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United Nations – Adoption of a resolution on the prevention and elimination of violence against women (March 15, 2013)

France welcomes the adoption on March 15 by the Commission on the Status of Women, at its 57th session, of conclusions on the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

These conclusions reaffirm the determination of the entire international community combat this violence. They provide the international community and all stakeholders concerned with concrete recommendations.

The text rejects in particular all forms of cultural relativism: states cannot invoke cultural, religious or traditional considerations as a reason not to comply with their obligations relating to the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. As such, they are called upon to take measures to eliminate traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and forced and early marriages.

For the first time within the framework of the Commission on the Status of Women, the resolution also mentions the fundamental rights of women with respect to sexual and reproductive health. The denial of these rights is often the first form of violence perpetrated against women. The resolution also calls for efforts to combat all forms of impunity.

On this occasion, we pay tribute to the commitment and work of UN Women, and in particular its Executive Director Michelle Bachelet. France, which was represented by Ms. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women’s Rights, strongly mobilized its efforts to ensure the success of this session, following the failure last year of the 56th session of the Commission to adopt any agreed conclusions.

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