United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Commission on the Status of Women
48th Session

"Women's equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building"

In 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 Declaration, and Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

The 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.

The 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.


Expert Group Meeting
(November 2003, Ottawa, Canada)

Expert Group Meeting
(January 2004, New York, USA)

Report of the Secretary-General
[Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish ]

Panel Discussion

Agreed Conclusions
[Advance unedited version]

Division for the Advancement of Women -- DAW

Website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations