824 (XXXI). Follow-up to Dakar and Beijing Conferences


The Conference of Ministers,


            Noting with satisfaction that the African and Global Platforms for Action are a positive synthesis of national perspectives and priorities which are an indispensable strategy for committed and concerted action at the national, subregional, regional and international levels for the accelerated achievement of their development target in the 1990s and beyond,


            Aware of the imperative and implications of resource mobilization of all available human, technical materials, physical and financial resources nationally, regionally and internationally,


            Conscious of the importance of continuous sensitization aimed at securing commitment for concrete action,


            Recalling Commission resolution 802 (XXX) of 3 May 1995 concerning the African Platform for Action:  African Common Position for the Advancement of Women and the Addis Ababa Declaration on the Dakar African Platform for Action on Women adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity,[1]/


            1.         Urges African ministers to sensitize their respective governments about the need to continue to promote the implementation of the Regional and Global Platforms for Action;


            2.         Urges:


            (a)        The Organization of African Unity, the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank to play a strong coordinating and catalytic role in the implementation of the Platforms for Action at the regional level;


            (b)        Subregional organizations to set up machineries to facilitate their implementation role;


            (c)        Governments to create, upgrade or strengthen, as necessary, national machineries in positions where they have the capacity and political clout to influence policies and programmes, and to monitor and coordinate the implementation process;


            3.         Requests the Economic Commission for Africa to:


            (a)        Establish a data bank on national experiences on women, gender and development and disseminate the information for possible replication where necessary and involve eminent persons from Africa in campaigns for the implementation of the Global and Regional Platforms for Action;


            (b)        Re-dynamize the activities of the Multinational Programming and Operational Centres, particularly by allocating sufficient resources to facilitate the coordination of gender programmes in the subregions;


            4.         Requests the Bureau of the fifth African Regional Conference on Women, in collaboration and consultation with the Commission and the Organization of African Unity to play a complementary advocacy role in the implementation of the Platforms for Action;


            5.         Recommends to governments that main-streaming gender in all sectors of national programmes should be the strategy for implementing the Global and Regional Platforms for Action and as such, all ministries, particularly those with responsibilities for women's affairs, should include elements of the Platforms within their sectors and allocate the necessary resources for their implementation;


            6.         Recommends also to governments and all development actors that in the search for resources for the implementation of the Platforms, competition should be avoided by instituting new fora for consultations between governments and non-government organizations, and as new sources of financing are identified, all development actors should take action to reduce waste of resources in such activities as multiplicity of meetings, mismanagement of public funds, etc.;


            7.         Urges the Commission to:


            (a)        Set up a multidisciplinary group of experts to prepare a comprehensive report on the impact of debt and structural adjustment programmes on women and the feasibility of relief measures that have already been proposed; and


            (b)        Create a forum for sharing women's long-term vision and ideas on the community and development within the context of globalization;


            8.         Urges also governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and all development actors to ensure scientific and technical literacy for all women and men so that they can use it effectively to meet their basic needs; to foster equal access by women and men to advanced training in science and technology in order to facilitate pursuit of careers as technologists, scientists, engineers, etc., to promote equal access to information and knowledge which women and men can use to improve their standard of living and quality of life; and to ensure gender equity within science and technology institutions including policy and decision-making bodies.


                                                                                                                                          301st meeting,

                                                                                                                                             8 May 1996.

     [1]/      AHG/Decl. 2 (XXXI).