The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which have greatly contributed to the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. It was in September 1995 that an unprecedented 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists were present into Beijing for the opening of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The outcome of the Conference was the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive framework for advancing women’s rights.
The Platform for Action covers 12 critical areas of concern that are as relevant today as 25 years ago: poverty; education and training; health; violence; armed conflict; economy; power and decision-making; institutional mechanisms; human rights; media; environment; and the girl child. For each critical area of concern, strategic objectives are identified, as well as a detailed catalogue of related actions to be taken by Governments and other stakeholders, at national, regional and international level. At the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly in June 2000, held to review the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Governments agreed on further actions to accelerate implementation of the Platform for Action and to ensure that commitments for gender equality, development and peace were fully realized.
Non-Aligned Movement is committed to ensuring gender equality and protecting and ensuring equal rights for women in all spheres of life – be it social, economical and political. As such, NAM attaches great significance to the Beijing Declaration and Program of Action. NAM Member States have worked to eliminate discrimination against women and girls and achieve equality in all areas of life, in public and in private spaces.
The Final Outcome Document of the 2019 NAM Summit held in Baku, Azerbaijan welcomed the progress made towards the full implementation of the BDPA through concerted policy action and recommitted the Movement to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women and reaffirmed their full support for the outcome documents of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.
During the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, held in February-March 2020, a High-Level Panel discussion commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Accelerating the commitments of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action took place. Azerbaijan, in its capacity as the current Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, spoke on behalf of NAM and underlined the that there is still much to be done to eliminate gender inequalities and empower women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is a serious universal human rights concern, which results in detrimental impacts on physical and mental health of women and girls. Women continue to have unequal access to economic resources and bear more disproportionate share of unpaid, informal, and care work. Significant efforts to reduce maternal mortality will be necessary if we are to reach Target 3.1 of the 2030 Agenda. NAM also recognised that while the rights of women and girls have advanced the most in the field of education since 1995, adolescent pregnancy, child, early and forced marriage and lack of adequate sanitation services in schools still disproportionately force adolescent girls out of school. Women and girls who experience multiple forms of discrimination have made the least progress.
NAM has also called upon the United Nations system to continue to support local, national, regional and international efforts for the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its review at the international, regional, national and local levels.