The 39th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, acting as the preparatory body for the FWCW, held its third and final preparatory session at the UN Headquarters in New York from 15 March to 7 April, 1995. This Session presented the first opportunity for delegates to examine and negotiate the draft Platform for Action to be adopted in Beijing. Due to the number of amendments to the Secretariat's draft Platform and the lack of agreement on numerous issues, negotiations moved to informal sessions early in the meeting. Delegates agreed to extend the CSW by three days in order to complete examination of every section of the draft Platform. The draft Platform, as adopted by the CSW, focuses on 12 critical areas of concern. In addition, a draft Declaration was drawn up by the G-77/China for negotiation and adoption at the FWCW, and an extra section dedicated to the girl child was added to the Platform.
Two key debates marked the Session. A small group of delegations objected to some sections of the draft that reaffirmed commitments adopted at previous UN conferences, notably the ICPD in Cairo. Secondly, a number of delegations objected to the use of the term "gender" in the Platform and proposed that it be bracketed throughout. A Contact Group was set up to report on this question to the FWCW. At the close of the CSW 20 percent of the draft Platform remained in brackets.
Mindful of modest resource commitments and with a view to pressing for an action-oriented Conference in Beijing and adequate effort to implement the Platform, the meeting also focused on two initiatives: an Australian call for a "Conference of Commitments," and a proposal to install an ombudswoman and unit in the office of the Secretary-General.