Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director, met with the Council of European Union in Brussels on 18 January. In the CODEV, CONUN and COHOM working groups, she discussed the desired outcomes for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The fifty-seventh session of CSW will focus on violence against women and will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013.
During her meetings in Brussels, Ms. Puri said that violence against women “…constitutes the most severe expression of gender-based discrimination against women and girls. It is a threat to democracy, peace and security, an obstacle to sustainable development and an appalling violation of human rights.”
In addition to priority theme, CSW will review progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions from 2009. It will consider how key gender equality issues may be reflected in the post-2015 development framework.
Ms. Puri is advocating several outcomes in preparation for CSW. In her view, it is important to reaffirm the existing standards on the elimination of violence against women and to highlight the interconnected nature of discrimination, inequality and violence against women with an emphasis on prevention and response. In the outcomes, Ms. Puri would like to see that violence against women is recognized not only as a serious human rights violation, but also as a development issue that weakens social cohesion, forgoes social justice, and constitutes a heavy burden on national economies.
The meeting in Brussels was among various preparations for CSW at country and regional level. Among the preparations, Ms. Puri participated in a regional Conference on the Istanbul Convention on 17 January in Helsinki, and a regional African Conference in Addis Ababa with CSOs and country representatives from most African countries. Additionally, in November 2012, UN Women launched the COMMIT campaign urging Heads of State and Government to announce initiatives to end violence against girls and women and to showcase these steps to the public. Several EU member states have already pledge their commitments.
Future events leading up to CSW include a meeting in Paris with French-speaking experts in partnership with La Francophonie in February as well as regular meetings with missions in New York.