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Nordic statement on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, 1404th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. Statement delivered by Ambassador Mårten Ehnberg (Sweden).

Mr. Chair,

This week, we celebrated an important birthday.

Yesterday, on the 11 of May, we celebrated that 10 years have passed since all of us here at the Council of Europe came together and created a new instrument, namely the landmark Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Mr. Chair,

We have spoken a lot in recent weeks about this Convention. Today, we want to celebrate its 10-year anniversary by focusing on the positive and transformative power it carries and celebrate what we have achieved together.

The Convention inspires action and drives change in responding to the different forms of violence against women and domestic violence across our region. It brings hope and a sense of safety to millions of women and girls, it allows victims to speak out and enables professionals to respond appropriately. In short, the Convention saves lives.

Mr. Chair,

The Convention´s documented positive effect on the lives of women, children, families, and entire communities deserves to be reiterated. The implementation of the Convention has improved legislation, practices, support services, training of professionals and raised awareness, among other benefits.

The Council´s Secretariat has done an excellent job highlighting this on its new dedicated website to the anniversary.

Testimonials from across the region speak to the Convention´s powerful impact with civil society stating that since the entry into force of the Convention, their work has received increasing public support; practitioners stating that the Convention has changed the paradigm for the prevention of gender-based violence and the protection of victims; and individuals inspired by the Convention starting collective action, such as the “Conversations on Consent” that aims to revolutionize sexual criminal law by defining consent and coercive circumstances.

These testimonials are powerful evidence of the positive and transformative power the Convention carries.

Mr. Chair,

There is much work left to be done. But the Convention provides a guiding light for our collective action.

Let me conclude by thanking the German chairmanship for yesterday´s conference on the Convention. It was in important milestone to celebrate the Convention and engage in discussion on how we can work together to further advance its critical mission. We hope we will use this inspiration to come together and recommit ourselves to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

I thank you.

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