Home > UN Ambassador of Costa Rica Calls for Optional Protocol at Human Rights Council

UN Ambassador of Costa Rica Calls for Optional Protocol at Human Rights Council

During the 55th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Her Excellency Ambassador Shara Duncan Villalobos, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN, spoke on the need for a new Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.

“Costa Rica abides by its commitment to promote and defend the human rights of women and girls, and together with Sierra Leone, Antigua and Barbuda, and DRC, we are leading an initiative to explore the possibility of working on an additional protocol to the CEDAW Convention in order to combat violence against women and girls,” she said. 

The ambassador emphasized that there are “no human rights without gender equality” and that in “no country in the world do women have the same rights as men.” This is why Costa Rica, along with other nations, are leading a State initiative to adopt a binding international law on violence against women and girls. 

Her remarks were another positive step forward toward the creation of a safer world for women and girls and follow the States’ announcement on December 7, 2023 of their initiative for a new Optional Procol to CEDAW during an online event hosted by Every Woman Treaty.

 

 

Watch the ambassador’s remarks here.

Read the ambassador’s full remarks below.

“There are no human rights without gender equality. The recent report published by the World Bank concludes that at the national level women enjoy two-thirds of the rights that men have. That is to say that in no country in the world do women have the same rights as men. It is quite clear that the efforts we are making to close the gender gap do not suffice. 

Currently, levels of violence against women and girls have increased and there is a disproportionate impact on women and girls over a three-fold global crisis and this is a threat. We must act now to ensure the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls. 

In this respect, Costa Rica abides by its commitment to promote and defend the human rights of women and girls, and together with Sierra Leone, Antigua and Barbuda, and DRC, we are leading an initiative to explore the possibility of working on an additional protocol to the CEDAW Convention in order to combat violence against women and girls. 

Costa Rica is shouldering this challenge with conviction in order to promote a global effort which ensures that women and girls throughout the world can enjoy their rights. This month is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls and we hope this is an opportunity to reflect on progress and remaining challenges that States have to meet. 

We reiterate the importance of gender parity and gender equality and the inclusion of a gender perspective to ensure that we have formal, sustainable, transformative equality. The implementation of this principle will lead to empowerment and significant women’s participation at all levels of public live, political life, the economy, and social life. 

Finally, based the principle of equal rights, non-discrimination and the respect for human dignity, we launch an appeal to invest in women and girls. We cannot achieve sustainable development if we leave out half the world’s population.”

15 March 2024