Sun, Mar 04, 2007 - Page 4 News List

CEDAW delegates link with NGOs

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Representatives of the nation's delegation to the 51st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) said yesterday that Taiwan would rely on lobbying and discussions with international NGOs to push for the nation to become the 187th signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Completion of this goal would be a landmark for Taiwan's women's rights movement, the delegation said, but the fact that China is one of the 23 CEDAW committee members will complicate the nation's efforts to gain the right to sign the convention.

Legislative bill

Last month, the legislature passed a bill regarding the signing of the CEDAW. The bill was later promulgated by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The bill, which requests that Taiwan become a signatory to the CEDAW, will be sent to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York.

Andrew Hsia (夏立言), director-general of TECO's New York office, said that once the document was received, he would forward it to the UN secretariat.

Delegation head Yen Hsiang-luan (嚴祥鸞) said that women's rights groups working for Taiwan to become a signatory to the CEDAW had already been actively in contact with NGOs from other countries, which was important because the nation is not a member of the UN.

Contact channels

Deputy delegation leader Li Ping (李萍) said that although it remained uncertain whether the nation would be permitted to sign the CEDAW, this year's meeting meant that, in addition to regular contacts with Asian and US NGOs, contact channels had been set up with the EU and with individual European countries, which marked a significant breakthrough.

The 51st session of the CSW, which opened on Feb. 26, will end on Friday.

The theme for this year's meeting is "the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child."

Taiwan is participating for the seventh time.

Its 29 delegates come from 21 domestic NGOs and include leaders in the women's rights movement, academics and legislators and other officials.

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