United Nations

A/51/322


General Assembly

 Distr. GENERAL
3 September 1996
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


Fifty-first session
Item 106 of the provisional agenda*


         IMPLEMENTATION OF THE OUTCOME OF THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE
                                   ON WOMEN

                        Report of the Secretary-General


                                     SUMMARY

     The General Assembly, by its resolution 50/203 of 22 December 1995,
requested the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-first session on ways to enhance the capacity of the Organization and of
the United Nations system to support the ongoing follow-up to the Fourth World
Conference on Women in the most integrated and effective way, including human
and financial requirements, and to report annually on the measures taken and
the progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and
Platform for Action.  The present report describes developments since the
adoption of the resolution in intergovernmental forums and by the
organizations of the United Nations system, indicating that the momentum
generated by the Conference is continuing.  It also describes factors related
to the capacity of the United Nations system in terms of human and financial
requirements and proposes a number of possible additional steps.









     *    A/51/150.

                                   CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION ..........................................   1 - 3       5

II.   PROGRESS IN MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE ........   4 - 92      5

      A. Mainstreaming a gender perspective ................    7 - 15      6

      B. Mainstreaming follow-up in intergovernmental
         forums ............................................   16 - 47      8

         1.   The Economic and Social Council and its
              subsidiary bodies .............................  17 - 37      9

              (a) Statistical Commission ...................   20 - 23      9

              (b) Commission on Narcotic Drugs .............    24         10

              (c) Commission for Social Development ........    25         10

              (d) Committee for Programme and Coordination .    26         11

              (e) Economic Commission for Africa ...........   27 - 28     11

              (f) Economic Commission for Europe ...........    29         11

              (g) Economic Commission for Latin America
                  and the Caribbean ........................   30 - 32     12

              (h) Economic and Social Commission for Asia
                  and the Pacific ..........................   33 - 34     13

              (i) Economic and Social Commission for
                  Western Asia .............................   35 - 36     13

              (j) Executive Boards of the funds and
                  programmes of the United Nations .........    37         13

         2.   Specialized agencies of the United Nations
              system ........................................  38 - 45     14

              (a) International Labour Organization ........    39         14

              (b) Food and Agriculture Organization of the
                  United Nations ...........................    40         14

              (c) United Nations Educational, Scientific
                  and Cultural Organization ................   41 - 42     14

              (d) World Health Organization ................    43         15

              (e) United Nations Industrial Development
                  Organization .............................   44 - 45     15

         3.   Other United Nations intergovernmental bodies .  46 - 47     16

      C. Follow-up in the United Nations system ............   48 - 84     16

         1.   Office of the Secretary-General ...............    50        16

         2.   Department of Public Information ..............    51        17

         3.   Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
              the Pacific ...................................  52 - 56     17

         4.   Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia    57        18

         5.   Economic Commission for Latin America and the
              Caribbean .....................................    58        18

         6.   United Nations Population Fund ................  59 - 60     18

         7.   United Nations Children's Fund ................  61 - 64     19

         8.   United Nations Research Institute for Social
              Development ...................................    65        19

         9.   World Food Programme ..........................  66 - 68     20

         10.  International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO .........  69 - 73     20

         11.  International Labour Organization .............  74 - 75     21

         12.  Food and Agriculture Organization of the
              United Nations ................................  76 - 81     21

         13.  United Nations Educational, Scientific and
              Cultural Organization .........................  82 - 84     22

      D. Reported activities of non-governmental
         organizations and other institutions of civil
         society ...........................................   85 - 92     23

III.  NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PLANS .........................  93 - 97     25

      A. Progress in establishing national implementation
         plans .............................................    94         25

      B. Next steps ........................................   95 - 97     25

IV.   MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION ...............................  98 - 113    26


                               I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   The General Assembly, by its resolution 50/203 on follow-up to the Fourth
World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration
and the Platform for Action of 22 December 1995, requested the
Secretary-General to report, through the Commission on the Status of Women and
the Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly at its fifty-first
session on ways to enhance the capacity of the Organization and of the United
Nations system to support the ongoing follow-up to the Fourth World Conference
on Women in the most integrated and effective way, including human and
financial requirements.  It further requested the Secretary-General to report
annually to the Commission on the Status of Women and to the General Assembly,
through the Economic and Social Council, on the measures taken and the
progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and
Platform for Action. 

2.   At the time the resolution was adopted, Member States were informed that
the Secretariat would consider that the requested reports should be provided
on a rolling basis:  the report to the Commission would contain early
material, the report to the Council would summarize these and add new
material, including the results of the Commission itself, and the report to
the General Assembly would add further material, including the results of the
Council's deliberations.  Because of their close relationship and to expedite
processing and consideration, the Secretary-General has combined the two
requested reports into a single report.

3.   An initial report was submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women
at its fortieth session on ways and means to enhance the capacity of the
Organization and the United Nations system to support the ongoing follow-up to
the Fourth World Conference on Women (E/CN.6/1996/3) as well as on the
mandate, methods of work and multi-year work programme of the Commission on
the Status of Women as part of its consideration of follow-up to the
Conference (E/CN.6/1996/2).  A further report was presented to the Economic
and Social Council (E/1996/82) indicating developments relating to
implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action in
intergovernmental forums reporting to the Council and among the organizations
of the United Nations system, on an inter-agency basis, reflecting the steps
taken to support the ongoing follow-up to the Conference in the most
integrated and effective way.


              II.  PROGRESS IN MAINSTREAMING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE

4.   The Beijing Declaration states in its final paragraph that:  "We hereby
adopt and commit ourselves as Governments to implement the following Platform
for Action, ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in all our
policies and programmes." 1/  In its resolution 50/203, the General Assembly
called upon States, the United Nations system and all other actors to
implement the Platform for Action, in particular by promoting an active and
visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective at all levels, including
in the design, monitoring and evaluation of all policies, as appropriate, in
order to ensure effective implementation of the Platform.

5.   The first step in implementing this commitment at the international level
is for intergovernmental forums and the secretariats and programmes that they
oversee to adopt policies and programmatic guidelines for mainstreaming as a
key aspect of implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for
Action.  As will be shown below, most of the intergovernmental bodies of the
United Nations system have taken these initial steps, as have most of the
secretariats and programmes of the system.

6.   However, it will be important over the next year for further steps to be
taken to elaborate the concept of mainstreaming a gender perspective and its
practical implications and requirements.  The present report begins with an
initial exploration of these practical implications, based on the experience
accumulated by the Secretariat in the preparations for the Beijing Conference
and subsequent reflections in the context of preparing for follow-up.


                    A.  Mainstreaming a gender perspective

7.   Mainstreaming a gender perspective is a leitmotif of the Platform for
Action.  While there is a general understanding of what is meant by a gender
perspective, no effort was made to articulate its concept and practical
implications in detail in the period leading up to the Beijing Conference.  An
important step in implementing the commitments to mainstreaming a gender
perspective is to translate the concept into practical action.

8.   A perspective is a way of looking at something.  A gender perspective is
a method of thinking, of conceptualizing, a cognitive structure that enables
policies and programmes to be designed, assessed, monitored and evaluated in
terms of their relative implications for women and men, in contribution and in
impact.

