Campaigning for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, Democracy, the Rule of Law and International Justice
BAN FGM CAMPAIGN
UN General Assembly Adopts Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation
New York, 20 December 2012
On 20 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution to Ban FGM worldwide. The Resolution [A/RES/67/146] was cosponsored by two thirds of the General Assembly, including the entire African Group, and was adopted by consensus by all UN members. The resolution, which was hailed by the Ban FGM Campaign, reflects universal agreement that female genital mutilation constitutes a violation of human rights, which all countries of the world should address through “all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence, and to end impunity”.
The adoption of a worldwide ban on FGM by the United Nations General Assembly constitutes a paradigm shift in the fight against this widespread and systematic human rights violation, committed against millions of girls and women in Africa and around the world. The majority of countries in the world lack legislation to protect these women and girls; where laws have been enacted, political will to implement them effectively seldom follows. Therefore, the adoption of the Resolution is not an end in itself: it is just the beginning of a new chapter in the fight against FGM. It is now up to all States and all of us to work together, so that the women and girls of tomorrow will be free from the threat of FGM.
Ban FGM Campaign: Draft resolution adopted by the UNGA Third Committee is a landmark step in global efforts to put an end to this human rights violation
New York-Brussels-Rome, 26 November 2012
On 26 November 2012, the Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee (commonly referred to as the Third Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the draft resolution “Intensifying Global Efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation” submitted by the African Group at the UN last October.
No Peace Without Justice, together with its partners in the International NGO Coalition to Ban FGM Worldwide, applaud the formal adoption by the UNGA Third Committee of this pivotal instrument as a landmark step and look forward to its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, in December this year in the framework of its 67th session.
The text adopted is an essential contribution to the United Nations General Assembly addressing this human rights violation as a global issue affecting the daily lives of women and girls worldwide. Notably, the draft resolution urges States to "condemn all harmful practices that affect women and girls, in particular female genital mutilations, and to take all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit female genital mutilations and to protect women and girls from this forms of violence, and to end impunity".
- Link to the Draft Resolution on the UN website: A/C.3/67/L.21/Rev.1
- Draft resolution: English, French
- UN takes step closer toward official ban on FGM, By Lisa Anderson, Trust Law / Thomson Reuters, 26 November 2012
- UN committee calls for ban on female circumcision, By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, 26 November 2012
- UN draft resolution a landmark step in global efforts to end FGM, APA (African Press Agency), 27 November 2012
- Call for Ban on Female Genital Mutilation, Arab Times, 28 November 2012
- Read the full Press review
High Level Side Event “Intensifying Global Efforts for Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation”
United Nations General Assembly, New York, 25 September 2012
No Peace Without Justice, together with its partners in the International NGO Coalition to Ban FGM Worldwide, congratulates the Missions of Burkina Faso and Benin to the United Nations for the success of the High Level Side Event“Intensifying Global Efforts for Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation” organized yesterday, on the eve of the opening of the General Debate of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The event, attended by over 150 participants, among whom First Ladies, Ministers, Ambassadors and the representatives of UN Agencies and civil society, underscored the importance given to combating FGM by an ever-widening group of States and stressed the pivotal role of the United Nations General Assembly in showing political will to bring the battle against FGM to the highest of levels and intensify the global effort for its elimination.
Ban FGM Campaign: prominent political leaders sign the Appeal calling for a Resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012
Following the decision by the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March 2012 recommending that the General Assembly consider the issue of female genital mutilation at its 67th session later this year, the African Group at the UN spearheaded the effort to draft a Resolution.
In support of the African Group’s effort, the Ban FGM Coalition has launched an appeal to the United Nations for a Resolution that explicitly bans female genital mutilation worldwide, and calling on all States to adopt and implement legislation to ban female genital mutilation and to take all necessary legislative, political and operational measures aimed at ending the practice.
Prominent political personalities around the world, among whom Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Forieng Affairs, Catherine Ashton, EU’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Clemence Traore Some, Minister of Social Affairs and National Solidarity (Burkina Faso), Elio Di Rupo, Prime Minister, Belgium, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Patricia Espinosa, Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Mexico), Sihem Badi, Minister of Women and Family Affairs, Tunisia, have expressed their support to the International Appeal launched by the Ban FGM Coalition, calling upon the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a Worldwide Ban on female genital mutilation in 2012.
