Intensifying global efforts for eliminating female genital mutilation

New York, 24 September 2012

The BanFGM Coalition is back in New York for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and this year we have high hopes that we will finally see the fruits of our work on the field and in African capitals recognized as a global issue that affects not only the daily lives of women and girls in the African continent but the rights of women worldwide.
Over the past years three years, both during the opening of the UNGA Session in September as well as during the Commission on the Status of Women in February, the Coalition has organized High Level events to bring visibility to the need for a UNGA Resolution banning FGM worldwide. This year, for the first time, the Coalition will be assisting the States themselves in the organization of a high level side event on the margins of the UNGA.
In collaboration with the African Union Commission, the Permanent Missions of Burkina Faso and Benin are co-organizers of the event “Intensifying Global Efforts for Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation” which will take place on 24 September 2012, in New York (from 15:00 to 17:00 in Room 5 of the North Lawn Building). It will be co-chaired by the First Lady of Benin, Mrs. Chantal de Souza Yayi, representing the Chairman of the African Union and by the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Mrs. Chantal Compaoré, Coordinator of the International Campaign for the worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices. Speakers will include Ms Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate and founder of No Peace Without Justice, as well as various African Ministers and Representatives of UN Agencies (UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women).
Tangible momentum towards a Resolution has been gathering speed over this past year. A key step in the process was the July 2011 Decision by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in support of a Resolution by the General Assembly. The African Group at the UN took action to implement the will of the Heads of State by introducing a Decision at the Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2012, recommending that the issue of FGM, until now discussed only within the context of the CSW, be formally considered by the General Assembly under the agenda item “Advancement of Women”. In July 2012, the ECOSOC supported the CSW recommendation and requested that the issue of female genital mutilation be added to the agenda of the 67th General Assembly.
Members of the BanFGM Coalition have therefore returned to New York to accompany the process undertaken by the Missions of Burkina and Benin, and provide all the necessary political and technical support on the subject of female genital mutilation. Our aim is to continue to advocate for a holistic and comprehensive Resolution that bans FGM worldwide, which would provide evidence of political support at the highest of levels to all those who fight to put an end to the practice, and be a real tool for change.

For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on / phone: +32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-39 15.