On December 13-14, 2009, in Cairo, Egypt, Karama, UNIFEM Egypt, and the Alliance for Arab Women will convene a two-day 22-country consultation to issue the Regional NGO Shadow Report on the Arab States’ fulfillment of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA), fifteen years after it was adopted at the UN World Conference on Women in 1995.
NGO representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa will gather in Cairo on December 13th and 14th to assess the regional progress of the BPFA, what has been implemented, challenges and obstacles to implementation, and the role of NGOs. Building from this analysis, the representatives will also issue recommendations and targets related to the Millennium Development Goals, which all UN member states adopted in 2000 and will continue to pursue through 2015.
As an outcome from this regional consultation, these women’s rights activists and experts from the countries of the Arab League will develop a set of collective regional priorities for the next five years. These priorities will be presented in addition to the Beijing+15 Regional NGO Shadow Report at the 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, where Beijing+15 will be a review theme.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were adopted in September of 1995 on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The Platform for Action sets out actions in 12 critical areas of concern aimed at women’s empowerment and advancement. These entail removing obstacles to women’s participation in all areas of public and private life through exercise of equal shares in economic, political, social and cultural decision-making. The Fourth World Conference on Women, where these commitments were adopted in 1995, was attended by 189 governments and more than 5,000 representatives from 2,100 NGOs.