| 41st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women |
|41st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women|
The Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) convened a dialogue on 10 March between representatives of the UN, governments and NGOs on Women's Perspectives on the Environment and Sustainable Development, in the context of the UN's fifth-year review of the Earth Summit. After the dialogue, WEDO launched a survey of governments on national action plans to implement the Beijing platform. The survey entitled Promise Kept, Promise Broken? received 102 responses from around the world, including three regional responses for the KU, the Caribbean Community and the Commonwealth Nations. The survey found that in the 17 months since the Beijing conference, 65 nations, or one-third of UN member states, have drawn up actual plans, while 18 others have prepared drafts. Respondents from NGOs in 53 countries said their governments are moving forward in drafting national action plans, and seven are stalled by adverse economic conditions or lack of implementation mechanisms and/or resources. Eight countries were reported to lack a plan altogether with no steps being taken to draft one, and five were reported to have taken "regressive steps." Members of the CSW bureau, who praised the survey during the commission meeting, noted that only 25 governments have submitted their strategies or action plans for implementation of the Beijing results to the secretariat in compliance with GA resolution 50/203 of 22 December 1995. A preliminary analysis of completed and draft national plans received by the UN secretariat found that few covered all the critical areas of concern. The DAW reports that the national plans tend to focus on a select number of areas or issues; they are most often poverty, participation in decision making, education, economy, health, violence and human rights. Few provide the specific benchmarks and timetables that were part of the Beijing platform, although some governments have designated priorities. Most plans provide for a combination of legislative actions, including reform of discriminatory laws, as well as targeted projects in specific areas for particular groups of women or in particular geographic areas. Several plans indicate that resources to carry out the Beijing platform will be increased or sought in future national budgets.
Contact: Women's Environment and Development Organization, 355 Lexington Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York NY 10017, USA, telephone +1-212/973 0325, fax +1212/973 0335, e-mail <email@example.com>.