Beijing+5 Process and Beyond
1. The twenty-third special session of the General Assembly on "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 June to 9 June 2000 and adopted a Political Declaration and outcome document entitled "further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action". This briefing note summarizes the steps leading up to the special session and immediate implications of its outcome for the work of the Commission on the Status on Women, one of the main functional commissions of ECOSOC and the main intergovernmental body tasked with the responsibility of promoting the advancement of women and gender equality.
2. A broader assessment of the implications of the Political Declaration and "further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" adopted by the General Assembly at its special session is available in the Report of the Secretary-General "Implementation of the Outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the Special Session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace in the Twenty-first Century" (A/55/341).
II. The Preparatory Process
3. The General Assembly, in resolution 52/100, decided to convene a special session to review progress in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The special session was to take place five years after the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) which was held in Beijing in 1995. In accordance with the General Assembly resolution 52/231 the Commission on the Status of Women, with its ten member Bureau, was to act as the preparatory committee (prepcom) for the special session and the Division for the Advancement of Women, under the guidance of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, serve as the substantive Secretariat.
4. The Bureau of the prepcom was composed of the following members, Asith
Bhattacharjee (India), Patricia Flor (Germany), Misako Kaji (Japan), Christine Kapalata (United Republic of Tanzania), Sonia R. Leonce-Carryl (Saint Lucia), Monica Martinez (Ecuador), Kristen Mlacak (Canada), Rasa Ostrauskaite (Lithuania), Dubravka Simonovic (Croatia). Ms. Irma Engelbrecht of South Africa, was elected Chairperson of prepcom at its second session in March 1999, she was replaced by Ms. Roselyn Odere of Kenya, who was elected by the prepcom at its resumed session on 30 June 1999 Ms. Odera chaired the third session of the prepcom in 2000. With the transfer of Ms. Odera by her government to another post in March 2000, the African group nominated Ms. Christine Kapalata as here replacement. She was elected at a formal meeting of the prepcom on 20 April, 2000 and the vacancy thus emerged was filed by the election of Ms. Aisha Afifi of Morocco by the African group.
5. The CSW acting as the prepcom held formal and informal meetings during the Commission's forty-second session from 2-13 March 1998. At its first meeting, the prepcom considered and adopted draft resolution (E/CN.6/1998/11) entitled "Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" submitted by the Chairperson on the basis of informal consultations. (See the report of the Commission on the Status of Women, E/1998/27). Subsequently, at its second session from 15 to 19 March 1999, the prepcom held formal meetings and recommended the adoption of the draft resolution, "Preparations for the special session of the GA entitled: , "Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" by the General Assembly through the ECOSOC."
6. In December 1999, during informal consultations, Member States agreed on the structure of the outcome document "further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action". The document was to be short and concise and would consist of four sections:
(2) Achievements and obstacles in the implementation of the twelve critical areas of the Platform for Action;
(3) Current challenges affecting the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action;
(4)Actions and initiatives to overcome obstacles and to achieve the full and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
7. In January 2000, a concise draft outcome document (17 pages) was prepared by the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), and presented to the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women for their inputs and revisions. The action paragraphs in Chapter IV of the initial draft was structured along the three themes of the womens conferences, i.e. equality, development and peace. This document was later distributed to Member States for comments and inputs. Inputs from NGO's and the UN system were also considered in the preparation of the document.
8. During informal consultations in late January, the Bureau decided to change the structure of Chapter IV. Instead of the three themes, actions were to be presented according to national level and international level and under each level according to the various actors, including Governments, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and other actors of civil society. The Division for the Advancement of Women revised the document accordingly and the Member States were called on to provide their amendments to the document. The expanded document, reaching nearly 100 pages, formed the basis of subsequent negotiations.
9. At its third session from 7-17 March, 2000 and 20 April, 2000 (A/S-23/2), the prepcom negotiated the proposed outcome document in two parallel Working Groups. Working Group I, chaired by Kirsten Mlacak (Canada), negotiated the first three sections of the document and Working Group II, chaired by Asith K. Bhattacharjee (India), dealt with Section IV. The outstanding paragraphs of the Political Declaration (E/CN/6/2000/PC/L.5), on which considerable discussions had taken place during informal consultations in November 1999, were also negotiated during this session. A consensus was reached on the text of the Political Declaration, but work on the proposed outcome document was not finalized. As a result, negotiations had to continue during informal consultations before (8 May - 2 June 2000) and during the special session.
