ISSER's Inc. - PRESIDENT

 

 

MARIA ARIAS-ZEBALLOS

President and Founding Member, “International Sustainable Social-Economic Responses, Inc. ” (ISSER), a Not for profit, ( 501) (C) (3), Non Governmental Organization, associated to the United Nations, Headquarters, (through the Department of Public Information), 1996 to present.

Extensive and proven ability in advocacy work and international negotiations with governmental and non governmental organizations at the United Nations. Representing Non Governmental Organizations at the United Nations (UN), served as: Advisor, Advocate, and Contributor to policy formulation regarding the issues of: Women, Human Rights, Trade, Health and the Environment at the international level. 1992- 2007.  

Working with governments and civil society, Led the effort at the United Nations to introduce, among other issues, the relevance of organic agriculture and the marketing and trade of organic products resulting in Paragraphs 253 D and # 257 C of the Platform of Action and UN Fourth World Women Conference in China, 2005 and Paragraph 99 B of the UN Johannesburg Summit, 2002. 

 •       As the Chair of the UN Task Force of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Drafted and facilitated the drafting of numerous NGO consensus statements assisting hundreds of NGO representatives attending UN conferences to achieve consensus on substantive issues.
 
        •       Organized and moderated various panel discussions at the UN, during the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). 
        •       Invited by UN agencies and divisions, including WHO, the UN Division on the Advancement of Women to participate in brainstorming meetings, and as a speaker, with experts and ambassadors, regarding issues of Women, health and Sustainable Development.

ACHIEVEMENTS (Summary)

Background: The United Nations Committee on CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). CEDAW is an international, legally binding treaty for countries -signatories to the Convention (over 180 countries). Considered the most authoritative international Committee in the field of women’s human rights, the CEDAW Committee, formed by 23 international gender experts, monitors State parties’ implementation of CEDAW.

2005-2004 Maria Arias-Zeballos advised experts of the UN CEDAW Committee by contributing experience and results of independent research. Her contributions successfully influenced the introduction of relevant issues in the Committee's outcomes during its 31st and 32nd sessions; August 2004; January 2005.

Some of Ms Arias-Zeballos's contributions to the CEDAW Committee include:

Bangladesh: The government's responsibility to compensate rural women, victims of "arsenicosis." This entitlement, considered a breakthrough in the field of compensations, represents an invaluable contribution to Bangladeshi people, and to social justice.  “Concluding Comments” arsenic in water in Bangladesh, compensation to women victims." August 2004.

Lao People's Democratic Republic:  The government of LAO's responsibility to assist rural women who depend on opium production with alternative means of livelihood.
“LAO/Concluding Comments, Paragraphs: 21; 22 i.e.: providing support to rural women who depend on opium production with alternative and sustainable means of livelihood. January 2005.

"An Overview of the Issues of Rural Women” Invited by CEDAW experts to deliver a workshop at the UN, January 2005.  Provided the results of independent research and a socio-economic and environmental analysis of the role of rural women in the 8 countries being reviewed by CEDAW: Lao PDR, Samoa, Algeria, Croatia, Gabon, Italy, Paraguay, and Turkey.  The information proved useful in enhancing the expert's understanding of the interrelationship between articles of CEDAW, the Millennium Development goals and sustainable development. Some of the experts’ subsequent questions to the above State parties reflected the issues rose during the workshop.  

 Singapore: Contributed with raising awareness at the international level and within CEDAW Committee members about abusive workers in Singapore who restrict the freedom and basic rights of foreign domestic workers. On 2007, CEDAW recognized the pressing situation of foreign domestic workers and called upon the government of Singapore so that, inter alia: "foreign domestic workers be entitled to adequate wages, decent working conditions, including a day off, benefits, including medical insurance, and access to complaint and redress mechanisms. The Committee requests that the State party raise the awareness of employers of foreign domestic workers concerning the purpose of the security bond so that they would not limit foreign domestic workers’ freedom of movement under any circumstances. " See Paragraphs # 23 and # 24 of CEDAW. ( CEDAW/C/SGP/CO/3 ).

The above recommendations were repeated by the CEDAW Committee to SIngapore, 4 years later, in 2011. See  Paragraphs # 31, and # 32 of /C/SGP/CO/4/Rev.1