The Fourth World Conference on Women
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Chapter 1: Resolutions Adopted by the Conference
Resolution 1. Annex II - The Beijing Platform for Action
V. Institutional Arrangements
A. National level
B. Subregional/regional level
C. International level
286. The Platform for Action establishes a set of actions that should lead
to fundamental change. Immediate action and accountability are essential if the targets
are to be met by the year 2000. Implementation is primarily the responsibility of
Governments, but is also dependent on a wide range of institutions in the public, private
and non-governmental sectors at the community, national, subregional/regional and
287. During the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985), many
institutions specifically devoted to the advancement of women were established at the
national, regional and international levels. At the international level, the International
Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and the Committee to monitor the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women were established. These entities,
along with the Commission on the Status of Women and its secretariat, the Division for the
Advancement of Women, became the main institutions in the United Nations specifically
devoted to women's advancement globally. At the national level, a number of countries
established or strengthened national mechanisms to plan, advocate for and monitor progress
in the advancement of women.
288. Implementation of the Platform for Action by national,
subregional/regional and international institutions, both public and private, would be
facilitated by transparency, by increased linkages between networks and organizations and
by a consistent flow of information among all concerned. Clear objectives and
accountability mechanisms are also required. Links with other institutions at the
national, subregional/regional and international levels and with networks and
organizations devoted to the advancement of women are needed.
289. Non-governmental and grass-roots organizations have a specific role
to play in creating a social, economic, political and intellectual climate based on
equality between women and men. Women should be actively involved in the implementation
and monitoring of the Platform for Action.
290. Effective implementation of the Platform will also require changes in
the internal dynamics of institutions and organizations, including values, behaviour,
rules and procedures that are inimical to the advancement of women. Sexual harassment
should be eliminated.
291. National, subregional/regional and international institutions should
have strong and clear mandates and the authority, resources and accountability mechanisms
needed for the tasks set out in the Platform for Action. Their methods of operation should
ensure efficient and effective implementation of the Platform. There should be a clear
commitment to international norms and standards of equality between women and men as a
basis for all actions.
292. To ensure effective implementation of the Platform for Action and to
enhance the work for the advancement of women at the national, subregional/ regional and
international levels, Governments, the United Nations system and all other relevant
organizations should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender
perspective, inter alia, in the monitoring and evaluation of all policies and programmes.
293. Governments have the primary responsibility for implementing the
Platform for Action. Commitment at the highest political level is essential to its
implementation, and Governments should take a leading role in coordinating, monitoring and
assessing progress in the advancement of women. The Fourth World Conference on Women is a
conference of national and international commitment and action. This requires commitment
from Governments and the international community. The Platform for Action is part of a
continuing process and has a catalytic effect as it will contribute to programmes and
practical outcomes for girls and women of all ages. States and the international community
are encouraged to respond to this challenge by making commitments for action. As part of
this process, many States have made commitments for action as reflected, inter alia, in
their national statements.
294. National mechanisms and institutions for the advancement of women
should participate in public policy formulation and encourage the implementation of the
Platform for Action through various bodies and institutions, including the private sector,
and, where necessary, should act as a catalyst in developing new programmes by the year
2000 in areas that are not covered by existing institutions.
295. The active support and participation of a broad and diverse range of
other institutional actors should be encouraged, including legislative bodies, academic
and research institutions, professional associations, trade unions, cooperatives, local
community groups, non-governmental organizations, including women's organizations and
feminist groups, the media, religious groups, youth organizations and cultural groups, as
well as financial and non-profit organizations.
296. In order for the Platform for Action to be implemented, it will be
necessary for Governments to establish or improve the effectiveness of national
machineries for the advancement of women at the highest political level, appropriate
intra- and inter-ministerial procedures and staffing, and other institutions with the
mandate and capacity to broaden women's participation and integrate gender analysis into
policies and programmes. The first step in this process for all institutions should be to
review their objectives, programmes and operational procedures in terms of the actions
called for in the Platform. A key activity should be to promote public awareness and
support for the goals of the Platform for Action, inter alia, through the mass media and
297. As soon as possible, preferably by the end of 1995, Governments, in
consultation with relevant institutions and non-governmental organizations, should begin
to develop implementation strategies for the Platform and, preferably by the end of 1996,
should have developed their strategies or plans of action. This planning process should
draw upon persons at the highest level of authority in government and relevant actors in
civil society. These implementation strategies should be comprehensive, have time-bound
targets and benchmarks for monitoring, and include proposals for allocating or
reallocating resources for implementation. Where necessary, the support of the
international community could be enlisted, including resources.