9.   As a starting point, in United Nations usage, 2/ gender refers to the
socially constructed roles played by women and men that are ascribed to them
on the basis of their sex.  Gender analysis is done in order to examine
similarities and differences in roles and responsibilities between women and
men without direct reference to biology, but rather to the behaviour patterns
expected from women and men and their cultural reinforcement.  These roles are
usually specific to a given area and time, that is, since gender roles are
contingent on the social and economic context, they can vary according to the
specific context and can change over time.  In terms of the use of language,
the word "sex" is used to refer to physical and biological characteristics of
women and men, while gender is used to refer to the explanations for observed
differences between women and men based on socially assigned roles.

10.  Gender analysis as part of the application of a gender perspective moves
the analysis beyond a focus on women as an isolated group, and to the
consideration of an issue and its relationship to men and women.  Such an
approach allows that advantages and disadvantages experienced by either group
can be made visible, and for steps to be taken to address disadvantages with a
view to preventing or eliminating and redressing them.

11.  There is a need to be aware that gender may be significant in the
understanding of an issue or situation and its policy and programmatic
implications so that responses to problems can be carefully tailored.  A
failure to be aware of the relevance of gender can lead to an incomplete
assessment of the issue at hand, and to the overlooking or underestimating of
problem dimensions linked to, or caused by, gender.

12.  By being aware of the way in which gender has an impact on the enjoyment
of rights, on equal access to opportunities and resources, to participation in
decision-making at all levels, to benefits, and other goods and services
offered in societal settings (be it at the family, community or State level),
the full range of obstacles connected with gender roles can more readily be
revealed and intervention strategies devised.

13.  While a gender perspective is primarily an approach requiring a
reconceptualization of the way things are looked at, a number of practical
implications for the mainstreaming of a gender perspective (which, as the
Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action state, is to be reflected in
all policies and programmes) result therefrom.  First and foremost, it
requires that people are made familiar with, and are given the tools,
including training, to apply it in research, analysis, programme and policy
development, and decision-making.  It is essential that a gender perspective
be applied to all these steps since analysis based on data disaggregated by
sex will not bring about change if they are ignored in the development of
policy options.  Likewise, decisions cannot be gender-sensitive if the
underlying analysis does not take gender factors into account.

14.  Mainstreaming a gender perspective in programming and policy-making would
therefore appear to involve a series of steps, which could be summarized as
follows:

     (1)  Issues should be defined in such a fashion that gender differences
          can be observed.  In preparing texts for discussion, an assumption
          of gender-neutrality should not be made, but rather the issues
          should be examined, prima facie, for aspects where gender factors
          could potentially be important.

     (2)  The next step is to observe and diagnose differences between women
          and men and the factors associated with these differences.  For each
          factor in a given issue area, a comparison is made between the
          situation of women and that of men.  If there is no difference, it
          is plausible to assume that for that factor, gender is not
          significant.  If there is a difference, it is necessary to see how
          it is mediated by other social and economic factors such as age,
          class, ethnic group or occupational type.

     (3)  Once these factors are articulated, it is necessary to analyse how
          the differences are reflected in roles and how the roles are created
          and reinforced.  The result of the analysis should be to identify
          the specific obstacles to full participation and enjoyment of rights
          by women, as well as men.

     (4)  The next step is to see how these roles function in terms of the
          process of change.  This analysis sets the stage to diagnosing how
          change can be achieved through the definition of policies and
          programmes.  It includes looking at how gender roles are related to
          programme inputs, and at the process of implementing programmes and
          the expected outcomes.  The examination of inputs needed to
          elaborate the details of each policy or programme consists of
          assessing pre-existing conditions, which constitute the baseline for
          change, as well as appraising the interventions that are expected to
          change these conditions. 

     (5)  The final step consists of adopting the programmes and policies that
          can be expected, with a good probability of success, to address the
          issue in question.

15.  A number of United Nations and other international agencies, individually
and collectively, have been determining how best in practice to integrate a
gender perspective into their policies and programmes.  Considerable
experience and expertise exist within the United Nations system regarding
mainstreaming in operational activities.  Work is continuing on developing
methodologies to facilitate the application of a gender perspective in
reporting under international human rights instruments and mechanisms.  At the
same time, further work is clearly needed to strengthen the conceptual basis
for system-wide mainstreaming of a gender perspective, its incorporation in
the day-to-day work of United Nations staff throughout the system, and in
intergovernmental action in many areas beyond the social sectors and
operational activities.  The ACC Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender
Equality is expected to move forward the conceptual discussion of
mainstreaming a gender perspective, to compile existing experience in this
regard, and to develop practical proposals and tools in support of system-wide
mainstreaming.


            B.  Mainstreaming follow-up in intergovernmental forums

16.  The General Assembly, in its resolution 50/203, considered, in relation
to the United Nations, that the Platform for Action should be implemented
through the work of all the bodies and organizations of the system during the
period 1995-2000, specifically and as an integral part of wider programming. 
The Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 1996/6 of 22 July 1996,
decided that the Platform for Action needed to be implemented through the work
of all the bodies and organizations of the United Nations system during the
period 1995-2000 and noted that the institutions of the United Nations
especially devoted to the advancement of women, including the International
Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), were in the process of
reviewing their programmes of work in the light of the Platform for Action and
its implementation.  During the period since the Conference, many
intergovernmental bodies have taken steps to ensure the implementation of the
Platform for Action through mainstreaming.  These include, but are not limited
to, the following.


         1.  The Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies

17.  In the report of the Secretary-General to the Economic and Social Council
(E/1996/82), steps taken by subsidiary bodies of the Council, including
especially the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Human
Rights, the Commission on Population and Development and the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, were reported.  The report also
provided information on UNIFEM and on INSTRAW.  Subsequent to the completion
of that report, the Commission for Social Development met, and further work
was done in the regional commissions and in the context of the Statistical
Commission.

18.  The Economic and Social Council, at its substantive session of 1996,
under agenda item 5 (e), approved draft resolution E/1996/L.36, on INSTRAW. 
The Council, in paragraph 2 of the resolution, "Commends the work of the
Institute on the issue addressing the process of the economic and political
empowerment of women; statistics and indicators in gender issues; women,
natural resources and sustainable development; water, waste management and
renewable sources of energy; and issues related to different groups, such as
the elderly, displaced, refugees and migrant women".

19.  The Council, in its resolution 1996/34 of 25 July 1996, endorsed the
revised system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 1996-2001
(E/1996/16), taking into account the comments of the Commission on the Status
of Women contained in its resolution 40/10 and annex and the conclusions and
recommendations of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC).  The
Council requested all organizations of the United Nations system to implement
the revised plan in the light of the general and specific comments adopted
thereon by the Commission on the Status of Women and CPC.

(a)  Statistical Commission

20.  At its eighteenth session, held in New York from 16 to 19 April 1996, the
Working Group of the Statistical Commission considered the report and
recommendations of the Expert Group on the Statistical Implications of Recent
Major United Nations Conferences (E/CN.3/AC.1/1996/R.4) and agreed that the
report should be considered by the Statistical Commission at its next session.

