|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Meeting of States Parties to Women’s
3rd Meeting (AM)
MEETING OF STATES PARTIES ELECTS 11 EXPERT MEMBERS TO COMMITTEE
ON ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
The fifteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women today elected 11 women’s rights experts to serve on the United Nations body that monitors compliance with the treaty.
Elected by secret ballot as members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women were Magalys Arocha Domínguez (Cuba); Indira Jaising (India); Nicole Ameline (France); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Xioaqiao Zou (China); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Victoria Popescu (Romania); Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Violet Awori (Kenya); Soledad Murillo de la Vega (Spain); and Rasekh Zohra (Afghanistan). (Biographical data on the candidates are contained in document CEDAW/SP/2008/3, Corr.1 and Add.1.)
The successful candidates were elected to four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2009, and would join other expert members already serving on the 23-strong Committee, established in 1982.
Daniel Carmon (Israel), Chairperson of the fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, said the experts had been selected from a list of 18 candidates nominated on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, and that consideration had also been given to equitable representation of “different forms of civilization” and principal legal systems. They would be replacing experts whose terms were due to expire on 31 December 2008.
Also addressing the Meeting today was Craig Mokhiber, Deputy Director of the New York branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who described the Committee’s 2008 session as “historic”, because it had been transferred to the Human Rights Office in Geneva after 25 years under the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. That move, undertaken in January, had served to “place women’s rights in their deserved central place in the human rights framework”.
As part of the Committee, the 11 experts elected this morning are expected to consider national reports and hold dialogues with Government representatives on ways to improve national anti-discrimination policies. They might also consider complaints from individuals or groups, acting under an Optional Protocol to the Convention, of alleged violations of rights protected by the Convention, should such claims arise.
Mr. Mokhiber said that, so far, the Committee had received 19 “communications” submitted under the Optional Protocol, and violations of several provisions of the Convention had been found in 6 of those cases.
He praised the Committee for deepening its interaction with non-governmental organizations, and noted its adoption of a statement on its relationship with national human rights institutions.
The following Committee members will serve until their terms expire on 31 December 2010: Ferdous Ara Begum ( Bangladesh); Meriem Belmihoub-Zerdani ( Algeria); Saisuree Chutikul ( Thailand); Dorcas Ama Frema Coker-Appiah ( Ghana); Cornelis Flinterman ( Netherlands); Naela Gabr Mohamed Gabre Ali ( Egypt); Ruth Halperin-Kaddari ( Israel); Yoko Hayashi ( Japan); Violeta Neubauer ( Slovenia); Pramila Patten ( Mauritius); and Dubravka Šimonović ( Croatia). A twelfth expert will soon be appointed to replace Hazel Gumede Shelton ( South Africa), who resigned in 2007.
Presiding over the fifteenth Meeting alongside Chairperson Carmon were three Vice-Chairpersons: Soha Gendi (Egypt), from the Group of African States; Byrganym Aitimova (Kazakhstan), from the Group of Asian States; Sandra Paunksniene (Lithuania), from the Group of Eastern European States; and Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador), from the Group of Latin America and Caribbean States.
Also today, the States Parties received a report of the Secretary-General on countries with reservations, declarations and objections relating to the Convention, and on withdrawal of reservations (document CEDAW/SP/2008/2).
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