The preparation of Turkmenistan's periodic report under the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was reviewed at a two-day workshop in Ashgabat during 5-6 August 2010. The workshop was organized by the EU/UNDP/OHCHR project “Strengthening the National Capacity of Turkmenistan to Protect and Promote Human Rights” jointly with the United Nations Population Fund in Turkmenistan (UNFPA) and the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (NIDHR) under the President of Turkmenistan.
The workshop brought together members of the national Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission on ensuring Turkmenistan's compliance with its international human rights commitments, representing relevant ministries, agencies, and law enforcement organizations and the experts of the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan. The workshop was led by Ms. Pramilla Patten, International Expert on women's rights and member of the UN CEDAW Committee.
Participants at the workshop discussed the provision of technical expertise to build Turkmenistan's capacity to the preparation of the CEDAW periodic reports and got acquainted with working methods of the UN CEDAW Committee, the monitoring body of the Convention. Turkmenistan acceded to the CEDAW in 1997 and submitted its initial and second periodic report to the UN CEDAW Committee in 2004. Turkmenistan aims to submit its next periodic report by the end of this year.
Highlighting the importance of the joint work for preparation of the next periodic report of Turkmenistan under the CEDAW, Director of NIDHR Ms. Yazdursun Gurbannazarova said that Turkmenistan had done a lot to protect women's rights, and there is a solid legal base in place to promote these efforts further. According to her, the challenge now is to fully reflect Turkmenistan's progress in the report. She encouraged participants to engage as much as possible with the UN CEDAW Committee expert on finalization of the report taking into account her recommendations and comments.
“The United Nations agencies in Turkmenistan in partnership with the European Union support efforts of the Government of Turkmenistan to report to the UN Treaty Bodies. Thanks to our excellent partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan we have been able to undertake a number of significant activities on gender issues and the implementation of the CEDAW,” said Mr. Lenni Montiel, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan.
“This workshop is very timely and builds on the concerted efforts of UN agencies in Turkmenistan underway already since 2009, in particular UNFPA and UNDP, to build capacity of government officials to comply with the reporting process under this Convention,” said Ms. Patten. She appreciated the enhanced collaboration of all Turkmenistan's stakeholders and quality of the draft report they have produced. She also commended the political will of the Government of Turkmenistan to implement the Convention and Turkmenistan's accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention.
Following the discussion of best practices of preparation of periodic reports from the region and worldwide as well as experiences of other countries that have already been reviewed by the UN CEDAW Committee, the national Working Group expressed interest to hold a mock session simulating the actual review of Turkmenistan's periodic report by the UN CEDAW Committee.
The workshop on the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is part of the comprehensive effort of the EU/UNDP/OHCHR project to support the Government of Turkmenistan in strengthening its capacity to report to various UN Treaty Bodies on its human rights commitments and improve the knowledge and capacity of rights holders to claim their rights. To this effect, the project has already increased awareness of 150 professionals in all velayats and Ashgabat, in the area of law enforcement and administration of justice of international human rights standards and their practical applicability in daily professional life. The project also held a workshop on reporting under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and a workshop on the Convention against Torture. The project also organized a study visit to Geneva for high-level government officials to provide them with a deeper insight into the functioning of the UN human rights system.
The project is implemented in partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan.
For more information, please contact: Ms. Irina Liczek, EU/UNDP/OHCHR project Chief Technical Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org
The joint EU/UNDP/OHCHR project “Strengthening the National Capacity of Turkmenistan to Promote and Protect Human Rights” is implemented in partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan. The overall objective of the project is to engage the Government of Turkmenistan on its duty and capacity to comply with its international human rights standards and to improve the knowledge and capacity of rights holders to claim their rights.