Women Empowerment

Speech: Towards a future of gender equality


Your engagement, distinguished delegates, in shaping this joint direction speaks to the profound value of the multilateral process and our ability to chart a unified path for the future of UN Women. I leave today’s meeting with renewed energy for the months and years to come.

In this regard, I also thank delegations for their broad and insightful remarks over the past two days.

Among the long-standing supporters of UN Women within this Council, and in your ranks as delegates, allow me to salute, in particular, Mr. Markus Reisle, who returns to Bern as Chief of Staff of the Switzerland for development cooperation. We deeply appreciate your competent support during the negotiations and wish you well in your new role.

Excellencies, during this session, we presented the results of the period 2018-2021 and considered the priority areas of the new Strategic Plan. I really appreciated your advice and your comments on this subject.

I would like to reiterate my remarks on our institutional strengthening efforts to improve the transparency, accountability and fiduciary strength of the organization. I also want to say that we heard valuable feedback from our Independent Audit and Evaluation Department and our Audit Advisory Committee. Let me assure you of my personal commitment that we will act as promised.

In my opening statement, I set out to create a dedicated ethics function within UN Women. Thank you for your positive response. This confirms to me that this is the right decision. I will take steps to build our capacity in this area. I will ensure the highest standards of conduct within our organisation, including the protection of whistleblowers, and report regularly to the Board on this from 2023. The formal decision of the Board about this is also welcome.

I share the Council’s view of your crucial oversight role. We will consider carefully with you how to make this role more effective, in addition to other aspects of internal controls over the effectiveness and efficiency of our organization, such as robust anti-fraud mechanisms and audit functions and enhanced assessment.

You have placed your trust in us and we are committed to continuing to earn it. I appreciate your positive comments regarding our success in mobilizing non-core resources, increasing our regular resources and maintaining a 30% ratio of core to non-core resources. basic resources. We will continue to diversify and expand our donor base, strengthening our strategic partnerships with international financial institutions and working around innovative financing such as gender bonds. We will also continue the success of multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment, such as Generation Equality, noting at the same time our shared respect for national ownership to ensure gender sensitivity. local contexts.

Excellencies, it is this close relationship between national goals and program implementation that we have seen in the results of the Strategic Plan 2018-2021. Your recognition of the work that has been done to put in place gender-responsive laws, policies and strategies at the country level is particularly important in the context of recovery, amid the current political and economic turmoil.

However, as noted, we are still too far from achieving our shared sustainable development goals.

I’m glad the COVID-19 Policy Tracker has been helpful in highlighting gaps and identifying priorities. Among these gaps, social protection and care work are important for reviving women’s participation in the labor force, including in the digital sector.

We are grateful for your recognition of the important role played by UN Women, including through the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and Girls, in responding to the escalation of violence in towards women and girls. I noted the emphasis, in particular, on virtual spaces and in crisis situations such as in Afghanistan and Ukraine. We share the deep concern you have expressed about reaching the most vulnerable populations in these contexts, including those at the “crossroads” of multiple forms of discrimination.

Distinguished delegates, as we contemplate the implementation of the new Strategic Plan in an increasingly challenging global context, we will continue to focus on the core areas of our work. This includes ensuring that women participate meaningfully in peace and security as well as humanitarian and climate action. As some of you have noted, our coordination role within the United Nations system is essential in this regard, to amplify the work of supporting women and girls and advancing towards the achievement of SDG 5 and of the 2030 Agenda more broadly. I have taken careful note of the many calls for stronger engagement in areas such as climate change, education and the use of digital technology, both in terms of emerging opportunities and threats.

We appreciated the recognition of UN Women as “a catalyst for systematic change within the United Nations system”. We take very seriously our role in driving United Nations reforms, ensuring gender mainstreaming and accountability for gender equality and the empowerment of women across the United Nations system and assure you all of our continued commitment to do so.

I thank the Council for its continued support for the work and mandate of UN Women.

I would also like to thank the Executive Board Secretary, Jean-Luc Bories, and the entire Executive Board Secretariat team. Once again, they ensured that the Board’s work was seamless and well coordinated, which led to the successful outcome of this session, including the four decisions.

I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude to my deputies, Åsa and Anita, and all my team who worked hard for the positive decisions we saw today.

Distinguished delegates, in conclusion, this has been my first annual session. I found it informative but, more importantly, inspiring, and also very satisfying in terms of the clarity with which we addressed key issues with a common focus on action. And we will act.

I will continue to count on all of you to support us. I ask those who can to maintain or even increase financial support. I ask you all to be champions for gender equality, alongside us, in the UN, in all multilateral spaces and in your own countries. And I look forward to our continued work together.

I thank you.

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