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New CEDAW recommendation a landmark for women in conflict-- UN Women Executive Director

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Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on adoption of CEDAW general recommendation on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations

Date: 05 November 2013

I would like to extend my congratulations to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the adoption of the general recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations on 18 October 2013.

This general recommendation is truly a landmark document giving authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on concrete measures to ensure women’s human rights are protected before, during and after conflict.

The general recommendation makes clear that the Convention applies in all forms of conflict and post-conflict settings and addresses crucial issues women face in these settings, including violence and challenges in access to justice and education, employment and health. It gives specific guidance on States parties’ obligation of due diligence in respect of crimes against women by non-State actors. 

It reinforces women’s critical role in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and reconstruction processes. The general recommendation highlights the need for a concerted and integrated approach with the Security Council agenda on women, peace and security, based on a model of substantive equality. And it allows for better monitoring of women’s human rights in conflict-affected settings.

UN Women is pleased to have supported, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee in the development of the general recommendation from the Day of the General Discussion in July 2011 to the preparation of the text. In addition to substantive support, UN Women organized, through its field offices, five regional consultations held in Addis Ababa, Amman, Bangkok, Guatemala City and Istanbul.  

This is the first time the CEDAW Committee has developed a general recommendation through regional consultations in order to enable the input of the people directly affected and ensure the integration of the full range of regional experiences into the process.

UN Women welcomes this significant addition to the international norms on ensuring women’s human rights are protected at all times. The CEDAW Convention and the Committee’s work are central to UN Women’s mandate, and UN Women looks forward to working with the CEDAW Committee, States parties, and our UN and civil society partners, on implementing the general recommendation at the country level.