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Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):35-41.This paper explores the actors who replaced the agreements about the global development agenda made in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo 1994 and the 4th UN World Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995 with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It also surveys the processes which shape and affect the exercise of power, which can lead to radical changes.
Toronto, Canada, Association for Women's Rights in Development [AWID], 2004 Nov.  p. (Spotlight No. 2)The evidence is mounting: internationally agreed development and human rights goals are not being met. Moreover, civil society organizations and social movements are suffering from ‘conference fatigue’ after years of systematic involvement in the United Nations conference arena. Women’s organizations and international networks are particularly affected. What does this imply for economic justice and women’s engagement with the United Nations (“UN”)? Should the United Nations be reformed, should feminist movements reinvest in UN processes, or is the UN no longer a strategic site through which to pursue economic and gender justice? This paper aims to contribute to this debate, while not pretending to cover all UN mechanisms or processes. Beginning with an overview of the current context and global governance framework, the paper then focuses on four key economic-related UN mechanisms, namely the Millennium Development Goals (“MDGs”), the Financing for Development process (“FfD”), human right treaties including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”), and World Conferences. Each of these international norm-setting spaces is assessed for its efficacy as a platform for promoting gender and economic justice, considering the status of the mechanism and the outcomes of women’s participation to date. The paper also discusses the major challenges facing women’s movements in their quest for gender and economic justice though international venues, including the implications of some of the reform proposals put forward in the recently released Cardoso Report on civil society engagement with the UN. It concludes with a call to engage critically with United Nations mechanisms, reclaiming these global policy spaces. (excerpt)
In: Women in the Third World: an encyclopedia of contemporary issues, edited by Nelly P. Stromquist. New York, New York, Garland Publishing, 1998. 477-85. (Garland Reference Library of Social Science Vol. 760)After an introduction that describes the UN Decade for Women (1976-85) as a catalyst to development of the global women's movement, this essay reviews the legal instruments and world conferences that led up to the Decade for Women. Selected conventions of concern to women from 1949 are tabulated to illustrate the number of ratifications received as of September 1993, and eight milestones in the UN effort to advance women are listed. The discussion then focuses on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, on the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies, and on the Fourth World Conference on Women and its Platform for Action. The next section of the essay describes the feminist networking that has flourished since the first women's conference in 1975 and received enough encouragement at the second conference in 1985 to spawn a global feminist movement. The essay continues with a review of the status of academic research into gender issues and of shifting policy in the UN system and other donor agencies as a result of adoption of a "Women in Development" approach. The essay then reviews the UN's 1994 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development to illuminate the role of women in a changing global economy and covers UN publications that seek to explicate women's positions in various regions in the 1990s. The essay concludes that the UN Decade for Women helped create common ground between activists in the North and the South, fostered networking, legitimized activities to promote women's rights, and inspired the UN to take action to advance women within its system.