The Working Group recommended adoption of the minimum national social data set
proposed by the Expert Group (para. 97) as a guide to national statistical
services in considering minimum data requirements for monitoring
implementation of the programmes of action agreed in the recent major United
Nations conferences.

21.  The Expert Group identified broad areas of social concern arising from
the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit
for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women.  It
recommended 15 items for the minimum national social data set to measure
progress in implementation of the programmes of action:  (a) population
estimates by sex, age and, where appropriate and feasible, ethnic group; (b)
life expectancy at birth, by sex; (c) infant mortality by sex; (d) child
mortality by sex; (e) maternal mortality; (f) percentage of infants weighing
less than 2,500 g at birth, by sex; (g) average number of years of schooling
completed, by sex, and where possible by income class; (h) gross domestic
product (GDP) per capita; (i) household income per capita (level and
distribution); (j) monetary value of the basket of food needed for minimum
nutritional requirements; (k) unemployment rate, by sex; (l)
employment-population ratio, by sex, and by formal and informal sector where
appropriate; (m) access to safe water; (n) access to sanitation; and (o)
number of people per room, excluding kitchen and bathroom.  The United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) has proposed that the indicator "contraceptive
prevalence rate" be included.

22.  The Working Group requested the Statistics Division to work with the
regional commissions to arrange for pilot studies in each region on the
availability and quality of the statistics called for in the minimum national
social data set.  It also agreed to recommend the formation of an expert group
on poverty statistics, chaired by Brazil and with the Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) serving as the secretariat.  ECLAC
offered to host a seminar on poverty statistics in Santiago in 1997, focusing
on national and regional experiences.

23.  At its twenty-ninth session, to be held in New York from 10 to
14 February 1997, the Statistical Commission will consider the recommendations
of the Expert Group on the Statistical Implications of Recent Major United
Nations Conferences (see para. 20 above) and of the Working Group, in
particular adoption of the minimum national social data set.  It will also
consider a note by the Secretary-General on the organization of case studies
in each region on the availability and quality of social statistics and
possible sources of funding for these studies.

(b)  Commission on Narcotic Drugs

24.  The Commission on Narcotic Drugs, at its thirty-ninth session, held in
April 1996, adopted resolution 8 (XXXIX), in which it recommended to the
Economic and Social Council, in its consideration of drug control issues in
the high-level segment of its substantive session of 1996, that it endorse the
approach adopted by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC)
Subcommittee on Drug Control in redesigning the System-wide Action Plan on
Drug Abuse Control (E/CN.7/1996/19).  The redesigned System-wide Action Plan
includes a component on "women and drug abuse:  a gender perspective" and was
formulated under the guidance of the ACC Subcommittee on Drug Control with the
involvement of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme
(UNDCP), the United Nations International Crime and Justice Research Institute
(UNICRI), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNDP/World Bank/WHO
Special Programme on Tropical Diseases Research.

(c)  Commission for Social Development

25.  The Commission for Social Development, at its special session of 1996,
adopted a number of resolutions that included mainstreaming a gender
perspective.  In its draft resolution on follow-up to the World Summit for
Social Development and the future role of the Commission for Social
Development, the Commission adopted a multi-year programme of work in which it
was stated that the Commission should apply a gender perspective when
discussing the different topics under the multi-year programme of work.  In
its resolution on the eradication of poverty, the Commission recognized that,
since women constituted the majority of people living in poverty,
mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes aimed at
eradicating poverty and the empowerment of women would be critical factors in
the eradication of poverty.  It also recognized the central role that women
played in the eradication of poverty, and stressed the need for their full and
equal participation in the formulation and implementation of policies that
took fully into account the gender perspective and that empowered women to be
full partners in development.

(d)  Committee for Programme and Coordination

26.  CPC agreed to ensure, in its examination of the medium-term plan for the
period 1998-2001, that the mainstreaming of a gender perspective was reflected
in the individual programmes of the medium-term plan.  It emphasized the
responsibility of programme managers for progress in gender mainstreaming.

(e)  Economic Commission for Africa

27.  Since the adoption of the African and the global platforms for action,
the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has elaborated and distributed
Guidelines for the Implementation of the African Platform for Action which
were endorsed at a meeting of the Bureau of the Fifth Regional Conference on
Women in February.  The publication stresses gender mainstreaming as the most
effective implementation strategy.  In April 1996, the African Regional
Coordinating Committee for the Integration of Women in Development, the
intergovernmental organ charged with the coordination, monitoring and
evaluation of the implementation process, renewed its membership at the
regional and subregional levels and developed a strategy for the
implementation of its new role.  The Eastern and Southern Africa subregions
did the same in July, and Central Africa will do likewise in September.  Five
national reports on the implementation process have been submitted to ECA upon
request.  Others are awaited.

28.  At ECA, four areas of focus have been selected for the next three years: 
enhancing women's leadership role in public decision-making; economic
empowerment of women; promoting women's human and legal rights; and 
mainstreaming gender and assisting member States in the implementation of the
Platforms.

(f)  Economic Commission for Europe

29.  In decision A(51) of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) on the work
of the Commission and its future activities, the Commission, while recalling
the contribution of ECE in preparing global conferences and their programmes
of action, in paragraphs 3 and 4:

          "3.  Notes the Executive Secretary's note (E/ECE/1342) on the
     implications of resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Economic
     and Social Council for the work of the Economic Commission for Europe and
     his note on ECE's contribution and follow-up to United Nations global
     programmes and conferences (E/ECE/1343) and requests the Executive
     Secretary to continue the ongoing work in these fields and to consult
     member States before taking any new initiatives on the Commission's
     contribution to forthcoming or recent global conferences or international
     years pending the decisions of its fifty-second session on the outcome of
     the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Strategic Directions and
     Efficiency;

          "4.  Calls on the principal subsidiary bodies to take into account
     the mainstreaming of a gender perspective, where appropriate, while
     defining and implementing their work programmes."

Accordingly, any future initiative depends on the outcome of the
intergovernmental Ad Hoc Working Group on Strategic Directions and Efficiency
of ECE.

(g)  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

30.  ECLAC acts as the technical secretariat of the member countries for the
implementation of the Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin
America and the Caribbean, 1995-2001, whose approval was confirmed at the
twenty-sixth session of the Commission held at San Jose' from 15 to
20 April 1996, and which constituted an input for the Beijing Platform for
Action.  For the follow-up and evaluation process, the Commission has
established a permanent organ composed of the regional conference and its
presiding officers, which serves as the link with the member countries.

31.  The Presiding Officers met on 16 and 17 May 1996.  During the second
meeting, pursuant to section E, paragraph (b), of the Regional Programme of
Action, and bearing in mind the climate of reform and financial constraint in
which the United Nations is now operating, the following measures were adopted
to provide for follow-up on activities aimed at implementation of the Regional
Programme of Action and the Platform for Action:

     (a)  Reinforcing the activities of the Presiding Officers;

     (b)  Strengthening the Presiding Officers' liaison function by
establishing closer ties with government agencies responsible for women's
issues in the countries of the region;

     (c)  Sending a note through the Chairperson of the Presiding Officers to
the ad hoc working group open to all ECLAC member countries that had been
created at the previous session of the Commission and was to meet in July,
asking it to give priority to the situation of women and to implementation of
the Regional Programme of Action;

     (d)  Adopting the topics that the Commission on the Status of Women has
selected as high priorities for the next few years, in order to help ECLAC
member and associate member States to be better prepared to participate in
international debates;

     (e)  Maintaining informal contacts with networks of government agencies
on women, primarily through the heads of the regional and subregional
networks.

