10 May 2006
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Background Release


Will Consider Reports by Bosnia and Herzegovina , Cyprus ,

Guatemala , Malawi , Malaysia , Romania , Saint Lucia , Turkmenistan

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women convenes its thirty-fifth session next week at UN Headquarters.

From 15 May to 2 June, it will examine the reports of the following eight States parties:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Guatemala, Malawi, Malaysia, Romania, Saint Lucia, and Turkmenistan.

The Committee considers reports of States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  During this session, the Committee will provide feedback to the eight reporting countries recognizing their progress in implementing the Convention’s provisions, as well as highlighting concerns and proposing recommendations on how to address challenges in applying the Convention more widely and consistently.

The Committee will also continue its work under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, which provides for a petition and an inquiry procedure regarding violations of the rights of women in States parties to the Convention and the Optional Protocol.

The Convention, which currently has 182 States parties, requires them to eliminate discrimination against women in the enjoyment of all rights -- political, economic, social, cultural, civil and any other field. Seventy-eight of these States are also party to the Optional Protocol establishing a communications and an inquiry procedure, providing a significant incentive to intensify their efforts to eliminate and prevent discrimination against women in law and in practice.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can submit alternative or shadow NGO reports and present information to the Committee members.  Non-governmental organizations will have the opportunity to address the Committee on Monday, 15 May, and on Monday, 22 May.  More information on NGO participation can be found at www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw35/infonoteCEDAW35.pdf.

Members of the Committee are independent experts in the fields covered by the Convention and are elected by States parties to serve a term of four years.

The provisional agenda, other background documents for the thirty-fifth session, including the reports of the eight States parties and information on the Committee, can be found online at:  www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/35sess.

For further information please contact:  Oisika Chakrabarti, UN Department of Public Information, tel: +1 212 963 8264, e-mail: chakrabarti@un.org; or Stacy McDougall, UN Division for the Advancement of Women, tel: +1 212 963 8023, e-mail: mcdougalls@un.org.

Schedule of Work

Monday, 15 May: 10 a.m.:  Opening of the session.  3 p.m. - 4 p.m.:  Non-governmental organizations address the Committee

Tuesday, 16 May:  Bosnia and Herzegovina’s combined initial, second and third periodic reports considered

Wednesday, 17 May:  Turkmenistan’s combined initial and second periodic reports considered

Thursday, 18 May:  Guatemala’s sixth periodic report considered

Friday, 19 May:  Malawi’s combined second, third, fourth and fifth periodic reports considered

Monday, 22 May:  3 p.m. - 4 p.m.:  Non-governmental organizations address the Committee

Tuesday, 23 May:  Saint Lucia’s combined initial, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports considered

Wednesday, 24 May:  Malaysia’s combined initial and second periodic reports considered

Thursday, 25 May:  Cyprus’ combined third, fourth and fifth periodic reports considered

Friday, 26 May:  Romania’s sixth periodic report considered

Friday, 2 June:  Committee adopts final report on thirty-fifth session

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For information media • not an official record