Friday, July 13, 2018

Treaty body elections; gender balance

Six treaty bodies are scheduled to elect half of their members during this year. To date five elections have taken place. The 6th (SPT) won't occur until October. This seems like an appropriate time to take a snapshot of where we are.  Gender balance has improved slightly overall, but more importantly it has become more balanced on two of the Committees who were most out of balance (CRPD & CEDAW).

CESC

Members are elected by ECOSOC. Elections were initially held in April when 7 candidates were elected; 2 slots were not filled at that time (1 from Asia, 1 from Latin America). A second round of elections are to be held in July 26-27, to fill these remaining spots.

Elected so far:

Mr. Asraf Ally CAUNHYE (Mauritius) (new member)
Mr. Peters Sunday Omologbe EMUZE (Nigeria) (new member)
Ms. Heisoo SHIN (Republic of Korea) (re-elected)
Mr. Olivier DE SCHUTTER (Belgium) (re-elected)
Mr. Renato ZERBINI RIBEIRO LEÃO (Brazil) (re-elected)
Mr. Rodrigo UPRIMNY YEPES (Colombia) (re-elected)
Mr. Aslan Khuselnovich ABASHIDZE (Russian Federation) (re-elected)

Notes:

·      1 woman, 6 men, replacing 2 women & 7 men, with 2 spots still open
·      Total committee composition right now is 4 women, 12 men, with two spots still to be filled
·      2 new members; 5 re-elected
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·      Terms for these members begin 1/1/2019

CEDAW


On June 7, 2018 elections were held to replace 12 members of CEDAW.  Results were as follows:

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Name of candidate
Nationality
Peru               RE-ELECTED
Japan             NEW MEMBER
Saudi Arabia.      NEW MEMBER
Algeria              RE-ELECTED
Egypt               RE-ELECTED
Georgia           RE-ELECTED
Mauritius        RE-ELECTED
Spain               NEW MEMBER
Trinidad and Tobago.    NEW MEMBER
Azerbaijan.     NEW MEMBER
Bulgaria            NEW MEMBER
Burkina Faso.     NEW MEMBER


      *5 new members were elected; 7 were re-elected
*One more man has been elected to the Committee this time (Mr. Elgun Safarov, of Azerbaijan), so the gender balance is now 2 men, 21 women. This is the first time in recent memory that there have been more than one man serving on the Committee at the same time.
*New members will begin serving 1/1/2019

CRPD


Elections were held on June 12, 2018.

Final elected slate:

·      Ms. Mara Cristina GABRILLI (Brazil) NEW MEMBER
·      Ms. Amalia Eva GAMIO RÍOS (Mexico) NEW MEMBER
·      Ms. Rosemary KAYESS (Australia) NEW MEMBER
·      Ms. Miyeon KIM (Republic of Korea) NEW MEMBER
·      Ms. Gertrude OFORIWA FEFOAME (Ghana) NEW MEMBER
·      Mr. Jonas RUSKUS (Lithuania) RE-ELECTED
·      Mr. Markus SCHEFER (Switzerland) NEW MEMBER
·      Mr. Danlami UMARU BASHARU (Nigeria). RE-ELECTED
·      Ms. Risnawati UTAMI (Indonesia) NEW MEMBER

Gender balance is now 6 women, 12 men (formerly 1 woman, 17 men)
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Geographic balance is also improved – the deficiency of experts from the Latin American & Caribbean region is rectified. There are now 3 members from this region on the Committee (formerly only one member came from this region)

Key developments to note:

a.     Improved representation of women
b.     Improved geographic balance
c.     Entire conference was webcast, two full days of activities and events
d.     Focus of many interventions was on implementation
e.     Key cross cutting theme – data collection – “Promoting high-quality disability statistics and disaggregation of data by disability status for the full realization of the rights of persons with disabilities”
f.      Press conference held on day 1 re SDGs
g.     176 of 177 state parties participated in the elections
h.     Several side events
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i.       Many states shared their experiences in implementing the Convention; raising awareness; model and pilot projects; best practices

CCPR

Elections were held June 14, 2018.

