1. Statement on 4th March 2013 by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on the Occassion of her attendance at Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, New York

Statement on 4th March 2013 by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch on the occasion of her attendance at Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, New York

Major UN Meeting tackles Violence against Women

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch leads Irish Participation
Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People

On the occasion of her attendance at Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, New York.
4 – 10 March 2013

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch TD is leading the Irish delegation to the 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), currently taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York. 

The priority theme of this year’s session of CSW is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, an issue of major concern in all parts of the globe.

Because of Ireland’s role in the EU Presidency, Minister Lynch, who has responsibility for equality in her portfolio, will deliver the EU policy statement to the opening session today.  Speaking on behalf of all EU countries, Minister Lynch is expected to tell the gathering of delegates from across UN Member States that,

'Violence against women and girls is a worldwide phenomenon, crossing all borders, all generations, all nationalities, and all communities and occurs in all spheres of our societies. This phenomenon remains far too hidden, under-reported, under-prosecuted, and under-punished. Any figure we put on the table will not reflect its genuine and alarming extent. Let's also admit it: we are not able yet to provide women and girls with the appropriate support and protection we owe them.'

In addition to participation in the plenary sessions, the Minister will engage during the week in a busy programme of bilateral meetings and side events organised by the European Union, Irish Aid and other influential bodies.  She will join a number of EU counterparts in outlining good practice in addressing violence against women in Ireland, Luxembourg and Belgium on Tuesday 5th March.  She will share with participants the holistic approach contained in Cosc’s Strategy to gender equality in Ireland, pointing out that,

Our [Irish] national strategy [on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence] sets out a vision of a [an Irish] society that says it will not tolerate, nor remain silent on gender-based violence in our communities.  The implementation of the strategy provides a clear direction to achieve this vision and we are strongly committed to it.'


In a further highlight of the week, the Minister will chair a number of information sessions on activities supported by Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade to address violence against women on a global platform.
Given Ireland’s current Presidency of the European Union, the Minister will play a significantly enhanced role at this year’ CSW. Together with the European External Action Service, she will be representing the collective view of the European Union at the plenary.

Commenting at the start of CSW Minister Lynch said that,

It is both fitting and proper that the UN CSW should prioritise the insidious crime of violence against women and girls which presents a universal challenge. I hope that a positive outcome from this CSW will lead to better protection for vulnerable women and girls and be an important part of the Irish Presidency’s achievements.'


In addition to her many engagements at UN CSW, Minister Lynch is also participating in a number of events associated with the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  One poignant event she attended, for the second year, was the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Rockaway, Queen’s County, which was devastated by hurricane Sandy.  The Minister commented that,

It is simply remarkable that there is a parade at all this year, given the hardship endured by your community in the aftermath of Sandy. If ever there is an example of this city’s ability to overcome adversity, today is it. I have heard first-hand from the Consul General of the horrendous devastation caused here and how the Irish community across New York contributed in a meaningful way through the ‘Irish Days of Action'."