In the Political Declaration adopted in by the United Nations General Assembly at its twenty-third special session in June 2000, Member States agreed to "assess regularly further implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action with a view to bringing together all parties involved in 2005 to assess progress and consider new initiatives, as appropriate, ten years after the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action".
A review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000), was mandated in the multi-year programme of work of the Commission on the Status of Women for its forty-ninth session in March 2005. The Commission considered two themes:
The review and appraisal by the Commission focused on implementation at national level and identified achievements, gaps and challenges and provided an indication of areas where actions and initiatives, within the framework of the Platform for Action and the outcome of the special session (Beijing+5), were most urgent to further implementation.
Five years after the Beijing Conference, the special session of June 2000 gave all stakeholders an opportunity to share and compare experiences, renew existing commitments and assume new ones, and consider the obstacles encountered and good practices observed in the implementation of the Platform for Action.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, held from 4 to 15 September 1995, by the representatives of 189 countries. The Platform reflects the new international commitment to achieving the goals of equality, development and peace for women throughout the world. It also strengthens the commitments made during the United Nations Decade for Women, 1976-1985, which culminated in the Nairobi Conference, as well as related commitments undertaken during the cycle of United Nations world conferences held in the 1990s.
The 12 critical areas of concern in the Platform for Action are as follows:
The Platform for Action sets out strategic objectives and explains the measures that should be adopted by Governments, the international community, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
The data presented by the United Nations to the delegations of Member States revealed that the improvements observed had benefited only a limited number of women. Thus, the Nairobi Conference was mandated to seek new ways of overcoming obstacles for achieving the objectives of the Decade: equality, development and peace.
Three basic categories were established to measure the progress achieved:
The Nairobi Conference recognized that gender equality was not an isolated issue, but encompassed all areas of human activity. It was necessary for women to participate in all spheres, not only in those relating to gender.
This Conference recognized that there was a disparity between women's guaranteed rights and their capacity to exercise them. Participants identified three spheres in which measures for equality, development and peace were needed:
At this meeting, the process was launched and three objectives were identified in relation to equality, peace and development for the Decade:
The Conference urged Governments to formulate national strategies, targets and priorities. It led to the establishment of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which serve as an institutional framework for research, training and operational activities in the area of women and development. At this Conference, held in Mexico City, women played a highly visible role. Of the 133 delegations from Member States, 113 were headed by women. Women also organized the International Women's Year Tribune, which attracted some 4,000 participants, and a parallel forum of non-governmental organizations that signalled the opening up of the United Nations to non-governmental organizations, which enable women's voices to be heard in the organization's policy-making process.