory Section initiated and facilitates a working group of
non-governmental organizations involved in micro-lending to develop and
implement strategies that will highlight women and finance at the Conference
and NGO Forum. This International Coalition on Women and Finance, with over
20 internationally recognized non-governmental organizations as founding
members, is instrumental in advocating for policies that provide women with
increased access to financial resources.
107. With the placement of a special adviser on the Conference in the UNDP
country office in Beijing, UNIFEM will contribute to effective coordination
within the United Nations system and ensure that the main objectives of
UNIFEM's strategy for the Conference are addressed.
14. United Nations Development Programme
108. UNDP continues to play key facilitation, coordination, advocacy and
partnership-building roles in the preparations for the Fourth World Conference
on Women. UNDP's overall strategic thrust for the Conference is to build and
strengthen national capacities for sustainable human development as it relates
to the empowerment of women. Its contributions are designed to ensure full
support to, and collaboration with, Governments, United Nations agencies and
non-governmental organizations by stressing the following thematic areas for
(a) Gender statistics and gender statistical methods and tools. For
example, the 1995 Human Development Report will be on women;
(b) Gender, environment and sustainable human development;
(c) Women in situations of transition, such as economic recovery and
political transition (as in Eastern Europe and Middle East) and conflict
situations (as in Africa and Central America);
(d) Health issues, especially the impact on women coping with the
109. At the national level, with its network of field offices in almost all
developing countries, UNDP is participating in national preparations for the
Conference in all the regions. UNDP Resident Representatives in the field
offices have established task forces with broad representation from
Governments and non-governmental organizations to coordinate women-in-
development (WID) activities in support of the Conference; provided financial
and technical support to countries in all regions of the world in the
preparation of national reports, including the collection and analysis of
gender-disaggregated data; assisted in the translation and production of
national reports. In many instances, UNDP's involvement in national
preparations includes coordination of donor working groups for the Conference,
participation in national WID task forces, and sponsorship of seminars,
workshops and national conferences on women with respective national
machineries, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.
110. At the regional level, UNDP has worked collaboratively with the regional
commissions to prepare for the regional preparatory conferences, in all of
which UNDP participated. All UNDP regional bureaux have supported activities,
such as sponsoring panel discussions and dialogue, providing technical support
and encouraging non-governmental organization participation in the regional
conferences. In addition, UNDP engaged participants in these regional
preparatory activities in dialogue through the sponsorship of panel workshops
and training sessions on relevant gender and development topics.
111. At the international level, at UNDP headquarters, a Fourth World
Conference Working Group has been established, consisting of representatives
from the Administrator's Office, the regional bureaux, the Bureau for Policy
and Programme Support, the Bureau for Resources and External Affairs, the
Division of Public Affairs, the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among
Developing Countries (SU/TCDC), the United Nations Capital Development Fund
(UN/CDF), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United
Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office (UNSO) etc. The Working Group is coordinating
UNDP's preparations for the Conference in order to ensure complementarity of
conference-related activities within the organization. The Working Group has
reviewed and made substantive contributions to the draft platform for action
and to the second review and appraisal of the Nairobi Forward-looking
112. UNDP's Division of Public Affairs has prepared a plan to mobilize the
press world wide to make WID/GAD issues part of the development debate and
agenda. In China, the UNDP Beijing office continues to support the All China
Women's Federation in the overall preparations and to provide other logistical
support to agencies within the United Nations system.
15. United Nations Volunteers
113. At the regional level, UNV specialists have been placed in the
secretariats of the regional commissions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Bangkok,
to assist in strengthening capacity for coordinating and preparing the
regional preparatory conferences. At ESCAP for example, the UNV specialists
have assisted in the preparations for the regional conference by providing
information and promotional skills, liaising with non-governmental
organizations and assisting in the preparation of technical papers and
reports. UNV provided some of its findings relating to civil society and
public life and governance in Central and Eastern Europe and the economies in
transition as a contribution to ECE for its regional preparations.
