In 2005 the international community will gather to examine progress on gender and development issues in the ten years following the 1995 Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women. This event brought together representives of government, civil socities, media and grass roots organizations to look at the unique roles that men and women play supporting development, economic growth and more equitable societies the world over. It had long been recognized, and was reaffirmed at the Beijing conference, that women face distinct challenges and opportunities in relation to the use and management of fuels and energy in household and economic activities. The document resulting from that event, the Beijing Platform for Action, makes specific recommendations concerning the need to address gender and energy linkages and the unique and often difficult situation faced by women in the poorest developing countries in particular. Since then other UN conferences including the Millennium Summit in 2000 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 have called for the empowerment of women including through increased economic opportunities and enhanced access to cleaner affordable fuels and energy technologies.