[New York, 16 March 2013] On the last day of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women Director Michelle Bachelet delivered a statement to welcome the outcome of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) where UN Member States were called on delivering on the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls. "The agreement is one step more for realizing the rights and dignity of women and girls. But we cannot stop here. We need to do so much more. Words now need to be matched with deeds, with action. Now is the time for implementation and accountability. We must continue moving forward with courage, conviction and commitment."
66 years ago, 15 countries met for the first session of the Commission on the Status of Women. 66 years later, with 131 countries in attendance, the 2013 conclusions reflect, according to Bachelet, "the importance in all of our countries of the urgency to end violence against women and girls". "This agreement comes in unison with rising voices worldwide saying enough is enough", she adds.
Referring to last years failure to reach agreed Conclusions, Bachelet continued: "We came here knowing that 10 years ago when this Commission took up violence against women and human rights, no agreement was reached. Last year when the focus was on rural women, members were also not able to reach agreement.
We all know how pervasive violence against women is. Violence knows no borders. Violence does not discriminate according to nationality, ethnicity, social class, culture or religion. And it takes a heavy cost on individuals, families and societies.”
The final agreed conclusions passed, despite concerns from Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Honduras and the Vatican. They expressed reservations about the declaration of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, but did not block adoption of the 18-page text.
In her closing statement of CSW, Michelle Bachelet announced that she will step down from the position. "This will be my last session of the CSW. For personal reasons, I will go back to my country. Be sure that I will continue working for women’s empowerment and gender equality." Michelle Bachelet will return to Chile where she was the first female President between 2006-2010. She is reportedly considering a second run for the Presidency.
The full text of the agreed conclusions can be found here.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also issued a statement welcoming conclusions of ’historic’ session of women’s commission, and urging action to prevent, end all gender-based violence.