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United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to meet in Geneva from 26 October to 20 November

BACKGROUND RELEASE

22 October 2015

Committee to Consider Situation in the Russian Federation, Portugal, Liberia, Slovenia, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Malawi, Madagascar, Timor-Leste and Slovakia

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will hold its sixty-second session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 26 October to 20 November 2015, during which it will review reports presented by the Russian Federation, Portugal, Liberia, Slovenia, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, Malawi, Madagascar, Timor-Leste and Slovakia on how they implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

States parties to the Convention commit themselves to ending all forms of discrimination against women in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or other fields. The Committee, a 23-person expert body, monitors compliance with the Convention. It assesses to what extent each State party is meeting its obligations, and makes recommendations for the implementation of the Convention.

At the opening meeting on Monday, 26 October, the Committee will be addressed by a representative of the Secretary-General and adopt its agenda. In addition to considering the reports of 11 States parties, the Committee will hold public informal meetings with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions that will brief the Committee on the situation in the countries whose reports will be considered. It will also consider individual complaints as well as inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the Convention, in closed meetings. The Committee will discuss matters relating to general recommendations and its methods of work.

The Russian Federation is presenting its eighth periodic report CEDAW/C/RUS/8. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic report, considered in August 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/USR/CO/7.

Portugal is presenting its combined eighth and ninth periodic reports CEDAW/C/PRT/8-9. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports, considered in November 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/PRT/8-9.

Liberia is presenting its combined seventh and eighth periodic reports CEDAW/C/LBR/7-8. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined initial to sixth periodic report, considered in July 2009, can b found in CEDAW/C/LBR/CO/6.

Slovenia is presenting its combined fifth and sixth periodic report CEDAW/C/SVN/5-6. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fourth periodic report, considered in October 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/SVN/4.


Lebanon is presenting its combined fourth and fifth periodic reports CEDAW/C/LBN/4-5. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the third periodic report, considered in January 2007, can be found in CEDAW/C/LBN/CO/3.

Uzbekistan is presenting its fifth periodic report CEDAW/C/UZB/5. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the fourth periodic report, considered in January 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/UZB/CO/4.

United Arab Emirates is presenting its combined second and third periodic reports CEDAW/C/ARE/2-3. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, considered in January 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/ARE/CO/1.

Malawi is presenting its seventh periodic report CEDAW/C/MWI/7. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the sixth periodic report, considered in January 2010, can be found in CEDAW/C/MWI/CO/6.

Madagascar is presenting its combined sixth and seventh periodic reports CEDAW/C/MDG/6-7. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second to fifth periodic reports, considered in October 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/MDG/CO/5.

Timor-Leste is presenting its combined second and third periodic reports CEDAW/C/TLS/2-3. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the initial report, considered in July 2009, can be found in CEDAW/C/TLS/CO/1.

Slovakia is presenting its combined fifth and sixth periodic report CEDAW/C/SVK/5-6. The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the combined second to fourth periodic report, considered in July 2008, can be found in CEDAW/C/SVK/CO/4.

The reports that the Committee will review during the session as well as other documentation can be found on the webpage of the Committee.

Panel discussion on “Connecting CEDAW and the Women Peace and Security Agenda”

On 19 November, from 13:00 to 15:00, the Committee will host a panel discussion on “Connecting CEDAW and the Women Peace and Security Agenda”, organized by OHCHR, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights at the Palais des nations in Room XVI. The event, which will be opened by Ms. Flavia Pansieri, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, will focus on synergies between the political framework of UNSCR 1325 (2000) and follow-up resolutions on Women, Peace and Security and CEDAW General Recommendation No. 30 (2013) on Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations. The panel will be composed of Pramila Patten, CEDAW Member and Member of the High-level Advisory Group for Global Study on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2000), Zainab Hawa Bangura,Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Chaloka Beyani, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, and Sarah Abu Assali, Member of the Syrian Women League. The panellists will discuss the added-value of integrating a human rights element in the Women Peace and Security agenda of the Security Council and the monitoring role that CEDAW can play for an increased and more effective implementation of the Agenda.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979, and entered into force on 3 September 1981. Often described as an international bill of rights for women, the Convention both defines discrimination against women and sets an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. Since its entry into force, the Convention has achieved near-universal acceptance, with 189 States parties.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as "... any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field".

