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Greetings from IWRAW Asia Pacific!

We are an NGO supporting the CEDAW Committee and OHCHR in facilitating participation of country level women’s groups/NGOs to the CEDAW review process.

We are once again writing to inform women’s groups from Australia, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine and Turkmenistan that your countries will be reviewed by the CEDAW Committee during the 70th CEDAW Session (2 July -20 July 2018).

Week 1 – Australia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Mexico

Week 2 – Cook Islands, New Zealand, Palestine and Turkmenistan

We know many of you are already preparing for the review. We are writing to inform you of specific dates for your attention and to remind you of several opportunities for you to impact the review session and therefore gender equality policies at country level.

For countries being reviewed in Week 1, the dates for the Meeting of NGOs where you can submit oral statements will be on 2nd July 2018 and for Week 2, it will be on the 9th of July. For both weeks, the lunch briefing for each country will be one day before the official review (constructive dialogue).

See more details below.

1. Country specific shadow reports/alternative information to the CEDAW Committee

Submitting a shadow report to CEDAW – The deadline for this is 3 weeks before the beginning of the session, i.e.11th June 2018, to be emailed and/or posted to the OHCHR at, with a cc copy to IWRAW Asia Pacific at

If you have submitted a pre-session report, you have an opportunity to present updated shadow report information and provide your alternative information to respond to the CEDAW Committee’s list of issues and questions which your state will have to answer. You should send this information to the CEDAW Secretariat also by 11 June 2018.

Please inform us if your group is preparing a shadow report to CEDAW to be submitted for the review in February 2018. Even if you do not attend the review, there are ways we can support highlighting your issues and getting other groups who are there to prioritise and integrate your recommendations to CEDAW.

2. Advocacy at the UN

You also have opportunities to engage directly with the CEDAW Committee during the review in July 2018 in Geneva. NGOs can provide a short oral submission on the Mondays of the two weeks of the review in the Meeting with NGOs which is part of the official schedule of the Committee. For Week 1 of the review when Australia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Mexico are being reviewed, the Committee’s Meeting with NGOs will be held on Monday 2nd July 2018 where NGOs from all four countries can read their oral submissions within a 10 minute time slot allocated per country. A short question and answer session between the Committee and NGOs will follow. For Week 2, it will be on the 9th of July 2018.

Groups of NGOs can also hold a private lunch briefing to discuss their issues with the Committee for 1 hour, one day before the review. (This space is only for NGOs and closed to state delegates.) This is a shared space for all NGOs to brief the Committee confidentially. Please let us know if you are thinking of participating at the review in in Geneva and in the Meeting with NGOs and/or the private Lunch Briefing with the Committee.

For more information on the 70th CEDAW Session please check the official session page of the CEDAW at the OHCHR website.

3. Coordination and support for NGOs

IWRAW Asia Pacific coordinates the NGO Coordination meeting on each Sunday before the week of review to ensure NGOs who are wishing to engage with the CEDAW Committee will have the opportunity to discuss the sharing of limited time and space for the oral submission and lunch briefing. For Week 1, for NGOs from Australia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Mexico the NGO Coordination meeting will be held on Sunday 18th Feb 2018 at the Hotel Pension de Silva, (time to be decided later). We strongly urge all NGOs who wish to participate in the NGO spaces to attend the Coordination meeting on Sunday 1st July to ensure all NGOs discuss fair distribution of time and to ensure justice to be done to the women’s rights priorities.

4. From Global to Local

For the last 20 years IWRAW AP has run the “From Global to Local” training and mentoring programme in Geneva, which aims to help women’s groups and NGOs who wish to participate in the CEDAW reporting process. The objectives of this training programme is to:

(a) Help women’s organisations understand the CEDAW reporting process so they can prepare a shadow / alternative report that touches on all of the articles of the CEDAW Convention and use the reporting process to frame their advocacy efforts;
(b) Facilitate the presence of NGO representatives from reporting countries at the CEDAW Sessions to monitor the review of their State parties and to interact with the CEDAW Committee members in order to raise pertinent issues concerning women’s human rights in their country.

The training for Week 1 will be from 29th of June to 1st of July and for Week 2 from 6th to 8th July and the mentoring will continue throughout the 70th review period. The training gives you updated information and hints and tips about engaging with the CEDAW review process. Let us know if you will be in Geneva for the review and would like to participate, you are welcome to join the programme. There is a small fee for materials and refreshment cost.

[Note: Please note that ONLY NGOs are eligible to participate in “From Global to Local”. IWRAW Asia Pacific has taken the position that persons that will be on the government delegation to the CEDAW session, or have helped write the government report to the CEDAW Committee should NOT be involved in writing the shadow/alternative report, and are NOT eligible to attend the “From Global to Local” training at the CEDAW Session.]

Additionally, we also hope that you will circulate this information to women’s groups you know or if you are with an NGO or a coalition working on an NGO report to CEDAW, please contact us at this email.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. We look forward to working with you all.