Sub-Regional Conference on Female Genital Mutilation, "Towards a political and religious consensus against FGM"

Djibouti, 2-3 February 2005

Organised under the Auspices of the First Lady of Djibouti, Mme Kadra Mahamoud Haid, President of the National Union of Djibouti Women, and in collaboration with all the Ministers most directly involved, the conference is part of international "STOP FGM!" campaign for the Ratification for the Maputo Protocol, launched in September 2004 by NPWJ at the Nairobi Conference on "Developing a political, legal and social environment to implement the Maputo Protocol".

The Maputo Protocol, adopted by the 53 Heads of States of the African Union on 11 July 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique, stipulates in Article 5 that FGM should be prohibited and condemned. In order to enter into force, the Protocol requires ratification by at least 15 States Parties of the African Union.

The Conference is aimed at facilitating the creation of an environment in Djibouti and in the sub-region for the abandonment of FGM and at strengthening the consensus against FGM already existing at the highest levels of the Government and within some of the religious authorities. Through the commitment and efforts of the Government of Djibouti, the conference will provide an opportunity to showcase the impact of implementing legislation to promote the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.

Participants will include the highest religious authorities at national and regional level, as well as representatives of national and sub-regional governments, parliaments and civil society, as well as representatives from other African countries and from all countries with diplomatic presence in the Republic of Djibouti.

The Conference will be developed in two parallel sessions, the first as a reserved debate between religious authorities and the second on the Maputo Protocol and its implementation. The conclusions of both will be presented during the plenary closing session, where the Government of Djibouti will present their instrument of ratification of the Maputo Protocol to a representative of the African Union.