The International Stage

As the leading feminist development agency in Australia, IWDA participates in global action for women’s rights and gender equality.

In 2015, world leaders will come together to assess the progress of several major international instruments:

  • The Millennium Development Goals and the transition to Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals are the eight international development goals agreed at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations (UN) in 2000. This year will see the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to a new set of global goals currently being negotiated: the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN, member states and civil society organisations including IWDA are among a vast number of players pushing for gender equality to be incorporated in the Sustainable Development Goals, as both a stand-alone goal and a target in every other goal. This approach reflects the multidimensional and interdependent nature of inequalities that continue to be experienced by women and girls.

The post-2015 sustainable development agenda is presently being negotiated with governments working together to prepare an outcome document for adoption at a UN Summit in September 2015. This outcome document will guide the work of the global community for the next 15 years. Importantly, while the Millennium Development Goals set targets only for developing countries, the Sustainable Development Goals will guide the whole world.

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

In 1995, a remarkable 17,000 delegates and 30,000 activists travelled to Beijing for the Fourth UN World Conference on Women. The conference resulted in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. IWDA and partners participated in, and contributed to, the conference and the associated NGO forum. For the past 20 years, the Beijing Platform for Action has provided a visionary road map for women’s rights activists and policy-makers around the globe.

Since the Beijing Platform for Action was developed, the world has seen both gains and persistent barriers to gender equality. IWDA participated in a review of the progress and remaining challenges for the Asia Pacific region in Bangkok in November 2014. The review identified three priority areas for action: women’s engagement in public and political life, women’s economic empowerment, and the elimination of violence against women and girls. These three priorities directly align with IWDA’s three key themes.

The Commission on the Status of Women is the main international forum dedicated to advancing women’s rights, meeting each year for a two-week session at the United Nations in New York. At the Commission on the Status of Women meeting in March 2015, the world will review the progress driven by the Beijing Declaration and push for accelerated change. This turning point, known as Beijing +20, will drive further action to make equal rights for women a reality around the globe.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution was ground-breaking. It marked the first time that women’s experiences of conflict were formally linked to the global peace and security agenda. Resolution 1325 affirms that women’s equal participation in conflict prevention and peacebuilding is essential to achieving sustainable peace and security. Women must have a seat at any table where relevant decision-making takes place.

In 2015, the Security Council will conduct a High-level Review to assess progress in implementing Resolution 1325 at all levels – national, regional and global. The proliferation of crises, persistent discrimination and lack of political will to include women in formal peace processes remain significant barriers to the full implementation of Resolution 1325.

IWDA’s program partnerships are all located in fragile or conflict and post-conflict states. Resolution 1325, along with successive resolutions to strengthen its implementation, is core partnership business at IWDA.

IWDA also contributes to national, regional and global dialogues on women, peace and security through participation in networks and coalitions including the Australian Civil Society Coalition on Women, Peace and Security.

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