114. At the national level, international UNV specialists working together
with national UNV specialists have provided support to selected least
developed countries within the framework of projects funded through its
Special Voluntary Fund. Using the Fund, UNV has been the main funding source
in support of the establishment of a women's non-governmental organization
coalition in one of the least developed countries.
16. International Research and Training Institute
for the Advancement of Women
115. INSTRAW is planning to conduct an expert group meeting on women and
empowerment prior to the Conference.
116. Arrangements for activities to be conducted in conjunction with the
Conference have been further reviewed and discussed with collaborating
agencies. Some of the substantive framework was modified in accordance with
the results of the regional preparatory conferences, which INSTRAW attended.
These activities include a panel on women, water and environmental sanitation;
a panel on time use of women and men; and a panel on women and communication
117. In addition to those reported previously, INSTRAW is currently
completing a training package on women and sustainable development and a
publication entitled "The migration of women: methodological issues in the
measurement and analysis of internal and international migration". These will
be made available at the Conference.
118. Posters, flyers and other public information materials are also being
prepared for exhibition. A CD-ROM compilation of all the publications,
training materials, technical reports and public information materials
produced by INSTRAW is also being prepared for distribution at the Conference.
17. World Food Programme
119. WFP's activities in preparation for the Fourth World Conference on Women
focus on country offices and counterparts. A number of field offices have
contributed to the preparation of national reports and are identifying areas
in which food aid and/or WFP advocacy can support priorities established for
the Conference. WFP has also contributed to various subregional and regional
120. WFP initiated a series of meetings on gender considerations in emergency
situations; on economic restructuring and women's access to education, health
and related services; on the persistent and growing burden of poverty on women
and the strategies that local organizations adopted in collaboration with
development agencies; and on violence against women arising from development
activities that involve women in non-traditional areas.
121. WFP's Public Affairs Branch produced a radio programme on gender issues
for grass-roots communities in each of the regions. Materials for media
coverage have been prepared on how women use food aid to their advancement and
what they contribute to family, community and economic development. A loop-
video, a photo kit, and a gender brochure are being prepared for presentation
at the Conference and for use by country offices.
B. Specialized agencies
1. International Labour Organization
122. The activities carried out so far by the ILO in preparation for the
Fourth World Conference on Women were reviewed by the ILO Governing Body at
its 261st session in November 1994.
123. At the international level, the ILO continued to collaborate with the
Division for the Advancement of Women on technical matters. The ILO's
International Training Centre at Turin hosted the Expert Group Meeting on
Gender, Education and Training (10-14 October 1994) and also contributed a
technical background paper which covered women's access to vocational and
technical training, including an analysis of the obstacles and possible lines
of actions to tackle them.
124. At the regional level, the ILO attended all five regional preparatory
conferences for the Conference.
125. At the national level, the ILO continued to provide technical advice to
national preparatory committees in support of the preparation of national
reports for the Conference; to encourage and support the participation of the
ministries of labour, employers' organizations and the trade unions in the
work of these committees; and to ensure that labour-related issues are
adequately covered by the reports. The ILO continued to provide comments on
some of the completed national reports to ensure adequate coverage of
126. In October 1994, ILO convened two tripartite regional seminars - one on
the problems of women workers in the Arab region (9-13 October 1994) and the
other on women, work and poverty in Africa and the impact of economic
restructuring on the employment, training and working conditions of women (24-
28 October 1994). The tripartite symposium in the Arab countries identified a
number of key problem areas for action in the fields of education, vocational
guidance and training, employment, legislative provisions, reconciling work
and family responsibilities, violence against women, the roles of government,
employers and workers' organizations to promote women workers' rights and the
empowerment of women through their participation and representation in these
groups. The tripartite seminar in Africa emphasized the need for an
integrated comprehensive strategy for promoting the situation of African women
in the world of work. It produced an agenda for action and called upon the
various bodies at the national, regional and international levels seriously to
consider it in the formulation and implementation of their technical
assistance and other programmes to assist African women.
