BEIJING+5 FACT SHEET UPDATE #3
(22 MARCH 2000)
WomenAction 2000 | Live @ the UNGASS!

 

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This Fact Sheet contains information regarding the Beijing+5 Process. It is an effort to provide information as available. New or changed information will appear in future editions. You are urged to share this information with your fellow NGOs. We welcome other NGOs to contact us with their e-mail address, fax number, and/or mailing address so that we can add them to our contact list.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PREPCOM FOR BEIJING+5 MARCH 2000

The second official PrepCom for Beijing+5 concluded its work on 17 March 2000. In reviewing the work of this PrepCom session, the international NGO Coordinating Committee has identified several points of interest for the global NGO community. Hundreds of NGO representatives participated in the PrepCom from the vast majority of countries in all regions of the world. This diversity of NGO representatives formed and worked through a large number of issue-based and regional caucuses revolving around critical areas of concern, which served as important avenues for input into the official negotiations on the Beijing+5 Political Declaration and Outcome Document. Among the many NGO representatives present at the PrepCom, the growing interest and participation on the part of young women was noted and welcomed. There was an impressive level of cooperation and collaboration among NGOs working across issue areas to have a voice in the Beijing+5 negotiations. For example, approximately 260 national, regional and international NGOs contributed to and endorsed an NGO lobbying document that was framed by a broad-based Coalition of NGOs in Support of the Platform for Action. In addition, NGOs provided input into the official Beijing+5 process through oral and written statements at several points during the CSW and the PrepCom. In particular, the strong presentations made by representatives of all five regions brought home to member state delegates and NGOs alike the current and emerging realities that women are facing around the world. The PrepCom, in addition to providing a crucial opportunity for NGOs to affect the outcome of Beijing+5, also provided a valuable opportunity for NGOs to form and intensify working relationships that span all issue areas and interests. Although the PrepCom has not completed its work, following this intensive set of negotiations, NGOs are well-positioned to return to their home countries and to continue their lobbying efforts at the national level. ("and via e-mail to the missions in New York," Coordinating Committee member Pam Rajput added.) Looking toward the 5-9 June Special Session, the NGO Coordinating Committee is committed to sharing information with its NGO colleagues around the world on the state of negotiations and arrangements, as well as related logistical matters. An NGO Working Session will be held on 2-3 June for those NGOs accredited for the Special Session. The NGO Coordinating Committee is looking forward to continued spirited collaboration and solidarity among NGOs, and to working as a global movement to ensure that governments are accountable to their commitments.

RESUMED PREPCOM AND INTER-SESSIONAL MEETINGS

Since the PrepCom did not complete its work in the allotted time, dates have been reserved for resumed PrepCom sessions and inter-sessional meetings. The following dates were announced at the NGO Briefing on Friday 17 March: 20 April 8, 9 and 11 May 30 May 2 June We presume that NGOs accredited to the PrepCom in March will maintain their accreditation through the resumed PrepCom and inter-sessional meetings. We will verify that information as soon as possible.

SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

REGISTRATION OF NGOs

The following two groups of NGOs are eligible to register for the Special Session: 1) NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) and 2) NGOs accredited to the official Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995.

Registration forms are only available through the Division for the Advancement of Women. Please contact Koh Miyaoi, UN Division for the Advancement of Women, via e-mail at beijing5@un.org or via fax at 1+212-963-3463. Please be sure to include your fax number or mailing address so that the information and form can be immediately sent to you. Deadline for registration is 31 March 2000.

INVITATIONS

Invitations to register for the Special Session were sent to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and NGOs accredited to the Fourth World Conference on Women (the two groups listed above) in early March. If your organization is eligible to register for the Special Session and has not received an invitation, please contact the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) as soon as possible.

At this time, the invitation letter and the registration form for the Special Session are only available in English. At an NGO briefing during the PrepCom, a representative from the DAW said the Division realizes that this presents a problem for some NGOs, apologized for any difficulties this creates and said that the Division will look into the possibility of translations into other languages.

