Press release: The withdrawal of the reservations to CEDAW by Morocco

The royal letter to the Moroccan Consultative Council of human rights (CCDH) on December 10th, 2008 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, announced the withdrawal of the reservations expressed to CEDAW at its ratification by Morocco in 1993.

On this occasion, the ADFM welcomes the Royal statement that carries a political and universal message worthy of the commemorated event and would like to call to mind the practice of Morocco in relation to CEDAW on the eve of the 30th anniversary of its enactment:

– Morocco has waited 14 years before ratifying the Convention in 1993, on the fringes of the Vienna international conference.
– In addition to the delay in ratification, the extent and nature of reservations on the most important articles of CEDAW (Articles 2-9-15-16) emptied the ratification of its purpose and its essence.
– Morocco had then waited nearly 8 years before publishing the text of the Convention in the Official Bulletin (2001) which is an essential condition for its entry into force and its admissibility in the national legal standard.
– Then waited another 4 years before starting thinking about the lifting of reservations (2005), on the eve of the preparations for its candidacy to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
– Thereafter, Morocco has declared its intention to lift some partial reservations and replace others by some explanatory statements and also to join the Additional Protocol of CEDAW.
– Finally, during the current year, Morocco has reaffirmed its intention to lift its reservations to the CEDAW and to join the additional protocol, in two UN international review sessions: the Moroccan report on the implementation of the Convention to the CEDAW Committee (January 2008) and during the process of the universal periodic review (UPR, April 2008).

However, to date, the Secretary General of the United Nations has not yet received any official document to that effect.

In the days ahead, the government will certainly look into the consideration of modalities for the lifting of reservations after the long journey that the women’s movement has supported for nearly two decades (conferences, inquiries, open letters, sit – in, setting up the “Equality without reservation” campaign and so on….)

We hope that the Royal letter will urge the Government to put a happy ending to its tumultuous and ambiguous relationship with the reservations and to inform the United Nations SG of the decision of Morocco to withdraw all reservations on CEDAW – without exception – and to ratify its Additional Protocol.

Democratic Association of Moroccan Women (ADFM)
15 – 12 – 2008

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