127. An Asian subregional tripartite awareness-raising workshop on improving
working conditions for women in economies in transition was held in Beijing
(7-11 November 1994). Other ongoing ILO activities for the World Conference
include a Caribbean subregional tripartite seminar on equality of opportunity
and treatment for workers with family responsibilities, Georgetown, Guyana
(28 November-2 December 1994); a 52-minute documentary film, "Women and work";
working papers, books, an annotated bibliography on women workers, a training
package on women's rights, and regular information bulletins to inform ILO
staff and constituents about the preparation for the Fourth World Conference
2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
128. FAO has developed a public information strategy aimed at raising
awareness and increasing knowledge of gender issues in agriculture and rural
development. It is one of the main components of FAO's programme of
activities for the Fourth World Conference on Women. Future planned
(a) Preparation of a set of graphics on rural women for electronic
diffusion to journalists and media people;
(b) Posters on rural women in four languages;
(c) Information packet/press kit;
(d) Booklet on FAO activities in agricultural and rural development
success stories, in four languages;
(e) Video shorts highlighting women's contributions to food production
and agriculture, to be distributed to major media outlets.
FAO is also setting up a database on women in agriculture.
129. FAO elaborated a synthesis report for Africa on the basis of data from
nine country sectoral reports on women in agriculture. A one-day technical
workshop on women in agriculture and rural development was held in Dakar on 15
November. It prepared recommendations on rural women for the African regional
130. FAO's regional preparatory activities for Western Asia are combined with
the preparation of a regional plan of action for the integration of women in
rural development in the Near East. A meeting is planned for early 1995 to
complete the regional plan of action and discuss follow-up activities. A
regional synthesis report on women in rural development was submitted to the
regional preparatory conference. Two expert consultations, in November 1993
and in July 1994, were organized to support national and regional
preparations. A regional paper on women, environmental and national resource
management is now under preparation for distribution at the Conference.
131. A one-day regional consultative meeting for Europe took place in Germany
in September 1994 to discuss the findings of the national sectoral reports and
to produce recommendations on the mechanisms and policies required to address
the needs of rural women in the region. The recommendations were presented at
the regional preparatory meeting in Vienna.
132. FAO is in the process of preparing a regional paper on women in agro-
based small enterprises with a focus on credit, legislation and marketing for
the Asia and Pacific region.
133. With regard to the Latin American and Caribbean region, FAO held a
subregional workshop on women, rural development and decentralization
processes from 23 to 25 August 1994 in Venezuela. Together with national
sectoral reports, it contributed to the regional document analysing the
situation of rural women in Latin America and the Caribbean for presentation
at the regional preparatory conference.
3. World Health Organization
134. Teams of WHO staff and members of the Global Commission on Women's
Health, an advisory body to WHO, have attended each regional preparatory
conference and actively lobbied for the inclusion of women's health in
regional and global draft platforms for action. A working group of WHO staff
has been formed to lay the preparatory groundwork for the Conference and
attend it. Information is being collected on what WHO is currently doing to
address women's major health problems throughout the life cycle and in all
world regions from all relevant divisions within the Organization. One
technical document will provide data on key issues affecting women's health.
It will have a wide distribution both during and beyond the Conference. A WHO
position paper will be prepared for the Conference itself, using photographs,
charts and graphs. Other public information tools under preparation are a
video portraying a range of women's health issues, posters and postcards.
135. A media and communications strategy is being planned for the Conference.
It will include press releases and a press kit and a series of articles on
various pressing women's health issues. A press conference will be held
closer to the time of the Conference.
