Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman, Charge d’Affaires a.i., Deputy Permanent Representative at Third Committee on Advancement of Women

Fazlı Çorman 13.10.2010
Mr. Chairman,

At the outset I wish to join other delegations in congratulating you and other members of the Bureau upon your election. Allow me to express our appreciation for your able chairmanship at the Third Committee. We are confident that your efforts will continue to bring success to the work and deliberations of our Committee and I would like to assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation.

Mr. Chairman,

Over the past decades, considerable progress has been achieved on a global scale, for the advancement of women, for the provision of gender equality and for the full protection of human rights of women. As a result of this progress, today we notice greater awareness towards the rights and needs of women. More equitable laws that protect women from discrimination were introduced, more commitments were voiced by States to repeal discriminatory laws and social practices and more women took their rightful place in the social, economic and political fabric of their societies.

However, despite the progress achieved, much needs to be done to ensure universal adherence to the rights of women. The establishment of the UN Women by the General Assembly will further strengthen the work of the UN and its gender architecture. My delegation wishes to join other delegations in congratulating H.E. Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, for her appointment as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1325. Since the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, there has been progress across a broad range of issues for the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ rights in conflict-affected situations. Turkey lend its strong support to the relevant Security Council Resolutions. However, despite the progress achieved so far, much remains to be done, particularly in the area of implementation. We believe that more effective actions must be taken to protect and empower women.

Mr Chairman,

At the national level, we can proudly say without any hesitation that as a result of the reforms made in the last decade, no single legal barrier left against gender equality. Turkey enshrined the principle of gender equality in its Constitution and the supremacy given to international conventions on fundamental rights and freedoms, such as CEDAW, over all national laws.

Turkey is a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women since 1986 and its Optional Protocol since 2003. Turkish delegation headed by H.E. Ms. Selma Aliye Kavaf, Minister of State of Turkey responsible for Women, Family and Children Affairs presented the 6th periodic report of Turkey to the CEDAW Committee at its 46th Session on 21 July 2010. The sixth periodic report of Turkey has been prepared in an inclusive manner with the participation of various entities with a view to incorporate all developments in the area of women’s rights in Turkey

As a result of the adoption of the Constitutional reform package at a referendum on 12 September 2010, human rights and fundamental freedoms have been further expanded.

With the amendment to Article 10 of the Constitution entitled “Equality Before the Law”, positive discrimination gains a constitutional basis for persons who require social protection, such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

With this amendment, it is guaranteed under the constitutional framework that special measures to be taken by the administration in respect of those who require protection shall not be construed to be “contrary to the principle of equality”. This amendment will enable Turkey to better fulfill of its obligations stemming from basic conventions on human rights including the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

On the implementation side, Turkey has recently made great strides to mainstream gender equality. A Parliamentary Commission namely “Parliamentary Commission on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men” was established at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 2009 to oversee the implementation.

The Ninth Development Plan, which constitutes guidelines for ministries, public agencies and institutions in their activities, includes objectives regarding gender equality, such as the improvement of women’s access to education and employment, as well as continuation of activities toward combating violence against women.

The “Gender Equality National Action Plan”, which assigns responsibility to all stakeholders and covers the period of 2007-2013, is implemented in accordance with the goals and objectives of 9th Development Plan under the coordination of General Directorate on the Status of Women.

As for combating violence against women, a separate action plan was put into effect for the period of 2007-2010 under the title of “National Action Plan on Combating Domestic Violence against Women”. Since the implementation period of this Action Plan will expire by the end of this year, preparations for the New Action Plan will be completed in 2010 and its implementation phase will commence by 2011.

In addition to those initiatives, the public awareness has been increased via the countless projects and campaigns on a wide range of topics mainly the empowerment of women, violence against women, honour crimes, reproductive health and education of girls. These projects were launched by several mass media organizations, universities, local administrations and civil society organizations.


Turkey is also continuing her efforts to raise awareness at the international level. International conferences hosted by Turkey are vivid illustrations of this commitment. Hereby, we would like to reiterate our invitation to all interested parties to attend the “International Istanbul Women’s Meeting” which will be held on 5-6 November 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Thank you