On 23 September 2010, in New York, No Peace Without Justice, The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children & Euronet-FGM organized a high-level meeting to present the International Campaign to Ban Female Genital Mutilation worldwide at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Participants of the meeting, which was opened by The First Lady of Burkina Faso H.E. Mrs Chantal Compaoré, a long-time campaigner against Female Genital Mutilation and the Inter-African Committee Good-Will ambassador, included, among others, Franco Frattini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate and former European Commissioner, Rachel Mayanja, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Louise Arbour, President of ICG and former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of Unicef.
The event provided an opportunity for prominent human rights defenders, members of Parliaments and civil society activists from countries where Female Genital Mutilation is committed to advocate for the international campaign, in which they are actively involved, aimed at promoting the adoption of a Resolution by the 65th United Nations General Assembly that universally and explicitly bans FGM.
The aim of the meeting was also to launch publicly the Worldwide Ban FGM campaign website (http://www.banfgm.org/) and the appeal calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010.
The United Nations Resolution would be an extremely important instrument to underscore the gravity of Female Genital Mutilation as a human rights violation, specifically the right to physical integrity, that affects the lives of millions of women around the world. The UN Resolution, in addition to being a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation, would reinforce the regional and international conventions that recognize FGM as a violation of human rights, give new impetus to efforts to improve national laws banning FGM where they exist, or to adopt one, where they do not, as well as provide strong and clear support for all activists working to bring an end to the practice.