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UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the process is for nominating members of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; and for what reason there is no British nominee for forthcoming elections to the Committee. (201426)

States parties are invited to nominate one candidate from among their own nationals to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). States parties to the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women elect 23 members to the Committee. The convention states that CEDAW nominations should be experts of “high moral standing and competence in the field covered by the convention”.

The UK strongly supports CEDAW and believes that an effective treaty monitoring body is one of the best mechanisms to promote and protect the human rights of women around the world. But we need to consider carefully the balance of UK representation across all the UN bodies and this sometimes means making difficult decisions about which bodies to seek election for.

This year we are seeking re-election to the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice. These are respectively the UN's principal bodies for the promotion and protection of all human rights, including gender equality and for the maintenance of the international rule of law.