UN Women Executive Board

Last updated: 1/21/2014 // This statement was held by Ambassador Mr. Geir O. Pedersen on behalf of the Nordic countries in the UN Women Executive Board.

Mr. President,

I am honored to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Norway.

Firstly, we would like to thank the Executive Director for her statement. UN Women is on the right track. As Board members and donors, we feel that we have come a long way together. This is the time for consolidating. Madam Executive Director, we look forward to hearing your leadership vision for UN Women for the next few years.

UN Women has been delivering on its mandate. We particularly want to highlight UN Women’s initiative and support to the Security Council in developing the normative framework on women, peace and security over the years. UN Women has demonstrated its global leadership in this arena.

UN Women has an important normative mandate within peace and security and humanitarian response and we encourage you to continue the comprehensive implementation of it.

We would like to commend UN Women´s Evaluation Office on a comprehensive report on women, peace and security – and humanitarian response. The report is testimony that UN Women has taken on board the challenges of moving from a normative mandate to operational capacity at country level.

One such example is UN Women’s work in promoting and supporting Syrian women’s participation in the Geneva II meeting which takes place next week.

We fully support the conclusions and recommendations presented in the report.

The evaluation report highlights the catalytic role of UN Women for transformative change in conflict and post-conflict societies. We welcome the detailed plans by UN Women, as outlined in the management response, to strengthen the ability of country offices to work with other UN partners, member states and civil society.

The performance of and delivery by country offices still require further attention and improvement. We will continue to take a particular interest in UN Women’s implementation of its mandate at country level, and to emphasize the need for country and regional offices to be politically relevant, transparent and coordinated with UN Women headquarters. Effectiveness of UN Women’s country operations is essential to a successful promotion of its mandate.

As a follow-up to the report, we would like to see in a few years’ time another evaluation report focusing on the performance of all UN Women country offices working in fragile states and conflict- or post-conflict societies.

We agree with the report’s recommendation that UN Women needs to invest in human resources and organizational capacities in order to carry out the effective leading role the UN Women has in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. At the same time, we know that the will to make long term investments is determined by financial predictability.

Many country offices rely heavily on short-term project financing. A greater degree of core funding, as opposed to project funding, would enhance the ability of UN Women at all levels to deliver on long term strategic priorities, capacity-building and reporting. We therefore urge all members to consider the need for more core funding in their contributions to UN Women.

Finally, the Nordic countries strongly believe that women’s participation and influence is a precondition for sustainable peace and development. In spite of many international commitments, the number of women and gender experts involved in formal peacemaking processes has remained low, and few peace agreements directly address gender issues.

We urge UN Women to look for ways to support the inclusion of women in peace processes from the very beginning and encourage UN Women to find ways to support international lead mediators and Special Representatives and Special Envoys of the Secretary-General to include women and gender dimension in their teams, and encourage conflict parties to do likewise. However, promoting the women, peace and security agenda is not only the responsibility of UN Women. We will continue to hold not only UN Women accountable, but also the other UN agencies that are responsible for implementing this agenda on the ground. 

Thank you.

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