32.  During the meeting, the Government of Chile offered to host the seventh
session of the regional conference, to be held in November 1997.  The
Presiding Officers were pleased to accept the invitation of Chile.

(h)  Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

33.  At the fifty-second session of the Economic and Social Commission for
Asia and the Pacific held in April 1996, resolution 52/3 on follow-up to the
Fourth World Conference on Women was adopted.

34.  A series of expert group meetings and seminars on selected critical areas
of concern are being held, as follows:  promoting women's participation in
decision-making (Bangkok, 18 and 19 December 1995); women's rights/violence
against women, Saitama, Japan, August 1996; and strengthening national
machineries for the advancement of women, Seoul (September 1996).

(i)  Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

35.  The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) will submit
for consideration and adoption by the first session of the Committee on Social
Development (18-20 February 1997) a programme for action for the advancement
of Arab women based on the Beijing Platform for Action (1995) and the Arab
Plan of Action (1994).

36.  An Arab Regional Conference:  Beijing Year One for follow-up to the
Fourth World Conference on Women, will be convened by the League of Arab
States, held jointly with ESCWA, and hosted by the Government of Jordan at
Amman, from 25 to 29 September 1996.  The intergovernmental meeting will take
into consideration the recommendations emanating from the Arab NGO Forum which
is being held back-to-back with the intergovernmental meeting.  The meeting is
expected to formulate a five-year programme for action for the implementation
of the Beijing recommendations.

(j)  Executive Boards of the funds and programmes of the United Nations

37.  The Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
approved the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women at its first
regular session in January 1996 (E/ICEF/1996/3).  It endorsed UNICEF proposals
for providing assistance to Governments in the implementation of the Platform
for Action in three areas for priority action:  (a) girls' education; (b)
health of girls, adolescents and women; and (c) child rights and women's
rights.  It encouraged UNICEF to strengthen its partnerships, coordination and
collaboration with all agencies and entities of the United Nations system,
each according to its mandate and its own comparative advantage, and
non-governmental organizations which were actively involved in the
implementation of the Platform for Action.


             2.  Specialized agencies of the United Nations system

38.  Many of the governing bodies of specialized agencies of the United
Nations system have taken specific action related to the Beijing Declaration
and the Platform for Action.  These include, but are not limited to, the
following.

(a)  International Labour Organization

39.  The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO), at its
264th session (November 1995) and 265th session (March 1996), expressed strong
interest and support for a dynamic follow-up by ILO to the Fourth World
Conference on Women, and approved at its 265th session a proposal for an
international programme on women.  The Director-General, in his programme
guidance letter concerning the preparation of the programme and budget
proposals for the biennium 1998-1999, also identified the advancement of women
as one of the three priority areas for ILO technical cooperation.  The
international programme on "More and better jobs for women" (1997-2000)
represents a major ILO response to the call of the Beijing Declaration for the
United Nations agencies to fully commit themselves and contribute to the
successful implementation of the Platform for Action.  The international
programme is designed to address issues of global concern in a comprehensive
and integrated manner with strong and distinct national and regional
characteristics and with the objective of improving women's status in
employment in both quantitative and qualitative terms.  While continuing to
implement a mainstreaming strategy on gender issues to ensure integration of
gender concerns into all ILO programmes and projects, the ILO follow-up action
will focus on four key areas:  productive employment and poverty eradication;
working conditions and social protection; international labour standards; and
strengthening of organizations and institutions.

(b)  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

40.  The Plan of Action for Women in Development (1996-2001) of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), adopted by the FAO
Conference in November 1995, represents the organization's framework for
implementing the Platform for Action of the Conference in its mandated areas. 
The FAO Plan was designed to increase the mainstreaming of women in
development and gender concerns in the work of the organization.

(c)  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

41.  At the twenty-eighth session of the General Conference, the member States
of UNESCO adopted six resolutions that outlined the scope of the
organization's work on gender-related issues and committed the secretariat: 
resolution 1.13, on the elimination of discriminatory stereotypes of women;
resolution 4.7, on the Toronto and Beijing platforms for action on women and
the media; resolution 5.15, on Women's contribution to a culture of peace;
resolution 5.16, on UNESCO's contribution to the improvement of the status of
women; and resolution 20.5, on revision of UNESCO's basic texts for the
purpose of removing all sexist language and to ensure the use of neutral
terminology and wording.  In resolution 5.16, it is stated that among the 12
critical areas of concern, a number clearly relate to the UNESCO fields of
action:  unequal access to education; peace; the media; women's contribution
to the management of natural resources and environment; the girl child with
regard to access to education and literacy.

42.  In response to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled "The
advancement of women through and in the programmes of the United Nations
system: What happens after the Fourth World Conference on Women?" (see
A/50/509) the Director-General of UNESCO set out the organization's commitment
to the implementation of the inspector's recommendations and thus the Beijing
Platform for Action (149 EX/31 of 13 March 1996).  The Executive Board took
note with satisfaction of the findings and recommendations contained in the
report and of the Director-General's comments thereon.

(d)  World Health Organization

43.  The health issues included in the Platform for Action were already part
of the Ninth General Programme of Work of WHO and technical programmes have
continued with their activities as planned although, given current resource
constraints, substantial additional funding is not anticipated.  In response
to the Fourth World Conference on Women, WHO has focused particularly on
violence against women, reproductive health and elimination of female genital
mutilation.  The WHO Global Commission on Women's Health continues to make
policy makers aware of women's health issues, and to advocate for promotion of
those issues within all development plans and at the international level.

(e)  United Nations Industrial Development Organization

44.  The Sixth General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO), held in Vienna in December 1995, adopted resolution
GC6/Res 5 on the integration of women in industrial development.  This
resolution states, inter alia,

          "Reaffirming the renewed importance of the integration of women in
     industrial development in the context of the UNIDO response to the
     Platform for Action ...

          "1.  Requests the Director-General:

           ...

          "(b)  to contribute to the implementation of the sections of the
     Platform for Action, adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, as
     relevant to UNIDO mandates and to develop a specific follow-up plan of
     action for UNIDO;".

45.  In implementing the resolution, UNIDO has developed a specific "High
priority programme" on "Women entrepreneurship development:  for a more
meaningful and visible contribution to industrial development" to be carried
out on a priority basis in Africa and least developed countries.  So far,
UNIDO has secured initial funding from non-regular budget resources for the
implementation of the programme in three countries, Co^te d'Ivoire, Mali and
Senegal.