136. WHO will also participate in the Conference itself. A booth containing
information and documents on women's health and WHO programmes to improve it
will be available. More importantly, in order to spotlight the importance of
women's health in their overall development, WHO has requested that a one-day
colloquium on health be held during the Conference. The colloquium will allow
WHO to bring women's health to the attention of persons in attendance. This
event is expected to bring together a broad spectrum of governmental and
non-governmental organization representatives interested in all aspects of
women's development, health and well-being. A personality of international
renown in the development field will serve as chairperson, with keynote
addresses to be given by other international figures on critical aspects of
women's health. Women's testimonials, music, poetry and pantomime will be
featured in order to maximize the interest generated in women's health
4. United Nations Educational, Scientific and
137. UNESCO's Consultative Committee on Women held its second meeting on 13
and 14 October 1994. The Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference on
Women attended this preparatory meeting, which was presided over by UNESCO's
Director-General. The Committee examined preparatory activities and discussed
strategies for the follow-up to the Conference and the platform for action.
138. Concerning UNESCO's international symposium on women and the media,
access to expression and decision-making, to be held from 28 February to 3
March 1995 in Toronto, seven regional preparatory workshops have been
organized in the different regions of the world. Their recommendations will
be presented at the symposium. An important part of those recommendations has
already been integrated into the UNESCO's contribution to the draft platform
for action and forwarded to the World Conference secretariat.
139. An international workshop on cultural changes in women's life cycle will
take place at UNESCO headquarters, 16-18 January 1995. The result of this
meeting will be presented at the Conference.
140. A high-level consultation on women's contribution in a culture of peace
will be organized on 3 September 1995 in Beijing, with the participation of
Heads of State, Nobel prize winners, and others to discuss and adopt a
declaration on women's contribution to a culture of peace. It will be
prepared by a meeting to take place from 24 to 27 April 1995, in Manila.
141. International Literacy Day, 8 September 1995, will be celebrated in
Beijing, under the supervision of UNESCO.
142. Special activities will be organized on 13 September 1995 in Beijing
with youth organizations and associations in the framework of the celebration
of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations.
5. United Nations Industrial Development Organization
143. Following its global study on women's participation in manufacturing,
completed in 1993, UNIDO prepared five in-depth regional studies entitled
"Women in manufacturing: participation patterns, determinants and future
trends". They were conducted in close cooperation with the regional
commissions to collect gender-disaggregated statistics, examine indicators of
progress with regard to the advancement of women in manufacturing and, based
on the analysis, to develop an action plan specifically designed for each
region. The regional studies were presented at the respective regional
preparatory conferences with a view to making the role and participation of
women in industry and manufacturing more visible in the regional plans and
programmes of action and ultimately in the platform for action to be adopted
at the Conference in Beijing. The studies will be consolidated into a policy
paper in which UNIDO's strategy for Beijing will be stipulated and action-
oriented recommendations for follow-up to the Conference will be proposed. A
workshop concerning the ECE region is planned for early 1995, in cooperation
with the regional commission.
144. UNIDO convened an expert group meeting on women entrepreneurs in
sustainable economic development in October 1994 in Yokohama. It adopted
recommendations and an action plan to promote entrepreneurship development for
women in Asia, including ASEAN countries, China, India, Sri Lanka, the
Republic of Korea, and Japan, and to take initiatives to establish a stronger
network of women in business and industry in the region.
145. UNIDO will prepare, for dissemination, exhibition materials, flyers,
brochures, videos and other information and promotional materials for the
Conference. An expert group meeting on women in industry is tentatively
planned for June 1995.
6. International Fund for Agricultural Development
146. IFAD is involved in the preparations for the Conference on several
fronts which have concentrated on original work and initiatives of long-term
impact. Some of them are:
(a) Decision-making mechanisms in household and natural resource
management: preparation of a comparative study (Morocco and Pakistan) on
rural households' coping strategies in household and farm management in which
the various roles and functions of women in decision-making processes are
(b) Nutrition strategy: IFAD's strategy on nutrition, approved by its
Executive Board in April 1994, will be a framework for addressing issues
regarding household food security, both from a conceptual and implementation
point of view;
(c) Women and poverty: an extensive study on rural women and poverty
will be published for the Conference;
(d) Rural women in IFAD's projects: IFAD will prepare a review, in the
form of data-sheets, of its projects, with particular emphasis on rural women,
including an assessment of lessons learned;
(e) As a follow-up to the Summit on the Economic Advancement of Rural
Women, held in Geneva in 1992, IFAD has continued to provide support to the
International Steering Committee responsible for implementing the
recommendations of the Summit.