9 members were elected:

* Mr. Yadh BEN ACHOUR (Tunisia).RE-ELECTED
* Mr. Christopher BULKAN (Guyana) NEW MEMBER
* Mr. Shuichi FURUYA (Japan) NEW MEMBER
* Mr. Duncan LAKI MUHUMUZA (Uganda) RE-ELECTED
* Ms. Photini PAZARTZIS (Greece) RE-ELECTED
* Mr. Hernán QUEZADA CABRERA (Chile) NEW MEMBER
* Ms. Vasilka SANCIN (Slovenia) NEW MEMBER
* Ms. Hélène TIGROUDJA (France) NEW MEMBER
* Mr. Xavier ZAVALA EGAS (Ecuador) NEW MEMBER
* Mr. Gentian ZYBERI (Albania). NEW MEMBER

Summary:

* The newly elected members included 3 women and 6 men. The Committee now has 6 women and 10 men. Two vacancies are to be filled by appointment.
* 3 re-elected; 6 are new members
* The terms of these new members will begin 1/1/2019 and extend 4 years, to 12/31/2022.
* Russia, USA candidates were not elected
* Ms. Anja Seibert-Fohr (Germany) resigned effective 3/1/2018. Her term was set to expire 12/31/2020. Presumably the German government will appoint a replacement.
*Mr. Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Chair of this Committee, was elected to the International Court of Justice in June. He will leave his post in this Committee and be replaced by appointment.  One of the vice chairs will replace him as chair.
* The proceedings were not webcast. First results came out unofficially on Twitter.
* JBI tweet: In a dramatic election to #HumanRights Committee, which monitors CivilPoliticsl Covenant, #US candidate defeated in runoff 2nd round. First time US has lost such an election to #UN treaty body. 17 candidates for 9 slots. 8 elected 1st round. #Chile defeats US 101-63 in 2nd round
* 164 total ballots cast, of a possible 171 state parties
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CRC

On June 29, 2018  nine members were elected to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. 



·      Ms. Suzanne AHO-ASSOUMA (Togo) (re-elected)
·      Ms. Hynd AYOUBI IDRISSI (Morocco) (re-elected)
·      Mr. Bragi GUDBRANDSSON (Iceland) (new member)
·      Mr. Philip D. JAFFE (Switzerland) (new member)
·      Mr. Gehad MADI (Egypt) (re-elected)
·      Mrs. Faith MARSHALL-HARRIS (Barbados) (new member)
·      Mr. Clarence NELSON (Samoa) (re-elected)
·      Mr. José Angel RODRÍGUEZ REYES (Venezuela) (re-elected)
·      Ms. Aïssatou Alassane Moulaye SIDIKOU (Niger) (new member)

Notes:
·      4 new members; 5 re-elected
·      5 women; 4 men.
·      The Committee composition as a whole is now 10 women & 8 men (formerly 9 women & 9 men)
·      New members begin their terms on March 1, 2019
·      Note that Niger has an expert elected on the Committee for the 1st time; it is noteworthy that they have submitted reports in 2018 to two treaty bodies where the report had been overdue, respectively, 18 and 22 years (CAT & CCPR)

   Gender balance


Gender balance has improved overall, including in two of the Committees most in need of better balance (CRPD and CEDAW). 



Before the elections: As of October 2017 the composition was as follows:

Treaty body
women
percent
comment
next election
CRPD
1 of 18
6%
under balanced
June 2018
CMW
3 of 14
21%
under balanced
June 2019
CESC
5 of 18
28%
under balanced
July 2018
CED
3 of 10
30%
under balanced
June 2019
CAT
4 of 10
40%

Oct 2019
CERD
8 of 18
44%

June 2019
CCPR
8 of 18
44%

June 2018
SPT
12 of 25
48%

Oct 2018
CRC
9 of 18
50%

June 2018
CEDAW
22 of 23
96%
overbalanced
June 2018
TOTAL
75 of 172
43.6%


* Since CEDAW has an overbalance of women (96%), it brings the overall average up (to 43.6%). When you remove CEDAW from the count the system-wide average becomes 35.5%. 




Now the composition will look like this once new members begin their terms in 2019:

Treaty body
women
percent
comment
next election
CMW
3 of 14
21%
under balanced
June 2019
CESC
4 of 16*
25%
under balanced
July 2018 (2 openings)
CED
3 of 10
30%
under balanced
June 2019
CRPD
6 of 18
33%
under balanced
June 2020
CCPR
6 of 16**
37.5%
under balanced
June 2020
CAT
4 of 10
40%

Oct 2019
CERD
8 of 18
44%

June 2019
SPT
12 of 25
48%

Oct 2018
CRC
10 of 18
55%

June 2020
CEDAW
21 of 23
91%
overbalanced
June 2020
TOTAL
77 of 168
46%***


*two vacancies in CESC; to be filled in an election at ECOSOC in late July 2018
**two vacancies in CCPR at the present time; replacements to be appointed by the sponsoring countries of the members who have resigned
*** Since CEDAW has an overbalance of women (91%), it brings the overall average up (to 46%). When you remove CEDAW from the count the system-wide average becomes 40%. 





Conclusion


In addition to the above-described new members, several Committees saw several veteran members replaced, making for many new faces in upcoming sessions of the treaty bodies.  Kudos to those NGOs who were active in the elections this year including the members of TB-net who maintained a website of candidate interviews and statements.  



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