               3.  Other United Nations intergovernmental bodies

46.  The International Law Commission, at its forty-eighth session in 1996,
completed its work on the Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security
of Mankind.  Articles 17 (definition of the crime of genocide), 18 (definition
of crimes against humanity), and 20 (definition of war crimes) may be noted
here as they include and address situations of particular concern to women. 
Article 17 includes in the crime of genocide the imposition of measures
intended to prevent birth within the group; article 18 includes provisions
that rape, enforced prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse constitute
prohibited acts under this article; and article 20 prohibits outrages upon
personal dignity in violation of international humanitarian law, in particular
humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form
of indecent assault. 

47.  In addition, the commentary accompanying these articles refers repeatedly
to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women, and to the Committee's General Recommendation No. 19 on violence
against women.  The treatment of women in the conflict in the former
Yugoslavia and in Haiti are cited in the commentary to illustrate the types of
situations that led the Commission to include the above-mentioned provisions
in the three articles.


                  C.  Follow-up in the United Nations system

48.  The secretariats of organizations of the United Nations system,
individually and collectively, have taken steps to implement the Beijing
Declaration and the Platform for Action since the last report to the General
Assembly.

49.  In his report to the Economic and Social Council (E/1996/82), the
Secretary-General reported on efforts undertaken by organizations of the
United Nations system through the inter-agency system to address
implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.  A
non-inclusive sample of additional information on efforts by organizations of
the United Nations system that are particularly relevant to mainstreaming and
to coordinated inter-agency follow-up is presented below.


                      1.  Office of the Secretary-General

50.  Meetings have been convened of the three working groups established in
February 1996 by the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on gender issues, the
Working Group on Policy Issues and Research, convened by the Director of the
Division for the Advancement of Women, assisted by the Acting Director of
INSTRAW; the Working Group on Gender Balance in the United Nations, convened
by the Focal Point on the Status of Women in the United Nations Secretariat,
Office of Human Resources Management; and the Working Group on Operational
Activities convened by the Director of UNIFEM.  The working groups are
advisory to the Assistant Secretary-General and comprise representatives of
offices and departments of the United Nations Secretariat, as well as from the
United Nations funds and programmes with headquarters in New York.  Among the
issues discussed were the recent activities of ACC and ICSC on gender balance;
mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the work of the Organization;
performance indicators of progress achieved in equality for women;
documentation and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned on
operationalizing gender-sensitive development, and proposals for the work of
the ACC Committee on Women and Gender Equality.


                     2.  Department of Public Information

51.  At the twenty-second session, held 3-5 July 1996, of the Joint United
Nations Information Committee, a subsidiary body of ACC, the issue of
follow-up to the cycle of international conferences on development issues
(1994-1996) was discussed.  In the light of the very positive collaboration
experienced by members of the Joint Committee through the Task Force on
Information Activities for the Social Summit, convened by the Department of
Public Information, it was agreed that the Joint Committee would establish a
working group in New York which would meet monthly or bimonthly, as required. 
The working group would collaborate on joint information on activities on a
range of issues of concern to the Joint Committee including follow-up to the
Fourth World Conference on Women.  Membership of the Joint Committee comprises
the heads of the public information offices of the programmes, funds and
agencies of the United Nations system.  Its secretariat is the Department of
Public Information.


          3.  Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

52.  An expert group meeting for the ESCAP region on promoting women's rights
as human rights was held from 7 to 9 August 1996.  Through regional and
country studies, and expert consultations, policy recommendations were
formulated to promote women's equal rights and eradicate violence against
women.

53.  A regional meeting to strengthen national machineries for the advancement
of women will be held from 16 to 19 September 1996.  The meeting will cover
such topics as strengthening structures and strategic functions, mainstreaming
gender concerns into the policy agenda, and working with empowering
constituents. 

54.  ESCAP will convene the second meeting of the Inter-agency Subcommittee on
the Advancement of Women in October 1996.

55.  ESCAP collaborates actively with other partners of development, namely,
intergovernmental and subregional organizations such as the South Pacific
Commission, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of
South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC); non-governmental organizations, financial institutions,
especially the Asian Development Bank, and research institutions.  Development
of a database on non-governmental organizations working on women in
development issues in the ESCAP region is being undertaken.

56.  A project starting in August 1996 will assist non-governmental
organizations in South Asia in their information activities through the
preparation of information kits on the Beijing Platform for Action and the
Jakarta Plan of Action on Human Resources Development in the ESCAP Region in
local languages.


              4.  Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

57.  In October 1995, an Inter-Agency Task Force on Gender was formally
established by the Inter-agency Coordination Group in Amman.  Its first task
is to follow up on the Fourth World Conference on Women.  The Task Force will
provide technical assistance and backstopping to the Arab Regional Conference:

Beijing Year One, to be held at Amman from 25 to 29 September 1996.  In
particular, the Task Force on Gender will be responsible for preparing a
coordinated integrated, time-bound and prioritized, draft programme for action
for review and consideration and adoption by the intergovernmental body.


          5.  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

58.  Various substantive divisions of the secretariat of the Commission have
undertaken activities related to mainstreaming a gender perspective.  For
example, the ECLAC Women and Development Unit, in collaboration with the Latin
American Demographic Centre (CELADE), gave a course on "The gender variable in
development programming", as part of the postgraduate programme on population
and development, financed by UNFPA.  In the reporting period CELADE published
studies on women on the following subjects:  immigrant women and the labour
market in Santiago; changes in the family and in the roles of women; and
maternal mortality in Latin America and the Latin Caribbean.  The Social
Development Division produced studies concerned with women's issues on the
following subjects:  Women and urban work in the 1990s:  the significance of
the changes in Latin America; equality in education and work; and young
mothers in Uruguay.


                      6.  United Nations Population Fund

59.  UNFPA has been providing financial and programme support in all areas
within its mandate, including health, equality for girls, women's rights and
empowerment, elimination of traditional practices that are harmful to women
and girls, and prevention of violence against women.  A commitment to gender
equality underlies all UNFPA-assisted programmes to give women choices, to
ensure that women can make decisions that shape their lives.  UNFPA is
expanding its partnerships with non-governmental organizations, including
women's organizations and youth groups.  A non-governmental organization
committee has been established to advise on strategies for improved
partnerships.

60.  Within its mandate, UNFPA activities for implementing the Platform for
Action complement those for implementing the Programme of Action of the
International Conference on Population and Development.  The initiatives
undertaken are in three main areas:  women's human rights, including their
reproductive and sexual rights; adolescent reproductive health; and gender
equality, equity and women's empowerment.


                      7.  United Nations Children's Fund

61.  In fulfilling the priorities mandated by its Executive Board, UNICEF is
continuing to promote partnerships in the implementation of the Platform for
Action within the framework of the country programmes of cooperation.  It will
further its ongoing collaboration and partnership with non-governmental
organizations, particularly women's organizations, and strengthen
collaboration with sister United Nations agencies to ensure coordination,
efficiency and synergy in programme delivery.  In addition to these
priorities, UNICEF will continue its emphasis on the achievement of gender
equality and the empowerment of women and girls throughout the life cycle,
particularly for the girl child.  It will also provide increased attention to
gender issues in emergency programmes, capacity-building and promote women's
equal participation in decision-making in all UNICEF-assisted programmes.

