Afro-Arab Expert Consultation on "Legal Tools for the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation"

Media Coverage - Cairo, 21-23 June 2003

Media Coverage
Press Release
Under the Auspices of
The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood
Within the framework of Stop FGM Campaign
supported by the European Commission
The Afro-Arab Expert Consultation on Legal Tools
Conrad Hotel - Conference Centre
Cairo, 21-23 June 2003 - The Association of Italian Women for Development (AIDOS) and No Peace Without Justice, under the auspices of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and in partnership with the Egyptian Society for the Prevention of Harmful Practices to Woman and Child, are organising, in the framework of an Afro-Arab Expert Consultation on legislation regarding Female Genital Mutilation, to be held from 21 to 23 June 2003 at the Congress Centre of the Conrad Hotel in Cairo.
The Expert Consultation, which aims to define contents and strategies for more effective legislation for the prevention of female genital mutilation, will be opened by the Egyptian First Lady H. E. Ms Suzanne Mubarak, H.E. Mohammed Sayed Tantawy, the leading Muslim authority in Egypt, and H.H. Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, the head of the Coptic Church, and will be chaired by Moushira Khattab, the Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Emma Bonino, Member of the European Parliament, and Daniela Colombo, President of AIDOS.
The Expert Consultation will be attended by representatives of the governments and of the non-governmental organisations of all the African and Arab countries in which female genital mutilation is still practised.
Among the ministers who have already confirmed their intention to attend are the following: Mariam Lamizana, Minister of Social Affairs and of National Solidarity of Burkina Faso, Ntumba Luaba, Minister for Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gifti Abassiya, Women’s State Minister of Ethiopia, Suzanne Aho, Minister of Health of Togo, and Mame Bassine Niang, Minister for Human Rights of Senegal.
The Expert Consultation will also be attended by jurists and experts, representatives of the United Nations agencies and of the African Committees against traditional practices harmful to the health of women and girls.
The International Expert Consultation, which will make useof the technical consultation of the Centre for Reproductive Rights (New York) and of RAINBO (London), will allow the analysis and comparison of laws and policies aimed at eliminating FGM. It constitute a further important stage in the international campaign "Stop FGM - For the elimination of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation" launched in November 2002 by AIDOS and No Peace Without Justice, in partnership with eight African NGOs, with the aim of increasing international awareness, especially in the Arab and African countries, and of strengthening the action of civil society and governments involved in the struggle against FGM, also by identifying the most effective legal and political tools.
The Expert Consultation will end on 23 June with the adoption and presentation of a document which, will define the legal contents and strategies for more effective prevention of FGM.
The appointment in Cairo will also be an opportunity to relaunch the "STOP FGM" International Appeal, officially presented by AIDOS and No Peace Without Justice on 10 December 2002 in Brussels and already signed by many leading international figures and by thousands of people from all over the world, through the campaign’s website,
The Expert Consultation will be presented by Emma Bonino, Moushira Khattab, Mona El-Tobgui, of the Egyptian Society for the Prevention of Harmful Practices to Woman and Girl, Cristiana Scoppa, Project Director of AIDOS,during a press conference to be held in Cairo at 11 a.m. on thursday 17 June at the Conrad Hotel.

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