As delegates from around the world meet at United Nations headquarters in New York for a major gathering on the status of women, the Pacific is gearing up for its own conference on the advancement of women later this year.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will host the 11th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, from 16 to 20 August.
The Triennial provides the opportunity to gauge progress in gender equality in the region, and serves to identify gaps in progress and measures necessary to address them.
The theme for the 11th Triennial, Progress and prospects: National level implementation of the Pacific and Beijing Platforms for Action, ties in with the main theme of the 54th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 54) in New York.
The Commission (1–12 March) is focussing on reviewing progress on implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPA). This international commitment to gender equality, which was adopted at a global conference for women in 1995, highlights key issues identified as obstacles to the advancement of women around the world.
In preparation for this year’s Triennial and building on the work done in the lead up to and during CSW 54, SPC has commissioned a study to review the status of national and regional implementation of BPA in the Pacific.
The study is expected to highlight both areas of progress and key gaps. Progress includes improved data gathering on violence against women and the elaboration in a few countries of laws and policies to eradicate it. Gaps include the absence of an equal voice for women in high-level decision-making, including in national parliaments and regional organisations, and the lack of adequate resources, institutional arrangements and political prioritisation for gender equality and women’s issues across the region.
SPC Human Development Adviser for Gender Equality Treva Braun says the Triennial will enable Pacific Island countries and territories to take a closer look at the progress they have made on implementing BPA as well as the Pacific Platform for Action (PPA), a regional gender commitment.
‘The Triennial will allow us as a region to discuss how we can build on achievements, close gaps, overcome challenges and accelerate progress for Pacific women including through greater emphasis on political prioritisation of women’s issues and appropriate architecture for gender equality at the national and regional levels,’ she says.
The meeting will be attended by representatives from government ministries and national offices for women, civil society organisations and development agencies. It will be held concurrently with the 4th Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Women.
Background information for media
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body in this area. Every year, representatives of member states gather at United Nations headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
Pacific government delegations attending CSW 54 include Australia, Fiji Islands, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu as well as representatives from permanent UN missions in New York. The delegations are supported by a number of development agencies including the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Australian Government Office for Women, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and SPC.
For more information please contact Tione Chinula, Human Development Programme Advocacy and Communications Officer by phone: +687 26 01 57 or email:
or Treva (Téa) Braun, SPC Human Development Adviser (Gender Equality), email