December 16, 2017

Statement by Amb. Nicholas Emiliou, 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Agenda item 3: “Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly and to the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”

United Nations, March 18, 2016

Mr. Chair,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to make some additional remarks in its national capacity. 

Mr. Chair,

It is my honour to address this historic session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the first session following the agreement of the “Agenda 2030”. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are addressed throughout the Agenda and its goals, which are universal, indivisible and interlinked. In moving forward with the “Agenda 2030”, we must continue to be guided in our actions and positions by the achievements of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the CSW, its norm-setting role and its 60 year-old expertise.

Cyprus will continue to support internationally and domestically gender equality, the empowerment and the realization of all human rights for women and girls, including the elimination of violence, increasing opportunities for leadership and participation in decision-making in all areas of life, the economic empowerment of women, and combating stereotypes.

As regards recent developments in Cyprus, let me outline a few important initiatives. To substantially increase our efforts to combat violence against women, the Government has signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in June, 2015. In the same vein, we are moving forward with a bill that criminalizes harassment and stalking. We are also currently examining ways to modernize the family law, in order to better protect children’s rights and incorporate the gender dimension in it.

Mr. Chair,

Cypriot women have experienced, due to the forcible and continuing division of Cyprus since 1974 the disproportionate effect of war on them. They have, thus, realized early on the importance of making their voice heard and their inclusion in the peace efforts and for these reasons have been very active in relevant civil society organizations. During the last years there has been an increasing awareness in society for the need to ensure the gender perspective in the negotiations of the Cyprus problem, accompanied with relevant efforts by the government.

This has led to the increase in the number of women directly involved in the negotiations, often in leading positions, in the last years. We will continue all efforts toward increasing their participation. Furthermore, guided by the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, the negotiating team for the solution of the Cyprus problem has established a bicommunal committee on gender equality. The Committee brings gender specific issues to the forefront and can provide input as to what needs to be borne in mind from a gender perspective in the framework of a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

In closing, Mr. Chair, allow me to express my admiration and my government’s full support to the civil society for women’s issues, without whose perseverance and work, so much on gender equality would still have been a dream today.

I thank you