The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) held an informal meeting with States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention) on 17 October 2012 during its fifty-third session. The meeting was attended by representatives of 74 States parties. The Committee briefed the States parties on cooperation with stakeholders for purposes of a more comprehensive implementation of the CEDAW Convention, the importance of maintaining one session per year in New York, and the working methods of the Committee in the context of treaty body strengthening.

Discussions took place on the importance of cooperation between the Committee and main stakeholders, including States parties, United Nations agencies and entities, in particular, UN Women, non-governmental organizations, and national human rights institutions for purposes of furthering the human rights of women worldwide. The Committee highlighted the importance of maintaining one session per year in New York in order to maintain these important links and to enhance cooperation and synergies with key partners. This issue was raised in response to the decision of the High Commissioner to move the Committee's New York session to Geneva for budgetary reasons.

Of the States present, several spoke in favour of retaining the New York sessions. Several States also spoke in favour of the High Commissioner's discretion in the allocation of resources for such activities (particularly among the major funding countries). States also posed specific questions regarding the Committee's views for retaining the New York sessions, how other treaty bodies who do not have sessions in New York interact with their constituencies, costs involved and the legal basis for the decision to move the Committee to Geneva.

In the second part of the meeting, the participants discussed the format and nature of the constructive dialogue with the States parties during the sessions (focused dialogue, clustering of issues, timing), format of concluding observations, follow-up to concluding observations and their implementation (focused recommendations and prioritisation of recommendations) in the context of treaty body strengthening, as well as individual communications and inquiries under the Optional Protocol.


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