UN to Hold World Conference on Women in 2015?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser proposed the idea here of holding a global conference on women’s issues in 2015, 20 years after the last women’s summit held in Beijing.
The proposal will go before the 193-member General Assembly for final approval.
The joint announcement was released on the International Women’s Day, which is held to draw attention to the challenges faced by women as well as to their contributions.
The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, in 1995, adopted the current Forward-Looking Platform of Action. The Beijing summit was preceded by three world conferences, beginning in 1975 in Mexico City, and followed by Copenhagen in 1980 and Nairobi in 1985. According to the joint announcement, both Ban and Al-Nasser are confident that the international community will welcome a fifth world conference.
The announcement said that Ban and Al-Nasser see a fifth conference "as an opportunity to review the Beijing Platform for Action." The fifth conference could tackle emerging issues, in particular those relating to women and political participation, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that deals with women and peace and security, equal access to decent work and to decision-making and the involvement of rural women and girls, said the announcement.
Given the repeated attempts to go back on internationally agreed languages, including at the recent UN Commission on the Status of Women and the fact that religious, cultural and so-called moral arguments are being used to block decisions and avoid obligations, the re-opening of negociations regarding women’s rights and gender equality at the level of the United Nations would have to be carefully weighed against the real risk of a backlash in relation to agreed agreements on women's rights.