I deliver this statement on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Sweeden, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea and Norway.
Let me thank Winnie Byamyina for the report on the implementation of the gender equality strategy.
Gender equality is a basic human right. It is not only a goal in itself. Gender equality is a means to achieving equitable growth, because:
- women lift families out of poverty;
- and women invest in their children, and hence in our future.
We have agreed on the importance of mainstreaming gender equality in development work in the TCPR and in the Strategic Plan. The Doha Declaration on Financing for Development further underscored the UN Member States’ commitment to gender equality.
The key to achieving results is mainstreaming. UNDP must integrate gender perspectives in all four focus areas. If not, it will not fulfill its mandate. Because:
- How do you recover from conflict without addressing the particular vulnerabilities of women?
- How do you create sustainable development unless women take ownership?
- How do you create democratic governance without the voice of women?
- And how do you reduce poverty unless women are empowered and contribute on equal terms in the creation and distribution of wealth?
We commend the UNDP for the progress it has made in mainstreaming gender equality. This progress has allowed the UNDP to maintain its credibility as a leading global development actor. It is essential that UNDP, given its key role, continues to strengthen the integration of gender perspectives throughout the organization and the UN development system.
Our focus remains on the results on the ground. Steps to enhance institutional accountability on gender issues must support results in the field. There should be clear indicators for success. Results must be tracked and linked to the Millenium Development Goals. In UNDP’s reporting we need to see the impact of UNDP’s work for gender equality and women’s empowerment at the country level.
We are hopeful that the gender equality strategy will bring results on the ground, given its clear programmatic goals in all four focus areas and enhanced internal accountability. Attitudes of UNDP management and staff will play a critical role in succesfully implementing the strategy. It is therefore essential that management and staff themselves believe in the value of gender equality.
Mr.President, we would like to raise some more specific issues that will help us understand how UNDP will deliver the desired results to the benefit of women in programme countries. First of all, to what extent does the UNDP track resources to women and gender equality. Secondly, we are interested in hearing about progress on cooperation with governments on gender budgeting. Thirdly, we would like to ask if UNDP has sufficient resources and expertise dedicated to gender issues in all four focus areas, and what the key challenges are in adapting to diverse country contexts as UNDP mainstreams gender perspectives. And fourthly, we will keep an eye on how internal accountability in gender issues evolves, in other words:
- To what extent is there continuity among the gender focal points;
- To what extent are the senior management compacts effective tools;
- To what extent does the gender steering and implementation committee have the internal power to ensure the mainstreaming of gender perspectives.
We are pleased to hear that there is goodwill througout the organisation toward attaining gender equality results. We would like to ensure that gender equality is well-resourced and integrated in all programming.
Finally, we express our appreciation for the high-quality work of the Gender Team and its Director Winnie Byamyina and their service for women across the world.
Thank you, Mr.President.