International Conference/International Exchange

International Conference/International Exchange


The 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Date:March 4 to15, 2013

Place:United Nations Headquarters (New York) /

From Monday, March 4 to Friday, March 15, 2013, the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (hereinafter "CSW") was held at the United Nations Headquarters (New York). Two members of staff from NWEC - from the Office of Research and International Affairs and from the Information Division – participated as members of the Japanese government delegation (headed by Ms. Hiroko Hashimoto).

alt The Japanese government delegation

With the priority theme set as "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls," a series of statements were made by representatives of participating states and associated UN entities as well as by representatives of NGOs, and high-level round tables and interactive expert panels were also held. Other proceedings included deliberations by a review panel about progress in the actions by respective nations and international organizations to implement the agreed conclusions adopted at CSW53 - the "equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS" - as well as a preparatory panel organized on the subject of " Key gender equality issues to be reflected in the post-2015 development framework" which is slated to be the priority theme of CSW58. During the panels, gaps between associated laws and the reality of assistance to victims of violence were discussed, along with the establishment of a cross-sectoral structure offering comprehensive services, both as areas of importance in an attempt to stamp out violence against women. In connection with the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals, participants actively engaged in talks about the need to develop new evaluation indicators, including qualitative evaluation, and, as one of the emerging issues, repercussions of climate change on gender relationships.

alt Ms. Hiroko Hashimoto, the representative of the Japanese government

Ms. Hashimoto, representing Japan, made a statement on behalf of the Japanese government on March 7, in which emphasis was placed on a wide range of actions being taken in Japan, in accordance with the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality and the Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims, in order to eliminate violence against women and girls. Ms. Hashimoto cited some initiatives on the domestic front as good practices, including the Campaign for Eliminating Violence against Women (November 12 through 25, 2012), an increase in the number of female police officers in order to protect women victimized by violence, and steps taken to clarify victim assistance mechanisms. The project against trafficking in persons in the Mekong region, for which NWEC has been entrusted to provide training in Japan by JICA, was mentioned in the statement as a good example of victim assistance as well.

On March 8, an International Women's Day event was held at the United Nations Headquarters in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at which UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet remarked that "eliminating violence against women was one of the issues of top priority set when UN Women was established two years ago, and change is possible, and change is happening." This event also served as the occasion for the launch of UN Women's theme song, "One Woman."

alt International Women's Day

Over the course of the CSW, a variety of side events and parallel events also took place, in which a variety of efforts toward the "Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls" were showcased.

In a side event entitled "Guidelines to measure violence against women," a report was delivered on the guidelines that are currently being developed by the United Nations Statistics Division for research on the reality of violence against women, together with a presentation of case examples of research on the state of affairs in the Pacific region. It was made clear that fact-finding about violence against women is an extremely sensitive task and attention must therefore be paid when setting question items, and that it is also important to provide care to questioners. The final version of the guidelines being developed by the United Nations Statistics Division is scheduled to come out around May.

alt Latest research results conducted by UN agencies were reported in side events

By attending a series of these events, NWEC actively engaged in collecting material prepared by participating nations and NGOs, in which the state of women in the respective regions is put together. The collected material will be organized and recorded, and will then be made available in the collection of the Information Center for Women's Education.

alt Representatives of participating states hailing the adoption of the agreed conclusions

alt UN Women Executive Director Bachelet making a brief speech after the adoption of the agreed conclusions

Given the first-ever failure in the history of the CSW to reach any agreed conclusions last year, discussions were held every day until late into the night in an attempt to hammer out an agreement. On the last day, as NGOs watched anxiously from the hallway, worrying about the lagging progress, the discussions went on. Even when evening fell, no conclusion had yet been reached, generating a feeling that it would be difficult to reach an agreement by the end of the day; however, thanks to the strong leadership of the chairperson and the efforts by the representatives of the respective nations, the adoption of agreed conclusions was achieved successfully before 8:00 p.m.

Information and videos regarding the details and the agreed conclusions of CSW57 are posted on UN Women's website below (postings are in the official languages of the United Nations, including English)

International Cooperation