62.  At the country level, within the framework of the country programme,
several country offices have worked with national counterparts in the
preparation of national plans for following up the national commitments made
at Beijing.  Specific activities have also been identified and included, on
women's rights and girls' education, in the new country programmes being
submitted to the UNICEF Executive Board in 1996.  Follow-up of the world
conferences is included as an important element in the guidelines for the
preparation of country programmes.

63.  At the regional level, several initiatives have been undertaken,
including in the East Asian and the Pacific region, Latin America and the
Caribbean region, South Asia region, Africa, Middle East and North Africa
region, and Eastern and Southern Africa region.

64.  At the global level, the follow-up to the Platform for Action will
require greater commitment of financial resources, especially in the priority
areas.  Girls' education is a priority and resources will be doubled during
the next five years.  In the country programmes, it is expected that the
implementation of the priorities will be matched with appropriate funding for
human resources.  The implementation of the policies on gender is through the
network of gender focal points at the regional level.  These networks, which
were very active in the preparatory process to the Beijing Conference and in
the organization of the regional conferences, will continue to play an active
role.  The appointment of an additional Professional staff member at
headquarters will facilitate the planning and monitoring of implementation of
the Platform for Action.


         8.  United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

65.  As a follow-up to the Beijing Platform for Action, the United Nations
Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is in the process of
formulating a project proposal on gender, poverty, and well-being, for which
funding is being sought.


                           9.  World Food Programme

66.  The World Food Programme (WFP) formulated, in preparation for the Fourth
World Conference on Women, its commitments to the Platform for Action in order
to provide the Programme with gender-specific goals to reduce disproportionate
effects of hunger and poverty on women in comparison to men.  The commitments
address areas in which the Programme can make a difference, that is,
(a) unequal access to food resources, and (b) unequal access to longer-term
assets and value-added income-earning opportunities.

67.  WFP is holding its managers accountable for their contributions in
meeting the commitments.  In order to integrate action into programme
management, country offices and headquarters divisions were asked to develop
gender action plans.  A task force composed of senior managers in headquarters
and five field offices guided the process.  Focal points in units and bureaux
ensured that responsibilities were met.

68.  On the basis of the submitted gender action plans, WFP is earmarking
human and financial resources to strengthen the institutional capacity of
staff and counterparts to work for gender equality in benefits and
beneficiaries of WFP-supported activities.  It involves the development of
analytical tools, training in gender-sensitive design, planning,
implementation and monitoring and reporting, exchange of experience,
information and advice, improved guidance and procedures.


                  10.  International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO

69.  The International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO) (ITC) is the focal point
within the United Nations system for technical cooperation in trade promotion
and export development.

70.  The Joint Advisory Group is the governing body of ITC.  Recent sessions
of the Group, both prior to and following the Fourth World Conference on
Women, reaffirmed the need to focus efforts on integrating women into
mainstream trade development activities.  In this regard, the Group endorsed
the advancement of women as an "issue of common concern" and a global priority
for ITC.

71.  Following the Beijing Conference, an ITC plan of action for the
integration of women into trade development was formulated.  The plan reflects
the strategic objectives contained in the Platform for Action under chapter
IV, section F, which singles out the need for technical cooperation with women
entrepreneurs in trade promotion.

72.  The ITC women in trade development programme is in the Division of
Technical Cooperation Coordination; the Director also acts as the ITC focal
point for women in trade development and the programme has the services of an
adviser.  An interdivisional working group on the subject provides technical
inputs and guidance.  Given the cross-sectoral nature of gender issues, the
programme draws upon expertise from within ITC.  In addition, the focal point
for women in trade development is a member of the Project Appraisal and
Clearance Committee, and thus ensures that gender issues are integrated into
ITC technical cooperation programmes and projects.

73.  In preparation for and follow-up to the Beijing Conference, funds were
and are being allocated from ITC extrabudgetary resources for ad hoc
expertise.  Selected specialized projects of a catalytic nature, for example,
research into market access conditions of African businesswomen in the new
international trade context, and the formulation of a programme of assistance
and preparation of a handbook on women entrepreneurship and trade), are also
ongoing.


                    11.  International Labour Organization

74.  ILO has also made arrangements for more training activities to take place
to strengthen the capacity of ILO staff and constituents in analysing gender
issues and integrating gender dimensions into programming exercises and the
decision-making process through training on gender issues in the world of
work. Briefing and training packages have been produced and widely used in
these activities.

75.  ILO has taken measures to reinforce the Office of the Special Adviser on
Women Workers' Questions, its focal point on women and gender issues, by
allocating additional resources for 1996-1997.  It has also allocated
resources for the development of the international programme in the follow-up
to the Beijing Conference.


         12.  Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

76.  Since the Plan of Action for Women in Development was approved by the
Conference, it has been widely distributed.  An illustrated version in several
official languages is being prepared for distribution to a wider audience,
including donor agencies, government departments, non-governmental
organizations and educational institutions.

77.  An important element in the mainstreaming efforts within FAO has been to
replace the Interdivisional Working Group on Women in Development with a
strengthened coordinating and advisory body, the Committee on Women in
Development.  This Committee comprises the directors or senior officers from
each of the eight departments as the selected representatives of their
respective Assistant Director-Generals.  The Committee also includes the
Director of the Office for Coordination of Normative, Operational and
Decentralized Activities, who will represent the regional, subregional and
country offices, and a representative of the Office of Programme, Budget and
Evaluation.  The first meeting of the Committee was held in April 1996 and the
second in July 1996.

78.  The Committee will provide policy guidance and facilitate coordination
and decision-making on normative and operational matters relating to women in
development.

79.  For the most part, the activities described within the divisional
programmes of action will in general be implemented through the use of regular
and field programme resources.  In the case of the regular programme, the
indicative resources needed should be stipulated in each Division's biennial
programme of work and budget.  In the case of the field programme, the needed
resources will have to be identified and stipulated in the appropriate
programme and project documents.

80.  Some divisions have proposed programmes that are more ambitious and will
require extrabudgetary financing.  Donor Governments will be called upon to
give special consideration to financing divisional activities oriented towards
capacity-building at the national level in the area of women in development,
and to supporting the inclusion of women in development experts in missions
and on field project teams to facilitate the integration of women in
development/gender issues into mainstream projects and programmes.

81.  Progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action will be monitored at
country office, subregional, regional and headquarters levels on an ongoing
basis through the establishment of monitoring systems by each of the technical
divisions, and will be reported biennially to the FAO Conference.


                  13.  United Nations Educational, Scientific and
                       Cultural Organization

82.  In addition to these special projects, UNESCO's post-Conference actions
will focus on mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policy-planning
programming, implementation and evaluation activities, as well as on the
promotion of the active and broad participation of women at all levels and
fields of activity, giving particular attention to women's priorities,
perspectives and contributions to the rethinking of both the goals and means
of development.  Guidelines for the integration of gender issues into all
monitoring evaluation and programme activities are being developed to fit the
needs of programme officers working in UNESCO's fields of competence
(education, science - natural, human and social - communication and culture).