By accepting the Convention, States parties commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: incorporating the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system; abolishing all discriminatory laws and adopting appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; establishing public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and ensuring elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

Optional Protocol to the Convention

On 22 December 2000, the Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force, by which States parties recognize the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications submitted by individuals or groups of individuals claiming to be victims of a violation of their rights under the Convention.

To date, 106 of the Convention's 189 States parties have accepted the Optional Protocol. Before the Committee considers a complaint, it first must establish its admissibility under the terms of the Optional Protocol. The Optional Protocol also enables the Committee, upon the fulfilment of certain criteria, to undertake inquiries into possible grave or systematic violations of women's rights.

Membership

The Committee is made up of 23 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of women's rights. Members are nominated and elected by the States parties and serve in their personal capacity.

The Committee Members are: Ayse Feride Acar (Turkey); Gladys Acosta Vargas (Peru): Bakhita Al-Dosari (Qatar); Nicole Ameline (France); Magalys Arocha Dominguez (Cuba); Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Louiza Chalal (Algeria); Naela Mohamed Gabr (Egypt); Hilary Gbedemah (Ghana); Nahla Haidar (Lebanon); Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Israel); Yoko Hayashi (Japan); Lilian Hofmeister (Austria); Ismat Jahan (Bangladesh); Dalia Leinarte (Lithuania); Lia Nadaraia (Georgia); Theodora Oby Nwankwo (Nigeria); Pramila Patten (Mauritius); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Biancamaria Pomeranzi (Italy); Patricia Schulz (Switzerland); and Xiaoqiao Zou (China).

The Chairperson in Ms. Hayashi. The Vice Chairpersons are Ms. Bailey, Ms. Gabr and Ms. Leinarte. Ms. Schulz is the Rapporteur.


Proposed Programme of Work

Monday, 26 October

10 a.m. Opening of session, adoption of agenda, organization of work, report of the Chair on activities undertaken, ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee

3 p.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

4:30 p.m. Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 27 October

10 a.m. Eighth periodic report of Russian Federation CEDAW/C/RUS/8

3 p.m. Russia (continued)

Wednesday, 28 October

10 a.m. Combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of Portugal CEDAW/C/PRT/8-9

3 p.m. Portugal (continued)

Thursday, 29 October

10 a.m. Combined seventh and eight periodic reports of Liberia CEDAW/C/LBR/7-8

3 p.m. Liberia (continued)

Friday, 30 October

10 a.m. Combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Slovenia CEDAW/C/SVN/5-6

3 p.m. Slovenia (continued)

Monday, 2 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

4 p.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

5 p.m. Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 3 November

10 a.m. Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Lebanon CEDAW/C/LBN/4-5

3 p.m. Lebanon (continued)

Wednesday, 4 November

10 a.m. Fifth periodic report of Uzbekistan CEDAW/C/UZB/5

3 p.m. Uzbekistan (continued)

Thursday, 5 November

10 a.m. Combined second and third periodic reports of United Arab Emirates CEDAW/C/ARE/2-3

3 p.m. United Arab Emirates (continued)

Friday, 6 November

10 a.m. Seventh periodic report of Malawi CEDAW/C/MWI/7

3 p.m. Malawi (continued)

Monday, 9 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

4 p.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations

5 p.m. Informal meeting with national human rights institutions

Tuesday, 10 November

10 a.m. Combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Madagascar CEDAW/C/MDG/6-7

3 p.m. Madagascar (continued)

Wednesday, 11 November

10 a.m. Combined second and third periodic reports of Timor-Leste CEDAW/C/TLS/2-3

3 p.m. Timor-Leste (continued)

Thursday, 12 November

10 a.m. Combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Slovakia CEDAW/C/SVK/5-6

3 p.m. Slovakia (continued)

Friday, 13 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

Thursday, 19 November

1 p.m. Public panel discussion on “Connecting CEDAW and the Women Peace and Security Agenda”

Friday, 20 November

10 a.m. Closed meeting

3 p.m. Closed meeting

4 p.m. Public closing of the session


Live webcasts of the session can be viewed on http://www.treatybodywebcast.org/.

The concluding observations will be published on 27 July here:
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=944&Lang=en

For more information and media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+41 (0) 22 917 9466/ ethrossell@ohchr.org

To learn more about the Committee on the Elimination of the Discrimination against Women, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cedaw/pages/cedawindex.aspx

Treaty Bodies at a glance – pdf booklet:
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/TB/TB_booklet_en.pdf


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