Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women
Andorra la Vella, Andorra, 17 and 18 June 2010
On the occasion of the 53rd and 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Socialist International Women, SIW, stressed the importance and put forward the request to hold a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women together with an NGO Forum.
Reasons for holding a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women:
- It is important to go beyond the evaluations and appraisals of the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA), which we have been doing throughout these years. These evaluations and appraisals have proven to be less effective and many countries and governments are falling behind in the implementation of the PFA;
- It is also important to stop the backlash to which gender policies are subjected – a backlash favoured by a lack of political commitment to promote gender equality and one that is actively supported and fostered by conservatives and religious fundamentalists alike;
- New challenges such as mass migrations, climate change and its consequences on women's lives, pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, the rise in violence against women which has taken a different and more subtle and organised forms, have all emerged since 1995. Such challenges require, together with a strengthened political impetus, a more responsible and effective new approach in which women can fully participate and play an active dynamic role;
- Large international conferences are excellent means for a valuable public acknowledgement of the topics we want to discuss, and surely a better means to raise awareness than through another UNGA Special Session;
- A conference on women would listen to the call of many NGOs and help mobilise the governments of the UN Member States.
The aim of a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women:
- To accelerate full implementation of the Platform for Action, without wasting time by throwing it into question;
- To apply gender equality to the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. Sadly but predictably, the MDGs have failed to acknowledge women not only as victims but, more importantly, as stakeholders in the full range of development issues;
- To define a new agenda that incorporates the new challenges of the past fifteen years, such as mass migrations, the new pandemics etc. and more recently, the financial and economic crisis and the risk of new ones;
- To devise new mechanisms to boost all actors, starting from governments, to implement the commitments made in the Conference.
SIW is aware that to put in motion a new Conference requires a concerted world-wide effort of the United Nations, Governments, Institutions at all levels, NGOs, civil society, and all other possible actors. SIW is ready and willing to work with all its member organisations all over the world for the success of this initiative of a Fifth United Nations World Conference on Women.