accordance with its multi-year programme of work, the Commission
will consider two thematic issues at its 48th
session, in addition to a number of other topics and items that
are regularly on its agenda. Consideration of the thematic issues
is the core of the Commission's annual work, and a critical contribution
to the systematic follow-up to the Beijing
Platform for Action and the outcome
document of the 23rd
special session of the General Assembly. Focusing on selected
topics allows the Commission to strengthen and accelerate implementation
of the recommendations in these documents, to further refine the
global policy framework for gender equality as it relates to the
themes, and to ensure practical action at all levels. It is also
an opportunity to reinforce links between implementation of these
gender-specific instruments and other global policy instruments,
such as the Millennium
Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
second topic to be considered by the Commission in its 48th session
addresses women's equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building.
Office of the Special
Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and the Division for the Advancement
of Women (DAW) organized two expert group meetings to support preparations
on this topic.
In collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs, an expert
group meeting, generously hosted by the Government of Canada,
was held in November 2003. The meeting focused specifically on peace
agreements as a means for promoting gender equality and ensuring
participation of women. The results of the meeting constituted
an important input to the
report of the Secretary General (E/CN.6/2004/10).
The Secretary-General's report focuses specifically on the role
of peace agreements as important tools for the promotion of gender
equality and the participation of women in peace processes. It highlights
that while the understanding of, as well as attention to, women's
contributions to peace processes have increased significantly in
recent years, women continue to be largely excluded from peace processes,
particularly at the formal level. It emphasizes that further efforts
are needed to ensure systematic attention to gender issues as well
as women's full and effective participation in such processes.
A second expert
group meeting, jointly held with the Department of Political
Affairs, in collaboration with UNDP and UNIFEM, as well as several
intergovernmental organizations supporting electoral processes,
was held in Glen Cove in January this year. This meeting focused
specifically on women's enhanced participation in electoral
processes in post-conflict countries. The experts identified
obstacles to women's full participation in post-conflict elections,
while analyzing the continuum of election processes/themes, including
the legal framework, political representation/parties, voter education
and civil education, election administration and election observation.
Consideration of the thematic issue "Women's equal participation
in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in
post-conflict peace-building" should be further enriched
by the panel discussion that is scheduled
to take place on Tuesday 2 March 2004, from 10 am to 1 pm.