Arab States review the implementation of the Beijing agenda

Date: Thursday, August 8, 2019

Regional workshop to support Member States in the preparation of Beijing+25 national reviews. Photo: courtesy of UNESCWA

As part of the global review process conducted on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 17 countries in the Arab States have undertaken national reviews of the progress made and challenges encountered in the implementation of the Beijing agenda, including: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, the State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

In order to support member states in the timely preparation of their national-level reviews, UN Women and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS), organized on 15-16 January 2019 a capacity strengthening workshop on reporting using the “Guidance Note for Comprehensive National-Level Reviews” jointly developed by UN Women and the UN Regional Commissions.

Discussions at the meeting focused on the structure and content of the national reports and addressed obstacles, especially in terms of the methodology, national consultations, and overall analytical framework. Read the meeting report here (Arabic).

In addition, ESCWA, UN Women and LAS in partnership with the Arab Women Organization (AWO) organized a consultative workshop with civil society organizations in the Arab Region on progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action after 25 years.

The workshop, which took place on 16 and 17 April 2019, aimed to present and discuss progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action throughout the past five years from the perspective of Arab civil society organizations, and to discuss on-going preparations of national-level reviews and shadow reports by civil society organizations, as well as to identify follow-up steps and mechanisms at both the national and regional levels to coordinate efforts and recommendations that would accelerate the implementation of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in the Arab region. Read the final recommendations of the workshop here and the report of the meeting in Arabic here.

Youth representatives from UN Women’s Gender Innovation Agora attended this meeting and will participate as well in upcoming Beijing+25 discussions taking place in the region to ensure their perspectives and priorities are considered in the final regional outcome document.

The Beijing+25 review cycle has been linked and aligned with the ongoing process of follow-up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure synergies between the two processes in order to galvanize the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In addition, the League of Arab States with support from UN Women and UNFPA is working on a regional report on to mark the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW+40). The report is expected to serve as a guidance to Member States to identify gaps, lessons learned and good practices in order to improve and accelerate the implementation of the Convention.

Key upcoming dates

  • Beijing+25 Youth and Inter-Generational Forum, Cairo, 27-29 August 2019

UN Women will convene a forum for youth activists and some of the original Beijing participants from the region with the aim to establish an intergenerational dialogue on the Beijing agenda and how to address remaining challenges in its implementation. The outcome of the forum will be presented at the Expert Group Meeting taking place in September.

  • Expert Group Meeting to discuss the "Regional Report on Progress in the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in the Arab Region Twenty-Five Years Later", Beirut, 25-26 September 2019

Experts from across the Arab States region including government officials, civil society representatives (including young people) and thematic experts, will attend a 2-day meeting to present and discuss the progress achieved in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action throughout the past five years based on the national reports submitted by Arab states and the first draft of the consolidated regional report that will be presented to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2020. Read more.

  • High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on Women, Beirut, 28 Nov 2019

The regional review process will culminate with a high-level meeting that will bring together governments from across the Arab States to validate the regional outcome statement for the region to be presented at the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64).

  • 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64), New York, 9-20 March 2020

This year, the global meeting on women will focus on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including the consolidated regional report endorsed and submitted by the Arab States region through ESCWA. All regional reports will feed into the global report of the UN Secretary-General assessing progress, gaps and setbacks in the implementation of the Beijing agenda, and aiming at identifying strategies for addressing those gaps and challenges in an effective and accelerated manner. Read more.

  • Generation Equality Forum, 7-8 May, Mexico - 7-10 July, Paris, 2020

Convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico in partnership with civil society, the Generation Equality Forum will kick-off in Mexico City, Mexico, on 7-8 May 2020 and culminate in Paris, France, on 7-10 July 2020. The Forum will take stock of progress over the past 25 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and chart an agenda of concrete action to realize gender equality before 2030, as part of our multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future. Read more.

  • High-Level Meeting on Beijing+25, New York, September 2020

As per recommendation of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), the General Assembly will convene a one-day high-level meeting in September 2020 during the UN General Assembly high-level week to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Platform for Action. The outcome of the meeting will be a Chair’s summary.