Addis Ababa, October 282019: The Experts Meeting of the 4th African Union Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment opened on 28 Oct 2019, at the AUC Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the theme "Realizing Women's Rights for an Equal Future". Organized by the AUC WGDD, in cooperation with UN Women and ECA, the meeting focused on the review of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25 Review), which will mark its 25th anniversary in the year 2020, underscoring commitments made at global, regional and sub-regional levels to end discrimination, promoting women's rights and advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Annie Rebecca Kenda Bakajika, STC Bureau Chairperson from the Democratic Republic of Congo set the tone by providing an overview of the process and the importance of evaluating and reporting on progress made in implementing key global and continental commitments such as Beijing (BPfA).
Ms Lehau Victoria Maloka, Acting Director, the Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD), in her introductory remarks echoed the Chairperson's remarks, underlining the importance of reviewing African Union Member States' implementation of the commitments made twenty (25) years ago when adopting the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. She also said that 2020 coincides with other milestones in the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment calendar such as the African Women's Decade and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
Ms. Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa in her remarks, said that the Beijing +25 Review is taking place in a landscape marked by the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda of the SDGs and the 2013 adoption of Agenda 2063 by African Leaders. She underlined that the two agendas are mutually reinforcing and guide the Africa's aspiration for an inclusive, prosperous and peaceful continent, while leaving no one behind.
Ms. Thokozile Ruzvidzo Director, Social Development Policy Division Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for her part recalled that the Beijing+25 review intends to track progress in African countries on their commitments made in Beijing 25 years ago as well as harness experiences and lessons from the AU Member States to accelerate sustainable development under Agenda 2010 and Agenda 2063. She underscored that the outcome of the meeting should comprise strong and bold political messages.
Over three days, the Experts Session of the 4th STC on GEWE discussed the Africa Beijing + 25 Review Report as well as other related documents and decisions that support the accelerated implementation of the AU GEWE Agenda commitments, and activities. These activities are aimed at creating public-awareness through engaging the media and other stakeholders across Africa about the Beijing+ 25 review process and the AU GEWE Agenda. In addition, the meeting also considered Reports of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA), the report on the African Union Pan-African Women's Awards (PAWA), Coordination of AU Side Events at the 64th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64), advocacy missions for the ratification, domestication and implementation of the Maputo Protocol, African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) and African Women Leaders' Fund (AWLF), African Women's Decade and Fund for African Women.
The experts' segment was attended by AUC officials and senior officials from AU Members States Ministries in Charge of Gender and Women's Affairs, representatives from the Regional Economic Communities, Civil Society Organizations, UN Agencies, development partners, international organizations and Beijing Conference veterans. The Experts Session concluded on Wednesday, 30 October with recommendations for the Ministerial Session, held from 31 Oct to 1 Nov 2019.
Distributed by ECA Communication Section in conjunction with AUC and UN Women
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