The Review and Appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly took place in the context of the 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York from 28 February - 11 March 2005.
The Commission focused on two thematic issues as outlined in its multi-year programme of work:
At its 48th session in 2004, the Commission decided that the review and appraisal would focus on implementation at the national level, through the expanded use of interactive dialogue, and with broad-based participation of governmental delegations at the highest level of responsibility and expertise, and of civil society and organizations within the United Nations system. There will be emphasis on the sharing of experiences and good practices in overcoming remaining challenges to implementation.
The Bureau of the Commission developed a proposed organization of work for the Commission in 2005, which was approved by Members of the Commission on 14 September 2004, pending agreement on one of the high-level panels.
The first week of the Commission offered interesting opportunities for high-level participation - at the high-level opening; the high-level roundtable on innovations in national mechanisms for gender equality; other interactive events mentioned earlier; and the celebration of International Women's Day with a commemoration of 30 years of United Nations efforts for gender equality.
The United Nations Secretariat prepared a Secretary-General's report for submission to the 49th session of the Commission. The report was based on a variety of sources of information and statistics. These include responses to a questionnaire submitted to Member States of the United Nations, the national action plans designed to implement the Platform for Action (and submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women in 1998 and 1999); reports submitted since 1995 by States parties under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and information generated since 1995 during the review by the Commission on the Status of Women of the 12 critical areas of concern of the Platform for Action, including through expert group meetings organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women.
Other sources of information utilized include Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, (PRSPs), national Human Development Reports and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) reports. National reports on other areas, such as social development and sustainable development, will also be utilized. Official statistics available from the United Nations Statistics Division, the Population Division, the regional commissions and other entities in the United Nations system (ILO, UNESCO, WHO, etc.) were also used.
Coordination was established with United Nations entities responsible for follow-up to other global conferences in order to exchange pertinent country information, in particular with UNFPA on follow-up to the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and its review in 2002, as well as the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development in 1995 and its review in 2005.