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Beijing +5, 2000: Special Session on Women

5 -9 June 2000, New York

The 23rd session United Nations Special Session (Beijing+5) was held between 5 -9 June 2000 in order to be able to evaluate what governments have done to fulfill their commitments following the Fourth World Conference on Women, and to develop forward-looking strategies. Prior to the meeting, both government and NGO representatives met separately at Prep-Coms to plan for meeting. The first of these Prep-Coms were the Regional Meetings that took place in different parts of the world. The UN Division for the Advancement of Women prepared a draft text based on the outcomes of these meetings. Later, in the Prep-Com that took place in March 2000 government delegations met to work on the draft text and discuss which items to add/delete. The General Coordinator of Women for Women′s Human Rights attended both of these Prep-Coms and provided significant input to the draft text. Click here to read the Outcome document.

After these two Prep-Coms, in March 2000, Women for Women′s Human Rights called upon the Equality Watch Platform (Anakultur, Association for the Support of Women in Politics, The Istanbul Bar Women′s Rights Implementation Center, The Purple Roof Women′s Shelter Foundation, the Soroptomists Federation and Women for Women′s Human Rights), and women’s groups joining forces worked hard in preparation for the June meeting. The three most crucial points tackled during this preparation phase were the following: 1)NGO representatives must also be part of the government delegation; 2)The chosen NGO representatives must be experts in their field and be democratically elected by the NGO community; and 3)The government delegation, NGO representatives and State Minister Hasan Gemici (the Minister Responsible for Women′s Affairs) must meet for the duration of the meeting to evaluate developments and to exchange information, on a daily basis.

On the evening of the final day of negotiations, a group of NGO representatives from Turkey came together and prepared the press statement which was subsequently read at the press conference held at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul. Once back in Turkey, Women for Women′s Human Rights and Anakultur, immediately organized a national meeting entitled "International Gender Policies in Turkey: The State, NGOs and Democratization during the Beijing+5 Process" on 15 July 2000. The aim of the meeting was to make available information pertaining to Beijing+5 and its outcomes. The meeting focused on the importance of governments standing behind their commitments at UN meetings such as the Beijing+5, information on the Optional Protocol and the significance of gender policies in terms of EU-Turkey relations and the accession process. You can download the Beiing+5 Political Declaration by clicking here.