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Nauru: Lawmakers Agree to CEDAW Ratification

(Dec. 8, 2009) On November 30 and December 1, 2009, Nauru’s parliamentarians met to discuss the advantages and challenges of ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). (Press Release, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Nauru MPs Commit to Ratifying CEDAW (Dec. 7, 2009), available at; treaty text is available on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights website, (last visited Dec. 7, 2009).)

The Nauru government had previously identified ratification as being an element of the Women and Development priority area in the country’s National Strategic Development Plan. Nauru’s President, Marcus Stephen, told lawmakers at the meeting that CEDAW “enables the full and complete development of a country through the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields.” (Press Release, supra.)

By the end of the session, the lawmakers had re-affirmed the government’s commitment to ratifying CEDAW within a set timeframe. The lawmakers also recognized the challenges posed by ratification, particularly the lack of resources and technical capacity to meet implementation and reporting obligations. (Id.)

CEDAW was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 1979. The other countries that have not yet formally ratified CEDAW are Palau, Tonga, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and the United States. (See generallyU.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women website, (last visited Dec. 7, 2009).)