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PACE President: member States need to rely on the Istanbul Convention, its tools and mechanisms

“It is not enough for member States to implement their own laws; they need the Istanbul Convention, its tools and mechanisms in order to combat violence against women in a proactive and efficient way,” said PACE President Rik Daems today, at the opening of a high-level Conference by video-conference on “Gender equality and the Istanbul Convention: a decade of action”.

He regretted that sometimes this convention was instrumentalised as a political tool to address other issues, leading to a strange and false opposition between gender equality and family or traditional values.

He encouraged countries that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the convention. “To some extent, he said, the withdrawal of the Istanbul Convention by Turkey is a wake-up call not only because suddenly it gives publicity to the convention – for the wrong reasons – but also because this wake-up call may incite a certain number of countries to ratify and take action, such as the United Kingdom or Liechtenstein”.

PACE President also urged parliaments to translate a key handbook on ending gender-based violence into their languages with a view to promote regional and local action.

Finally, Rik Daems recalled that PACE had always been very committed in the success of the convention. He announced that during the plenary session in June, the Assembly will organise a special event to mark the 10th anniversary of the convention, which will focus on celebrating achievements, increasing knowledge and visibility about the strengths of the convention.