298. Non-governmental organizations should be encouraged to contribute to
the design and implementation of these strategies or national plans of action. They should
also be encouraged to develop their own programmes to complement government efforts.
Women's organizations and feminist groups, in collaboration with other non-governmental
organizations, should be encouraged to organize networks, as necessary, and to advocate
for and support the implementation of the Platform for Action by Governments and regional
and international bodies.
299. Governments should commit themselves to gender balance, inter alia,
through the creation of special mechanisms, in all government-appointed committees, boards
and other relevant official bodies, as appropriate, as well as in all international
bodies, institutions and organizations, notably by presenting and promoting more women
300. Regional and international organizations, in particular development
institutions, especially INSTRAW, UNIFEM and bilateral donors, should provide financial
and advisory assistance to national machinery in order to increase its ability to gather
information, develop networks and carry out its mandate, in addition to strengthening
international mechanisms to promote the advancement of women through their respective
mandates, in cooperation with Governments.
301. The regional commissions of the United Nations and other subregional/
regional structures should promote and assist the pertinent national institutions in
monitoring and implementing the global Platform for Action within their mandates. This
should be done in coordination with the implementation of the respective regional
platforms or plans of action and in close collaboration with the Commission on the Status
of Women, taking into account the need for a coordinated follow-up to United Nations
conferences in the economic, social, human rights and related fields.
302. In order to facilitate the regional implementation, monitoring and
evaluation process, the Economic and Social Council should consider reviewing the
institutional capacity of the United Nations regional commissions within their mandates,
including their women's units/focal points, to deal with gender issues in the light of the
Platform for Action, as well as the regional platforms and plans of action. Consideration
should be given, inter alia, and, where appropriate, to strengthening capacity in this
303. Within their existing mandates and activities, the regional
commissions should mainstream women's issues and gender perspectives and should also
consider the establishment of mechanisms and processes to ensure the implementation and
monitoring of both the Platform for Action and the regional platforms and plans of action.
The regional commissions should, within their mandates, collaborate on gender issues with
other regional intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, financial
and research institutions and the private sector.
304. Regional offices of the specialized agencies of the United Nations
system should, as appropriate, develop and publicize a plan of action for implementing the
Platform for Action, including the identification of time- frames and resources. Technical
assistance and operational activities at the regional level should establish
well-identified targets for the advancement of women. To this end, regular coordination
should be undertaken among United Nations bodies and agencies.
305. Non-governmental organizations within the region should be supported
in their efforts to develop networks to coordinate advocacy and dissemination of
information about the global Platform for Action and the respective regional platforms or
plans of action.
1. United Nations
306. The Platform for Action needs to be implemented through the work of
all of the bodies and organizations of the United Nations system during the period
1995-2000, specifically and as an integral part of wider programming. An enhanced
framework for international cooperation for gender issues must be developed during the
period 1995-2000 in order to ensure the integrated and comprehensive implementation,
follow-up and assessment of the Platform for Action, taking into account the results of
global United Nations summits and conferences. The fact that at all of these summits and
conferences, Governments have committed themselves to the empowerment of women in
different areas, makes coordination crucial to the follow-up strategies for this Platform
for Action. The Agenda for Development and the Agenda for Peace should take into account
the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
307. The institutional capacity of the United Nations system to carry out
and coordinate its responsibility for implementing the Platform for Action, as well as its
expertise and working methods to promote the advancement of women, should be improved.
308. Responsibility for ensuring the implementation of the Platform for
Action and the integration of a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the
United Nations system must rest at the highest levels.
