Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concludes its seventy-third session

Adopts Concluding Observations on the Reports of Qatar, Mozambique, CAte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Austria, Cabo Verde and Guyana

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concluded today its seventy-third session, during which it reviewed the reports of Qatar, Mozambique, CAte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Austria, Cabo Verde and Guyana on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations on the seven countries considered during the session will be available on the session’s webpage shortly. Meetings coverage releases on the public meetings in which the reports were considered are available on the webpage of the United Nations Office at Geneva, while webcasts of the Committee’s public meetings can be accessed here.

The Committee adopted its report for the session, presented by Committee Rapporteur Lia Nadaraia, as well as the provisional agenda for the seventy-fourth session.

In her concluding remarks, Hilary Gbedemah, Committee Chair, said that they had adopted concluding observations on the seven reports and held meetings with civil society and United Nations entities and other inter-governmental bodies. They also held a fruitful panel discussion on The CEDAW Convention: 40 years of promoting and empowering women to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Convention. The Committee also adopted the texts of two draft joint statements, one on human rights and climate change and one on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, 11 October 2019, to be endorsed by and issued jointly with other treaty bodies. They had also adopted decisions to harmonize their working methods with those of other treaty bodies by repealing the requirement of a common core document for States parties wishing to report under the simplified reporting procedure and to enhance the accessibility of the documents that they were working on for experts with disabilities. The Committee had been able to adopt seven final decisions prepared by the Working Group on Communications, and had made further progress in relation to the confidential inquiry procedure by considering and approving various recommendations.

Ms. Gbedemah said the Committee noted that criminal proceedings had been initiated in India against their former colleague Indira Jaising (CEDAW member from 2009 to 2012) and expressed concern that these proceedings in relation to alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act may constitute disproportionate restrictions on her important work as a woman human rights defender. The Chair called on the Indian authorities to ensure that any restrictions on her human rights work comply with international human rights standards. This case reminded all of the importance of protecting human rights defenders, said Ms. Gbedemah, adding that the Committee had appointed a Rapporteur and an alternate Rapporteur on reprisals, in line with the San Jose Guidelines against intimidation or reprisals. The case also reminded all of the potential risks or pressures that Committee Experts may be exposed to. In the face of such potential risks or pressures, they must always remember that their independence and impartiality was essential for the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

The Committee’s seventy-fourth session is scheduled to take place in Geneva from 21 October to 8 November 2019, during which the Committee will examine the reports of Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Seychelles.

Source: United Nations Human Rights