against Women

Fortieth session

Summary record of the 830th meeting

Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 1 February 2008, at 12 p.m.

Chairpers o n:Ms. Šimonović


Adoption of the report of the Committee on its fortieth session

Provisional agenda for the forty-first session

Statement by the Chairperson

Closure of the session

The meeting was called to order at 12.25 p.m.

Adoption of the report of the Committee on its fortieth session (CEDAW/C/2008/I/L.1, CEDAW/C/BOL/CO/4/CRP.1, BDI/CO/4/CRP.1, FRA/CO/6/CRP.1, LBN/CO/3/CRP.1, LUX/CO/5/CRP.1, MAR/CO/4/CRP.1, SAU/CO/2/CRP.1 and SWE/CO/7/CRP.1)

1.Ms . Dairiam(Rapporteur) introduced document CEDAW/C/2008/I/L.1, containing sections of the Committee’s draft report, and the conference room papers, containing its concluding comments, as amended, on the eight reports by States parties which it had considered during the session.

2.The Chairperson said she took it that the Committee wished to adopt the sections of the draft report contained in document CEDAW/C/2008/I/L.1 and the conference room papers, as amended, setting out the Committee’s concluding comments on the eight reports by States parties.

3.It was so decided.

4.Ms. Dairiam (Rapporteur) introduced the draft report of the Working Group of the Whole, which contained the activities and action taken by the Committee under items 5, 6 and 7 of the provisional agenda (CEDAW/C/2008/I/1).

5.The Chairperson said she took it that the Committee wished to adopt the draft report of the Working Group of the Whole, as amended, for inclusion in the Committee’s draft report as its report on agenda items 5, 6 and 7.

6.It was so decided.

7. The draft report of the Committee on its fortieth session was adopted as a whole and as amended, subject to finalization by the Rapporteur.

Provisional agenda for the forty-first session

8.Ms. Dairiam (Rapporteur) drew attention to the provisional agenda for the forty-first session, which was to be found in the report of the Working Group of the Whole.

9. The provisional agenda for the for t y -first session was adopted.

Statement by the Chairperson

10.The Chairperson said that the current session had been the first to be held in Geneva and serviced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Using its new environment, the Committee had met with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of the Human Rights Council to discuss numerous issues relating to the work of the Committee and the integration of women’s rights in the human rights agenda and human rights machinery in Geneva. It had also met with representatives of other United Nations bodies, including the World Health Organization and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In the latter case, it had begun exploring ways of collaborating on the issues of refugees and displaced women, including through an expert group meeting. It had also had several briefings by non-governmental organizations, including some Geneva-based NGOs with which it had met for the first time.

11.Saudi Arabia had reported to the Committee for the first time since its ratification of the Convention on 7 September 2000. All eight States parties which had reported to the Committee had sent delegations from their capitals, and many had been headed by Ministers or senior Government officials. Luxembourg and France had withdrawn reservations to the Convention and Morocco had announced that it would do so in future. That was a clear sign of changing attitudes towards the Convention and of the growing acceptance of the principle of the equality of women and men as a universal human rights principle.

12.During frank and constructive dialogues with the States parties’ delegations, the Committee had been informed about revisions of marriage and family laws, women’s educational opportunities and achievements, the elimination of discrimination and stereotypes and the participation of women in public life. It had also heard about the significant steps which States were taking to redress violence against women, including domestic violence, and strengthen support services for victims. At the same time, the Committee had found continuing discrimination against women in relation to the many substantive provisions of the Convention. It had put forward concluding observations which included its concerns and recommendations for closing gender equality gaps.

13.All States needed to ensure that their legislation was compatible with the Convention, especially upon ratification of the Optional Protocol. It was also important to connect the implementation of the Convention with the implementation of other human rights instruments and policy documents such as the Beijing Platform for Action, the Millennium Declaration and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).

14.In addition to adopting concluding observations on the eight States parties, the Committee had also discussed cases under the Optional Protocol and continued its discussions on the draft general recommendations on article 2 of the Convention as well as on migrant women. It had adopted new reporting guidelines and a statement on the Committee’s relationship with national human rights institutions.

15.At the moment there were too few reports before the Committee for consideration. The Committee therefore needed to urge the States parties whose initial reports were long overdue to submit them in a timely manner. It must also highlight clearly the obligations of all the States parties under article 18 of the Convention.

Closure of the session

16.The Chairperson declared the fortieth session closed.

The meeting rose at 12.35 p.m.