President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday sought Parliament's approval to ratify the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), join the Asia and Pacific Commission on Agriculture Statistics (APCAS) and lift reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The decision was made at a cabinet meeting held at the President's Office, following deliberations on papers presented by the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.
According to the President's Office, the revised RKC will become a blueprint for modern and efficient customs procedures to promote trade facilitation and adequate controls through its legal provisions that detail the application of simple and efficient procedures.
APCAS, a statutory body of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), brings together senior officials from FAO member countries responsible for the development of agricultural statistics in their respective countries. They review recent developments in agricultural statistical systems and exchange ideas with experts from FAO and other organizations on the state of food and agricultural statistics in the region.
Further, President Solih decided to lift certain restrictions on the CEDAW, an international legal instrument meant to eliminate discrimination against women in all areas and promote women’s equal rights. Restrictions lifted include sections (b), (e), (g), and (h) of Clause 1 and Clause 2 of Article 16.
CEDAW Article 16, Clause 1 lists provisions to eliminate discrimination against women in matters relating to marriage and family relations and ensure equality of men and women. Restrictions lifted inlcude:
(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;
(e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;
(g) The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a profession, and an occupation;
(h) The same rights for both spouses regarding the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment, and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable consideration.
Clause 2 of Article 16 states that "the betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect" and that "all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage" and make it mandatory to register all marriages in an official registry.