10. During its third session the prepcom held a panel discussion entitled "Outlook on gender equality, development and peace beyond the year 2000". This panel was organized in conjunction with a panel discussion on emerging issues within the context of the CSW session the same year. The discussions in the former panel focused on the differential impact of globalization on women and men. Panelists noted that there was a need for compensatory policies that addressed the effects of restructuring, on the one hand, and policies that would restructure the women's agenda enhancing women's capacity to take full advantage of the global economic changes on the other. Issues such as poverty, violence, armed conflict among others were also addressed (see moderator's summary in annex II of document A/S-23/2).
11. The issues that emanated from the panel discussions were complementary to the issues raised in the report of the Secretary-General on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (E/CN.6/2000/PC/2) which was before the prepcom at this session. Review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action is further elaborated under item 3 of this section of the present report.
12. In accordance with resolution 54/142, the prepcom submitted, for approval, a draft provisional agenda of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly which would have the special session review and appraise progress made in implementing the twelve critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action, and identify further actions and initiatives for overcoming obstacles to its implementation.
13. The prepcom also had before it a draft decision entitled "Organizational arrangements for the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (contained in E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.6) and decided, pending adoption by the General Assembly, that the special session should be presided over by the President and Vice-Presidents of the fifty-fourth regular Assembly session. In addition, the decision contained provisions for the composition of the Bureau and the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole.
14. Two other draft decisions were recommended by the prepcom for adoption by the General Assembly: Arrangements regarding participation of non-governmental organizations at the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.3); and Draft decision II: Arrangements regarding accreditation of non-governmental organizations to the special session (E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.4).
15. The General Assembly decision (54/466) noted that given the availability of time, a limited number of NGOs that are in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council may also make statements in the debate in the plenary of the special session provided neither that their application for consultative status with the Council has been rejected nor that their consultative status with the Council has been withdrawn or suspended. The decision on accreditation (54/467) allowed non-governmental organizations that were neither in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, nor accredited to the Fourth World Conference on Women and its preparatory process, to apply for accreditation to the special session.
2. Regional Preparatory Meetings
16. In its resolution 54/142 of 17 December 1999 on preparations for the special session, the General Assembly encouraged all regional commissions and other intergovernmental regional organizations to carry out activities in support of the preparatory process, inter alia, through holding meetings to ensure a regional perspective on implementation and on further actions and initiatives, and to make their reports available in 2000 to the Commission on the Status of Women acting as the preparatory committee. The following preparatory meetings were held under the auspices of the five regional commissions (E/CN.6/PC/6 and addenda 1-6):
17. NGOs fully participated in the regional meetings. They held numerous activities to contribute to the assessment of implementation and development of regional strategies for further action.
3. Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Platform for Action
18. The review of the implementation of the Platform for Action has been a long and challenging process involving all actors at national, regional and global levels. After the FWCW, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a work program for the years 1996-1999 in order to monitor the implementation of the strategic objectives set forth for each of the critical areas of concern in the Platform. Thus, during this period the Commission devoted itself to the review of progress in this regard and adopted resolutions and agreed conclusions containing recommendations for accelerated implementation. These have been compiled and published by the Division for the Advancement of Women (sales No. 00IV6).
19. The Commission invited Governments to prepare national action plans in accordance with the Platform. As of 1 October 2000, the Division for the Advancement of Women has received 117 plans from Member States and observers and provided the CSW with their analysis (E/CN.6/1998/6 and E/CN.6/1999/2/Add.1).
20. Four years after the Beijing Conference, governments were asked to report on their actions to implement the Platform for Action in the 12 critical areas of concern. As of 1 October 2000, 153 Member States and 2 observers responded to the questionnaire prepared by the Secretariat in collaboration with the five regional commissions and sent out in October 1998. This response rate of over 80% per cent is of itself, indicative of the strong worldwide commitment to the goal of gender equality. An analysis of the main trends in the implementation of the Platform as contained in these reports was carried out and submitted by the Division for the Advancement of Women to the preparatory committee at its third session in March 2000 (E/CN.6/2000/PC/2). The responses to the questionnaire are available on the DAW website (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/).
21. Review of the national reports show that profound changes in the status and role of women have occurred in the years since the start of the United Nations Decade for Women in 1976, some more markedly since the FWCW. Women have entered the labour force in unprecedented numbers, increasing the potential for their ability to participate in economic decision making at various levels, starting with the household. Women, individually and collectively, have been major actors in the rise of civil society throughout the world, stimulating pressure for increased awareness of the gender equality dimensions of all issues, and demanding a role in national and global decision making processes. Thus, the role of non-governmental organizations, especially women's organizations, in putting the concerns of women and gender equality on the national and international agenda was acknowledged by many Governments.
