21 March 2015 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the Government of Tonga for its decision to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, otherwise known as CEDAW.
In a statement issued earlier today, Mr. Ban's spokesperson said the Secretary-General applauded Tonga's announcement as the Pacific island nation would soon join “the global movement to empower women and achieve gender equality” while holding itself to the UN-backed universal standards.
Often described as an 'international bill of rights for women', CEDAW defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.
The UN spokesperson said Mr. Ban also lauded civil society organizations for their “tireless efforts” in sustaining the momentum and advocating on behalf of the Convention and urged authorities to follow through in rolling out CEDAW's provisions.
“The Secretary-General encourages the Government of Tonga to start undertaking concrete steps for implementing CEDAW,” the statement continued. “He affirms the continuous support for its efforts to improve the position of women in Tonga.”
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