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Regional Review meeting to explore status of women in the UNECE region 20 years after the Beijing Platform for Action

In the lead up to the 20th anniversary commemoration of the landmark Beijing Platform for Action, considered the most comprehensive agenda on women’s rights, UNECE has undertaken a review of the implementation of the Platform by its Member States. The results of this review will be the focus of the Beijing+20 Regional Review Meeting to be co-hosted in Geneva by UNECE and UN Women on 6 and 7 November 2014.
The high-level meeting, entitled “Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development in the UNECE region”, will be opened by UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. High-level participation is expected from the governments of UNECE Member States, as well as from international organisations, academia, civil society, and the private sector. The Beijing+20 Regional Review meeting will provide an important opportunity for discussion to all stakeholders, including women's groups and other civil society representatives.  
In 1995, 189 countries came together in Beijing at the Fourth World Conference on Women and adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), a visionary roadmap for women's rights and empowerment. The Platform imagines a world where women and girls can exercise their freedoms and choices, and realize all their rights, such as to live free from violence, to go to school, to participate in decisions and to earn equal pay for equal work. Governments committed to action in 12 critical areas of concern to make this vision a reality.
The objectives of the meeting are: 
  • To assess progress made towards gender equality in the UNECE region in the past 20 years. A synthesis report detailing regional achievements and obstacles has been prepared based on the national reports submitted by UNECE member States. Both the synthesis report and the 52 national reports can be accessed at: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=35329.
  • To identify persisting or new obstacles to the achievement of gender equality in the region. 
  • To provide Member States and civil society a forum to exchange best practices of policies and actions that pave the way toward gender equality.
  • To galvanize commitment, reaffirm political will and mobilize the public to support and accelerate efforts in all 12 critical areas of concern of the BPfA. 

The conclusions of the meeting will feed into the global review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action at next year’s 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The UNECE Regional Review Meeting will provide recommendations from the region to the global process. It will also convey a strong message about the importance of incorporating gender equality in all aspects of the post-2015 development agenda.
The thematic dialogues of the Meeting will focus on long-term trends in the UNECE region, closing gender gaps through economic and social policies, women’s representation in policy and decision-making, ending violence against women and girls, governance and gender justice, and gender equality for sustainable development.
The programme of the Meeting as well as all background documents can be accessed at http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=35329
Participants are requested to register using the above link. The deadline for registration is 31 October 2014.

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