Carolyn Hannan, Director
Division for the Advancement of Women
17 June 2002, Conference Room 2
Members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
I am pleased to be able to provide information on technical assistance available to States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women through the Division for the Advancement of Women.
The Division has long experience in providing technical assistance to States parties on implementation of the Convention, and particularly the fulfilment of the reporting obligation set out in article 18 of the Convention. As States parties are aware, this article provides that they are to submit a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention and on the progress made in this respect within one year after the entry into force of the Convention for the State party concerned, and thereafter, at least every four years, or whenever the Committee so requests. As the Chairperson of the Committee has indicated, a number of States parties have yet to comply with the reporting obligation, and submission of reports by others has been delayed.
Over the past three years, the Division has convened reporting workshops for Government officials in States parties on both a sub-regional and regional basis. In 2000, a sub-regional training workshop was held in Benin, to assist States parties from Francophone West Africa in meeting their reporting obligations. It is encouraging to note that at least of three of the States parties which participated in that workshop subsequently submitted reports. Following the consideration of its report by the Committee, a further workshop was held in Cameroon in September 2000 to discuss implementation of the concluding comments adopted by the Committee in the State party. In February 2001, the Division, with the assistance of the New Zealand Government, convened a sub-regional training workshop for States parties from the Pacific, in New Zealand. Again, it was encouraging to see Fiji present its initial report during the twenty-sixth session of the Committee, less than a year after that workshop. Most recently, a training workshop was conducted in Palau for the Northern Pacific region on requirements for and implications of ratification of or accession to the Convention during October/November 2001. Further technical assistance activities have taken place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina during May 2002, when the Chief of the Women’s Rights Section participated in a training workshop on reporting under the Convention. Plans for a reporting workshop to be held at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for States parties of the region which have yet to present their reports under the Convention are currently well underway.
The technical assistance activities of the Division with the regard to reporting under the Convention have had concrete results. I would urge States parties which wish to explore the possibilities of such assistance with the Division to contact the Women’s Rights Section. Technical assistance activities can be conducted on a regional, sub-regional and even national basis. Efforts are always made to ensure that a member of the Committee participates in such activities, as it is our view that the Committee is best placed to provide assistance on implementation of the Convention.
Thank you Madam Chairperson.