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Women's Linkage Caucus Advocacy Agenda

At the 1997 Commissions on Sustainable Development Intersessional, Social Development and Population & Development

28 February, 1997

The Women's Linkage Caucus celebrates the critical role played by women at each conferences, infusing both the process and outcomes with a feminist analysis.

As emphasized in Agenda 21, the Cairo, Copenhagen and Beijing Platforms for Action, women must be fully integrated in policy- and decision-making at every level, as equal partners with men, if people centered sustainable development is to be realized. The gender composition of government delegations at the CSD, as well as of non-governmental organizations (to a lesser extent) reflect reflects a general lack of progress in increasing women's participation in sustainable development.

Action: We urge governments at the Commissions on Sustainable Development, Population and Development, and Social Development, to reaffirm and act on their commitments to achieve gender balance in the composition of government delegations and commission bureaus.

Action: Members of the Women's Linkage Caucus will take a head count of government representatives at the CSD Inter-sessional, CSocD and CPD to assess the gender balance at each meeting. The head count will be delivered to the respective chairs/co-chairs of each commission to direct attention to the severe gender imbalance in each of these fora.

In addition to achieving gender balance in Commission delegations, governments and other actors should ensure that gender perspectives be mainstreamed throughout the conference follow-up process at local, national and international levels.

Action: Act on the Secretary General's Report (E/17.CN/1997/2) which states that "A gender perspective should be applied in all aspects of the implementation of Agenda 21, " and act on the General Assembly Resolution on the implementation of the World Summit for Social Development which "Calls on all governments and the UN system, in particular the relevant funds, programmes and agencies, to promote an active and visible policy of main streaming a gender perspective and to use gender analysis as a tool for the integration of a gender dimension into the planning and implementation of policies, strategies and programmes on social development."

Sustainable development requires new ways of meeting interlinked challenges and balancing multiple objectives. The Women's Linkage Caucus applauds the Secretary General's Report (E/17.CN/1997/2 Add.22) which recognizes that "The [Beijing] Platform for Action is an excellent framework through which, if implemented, the objectives of Agenda 21 can be realized. Among other things, I re-emphasises the need to create a new development paradigm that integrates environmental sustainability with gender equality and justice within and between generations and provides a framework to integrate roles, needs and priorities of women with other global issues such as health, urban and rural development and nutrition."

Action: Member states to the Commissions on Sustainable Development, Social Development, Population and Development, the Status of Women, and the respective secretariats should collaborate and co-ordinate with each other in monitoring and reporting on areas of overlap.


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