[Source International Planned Parenthood Federation]
The United Nations General Assembly Third Committee is one of six main committees at the General Assembly of the United Nations. It deals with human rights, humanitarian affairs and social matters. The Third Committee meets every year in early October and aims to finish its work by the end of November.
The Third Committee is a critical intergovernmental space with the full membership of the United Nations (UN), which agrees on normative standards and frameworks on human rights, gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights. IPPF closely followed the negotiations on intensification of efforts to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, child early and forced marriage (CEFM), women and girls and Covid-19, intensification of efforts to prevent and eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), efforts to end obstetric fistula and trafficking of women and girls.
Despite attempts to weaken and/or risk the longstanding agreements made in Cairo, Beijing and in the Agenda 2030, the vast majority of the UN membership supported the adoption of the texts as negotiated. The Member States showed commitment to upholding the principles of gender equality, preventing and combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), fulfilling women and girls’ rights, including SRHR, as demonstrated in the adoption of all gender-related resolutions and in the six separate cross-regional statements delivered on behalf of about 70 countries at the adoption sessions of the Committee.
Member States adopted language that acknowledged the impact of Covid-19 on increased levels of violence, CEFM and ensured coordinated and strong responses in responding to the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of women and girls specifically during the pandemic. The resolution addressing the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls makes fundamental calls for Governments to ensure women and girls’ access to justice, SRHR and comprehensive sexuality education, while recognising Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) as the most prevalent and least visible form of violence against women across all social strata across the world.
Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua passed away suddenly in Nuku’alofa, Tonga on 11 November, 2020.
Netatua was a beloved and well respected leader in the community and Country, and held high level roles throughout her career and was a political candidate for Tongatapu in the last General Election.
She is well known for her work regionally and internationally. It could also be said that Netatua most valued her local contribution to Tonga, this is evident not only in her projects and consulting work with the World Bank, but also her engagement with the Government of Tonga . In 1999 she was selected to be one of an elite group of 15 international experts who make up the World Meteorological Organization Scientific Advisory Panel (WMOSAP).
I first met Netatua when she was Director of Climate Change Division at the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa. She was a vibrant, inspiring and strong Pacific Voice, working her magic at international discussions regarding action against Climate Change to create opportunities for dialogue and action. She was a strong and inspirational leader, who truly understood the power of community connections and shared her passions and knowledge in such a way that everyone felt all the richer for being in her presence.
Our deepest condolences go to her husband, Dr Pita Taufatofua, her children Siosi’ana and Filimone, her family, friends and communities in Tonga and across the world. Your legacy lives on in all those you inspired along the way. Gone too soon. Vale Netatua Prescott Taufatofua.
The NGO Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Network (Australia) wishes to congratulate the incoming and re-elected CEDAW Committee Members. We especially acknowledge the support given to Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO. This is the first time since 1992 that Australia has had a member of the CEDAW Committee.
Mexico announces the Generation Equality Forum confirmed dates
The Forum will take place in Mexico City in 29 – 31 March 2021
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Institute of Women announce that the launch of the Generation Equality Forum, postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic crisis, will take place from March 29 to 31, 2021 in Mexico City.
The Governments of Mexico and France announced, in the framework of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, their intention to hold in 2020 the Generation Equality Forum, a global process convened by UN Women, under the leadership of civil society, in favor of gender equality. However, derived from the global health emergency, it was decided to postpone the meetings that were contemplated in both countries.
The Forum presents the opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, which constitutes the most comprehensive roadmap to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the coming years, in compliance with the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
Across the Pacific and Asia, women and girls in all their diversity are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Existing gender inequalities are exacerbated during a crisis, with the result that women and girls are not only undertaking more unpaid domestic work, are less able to access essential health services, are more vulnerable to economic hardships, are experiencing ever-rising rates of violence, sexual abuse and control from their husbands, partners and families/kinship groups, and they are not at the table in designing the national pandemic strategies. Women in all their diversity are losing ground to previous gains and are experiencing shrinking democratic spaces. The impacts of COVID-19 restrictions are creating a disproportionate impact on members of our society due to our delay in creating equitable societies.