CEDAW Luncheon July 26, 2011: Remarks by Silvia Pimentel


Luncheon Meeting with CSW NGO
Statement by Silvia Pimentel, Chair of the CEDAW Committee

26 July 2011

Distinguished Guests,

Colleagues and Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


On behalf of the Committee, I would like to express our deep appreciation to you for hosting this reception to acknowledge the very important work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

As you may know, we are approaching our 30th anniversary as a Committee which has been dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of women.   We are very appreciative of all of the measures taken your organization to also address issues that are important to women.

The Committee’s work plan for the foreseeable future is rather challenging.   The Committee has scheduled 24 States parties’ reports for the upcoming three sessions.    In order to give States parties necessary guidance on the interpretation and implementation of various provisions of the CEDAW Convention, the Committee is hoping to adopt its general recommendation on dissolution of marriage and its economic consequences, and further elaborate the joint general recommendation with the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices.  It anticipates holding additional consultations with stakeholders with respect to the general recommendation on the human rights of women in armed conflict and post conflict situations.  It also expects to launch the process for the elaboration of the general recommendation on access to justice.  In addition, the Committee will continue to review individual communications and inquiries under the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention, and also continue to perform follow-up to priority recommendations contained in its concluding observations.   Since the Committee struggles to find sufficient time to accommodate such an ambitious schedule, it has also established a task force on working methods with a view towards streamlining and rationalizing existing procedures and practices.

The Committee will continue to work closely with UN Women and other partners to facilitate and promote implementation of the CEDAW Convention and the concluding observations of the Committee at the domestic level.   The work of the Committee bears fruit only when the rights under the Convention are truly realized by women on the ground.   In the future, the Committee also hopes to undertake more technical assistance projects in cooperation with UN Women and other partners to assist States in pursuing this objective.

In our view, the work of the Committee as well as the various mechanisms established by the United Nations in the field of human rights is vital to the promotion and protection of women’s rights and the empowerment of women.  By and large, States are respecting their obligations to report to the Committee and are implementing the provisions of the Convention, which is having positive effects for women in areas covered by the Convention.  Of course, implementation is tied to political will, resources and technical assistance, and therefore much work remains to be done to achieve the overall objectives of the Convention and this Committee.

As Chair of the CEDAW Committee, I again want to sincerely thank you for meeting with us today and to recognize your contributions to the struggle for women’s rights and empowerment.

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