APPLICATIONS BY NEW NGOs

NGOs that have been organized and active in follow-up activities since Beijing may apply to participate in the Special Session. The application form and the 7 required attachments are on the Division for the Advancement of Women web site (www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/followup/accrengo.html) or you may obtain this information from the Division for the Advancement of Women by contacting Ms. Koh Miyaoi, beijing5@un.org or 1+212-963-3463 (fax). Deadline for applying is 5 April 2000.

REPRESENTATION FROM EACH ORGANIZATION

Decisions about the number of representatives permitted to register from each organization will be made after all applications are filed and the approximate number of attendees is evaluated. If a limit is imposed, it will affect each organization registered. No priority will be given to any organization.

MEETING SPACE AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Once again, space at the United Nations will be extremely limited. To apply for NGO meeting space, please submit your request in writing to Koh Miyaoi no later than 15 April. To reserve space within the United Nations, you must be accredited to the Special Session.

MEETING SPACE AT THE CHURCH CENTER (CCUN)

CONGO has reserved space at the Church Center for NGO activities related to the official UN sessions. Application forms will be available shortly.

NGO WORKING SESSION

The NGO Working Session will take place on 2-3 June. Registration will be limited to NGOs who are accredited to the Special Session. Pre-registration is mandatory and forms will be available very shortly. On-site check-in will take place on Friday morning, June 2nd.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday 2 June, probably in the early afternoon. The agenda for the Working Session will include regional presentations of Alternative Reports and a synthesis of major trends, a "Calling of Names" ceremony that will honor women past and present who have been active in the cause of women, and an inter-generational, inter-regional, inter-cultural Round Table discussions.

OTHER NGO EVENTS IN NEW YORK CITY

US NGO HOST COMMITTEE FOR BEIJING PLUS 5

Due to the probable limitation on representatives from each organization, many interested NGO members will not be able to participate in the official events during the Special Session. There will not be a parallel NGO Forum as there was in Huairou but there will be many events throughout New York City for NGOs who cannot register for the Special Session.

The US NGO Host Committee is an ad hoc group of diverse NGOs and individuals who support the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The US NGO Host Committee is working to facilitate many educational and celebratory activities during the Beijing+5 UN General Assembly targeted to the NGO representatives who are not able to attend the Special Session.

The US NGO Host Committee has secured use of part of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House at One Bowling Green near Battery Park. This location is four subway stops from Grand Central (the closest station to the UN) on the express train. This will be the home base for many of the events, panels and round tables not oriented to the official UN process.

The US NGO Host Committee will have a web site to feature an event calendar, NYC information and links to other sites. This site has not gone on-line yet but will be located at www.beijingplus5hostcomm.com and accessible by 3 April 2000.

GENERAL INFORMATION

ALTERNATIVE REPORTS

CONGO is still gathering alternative/shadow reports. If possible, please send electronically to Rebecca Nichols at congongo@aol.com or mail floppy disk to CONGO, 777 United Nations Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA, no later than 15 April.

USA VISA PROCESS

The United States government is represented on the Host Committee by Ambassador Linda Tarr-Whelan. Ambassador Tarr-Whelan addressed NGOs at the PrepCom and said that the US government will send information on the Special Session to its embassies worldwide to facilitate the visa process for NGOs able to attend the Special Session and others. More information will follow as it becomes available.

WEB SITES FOR INFORMATION

There are many sources for information on Beijing+5. The sites listed below are just a few; all have links to other sites in regions throughout the world.
www.conferenceofngos.org [CONGO]
www.un.org/womenwatch/daw [UN, Division for the Advancement of Women]
www.womenaction.org [WomenAction 2000]
www.womenact.org [NGO Committee on the Status of Women]
www.beijingplus5hostcomm.com [US NGO Host Committee]

Beijing+5 Liaison Office
Tsinu Tesfaye, Coordinator
212-661-2932 (tel)
212-687-7352 (fax)
beijing5ngo@aol.com

Communications Office
Janice M. Fett, Coordinator
212-986-6117 (tel)
212-687-7352 (fax)
congongo2@aol.com

 


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