22. Despite much progress, responses from Member States indicate that much more work needs to be done with regard to implementation of the Platform for Action. Two major areas - violence and poverty - continue to be major obstacles to gender equality worldwide. Globalization has added new dimensions to both areas, creating new challenges for the implementation of the Platform, such as trafficking in women and girls, changing nature of armed conflict, growing gap between nations and genders, the detachment of macroeconomic policy from social protection concerns.
23. Overall, the analysis of the national reports on the implementation of the Platform for Action revealed that there had been no major breakthrough with regard to equal sharing of decision making in political structures at national and international levels. In most countries of the world, representation of women remains low. Even in countries where a "critical mass" in decision-making positions within the public sector has been achieved, there are few women on boards of directors of major business corporations. There is need for more careful monitoring of progress in ensuring women's equal participation in these positions of economic power.
4. Emerging Issues and Trends
24. In its resolution (E/1996/6), the Economic and Social Council requested the Commission to identify, in the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women, emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men that required urgent consideration, and make substantive recommendations thereon. The General Assembly (A/Res/52/231), also requested a report on emerging issues to be submitted to the Commission of the Status of Women at its forty-fourth session, including additional material on further actions and initiatives for the preparation of the outlook beyond the year 2000.
25. In order to comply with these resolutions, an international workshop on "Beijing +5 Future Actions and Initiatives" was convened by the Division for the Advancement of Women and hosted by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) at the United Nations House in Beirut, Lebanon, from 8 to 10 November 1999. The workshop assessed the impact of trends of global change on gender equality, development and peace in terms of the implementation of the Platform, and recommended measures to address the emerging challenges. Recommendations were formulated in respect of five categories: attitudes and practices; governance; alliances and coalitions; social and economic justice, and peace-building. The report of the workshop was before the prepcom at its third session (E/CN.6/2000/PC/4).
26. Under the guidance of the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General, Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services, an interdepartmental task force was established to coordinate the organizational preparations for the special session. The task force met on a monthly basis to decide on organizational aspects of the special session. On the basis of these meetings, an information note was issued outlining the arrangements related to all organizational matters, including the guidelines for the accreditation of delegates and NGO representatives; security measures; special events; media related matters as well as secretariat focal points responsible for various processes and services.
III. The Special Session of the General-Assembly
A. General Assembly Plenary
27. The special session, during its plenary meetings, heard statements that focused on the progress made and the remaining obstacles to the implementation to the Platform for Action. The plenary was addressed by representatives of 148 Member States, including two Prime Ministers, four Vice-Presidents, Ministers and Vice-Ministers. Representatives of three non-member States, 16 observers, five heads of UN programmes and specialized agencies, five non-governmental organizations and the Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) also addressed the plenary.
28. At the opening session, the Secretary-General emphasized the progress made since the Fourth World Conference in Beijing. Human rights of women had gained recognition, violence against women was now an illegal act in almost every country, and there had been worldwide mobilization against harmful traditional practices. But the Secretary-General noted that much still remained to be done, including addressing new challenges such as HIV/AIDS and increased armed conflict. While women entered the labour market in unprecedented numbers, the gender divide still persisted, women earned less, and were involved in informal and unpaid work. There has been no breakthrough in women's participation in decision making processes and little progress in the legislation in favour of womens rights to own land and other property. In his statement, the Secretary-General focused on the importance of education, stressing that it was both the entry point into the global economy and the best defense against its pitfalls. Once they were educated and integrated into the workforce, women would have more choices and be able to provide better nutrition, health care and education for their children.
29. In the statements to the plenary meetings of the special session Governments strongly reiterated their commitment to the Beijing goals and called for international cooperation to fight against poverty and trafficking in women. Overwhelming support was expressed in favour of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
B. Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole
30. At the first plenary meeting of its twenty-third special session, the General Assembly established an Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole to consider agenda item 8 entitled "Review and appraisal of progress made in the implementation of the twelve critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action." In connection with its consideration of the agenda items 8 and 9, the Ad Hoc Committee had before it the report of the Commission on the Status of Women acting as the preparatory committee entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" (A/S-23/2 and Add.1 and 2 (Parts I-IV and IV/corr.1). Ms. Christina Kapalata (United Republic of Tanzania), who served as Chairperson of the preparatory committee, was elected Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee (see Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole - A/S - 23/10/Rev.1).
