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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs / Division for the Advancement of Women
1982-2007: 25 Years Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Evolution of the work of the Committee in monitoring the implementation of the Convention in States parties, based on the reporting procedure of article 18 of the Convention an overview

The 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.

  • 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 comments.

  • 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).
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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs / Division for the Advancement of Women