83.  In order to ensure the coordinated implementation of the resolutions and
the above-mentioned new policy objectives, the Unit for the Promotion of the
Status of Women and Gender Equality was established, building on the
experiences of the Unit for the Coordination of Activities Related to Women
and the Consultative Committee on Women.  The new Unit is headed by a Director
(D-1) and assisted by a (P-4) temporary post.  The total budget of the Unit
for 1996-1997 is $US 300,000.

84.  Moreover, a Director for Activities Relating to Women and a Culture of
Peace (D-1) and a Programme Specialist for Activities to Promote the Status of
Women in the Mediterranean Region (P-5) were recently designated to develop
projects in these specific areas.


              D.  Reported activities of non-governmental organizations
                 and other institutions of civil society

85.  In its resolution 50/203, the General Assembly encouraged
non-governmental organizations to contribute to the design and implementation
of national strategies or national plans of action in addition to their own
programmes that complement government efforts.  At the international, national
and regional levels, many non-governmental activities have been taking place
in the follow-up to the Beijing Conference.  These have not been reported
systematically to the Division for the Advancement of Women, but those that
have been brought to the attention of the Secretariat provide examples of the
widespread response to the Conference.

86.  For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, in a number of
countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador,
Mexico and Uruguay, women's non-governmental organizations have organized
major national meetings and workshops to discuss implementation of the
Platform for Action and to prepare a women's political agenda.  Leaders met in
Lima in December 1995 to evaluate the role of the region in the Forum and the
Conference and to discuss how to build on the experiences gained from the
Conference.

87.  In Africa, a follow-up meeting to the Beijing Conference will be held in
1996 for southern African countries organized by the Zimbabwe Women's Resource
Centre.  The African Women's Media Network (FEMNET), held a follow-up meeting
to the Conference in Kenya in September 1996.  In Senegal, non-governmental
organizations pressed for implementation of laws protecting women's rights. 
In Zambia, the National Women's Lobby organized a national convention on the
role of women in politics and produced a draft Charter of Women's Rights.  In
a number of African countries, publicity campaigns to inform the country about
the outcome of the Conference have been conducted.  Uganda will serve as host
for the African Conference on Empowerment of Women through Functional Literacy
and Education of the Girl Child.

88.  Arab non-governmental organizations participated actively in the Forum in
Beijing, organizing over 150 workshops.  In May 1996, a conference was
organized in Washington, D.C. on implementing the Platform for Action in
Muslim societies, convened by Sisterhood is Global, to continue discussion on
Islamic women's rights and other issues.  Five Arab countries held "One Year
After Beijing" meetings in Amman in September 1996, including an NGO forum, to
develop implementation strategies for regional plans of action.

89.  In Asia and the Pacific, regional NGO coalitions have been meeting and
have formed groups to monitor the implementation of the Platform for Action. 
Several post-Beijing forums have been held by non-governmental organizations
in India.  The Platform for Action has been translated into Hindi and Gujarati
and the International Alliance of Women will hold its 30th triennial Congress
in Calcutta in December 1996 on "Equal rights - Equal responsibilities". 
Non-governmental organization women's committees in a number of the countries
in the region, made up of representatives of various women's organizations,
have held follow-up discussions to strategize the implementation of the
Platform for Action.  The more than 5,000 Japanese women who attended the
Forum and the Conference have carried out discussions and publicized the
results of the Conference in all parts of that country.  The newly formed
Women's Coalition on Equal Opportunities in Hong Kong has undertaken to
advocate for women in both education and employment.  Women's groups in the
Republic of Korea and in Viet Nam have developed concrete strategies to
monitor commitments made at Beijing.

90.  In western Europe, meetings have been held to organize lobbying efforts
to promote adherence to the Platform for Action.  The European Network of
Policewomen is planning a conference on the role of the police in combating
violence against women.  Non-governmental organizations have participated in
the preparation of several national action plans to follow up the Beijing
Conference and a number of non-governmental organizations have used the media
to publicize the results of the Conference.  In Switzerland, a conference was
convened on "Women and the welfare of humanity"; it was attended by women's
organizations and representatives of Bahai Communities.  One outcome was to
hold an international conference in Beijing in 1997 on the theme ethics and
their application to family life and society.

91.  In eastern and central Europe, women's non-governmental organizations
advocated for the role of civil society in decision-making and, in some
countries, renewed efforts have been made to establish better cooperation
between government and women's organizations.  In several countries, women
have organized workshops on issues taken up in Beijing to share information
and to adapt strategies to their own situation, and newsletters have featured
the Fourth World Conference on Women and its outcome.  Non-governmental
organizations were expected to participate actively in the meeting for central
and eastern European countries held at Bucharest in September 1996, co-
sponsored by the Division for the Advancement of Women and UNDP in association
with ECE on follow-up in the region to the Platform for Action.

92.  In North America, Australia and New Zealand, the process of education and
information dissemination about the Conference has been intense, including the
continuation of the Global Faxnet by the International Women's Tribune Centre
and the inclusion of articles in many organizations' newsletters.  Women's
organizations have featured the Conference in their meetings and forums.  An
international leadership forum for women with disabilities is planned as a
follow-up activity to be held in June 1997.  Numerous conferences have been
sponsored on women's rights, bringing the message of Beijing home, and on
strategies for effective action to ensure the full impact of the Conference. 
In September, the Association for Women in Development held a conference on
"Beyond Beijing from Words to Action" in Washington, D.C.  Women who returned
from Beijing spread the word by giving talks and by supplying stories to their
local newspapers.  In Canada, women have been meeting in large and small
groups to discuss, strategize and bring the message of Beijing home.  The
Women, Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) released a "one-year-
after" progress report and convened a workshop on "Holding Governments and
international agencies accountable for their promises:  monitoring and
advocacy strategies for advancing women's agendas".  Women from all across the
United States were expected to participate in a national satellite conference
on 29 September to discuss the United States plan to implement the Beijing
Platform for Action, organized by the President's Inter-agency Council on
Women.  In Australia, a conference for young women was held in Melbourne in
March 1996 and a conference for women entrepreneurs took place in Adelaide in
August 1996.  The Ministry of Women's Affairs in New Zealand has been
participating in consultations with non-governmental organizations throughout
the country on the Beijing Platform for Action and will report by the end of
1996 on issues of gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes, women's
unpaid work, data collection on all aspects of women's lives, actions to
benefit indigenous women and girls and commitment to gender balance on all
government-appointed committees, boards and other relevant official bodies.


                      III.  NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

93.  In resolution 50/203, the General Assembly emphasized that Governments
should, as soon as possible, and no later than 1996, develop comprehensive
implementation strategies or plans of action, including time-bound targets and
benchmarks for monitoring, in order to implement the Platform for Action
fully.  In order to prepare the synthesized report on implementation plans of
Governments and the United Nations system for the Commission on the Status of
Women, based, inter alia, on national action plans and any other sources of
information already available in the United Nations system (in 1998), as
called for by the Economic and Social Council, the Secretary-General sent a
note verbale to all Member States requesting that any national reports that
might be prepared be made available to the Secretariat for analytical
purposes.


          A.  Progress in establishing national implementation plans

94.  As of 22 August 1996, the Secretariat has received copies of national
strategies or plans of action from Denmark, Haiti, Mexico, Morocco,
Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and the United States.  The
Secretariat understands that other Member States have been preparing
strategies but have not yet forwarded them to the United Nations.