309. To improve the system's efficiency and effectiveness in providing
support for equality and women's empowerment at the national level and to enhance its
capacity to achieve the objectives of the Platform for Action, there is a need to renew,
reform and revitalize various parts of the United Nations system. This would include
reviewing and strengthening the strategies and working methods of different United Nations
mechanisms for the advancement of women with a view to rationalizing and, as appropriate,
strengthening their advisory, catalytic and monitoring functions in relation to mainstream
bodies and agencies. Women/gender units are important for effective mainstreaming, but
strategies must be further developed to prevent inadvertent marginalization as opposed to
mainstreaming of the gender dimension throughout all operations.
310. In following up the Fourth World Conference on Women, all entities of
the United Nations system focusing on the advancement of women should have the necessary
resources and support to carry out follow-up activities. The efforts of gender focal
points within organizations should be well integrated into overall policy, planning,
programming and budgeting.
311. Action must be taken by the United Nations and other international
organizations to eliminate barriers to the advancement of women within their organizations
in accordance with the Platform for Action.
312. The General Assembly, as the highest intergovernmental body in the
United Nations, is the principal policy-making and appraisal organ on matters relating to
the follow-up to the Conference, and as such, should integrate gender issues throughout
its work. It should appraise progress in the effective implementation of the Platform for
Action, recognizing that these issues cut across social, political and economic policy. At
its fiftieth session, in 1995, the General Assembly will have before it the report of the
Fourth World Conference on Women. In accordance with its resolution 49/161, it will also
examine a report of the Secretary-General on the follow-up to the Conference, taking into
account the recommendations of the Conference. The General Assembly should include the
follow-up to the Conference as part of its continuing work on the advancement of women. In
1996, 1998 and 2000, it should review the implementation of the Platform for Action.
Economic and Social Council
313. The Economic and Social Council, in the context of its role under the
Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 45/264,
46/235 and 48/162, would oversee system-wide coordination in the implementation of the
Platform for Action and make recommendations in this regard. The Council should be invited
to review the implementation of the Platform for Action, giving due consideration to the
reports of the Commission on the Status of Women. As coordinating body, the Council should
be invited to review the mandate of the Commission on the Status of Women, taking into
account the need for effective coordination with other related commissions and Conference
follow-up. The Council should incorporate gender issues into its discussion of all policy
questions, giving due consideration to recommendations prepared by the Commission. It
should consider dedicating at least one high-level segment before the year 2000 to the
advancement of women and implementation of the Platform for Action with the active
involvement and participation, inter alia, of the specialized agencies, including the
World Bank and IMF.
314. The Council should consider dedicating at least one coordination
segment before the year 2000 to coordination of the advancement of women, based on the
revised system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women.
315. The Council should consider dedicating at least one operational
activities segment before the year 2000 to the coordination of development activities
related to gender, based on the revised system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement
of women, with a view to instituting guidelines and procedures for implementation of the
Platform for Action by the funds and programmes of the United Nations system.
316. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) should consider
how its participating entities might best coordinate their activities, inter alia, through
existing procedures at the inter-agency level for ensuring system-wide coordination to
implement and help follow up the objectives of the Platform for Action.
Commission on the Status of Women
317. The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, in
accordance with their respective mandates, are invited to review and strengthen the
mandate of the Commission on the Status of Women, taking into account the Platform for
Action as well as the need for synergy with other related commissions and Conference
follow-up, and for a system-wide approach to its implementation.
318. As a functional commission assisting the Economic and Social Council,
the Commission on the Status of Women should have a central role in monitoring, within the
United Nations system, the implementation of the Platform for Action and advising the
Council thereon. It should have a clear mandate with sufficient human and financial
resources, through the reallocation of resources within the regular budget of the United
Nations to carry the mandate out.
319. The Commission on the Status of Women should assist the Economic and
Social Council in its coordination of the reporting on the implementation of the Platform
for Action with the relevant organizations of the United Nations system. The Commission
should draw upon inputs from other organizations of the United Nations system and other
sources, as appropriate.
