BEIJING + 5: No going back on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's human rights

The Beijing Platform for Action, a blueprint for achieving Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's equality, development and peace, was adopted at the Fourth World Conference for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in 1995. Governments have now come together in New York to review the implementation of this set of commitments.

'In the preparatory sessions some governments have been challenging the very basis of what was reaffirmed in Beijing: that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights are human rights,' Amnesty International said.

The very notion of human rights has been categorised as a 'difficult' issue during last week's preparatory session.

References to human rights treaties are being removed from the draft document to be adopted by this Session, including references to the most recently adopted treaty on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights adopted by the General Assembly unanimously*.

The responsibility of states to ensure the human rights of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in both their public and private lives, which is well established under international law, is being questioned by some states.

There have been some positive achievements at the international level in the intervening five years since the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted:

*the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights has been adopted by the UN General Assembly (Namibia has become the first country to ratify it);

the Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted explicitly recognising that certain gender-related crimes, such as rape and other forms of sexual violence are war crimes and also may amount to crimes against humanity.

'Some governments have come to New York with the genuine aim of reviewing the Beijing Platform for Action in the context of the realities of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's lives in their own countries,' Amnesty International said.

'A number of Latin American and Southern African countries have played an exemplary role in attempting to steer the Beijing + 5 process towards a meaningful outcome. Their efforts, however, have been hampered by a handful of countries after months of negotiation.'

'We already have a document: the Beijing Platform for Action. Any final document adopted at this Special Session must demonstrate governments' political will to translate their promises at Beijing into action. The Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights of the world will accept nothing less.'

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