I join others who have expressed their gratitude to Ambassador Jomaa of Tunisia and Ambassador Intelmann of Estonia, for keeping us focussed and guiding us to this final consensus resolution.
By establishing the new gender entity – UN WOMEN – today, we are rectifying an anomaly. At the same time, we are making progress in other important areas within the System-Wide Coherence Process.
The challenge for the UN, as for all international organizations, is to adapt to the speed and the depth of change in the world we are here to serve. After 4 years of negotiations we finally agreed on a package of reform. It represents a milestone for the UN.
It is hopefully a historic day for us, and in particular for the female half of the world’s population, whose prospects and possibilities in life are inferior to those of boys and men, in all countries.
The voluntary presentations of national policies regarding gender equality and empowerment of women in ECOSOC this week have revealed that while progress is underway in most countries, women are still disadvantaged.
We are now entering a period of transition. The new entity must be given the teeth and resources needed to allow it to serve countries’ needs and expectations. Leadership will be essential in this regard.
In our view the selection of the Undersecretary-General to head the new entity is extremely important. We trust that the Secretary-General will be guided by Article 101 of the charter and that we, the Member States, assist him in finding the strong and competent leader which we need.
During the transition period, it will be particularly important to ensure that all activities currently carried out by UNIFEM can continue and that the dissolution of UNIFEM as a separate entity does not translate into any disruption in the field or at Headquarters.
Norway is among the countries which have supported the gender structures of the UN both politically and financially in the past, and we will be following the appointment of the new leadership and the transition process and assess how we can and will contribute.
Regarding other areas of the System-wide coherence process, like the EU, we welcome the progress made so far on funding and governance of operational activities for development. The final purpose of the reform should be to strengthen the UN capacity to deliver better assistance for poor and vulnerable people, according to their needs and priorities.
In particular, like the EU, we warmly welcome the support that the General Assembly gives to the initiative of some countries to use common country programmes on a voluntary basis, thus responding to the needs and demands emerging at the country level.
We believe that during this process, we have developed an improved understanding on the implications of various forms of funding. We need to continue to build on that and to improve the funding architecture of the UN’s operational activities for development to make it more effective, transparent and accessible, and more in line with the national priorities of developing countries. While we explore new ideas and concepts, we need to reiterate that it is increased coherence, efficiency, transparency and accountability in the management and delivery of UN development cooperation what will in the end translate into increased quantity and quality of funding flows.