320. The Commission on the Status of Women, in developing its work
programme for the period 1996-2000, should review the critical areas of concern in the
Platform for Action and consider how to integrate in its agenda the follow-up to the World
Conference on Women. In this context, the Commission on the Status of Women could consider
how it could further develop its catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective in
United Nations activities. Other functional commissions
321. Within their mandates, other functional commissions of the Economic
and Social Council should also take due account of the Platform for Action and ensure the
integration of gender aspects in their respective work.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and other
322. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in
implementing its responsibilities under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women, should, within its mandate, take into account the Platform
for Action when considering the reports submitted by States parties.
323. States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women are invited, when reporting under article 18 of the
Convention, to include information on measures taken to implement the Platform for Action
in order to facilitate the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in
monitoring effectively women's ability to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the Convention.
324. The ability of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women to monitor implementation of the Convention should be strengthened through
the provision of human and financial resources within the regular budget of the United
Nations, including expert legal assistance and, in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 49/164 and the decision made by the meeting of States parties to the Convention
held in May 1995, sufficient meeting time for the Committee. The Committee should increase
its coordination with other human rights treaty bodies, taking into account the
recommendations in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
325. Within their mandate, other treaty bodies should also take due
account of the implementation of the Platform for Action and ensure the integration of the
equal status and human rights of women in their work.
United Nations Secretariat Office of the Secretary-General
326. The Secretary-General is requested to assume responsibility for
coordination of policy within the United Nations for the implementation of the Platform
for Action and for the mainstreaming of a system-wide gender perspective in all activities
of the United Nations, taking into account the mandates of the bodies concerned. The
Secretary-General should consider specific measures for ensuring effective coordination in
the implementation of these objectives. To this end, the Secretary-General is invited to
establish a high-level post in the office of the Secretary-General, using existing human
and financial resources, to act as the Secretary-General's adviser on gender issues and to
help ensure system-wide implementation of the Platform for Action in close cooperation
with the Division for the Advancement of Women.
Division for the Advancement of Women
327. The primary function of the Division for the Advancement of Women of
the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development is to provide
substantive servicing to the Commission on the Status of Women and other intergovernmental
bodies when they are concerned with the advancement of women, as well as to the Committee
on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. It has been designated a focal point
for the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of
Women. In the light of the review of the mandate of the Commission on the Status of Women,
as set out in paragraph 313 above, the functions of the Division for the Advancement of
Women will also need to be assessed. The Secretary-General is requested to ensure more
effective functioning of the Division by, inter alia, providing sufficient human and
financial resources within the regular budget of the United Nations.
328. The Division should examine the obstacles to the advancement of women
through the application of gender-impact analysis in policy studies for the Commission on
the Status of Women and through support to other subsidiary bodies. After the Fourth World
Conference on Women it should play a coordinating role in preparing the revision of the
system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women for the period 1996-2001 and
should continue serving as the secretariat for inter-agency coordination for the
advancement of women. It should continue to maintain a flow of information with national
commissions, national institutions for the advancement of women and non-governmental
organizations with regard to implementation of the Platform for Action.
Other units of the United Nations Secretariat
329. The various units of the United Nations Secretariat should examine
their programmes to determine how they can best contribute to the coordinated
implementation of the Platform for Action. Proposals for implementation of the Platform
need to be reflected in the revision of the system-wide medium-term plan for the
advancement of women for the period 1996-2001, as well as in the proposed United Nations
medium-term plan for the period 1998-2002. The content of the actions will depend on the
mandates of the bodies concerned.
330. Existing and new linkages should be developed throughout the
Secretariat in order to ensure that the gender perspective is introduced as a central
dimension in all activities of the Secretariat.
331. The Office of Human Resources Management should, in collaboration
with programme managers world wide, and in accordance with the strategic plan of action
for the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat (1995-2000), continue to
accord priority to the recruitment and promotion of women in posts subject to geographical
distribution, particularly in senior policy-level and decision-making posts, in order to
achieve the goals set out in General Assembly resolutions 45/125 and 45/239 C and
reaffirmed in General Assembly resolutions 46/100, 47/93, 48/106 and 49/167. The training
service should design and conduct regular gender-sensitivity training or include
gender-sensitivity training in all of its activities.
