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Hundreds of non-governmental organizations have signed a statement calling on the United Nations and its member states including Canada, to reaffirm the Beijing Declaration’s commitment to the world’s women and create a UN Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Entity.

The signatories, which include CUPE as part of the Canadian labour delegation, say the recent meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Beijing +15, produced an “empty Declaration.” The statement says the Declaration was agreed to ahead of time without consultations and fails women because it does not “strongly reaffirm and commit to renewed and concrete actions and resources.”

This is a backward step for the world’s women, who held so much hope after the Beijing Declaration and Platform was put in place 15 years ago,” said Maureen Morrison, CUPE National’s Director of Equality. “Poor logistics and planning made the recent UN Status of Women meeting in New York frustrating and difficult for the thousands of women in attendance to participate effectively.”

The statement by the non-governmental organizations calls upon the UN Secretary General, the Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of Women and member states, including Canada, to take concrete actions to further women’s equality. The groups want the UN to ensure that civil society and women’s groups are able to participate effectively in further work on the Beijing Platform and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. They are also asking that the promise of creating a UN Women’s Rights and Gender Equality entity be fulfilled.

To read the complete statement: