COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN CONCLUDES FIFTY-FIFTH SESSION
Adopts Concluding Observations on Reports of Cuba, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, United Kingdom, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
26 July 2013
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today concluded its fifty-fifth session and adopted its concluding observations and recommendations on the reports of Cuba, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, United Kingdom, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on how these countries implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The Committee's concluding observations and recommendations on the eight reports will be available at the end of the day on Monday, 29 July, on the Committee's website.
During its three-week session, the Committee, in addition to the consideration of country reports, held informal public meetings with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and national human rights institutions from the countries under review during the session. The Committee also discussed ways and means of expediting its work and held a panel discussion on HIV/AIDS and women’s rights.
In closed meetings, the Committee met with representatives of United Nations’ bodies and specialized agencies and considered individual complaints and inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
Nicole Ameline, Chairperson of the Committee, speaking in closing remarks, expressed appreciation for the work carried out and acknowledged the contribution of NGOs and United Nations entities. It was essential for the Committee to receive information from NGOs, United Nations entities and national human rights institutions, in addition to the information received from States parties concerned, to ensure a constructive dialogue during the review of their compliance with obligations under the Convention. Partners should be free from threats, intimidation and other forms of reprisals before, during and after their cooperation with the Committee.
On the basis of discussions in private meetings with Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women, and Kareen Jabre from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Ms. Ameline felt reassured that the Committee was on the right track in asserting its role in the post-2015 debate and reinforcing its partnership with relevant United Nations entities to strengthen the implementation of the Convention. One of the highlights of the session had been the panel discussion on HIV and women’s human rights, which had contributed to increasing the visibility of the Committee. Committee Experts had also participated in the meetings of the 2013 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council held in Geneva.
At its concluding meeting, Barbara Evelyn Bailey, Rapporteur of the Committee, introduced the draft report of the Working Group of the Whole for adoption by the Committee. The Committee also adopted the report for its fifty-fifth session, the report of the Working Group of the Whole, and the provisional agenda for the fifty-sixth session.
The 23 expert members of the Committee, serving in their personal capacities, monitor States parties' compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, often described as an international bill of rights for women. Adopted by the General Assembly in 1979, the treaty consists of a preamble and 30 articles, and prescribes national action to end discrimination against women.
The fifty-sixth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will be held from 30 September to 18 October 2013, in Geneva, when the Committee will consider the reports of Andorra, Benin, Cambodia, Colombia, Republic of Moldova, Seychelles, Tajikistan, and the situation of the rights of women in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the absence of a report.
For use of the information media; not an official record