Commission on the Status of Women, Explained

Lots of action at the UN this week as the Commission for the Status of Women kicks off.  In UN-speak the meeting is officially called the”15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000).”  Try saying that 10 times fast. Or don’t.  Most folks call this meeting “Beijing+15.”

So what is this confab all about?  In 1995 delegations from a great number of governments signed onto a 12 part plan to promote the welfare of women in their own countries.  This was the Beijing Declaration and it included a wide ranging “plan of action” to promote the rights of women around the world.  The meeting at the UN this week and next are intended to give governments and NGOs the opportunity to assess their progress toward the implementation of that plan of action. 

For those that want to follow the action, but can’t attend in person here are some good resources:

*The opening statement from the United States delegation, in which US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer lays out the Obama administration’s priorities for the conference. 

*Live Webcast of the preceedings

*Opening statement (via YouTube) from Ban Ki Moon

*Feministing’s Lori Adelman is blogging the conference.

Finally, I would be remiss not to post this speech from then-First Lady Hillary Clinton when she lead the U.S. delegation to the 1995 Beijing Conference.  It is a classic — as powerful today as it was 15 years ago.  You’ll enjoy it. I promise.