- Support this initiative and sign the appeal on www.banfgm.org
The Belgian Senate hosts the launch of an Appeal calling for a Resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012
Brussels, 3 May 2012
In support of the African Group’s effort to ensure the effectiveness of the Resolution as an instrument for governments and activists working to bring an end to this human rights violation, the Ban FGM Coalition is launching an appeal to the United Nations for a Resolution that explicitly bans female genital mutilation worldwide, and calling on all States to adopt and implement legislation to ban female genital mutilation and to take all necessary legislative, political and operational measures aimed at ending the practice.
The appeal was launched during an event held in Brussels on Thursday 3 May 2012, hosted by the Belgian Senate, and chaired by H.E. Mme Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina Faso, Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices and Coordinator of the International Ban FGM Campaign. Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate, Gisèle Mandaila, Member of the Brussels Regional Parliament, Fatoumata Sidibé, Member of the Brussels Regional Parliament, Céline Van Neyverseel for Emir Kir, Minister of Social Action and Family COCOF, Ivan Hermans, Senior Policy and External Relations Advisor UNFPA, Mariam Lamizana, President of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices, Khady Koïta, President of La Palabre, Els Leye, International Centre for Reproductive Health, and other prominent personalities who have been involved in efforts both in Belgium and internationally to bring an end to FGM will be among the speakers.
High Level Parallel Event “A worldwide ban on FGM: from the Decision of the African Union to a UNGA Resolution”
New York, 27 February 2012
During the first week of the 56th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), to be opened in New York on 27 February 2012, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and several African partners of the Ban FGM Coalition will carry out direct advocacy and visibility initiatives, among which will be a High Level Parallel Event, in support of the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) and the international campaign to promote the adoption of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution that universally and explicitly bans FGM. The meeting is held at Ministerial level and is co-chaired by Mariam Lamizana for CIAF and by Emma Bonino for NPWJ, and is opened by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women and closed by H.E. Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina Faso, Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban FGM Worldwide.
Later reaffirmed in United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Report “Ending Female Genital Mutilation,” released in January of this year, the critical need for a common and systematic approach to address FGM as a violation of human rights was initially recognized in the Decision of the Assembly of the African Union during its 17th session in Malabo, in July 2011. This historic Decision expressed the strong support of the African Union and its member States for the adoption of a Resolution to ban FGM worldwide at the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The 56th session of the UN CSW will provide a key moment for NPWJ and its partners, Ministers, Parliamentarians and civil society activists, who have been at the forefront of the Ban FGM Campaign in their respective countries and worldwide, to further advocate for a strong commitment by all governments and the international community to support the adoption in 2012 of a UNGA Resolution. This will contribute significantly to a global recognition of FGM as a human rights violation against millions of women around the world, and ultimately, to bringing an end to this violence.
- Program of the High-Level Parallel Event: English, French
- Brochure of the High-Level Parallel Event: English, French
- When: 27 February 2012, 18.15-19.45
- Where: Chapel, ground floor, Church Center Building, United Nations, 777 UN Plaza (First Avenue at 44th Street), New York NY 10017
- Watch the High Level Paralell Event (audio-video recording by Radio Radicale)
The Ban FGM Campaign
No Peace Without Justice, The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, Euronet-FGM and La Palabre have launched an International Campaign to promote the adoption of a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly banning this widespread and systematic human rights violation. Our work is to inform and raise awareness among member States, UN Agencies and more widely among our fellow human rights activists about female genital mutilation and about the pivotal role that the United Nations General Assembly has in combating this human rights violation by banning it worldwide.
As part of the Campaign, many of us - Parliamentarians and civil society activists - have campaigned locally for our respective governments to support a United Nations ban on FGM, by getting parliamentary motions adopted, or other measures that commit the government. We are now taking our advocacy to the United Nations itself, going to New York to work with our countries’ missions to ensure that the spotlight remain on female genital mutilation and the need for a UNGA Resolution that bans the practice.
The direct role of activists and parliamentarians from countries afflicted by FGM in the United Nations negotiations is an important and innovative aspect of our work. Their participation is not mediated by the international NGOs or international coalitions, but rather follows directly from their own national and regional lobbying, with their own parliaments and ministries. We hope the action at the international level will increase their ability to effect lasting change in-country, and will lead to their full ownership of the success, when they will get a Resolution adopted, and their ability to make the most of it to change local legislation, policies and practices.
A Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly banning female genital mutilation worldwide will be a pivotal moment in the fight to bring an end to the practice, providing the recognition that FGM is a violation of fundamental human rights. The gravity and the dimensions of this violation demand the attention of the international community as a whole and require that international measures be put in place to eliminate it.
A Resolution with an explicit ban on female genital mutilation will help to complete the shift of perspectives on FGM from a problem of "public health" or a "cultural" problem, to its universal recognition as a human rights violation and a form of violence against women.