|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
United Nations Committee Monitoring Discrimination against Women
to meet at headquarters, 14 May – 1 June
Will Consider Reports by Mauritania , Mozambique,
Niger , Pakistan, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Vanuatu
The Committee charged with ensuring that 185 States parties meet their obligations under a treaty that requires them to eliminate discrimination against women opens its thirty-eighth session next week at United Nations Headquarters.
States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women legally commit themselves to ending all forms of discrimination against women, be they political, economic, social, cultural, civil or of any other type.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, a 23-person expert body established to monitor compliance with the treaty, will be considering State party reports required under the Convention assessing to what extent each State is meeting its obligations, and making recommendations aimed at implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
At this session, the Committee will consider the initial reports of Mauritania, Serbia and Syria, and the combined initial and periodic reports of Mozambique, Niger, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Vanuatu. During the first two weeks and the beginning of the third week of the session, the Committee and each State party will have the opportunity to interact in a constructive dialogue on women’s enjoyment of their human rights in that country.
The outcome of that dialogue is contained in the Committee’s concluding comments, which recognize progress a State has made in implementing the Convention, detail the Committee’s concerns about gaps in implementation or insufficient compliance with the provisions of the Convention, and contain recommendations on measures that can be taken by the State to achieve more complete and consistent application of the Convention -- thereby enhancing women’s enjoyment of their rights.
The Committee encourages wide dissemination of their concluding comments, which are posted on the Committee’s website (www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw) at the close of each session. The comments will also be incorporated into the Committee’s annual report to the General Assembly (see document A/61/38 for last year’s report).
Eighty-five of the Convention’s 185 States parties are also party to its Optional Protocol, which provides a complaint mechanism whereby a woman (or a group of women) living within a State party may petition the Committee when she believes her rights under the Convention have been violated. Before the Committee will consider a complaint, it first must establish its admissibility under the terms of the Optional Protocol. The Optional Protocol also enables the Committee, upon the fulfilment of certain criteria, to undertake inquiries into possible grave or systematic violations of women’s rights.
Representatives of non-governmental organizations can submit alternative, or shadow, reports and present information to the Committee. Non-governmental organizations will have the opportunity to address the Committee on Monday, 14 May and on Monday, 21 May. More information on non-governmental organization participation can be found at www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw38/NGOnote.pdf.
The provisional agenda for the thirty-eighth session, which includes the schedule of meetings and background documents for the session, including the reports of States parties and supplementary information, can be found online at www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/38sess.htm. Additional information about the Convention and on the work of the Committee can be accessed there as well.
Correspondents interested in covering the session are encouraged to attend the constructive dialogue sessions. For further information, please contact Ellen McGuffie, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel.: 212 963 0499; or Stacy McDougall, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, tel.: 212 963 8023.
* *** *For information media • not an official record