Friday, September 17, 2010

From Ivanka Corti, Italy

Former Chairperson of CEDAW

Rhonda will remain for ever in my memory!

Unfortunately I didn't find any photo as testimony of our long, sincere and collaborative friendship.
At the beginning of this year Rhonda promised me to come to Rome during the year, happy, as she wrote, to meet us again and to continue our long talks. The destiny didn't permit the realisation of the common desire.

Rhonda, be sure that I will always remember our long collaboration and I conserve all our correspondence. I will always be thankful to your suggestion after Cairo Conference to involve CEDAW on the follow-up of the results of the great achievements this Conference represented for women. We had many meetings about that in my hotel in New York and succeeded, particularly to your efforts and the understanding of Dr. Nafis Sadik, Director of the UNFPA at that time, to realise the first meeting of the Chairpersons of all the Human Rights treaty bodies on "HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACHES to WOMEN'S HEALTH, WITH A FOCUS ON REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL HEALTH AND RIGHTS" in Glen Cove in December 1996. In your presentation, Rhonda, on Sexual and Reproductive Rights as Human Rights, you gave a great contribution to eliminate, with arguments, some "tabus" consolidated by patriarchal culture.

Thank you also for having supported me with your ideas and your juridical background when I had for four years to acomplish the important and greatful task of chairing for the best of the interest of women round the world the CEDAW Committee. Thanks to all of the organisers for this celebration in memory of a great WOMAN Rhonda Copelon was. Thanks again to Rhonda for her generous battles in favour of our human rights!

Ivanka Corti
Former Chairperson of CEDAW