Ban FGM Campaign: UN Draft resolution deposited is a landmark step in global efforts to put an end to this human rights violation

18 Oct, 2012 | Press Releases

New York, 18 October 2012

Yesterday the African Group at the UN has officially deposited a draft resolution “Intensifying Global Efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation” for discussion within the Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee (commonly referred to as the Third Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly.
The formal deposit of the draft resolution is the result of the leadership and the determination of the African Group at the UN to bring worldwide attention to the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM), and follows the Campaign for a Worldwide Ban on FGM spearheaded by an ever-expanding Coalition, composed of No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC), Euronet-FGM, and the NGOs La Palabre, Manifesto 99 and Equality Now.

Statement by Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice, together with its partners in the International NGO Coalition to Ban FGM Worldwide, applaud the deposit by the African Group of a draft resolution on female genital mutilation within the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which signals a landmark step in the international campaign to foster global leadership in the fight against FGM as a wide-scale and blatant violation of the fundamental human rights of women and girls.
“Notably, the draft resolution calls on 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’.

“Further to the historic African Head of States’ Decision adopted in July 2011 at the African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, calling on all AU “Member States to provide strong support for efforts to adopt a draft resolution to ban female genital mutilation worldwide”, we thank the African Group at the UN for its forceful stance. The text deposited by the African Group at the United Nations today is an essential contribution to the United Nations General Assembly addressing this human rights violation as a global issue affecting not only the daily lives of women and girls on the African continent but the rights of women worldwide.

“The time has come for all States to take responsibility and unequivocally support the actions of those Member States and activists which have been at the forefront of the battle to challenge and put an end to this human rights violation both nationally and, increasingly, internationally. The deposit of this Resolution is a very significant step in this respect.

“We look forward to the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, at its 67th Session in 2012, of a holistic and comprehensive Resolution that explicitly bans FGM worldwide, which would demonstrate the strong commitment of the international community to human rights and particularly the rights of women and girls, and be a real tool for change”.

Ban FGM Campaign
Over the past years, the members of the Ban FGM Coalition have collaborated on several initiatives to raise awareness internationally about the need for a UNGA Resolution banning this human rights violation, gathering the support of human rights activists, women’s organizations, parliamentarians and government representatives from throughout Africa and Europe.
Tangible momentum towards a Resolution has been gathering speed over this past year. A key step in the process was the July 2011 AU Assembly 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 CSW 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 adopted the CSW recommendation and requested that the issue of female genital mutilation be added to the agenda of the 67th General Assembly.

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.