7. International Monetary Fund
147. IMF will continue to monitor events leading up to the Conference and to
participate in related meetings. The Fund will also look forward to
participating in the Conference itself.
148. Fund programmes are evolving, with growing recognition within the Fund
of the social dimensions of structural adjustment, resulting in greater
discussion of these issues with authorities and incorporation of policies
relating to social issues. As pointed out by the Managing Director of IMF in
his address to the International Conference on Population and Development, one
of the most important lessons we have learned over the past 20 years is that
poverty reduction has been most rapid in countries which have provided
themselves with a strong enabling environment, stable macroeconomic conditions
and successful efforts at structural adjustment, which have increased
education and provision of health care and made decisive improvements in the
status of women.
149. Through events such as the International Conference on Population and
Development, the World Summit on Social Development, and the Fourth World
Conference on Women, the role of women in poverty reduction is being
recognized. In this regard, the Fund is beginning to explore, in close
consultation with the World Bank, the possibility of developing and designing
a gender-sensitive training programme for Fund staff.
III. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
150. Following the visit of the Facilitating Committee of the Forum to China
last June, the NGO Forum on Women and the China Organizing Committee have
signed a letter of agreement regarding arrangements for the Forum. The site
of the Forum will be the historic Beijing Worker's Sports Services Centre,
located approximately 20 minutes by bus from the site of the Fourth World
Conference on Women, and transportation will be available between the Forum
and Conference sites. The site will include a resource centre for
non-governmental organizations, space for workshops and plenary sessions. To
meet the critical need for accurate and timely information, the Forum, in
cooperation with the private sector, plans to use people-oriented technology
in order to support the work of non-governmental organizations at the Forum.
151. The NGO Forum on Women has adopted the slogan "Look at the world through
women's eyes". For the 10 days of the Forum, participants will run workshops,
seminars, plenary sessions, photo and art exhibitions, markets and a variety
of cultural events. Through their work at the Forum, non-governmental
organizations will discuss the draft platform for action and devise strategies
to implement women's vision for the world in the twenty-first century.
152. The Planning Committee of the NGO Forum on Women is implementing a
strong information strategy to respond to the wide interest of
non-governmental organizations planning to participate in the Forum. It is
working towards the largest possible outreach, through regional focal points,
already existing networks, electronic communications, media, as well as
through non-governmental organizations.
153. Non-governmental organizations that wish to sponsor activities on-site
are requested to inform the Planning Committee by completing an activity
request form designed for this purpose. With the help of a computerized
database, the NGO Forum on Women will match organizations proposing similar
activities and encourage collaborative planning. Non-governmental
organizations world wide have been preparing for months for Beijing, and the
creative and strategic minds of women are evident in their activity proposals,
which include issues such as science and technology, sexual and reproductive
rights, spirituality, the environment, sustainable development and multiple
art forms. The deadline for submitting activity requests and registration
forms to the Forum office, located in New York, is 30 April 1995.
154. The Forum wishes to represent the diversity of women's experiences by
including grass-roots groups, youth, indigenous women, and women who would
otherwise never be able to attend such an important international gathering.
The Send a Sister to Beijing Campaign, which was only recently launched, was
created to raise travel funds for the participation of these types of women.
1/ World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the
United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi,
15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publications, Sales No. E.85.IV.10), chap. I,
2/ General Assembly resolution 48/104.
3/ "Report of the International Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994" (A/CONF.171/13 and Add.1), resolution
I, chap. II.
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