Beijing+5: 23rd special session of the General Assembly

Informal consultations held by the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of
Women acting as the preparatory committee for the special session of
the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: Gender Equality,
Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century"
on 23-24, 29 November - 2-3 December, 1999

I. The chair brought 3 issues to the attention of delegates for consultation:

1. The draft political declaration;

2. Proposed structure for the outcome document;

3. Modalities for NGO participation of the special session.

Political Declaration: consensus was reached on all but three paragraphs (3, 4 and 5ter) which remain with brackets.

Outcome document: an agreement was reached on the structure of the outcome document which would have 4 sections:

A. Introduction

B. Achievements and obstacles in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

C. New challenges (and trends) affecting the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

D. Actions and initiatives to overcome obstacles and to achieve the full and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

Delegations made inputs for each section and it was agreed that section B on achievements/ obstacles would be structured according to the 12 critical areas of concern. The Bureau and the Secretariat were given the mandate to prepare a draft outcome document reflecting the views expressed during the debate.

Modalities of NGO participation: The Secretariat provided a non-paper on modalities of NGO participation which provided background information on the subject. There was overwhelming consensus that NGOs should participate in and contribute to the Special Session. Differences of opinion on modalities of participation were expressed. A proposal was introduced by Namibia on behalf of the African group which served as the basis of the debates. Other suggestions were also made. The summary of the debates is attached.

II. The Secretariat provided two documents:

(i) Report of the Workshop on Beijing+5 - Future actions and initiatives.

(ii) Draft report on preliminary findings of achievements and obstacles to implementation of the Platform for Action.