31. Over the five-day period, the Ad Hoc Committee held 3 formal meetings to hear representatives of various UN agencies and the NGO community. Number of informal meetings were also held to negotiate the proposed outcome document for further actions and initiatives for the full implementation of the Platform for Action. In this connection, the Committee's work proceeded in two parallel negotiations within the context of Working Group I and Working Group II. Contact groups were formed to address difficult issues such as health, globalization, human rights and the girl child, family, armed conflict and issues of diversity. The initial negotiating groups included the G-77 and China, the European Union and associated countries and the JUSCANZ (Japan, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Where the G-77 and China did not have a group position they negotiated in smaller groups. The major groups that emerged included CARICOM (the Caribbean Community), SLAC (some Latin American Countries) and SADC (Southern African Development Community). A number of individual delegations were also active in the negotiations.
32. At its 3rd meeting, on 10 June, the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole considered its draft report (A/S - 23/AC.1/L.1 and Add.1-42) and 2 draft resolutions: Political Declaration and Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as submitted by the Chairperson in document A/S-23/AC.1/L.2.
C. The Non-governmental Dimension
33. A total of 2,052 NGO participants representing 1,038 NGOs registered for the special session including 272 NGOs accredited in accordance with General Assembly decision 54/467. Almost 25 per cent of the participants were from the ECE region, 27.1 per cent from North America, 19.7 per cent from the ESCAP region, 11.6 per cent from the ECA region, 10.6 per cent from the ECLAC region and 1.9 per cent were from the ESCWA region. In addition, approximately 2400 participants of non-governmental organizations registered for activities held outside of the United Nations facilities.
34. NGOs organized 15 panel discussions during the special session. The Secretariat facilitated the organization of the panels, the "live feed" of the opening and closing sessions of the plenary and daily NGO briefings. In collaboration with the U.S. Host Committee, NGOs also held numerous side events and activities at locations throughout New York City.
Side Events Organized by the Entities of the United Nations
35. Numerous side events organized by the United Nations system and other international organizations were held. The Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women acting as the preparatory committee sponsored three high level panels organized by UN entities. A panel on "Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Peacekeeping Operations" was held by the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO), the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues (OSAGI) and the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW). It addressed the issue of gender mainstreaming in the peace process, including peacekeeping, peace building and conflict prevention. The panel on "Dialogue between NGOs and Governments: For a Gender-Sensitive Citizenship" was organized by the Regional Commissions. It discussed the emergence of womens groups and gender equality initiatives within the framework of an increasingly stronger civil society. The third panel on "The Role of Men and Boys in Ending Gender Based Violence" discussed the need to change dominant perceptions of masculinity to combat violence. The panel was organized by the OSAGI, the DAW, the United Nations Men's Group for Gender Equality, UNICEF and UNIFEM.
D. Outcome of the Special Session
36. On June 10, 2000 the General Assembly adopted by consensus the Political Declaration and "further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action". In his closing statement, the President of the General Assembly remarked that there had been no backward movement on Beijing language and that in several areas the Outcome Document moved the global agenda on gender equality forward.
37. Governments and the international community once more reaffirmed their commitment to the Platform for Action and a common development agenda with gender equality as an underlying principle. The outcome document recognized that the efforts towards ensuring women's advancement needed to combine a focus on women's conditions and basic needs with an holistic approach based on equal rights and partnerships, promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It further recognized that policies, programmes and budgetary processes should adopt a gender perspective, be based on a clear research based knowledge on the situation of women and girls and sex disaggregated data and be defined in terms of short and long term time-bound targets and measurable goals and follow up mechanisms to assess progress.
38. The special session reaffirmed the importance of gender mainstreaming in all areas and at all levels and the complementarity between mainstreaming and special activities targeting women. Certain areas were identified as requiring focussed attention. These included; education; social services and health; including sexual and reproductive health; the HIV/AIDS pandemic; violence against women and girls; the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women; vulnerability of migrant women including exploitation and trafficking; natural disaster and environmental management; the development of strong, effective and accessible national machineries for the advancement of women; and the formulation of strategies to enable women and men to reconcile and share equally work and family responsibilities.
