International Conference/International Exchange

International Conference/International Exchange


The 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Date:March 9 to 20, 2015

Place:United Nations Headquarters (New York) /

alt United Nations Headquarters

The 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (hereinafter “CSW”) was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City between Monday March 9, 2015 and Friday, March 20, 2015. Three NWEC staff attended the session as members of the Japanese government delegation. The delegation was led by Mr. Takashi Uto, the government representative, and Ms. Hiroko Hashimoto, representative of Japan to the CSW.

The priority theme of the 59th Session of the CSW was a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the outcome documents of the 23rd special session of the United Nations General Assembly. Year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. During the session, statements were made by representatives of UN member states and UN entities as well as by representatives of NGOs. Ministerial round tables and panel discussions were also held.

alt The Opening Session

The opening session was followed by general discussions by representatives of member states. The representatives gave reports of the initiatives made by their states and organizations toward the realization of gender equality, the outcomes of such initiatives and their future outlook, as well as the tasks still left to be tackled.

Mr. Takashi Uto, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered a statement regarding initiatives by the Japanese government on March 10. He reported that in Japan the 4th Basic Plan for Gender Equality was being developed and that a bill had been submitted to the Diet that requires national and local organizations and corporations to build and disclose an action plan to realize a society in which all women are valued. He also announced the government’s plan to host the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: WAW! Tokyo 2015. The World Assembly for Women in Tokyo is an international symposium for the comprehensive discussion of women’s empowerment. The previous assembly was held last year. In addition, he mentioned the government’s plan to discuss women’s participation and leadership as one of the core agenda items at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, to be held between March 14 and March 18 in the City of Sendai. Furthermore, he made a reference to $3 billion donated by the Japanese government to aid women and girls in developing countries, and an approximately $1.6 billion contribution to be made to a project to eliminate violence against women in armed conflicts.

alt General Discussions

During the CSW session, a number of side and parallel events were held in addition to the official meetings. The first side event, held on March 9, was organized jointly by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN, the Permanent Mission of Poland to the UN, and the Japanese Association of International Women’s Rights. It was entitled CEDAW and Gender-based Violence: The Progress Made and the Challenges for the 20 Years after Beijing. The second side event, held on the 13th, was jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN, the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the UN, the Japan Women’s Watch, the National Women’s Committee of the United Nations NGOs and the International Women’s Year Liaison Group. The event was entitled Gender Equality and Aging Society: the Asian Perspective. At the side event of March 13, panelists shared the issues and challenges relating to the attainment of society in which older people, especially women, can maintain their dignity while enjoying health and longevity and staying engaged, using data and case studies in Japan and other Asian countries. Opinions were actively contributed by attendees from the floor too.

During the second week of the CSW, panel discussions were held on emerging issues such as the responsibilities of men and boys in achieving gender equality, and the protection of the rights of women who are socially disadvantaged.

During the closing speech on March 20, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, emphasized the mission of UN Women as the organization promoting gender mainstreaming, and sent a message that collaboration with the civil society would become increasingly important in order to press forward with sustainable development.

alt The Beijing Platform for Action, translated in UN official languages

International Cooperation