Committee’s outputs from constructive dialogues with States parties
initially took the form of summaries of the discussions. Later,
the Committee added short “concluding observations” to these
summaries. Finally, the Committee decided to issue “concluding
comments” for each State party considered, with an evolving format
and content (see bullets below).
The Committee’s concluding comments are country-specific and represent
the collective views of the Committee on the situation of women and compliance
with the Convention in the reporting State. They provide detailed guidance
on principal areas of concern and steps to be taken by the State party
to accelerate implementation of the Convention and enhance compliance.
They are forwarded to the State party and are made public, including
in the Committee’s annual report to the General Assembly and on
the United Nations websites.
» Dates and locations
- Second session in 1983 to eleventh session in 1992: the
Committee issued summaries of its discussions (known as “constructive
dialogues”) with representatives of States parties.
- Twelfth session in 1993: the Committee added a paragraph
or a few paragraphs to the summary of the discussion about each of
the States parties considered during the session. In this section,
entitled “concluding observations”, the Committee made
general remarks about the report of the State party concerned and/or
about the status of implementation of the Convention.
- Thirteenth session in 1994: the Committee
issued the first “concluding comments” which were set out
in three sections: positive aspects; principal subjects of concern;
and suggestions and recommendations. These were added to the summary
of the constructive dialogue.
- Fourteenth session in 1995: the Committee added
a section, called “introduction”, to its concluding comments.
This introductory section contained various elements, such as an assessment
of the report and the oral presentation by the State party, the level
and expertise of the delegation representing the State party and recognition
of the involvement of women’s organizations in the reporting
process. A summary of the discussions continued to precede the concluding
- Fifteenth session in 1996: the Committee added a
section, entitled “factors and difficulties affecting the implementation
of the Convention”, to its concluding comments. It discontinued
the inclusion of summaries of the constructive dialogues. The
concluding comments for each State party were now preceded by a factual
summary of the oral presentation of the State party concerned.
- Sixteenth session in 1997: the Committee decided
that its concluding comments would continue to follow the standard
pattern that it had introduced at its fifteenth session. Concluding
comments would contain the following sections: an “introduction”;
a section on “factors and difficulties” would only be included
as appropriate; a section on “positive aspects” organized
in the order of the articles of the Convention; and a section identifying “principal
areas of concern”, described in order of the importance, in the
State party under consideration. The final part of the concluding
comments, the “suggestions and recommendations”, would
provide concrete suggestions from the Committee with regard to the
problems identified in the concluding comments.
- Nineteenth session in 1998: the Committee decided
to streamline those parts of the concluding comments relating to “factors
and difficulties” and “positive aspects”. The
sections relating to “principal areas of concern” and “recommendations
and suggestions” were combined in a single section, entitled “principal
areas of concern and recommendations”.
- Twenty-seventh session in 2002: the Committee decided
that its concluding comments would include a section on “factors
and difficulties” affecting the implementation of the Convention
only in the most exceptional circumstances. Issues such as the persistence
of stereotypical attitudes relating to the roles of men and women would
not fall into this category. The Committee also decided that a standard
paragraph requesting information on the implementation of aspects of
outcomes of United Nations conferences such as the Fourth World Conference
on Women, summits and special sessions of review would be included.
- Thirty-first session in 2004: the Committee confirmed
the following standard format of concluding comments: “introduction”; “positive
aspects”; and “principal areas of concern and recommendations”. A
number of standard elements would be included in the “introduction”,
and a new first paragraph on implementation would be added to the section
entitled “principal areas of concern”. The Committee would
also continue the practice of stating the due date for the next periodic
report in its concluding comments as a way of reminding States parties
about their reporting obligations under article 18 of the Convention.
- Thirty-fourth session in 2006: the Committee discontinued
the practice of including a short factual summary of the introduction
of the State party as these were now routinely available on the website
of the Division for the Advancement of Women. A number of standard
closing paragraphs were deleted, and new standard paragraphs added.
These included in particular paragraphs on the links in implementation
between the Convention and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action; and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).