332. The Department of Public Information should seek to integrate a
gender perspective in its general information activities and, within existing resources,
strengthen and improve its programmes on women and the girl child. To this end, the
Department should formulate a multimedia communications strategy to support the
implementation of the Platform for Action, taking new technology fully into account.
Regular outputs of the Department should promote the goals of the Platform, particularly
in developing countries.
333. The Statistical Division of the Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis should have an important coordinating role in
international work in statistics, as described above in chapter IV, strategic objective
International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of
334. INSTRAW has a mandate to promote research and training on women's
situation and development. In the light of the Platform for Action, INSTRAW should review
its work programme and develop a programme for implementing those aspects of the Platform
for Action that fall within its mandate. It should identify those types of research and
research methodologies to be given priority, strengthen national capacities to carry out
women's studies and gender research, including that on the status of the girl child, and
develop networks of research institutions that can be mobilized for that purpose. It
should also identify those types of education and training that can be effectively
supported and promoted by the Institute.
United Nations Development Fund for Women
335. UNIFEM has the mandate to increase options and opportunities for
women's economic and social development in developing countries by providing technical and
financial assistance to incorporate the women's dimension into development at all levels.
Therefore, UNIFEM should review and strengthen, as appropriate, its work programme in the
light of the Platform for Action, focusing on women's political and economic empowerment.
Its advocacy role should concentrate on fostering a multilateral policy dialogue on
women's empowerment. Adequate resources for carrying out its functions should be made
Specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations
336. To strengthen their support for actions at the national level and to
enhance their contributions to coordinated follow-up by the United Nations, each
organization should set out the specific actions they will undertake, including goals and
targets to realign priorities and redirect resources to meet the global priorities
identified in the Platform for Action. There should be a clear delineation of
responsibility and accountability. These proposals should in turn be reflected in the
system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women for the period 1996-2001.
337. Each organization should commit itself at the highest level and, in
pursuing its targets, should take steps to enhance and support the roles and
responsibilities of its focal points on women's issues.
338. In addition, specialized agencies with mandates to provide technical
assistance in developing countries, particularly in Africa and the least developed
countries, should cooperate more to ensure the continuing promotion of the advancement of
339. The United Nations system should consider and provide appropriate
technical assistance and other forms of assistance to the countries with economies in
transition in order to facilitate solution of their specific problems regarding the
advancement of women.
340. Each organization should accord greater priority to the recruitment
and promotion of women at the Professional level to achieve gender balance, particularly
at decision-making levels. The paramount consideration in the employment of the staff and
in the determination of the conditions of service should be the necessity of securing the
highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. Due regard should be paid to
the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.
Organizations should report regularly to their governing bodies on progress towards this
341. Coordination of United Nations operational activities for development
at the country level should be improved through the resident coordinator system in
accordance with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, in particular General
Assembly resolution 47/199, to take full account of the Platform for Action.
2. Other international institutions and organizations
342. In implementing the Platform for Action, international financial
institutions are encouraged to review and revise policies, procedures and staffing to
ensure that investments and programmes benefit women and thus contribute to sustainable
development. They are also encouraged to increase the number of women in high-level
positions, increase staff training in gender analysis and institute policies and
guidelines to ensure full consideration of the differential impact of lending programmes
and other activities on women and men. In this regard, the Bretton Woods institutions, the
United Nations, as well as its funds and programmes and the specialized agencies, should
establish regular and substantive dialogue, including dialogue at the field level, for
more efficient and effective coordination of their assistance in order to strengthen the
effectiveness of their programmes for the benefit of women and their families.
343. The General Assembly should give consideration to inviting the World
Trade Organization to consider how it might contribute to the implementation of the
Platform for Action, including activities in cooperation with the United Nations system.
344. International non-governmental organizations have an important role
to play in implementing the Platform for Action. Consideration should be given to
establishing a mechanism for collaborating with non-governmental organizations to promote
the implementation of the Platform at various levels.
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