In a resolution adopted today, PACE called on the member states which have not yet done so to sign the Istanbul Convention and rapidly proceed to ratification. This convention – which provides a comprehensive framework for preventing violence against women, protecting its victims and prosecuting the perpetrators – cannot come into force until it has been signed and ratified by a sufficient number of member states (minimum of ten, including eight member states). On the basis of the report by José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), the Assembly therefore asked member states to take a series of measures to promote the convention and facilitate its signature and ratification.
To increase the impact of the convention beyond the Council of Europe member states, PACE also encouraged UN Women and the IPU to promote it. “I welcome the prospect of co-operation on a more formal footing between UN Women and the Council of Europe, which will increase the effectiveness of our work in the field of gender equality and in our joint fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women,” said Jean-Claude Mignon at the opening of the debate, which also featured a statement by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.
Parliaments should also urge their governments to sign and ratify the convention and conduct activities to raise awareness amongst the general public, practitioners and NGOs.
PACE also welcomes the decision taken by the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination to appoint a general rapporteur on violence against women and believes that this would contribute to enhancing the visibility and relevance of the Assembly’s work in this area.