                                B.  Next steps

95.  The Platform for Action emphasizes the importance of national strategies
or plans of action as an essential ingredient in ensuring implementation. 
Since it was assumed that these strategies or plans would be tailored to meet
national needs, there are, at this point, no guidelines for their preparation.

96.  In order to help promote the formulation of these strategies and plans in
countries of central and eastern Europe, the Division for the Advancement of
Women, jointly with the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS), in cooperation with ECE and the Government of
Romania, is organizing a Subregional Conference of Senior Governmental Experts
on the Implementation of the Platform for Action adopted by the 1995 Fourth
World Conference on Women in Beijing, in central and eastern Europe, from 12
to 14 September 1996.  One of the key background papers for that meeting
concerns the elaboration and implementation of national plans of action.

97.  Based on the results of that meeting, as well as other regional meetings
on follow-up and the experience of those countries which have completed their
national strategies or plans of action, it would now be possible to elaborate
guidelines that could assist other Governments in meeting this commitment.


                         IV.  MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION

98.  With regard to ways to enhance the capacity of the Organization and of
the United Nations system to support the ongoing follow-up to the Conference
in the most integrated and effective way, including human and financial
requirements, a number of developments can be reported.  It may be recalled in
this connection, that the General Assembly, in resolution 50/203, requested
the Secretary-General to ensure the more effective functioning of the Division
for the Advancement of Women in order to carry out all the tasks foreseen for
it in the Platform for Action by, inter alia, providing sufficient human and
financial resources within the regular budget of the United Nations.

99.  On the basis of a statement of programme budget implications presented at
the time of the adoption by the General Assembly of its resolution 50/203, the
Assembly approved an increase in the staffing levels of the Division for the
Advancement of Women of three Professional and two General Service posts as
part of the approval of the programme budget for the biennium 1996-1997.  This
has brought the established staffing levels of the Division to those existing
in 1985.  However, the current financial crisis of the Organization has led to
delays in filling several of the new posts, as well as several existing posts
that were under recruitment at the time measures were imposed to address the
financial crisis.

100. Under the circumstances, it is considered that the budgeted staffing
levels, as well as other objects of expenditure, are sufficient for the
Division to carry out the tasks set out for it in the Platform for Action and
in the General Assembly resolution on follow-up, once the posts are filled. 
However, it is also considered that any reduction in those levels would impair
its ability to carry out the tasks foreseen for it in the Platform for Action.

101. Within its restructured framework, ECA will double its Professional staff
at the African Centre for Women from four to eight, and its head will be at
the Principal Officer level to facilitate the role that the Centre is expected
to play in promoting and monitoring the implementation process.  Similarly,
gender experts should be redeployed to the ECA multinational programming and
operational centres.

102. In the context of the preparation of the programme budget for the period
1998-1999, United Nations departments and bodies will be encouraged to
mainstream a gender perspective into their programmes in line with the
recommendations of the Beijing Platform for Action, and to identify clearly
those activities that are necessary to achieve that objective.  It is expected
that, in that context, consideration will be given to resource requirements
related to the implementation by the United Nations of the Beijing Declaration
and the Platform for Action, also taking into account overall financial
constraints and competing resource requirements. 

103. The report of the ACC on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for
the advancement of women, 1996-2001 (E/1996/16) included information on
resources being mobilized by organizations of the United Nations system to
implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.  In addition,
the following information has been provided.

104. The specific commitment of the WFP to allocate 60 per cent of its
resources to address gender gaps in socio-economic indicators is being
implemented and is particularly effective with regard to the allocation of
resources to the education of girls.

105. UNDP has committed 10 per cent of global funds to the advancement of
women. This does not reflect the funds that will be allocated in the
mainstreaming of poverty, environment, sustainable livelihoods and governance.

Bureaux have committed at least 15 per cent of regional programme funding to
gender mainstreaming and the advancement of women.  UNDP is exploring the
financial implications of attaching 15-20 gender advisers to country offices
and will be collaborating with UNIFEM in facilitating the work of resident
coordinators in integrated Conference follow-up to the Platform for Action.

106. In addressing the feminization of poverty and the economic empowerment of
women, UNDP is strengthening women's access to credit and resources. 
Supported by the Government of Japan, UNDP is facilitating the sharing of
lessons learned in improving women's access to credit across regions, building
on the Grameen Bank experience.

107. In terms of UNFPA, the eight country support team advisers on gender,
population and development located at the subregional level are providing
technical assistance to Governments in the implementation of the Platform for
Action.

108. Taking into consideration the Beijing Platform for Action (and in
particular para. 87) as well as the recommendations of the "Evaluation of
UNESCO's activities related to women, 1988-1993", which was undertaken in view
of the preparation of UNESCO's fourth medium-term strategy 1996-2001, the
twenty-eighth session of the General Conference of UNESCO established for the
biennium 1996-1997 special projects with earmarked budgets and clear
time-frames in order to respond to the specific needs of the priority groups
(that is, women, youth, Africa and least developed countries) and to
facilitate monitoring.  Among these special projects, 10 concern women.  The
total budget for these projects is US$ 2,103,000.

109. In its resolution 50/203, the General Assembly reaffirmed that, in order
to implement the Platform for Action, adequate mobilization of resources at
the national and international levels, as well as new and additional resources
to the developing countries, in particular in Africa, and the least developed
countries, from all available funding mechanisms, including multilateral,
bilateral and private sources for the advancement of women, would also be
required.  With respect to that reaffirmation, the following may be noted.

110. The Trust Fund for the Preparations of the Fourth World Conference on
Women has been renamed the "Trust Fund for the Implementation of the Platform
for Action", and a number of new contributions have been received.  The Trust
Fund is intended to provide resources to promote implementation of the
Platform at the international level in areas where regular budget resources
would not be adequate.

111. Project proposals have been prepared by ESCAP to mobilize trust fund
resources for the implementation of operational activities.  These proposals
include the impact of globalization on women, empowering women in poverty,
subregional promotion of women's rights as human rights, strengthening the
women's information network (including the use of new information technology)
and promotion of social protection for poor self-employed women.

112. ECA has launched a Leadership Fund for African Women, with a target of
US$ 10 million to implement the above areas of focus, of which one million
dollars have already been secured.

113. ESCWA is seeking to replenish the Trust Fund for Regional Activities
and/or establish a new trust fund for activities on women and the family.


                                     Notes

     1/   See "Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women"
(A/CONF.177/20), chap. I, annex I.

     2/   As noted in the report of the Fourth World Conference on Women
(A/CONF.177/20), (i) the word "gender" had been commonly used and understood
in its ordinary, generally accepted usage in other United Nations forums and
conferences; (ii) there was no indication that any new meaning or connotation
of the term, different from accepted prior usage, was intended in the Platform
for Action.  Accordingly, the word "gender" as used in the Platform for Action
of the Fourth World Conference on Women was intended to be interpreted and
understood as it was in ordinary, generally accepted usage.


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Date last updated: 06 December 1999 by DESA/DAW
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