39. 199 actions to be taken at the national and international levels by Governments, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, including international financial institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other actors of civil society were agreed on. A number of these actions set new targets and reconfirmed existing ones:
40. In addition to further action on the twelve critical areas of concern the document addressed areas which have gained importance since the Beijing Conference. Emphasis was placed on womens access to decision-making particularly in peace keeping processes, gender-sensitive approaches to HIV/AIDS and humanitarian crises, changing patterns of migratory flows, new technologies, violence against women, including trafficking and in armed conflict and the realization of womens full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. Actions also addressed the challenges presented by globalization to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
41. Many of the actions identified specific groups of women as their primary target:
42. As in the case of other conference reviews, the special session stressed the need for continued international cooperation to increase the flow of resources for the Platforms goals of gender equality, development and peace, in particular through reaffirmation and fulfillment of the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of the gross national product of developed countries for overall official development assistance, and support for the Cologne initiative for the reduction of debt and the 20/20 initiative. The outcome document also emphasized the need to identify and implement development-oriented and durable solutions which integrate a gender perspective to the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries, including least developed countries, in order to help these countries finance development programmes and projects, including the advancement of women.
IV. Beyond the Special Session
43. The Political Declaration and the Outcome Document strongly confirm that the Beijing Platform for Action remains the reference point for governmental commitment to women's advancement and gender equality. However, new areas of focus and action were highlighted by the special session. This predicates that the results of Beijing and Beijing + 5 need to be consolidated. In this context, the outcome of a number of intergovernmental processes since 8 June 2000 offer further guidelines; in particular the substantive session of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the fifty fifth session of the General Assembly and the Security Council meeting on Women, Peace and Security.
44. In 2000, for the first time during its substantive session, ECOSOCs coordination segment focused on an integrated and coordinated follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits. Building upon the coordination theme, the Council adopted agreed conclusions E/2000/2 "Assessment of the progress made within the United Nations system, through conference reviews, in the promotion of an integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields." These efforts by ECOSOC could reinforce the cross-cutting nature of the outcomes of the five-year reviews, including the Fourth World Conference on Women and the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and ensure their full cooperation in follow-up activities of the United Nations and its system of organizations.
45. In its resolution (E/2000/26), the Council noted with concern the persistent problems in addressing the challenges of poverty eradication, gender inequalities, empowerment and advancement of women and employment as reflected in the outcome documents of the recent five-year reviews of the Fourth World Conference and the World Summit for Social Development. The Council therefore strongly encouraged Governments to pursue and strengthen their efforts to work towards achieving the goals of poverty eradication and reiterated the call to relevant organizations of the United Nations system and the international community to take consistent, coherent, coordinated and joint actions in support of national efforts to eradicate poverty.
46. At its fifty-fifth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/Res/55/71, "Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly." Stressing the importance of the outcome of the five-year review of the Fourth World Conference on Women, the Assembly calls on Governments and the United Nations system to take effective action to achieve the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. The Assembly invited ECOSOC to continue to promote a coordinated follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the major United Conferences and summits and their reviews, ensure gender mainstreaming is an integral part of the activities of the follow-up and its work. The Assembly reaffirmed the need for the mobilisation of resources at the national and international levels, the promotion of an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective by the United Nations, including through the work of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and through the maintenance of gender units and focal points.
47. Recalling its previous resolution (54/283), the General Assembly adopted draft resolution A/Res/55/13, "Review of the problem of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in all its aspects" and decided to convene, as a matter of urgency, a special session of the General Assembly, from 25 to 27 June 2001 to address and review the problem of HIV/AIDS. Recalling the outcome document of the twenty-third special session, the Assembly decided to address the issue of the gender specific impact of HIV/AIDS, especially on women and girls during the special session.
48. On 31 October 2000, the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security. Recalling the commitments of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (A/52/231) as well as those contained in the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, in particular those concerning women and armed conflict, the Council reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building. The Council stressed the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.
49. On the basis of guidance emanating from these fora, the Commission on the Status of Women, at its 45th. Session in March 2001, will adopt a new multi-year work programme for the years 2002-2006. At this session the Commission will also consider two thematic issues: (a)women, the girl child and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS); (b) gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
50. The Division for the Advancement of Women held expert group meetings in conjunction with these two thematic agenda items. The expert group meeting on HIV-AIDS was held in Namibia on 13-17 November and the meeting on gender and racism was held in Croatia from 21 to 24 November. The Division for the Advancement of Women will prepare and forward a report on the outcome of each expert group meeting to the Commission at its next session. Aide-memoire of the two expert groups meetings are available on DAW website.
51. In accordance with ECOSOC decision 2000/237, the DAW is tasked with the preparations of a proposed multi-year work programme to be submitted to the CSW to consider and adopt at its session in March. Towards this end, the Division has undertaken a number of activities: