New York, US - More than 6,000 registered representatives of the 193 UN member states, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have gathered in New York to discuss the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the 2015 deadline.
PANA reports from New York Tuesday that the discussion is being held under the auspices of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
It said the final document would contribute to shaping a future development agenda, with some participants pushing for a standalone goal on women’s empowerment in the post-2015 development agenda.
This year’s meeting of the Commission, which will focus on development, particularly education and reproductive rights, comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China in 1995.
The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries at the conference, is considered the key global policy document on gender equality, addressing critical areas such as women and poverty, violence against women and the human rights of women.
For the next two weeks, CSW participants will also discuss women and girls’ access to education, training, science and technology, as well as women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.
Speaking at the opening session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said women's human rights have come a long way, but that there is still much to do and little time to do it.
'We cannot achieve a world of dignity for all until we end gender inequality in all its forms. More girls are in school, but we are far from ending gender disparity at all levels of education,' Ban said, highlighting that gender gaps are particularly stark among rural populations and for persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and other marginalised groups.
The Secretary-General noted that the UN is also committed to helping governments provide the education and quality sexual and reproductive health services that too many women and adolescent girls lack.
In her remarks, UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said the MDGs and the Beijing Platform for Action were both about making the lives of women and girls better.
'We have to align our post-2015 efforts with this purpose. For more positive outcomes in the future, let us plan the future with greater impact and sustainability in mind,” she said.
The CSW, which is scheduled to conclude on 21 March, will feature more than 135 events organised by UN agencies, governments and NGOs alongside the official meetings of the Commission.