I have the privilege of speaking on behalf of Denmark, France and Norway.
Let me start by expressing sincere appreciation for the brilliant work done by Michelle Bachelet in starting up and building UN Women.
Denmark, France and Norway have been strong supporters of UN Women from the start. We would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the organization, politically and financially.
This year we would particularly like to commend UN Women’s efforts to promote women’s political participation and leadership. 2013 marks the 100th anniversary for women’s right to vote in Norway. In all our countries, women’s participation in decision making continues to have a tremendous impact on the development of our societies and economies.
Let me congratulate UN Women on the progress report on the Strategic Plan 2011-2013. The report clearly indicates that the implementation rates have improved and there seems to be a good balance between the prioritized thematic areas.
We would like to commend UN Women for reporting on concrete results at country level, and would like to see more of this. It proves how normative work is linked to UN Women’s operational activities – which at the end of the day help to make a difference for women and men on the ground.
UN Women has, indeed, played a very active and constructive role at the normative level and has contributed substantially to the inclusion of the gender equality perspectives in important UN processes. We would particularly like to underscore the conducive role UN Women played in reaching the agreed conclusions at the Commission on the Status of Women in March this year. There is no doubt that the international community needs UN Women. We would like to see UN Women further strengthening its focus on the normative and coordinating role, as this is UN Women’s unique mandate.
Mr. President, let me then turn to some points where we see some room for further improvement.
With regard to results, the progress report states that 23 targets of a total of 29 have been reached, which is quite impressive. We do however note that a number of the outcome indicators are process oriented and related to the development of policies and plans rather than the implementation of them. We would therefore encourage UN Women to make even further efforts to substantiate how activities, outputs and outcomes contribute to the achievement of impact and real changes for men and women in future reporting.
We would also appreciate more information on UN Women’s cooperation with organizations with overlapping mandates, both within as well as outside the UN family, as this will demonstrate the added value of UN Women’s involvement in various areas.
We do note that the choice of indicators reported on in 2011 are not all the same as those reported on in 2012. This makes it difficult to compare development and progress over time. We would therefore encourage UN Women to be consistent and coherent in reporting on the results framework in future.
We would also encourage UN Women to elaborate more in detail on the areas where the organization is not meeting targets and how UN Women addresses these challenges.
UN Women’s resource base has been broadened since 2010. Now 13 donors, against 6 in 2010, provide approximately 80 per cent of the core contributions. However, the global financial crises will likely continue to impact the resource situation of the organization. UN Women will, therefore, have to be even clearer in setting its priorities in the revised Strategic Plan. We also call upon all member states to step up their support. It is up to us, the member states, to enable UN Women to fulfill the mandate we have given the organization.
Further to the Strategic Plan, we commend UN Women’s leadership in the follow up of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (the QCPR) and the roll out of the SWAP.
We welcome the revised plan’s rights based approach. We would like to see more concrete information on how UN Women intends to work for girls and women who face discrimination on multiple grounds, such as disabilities, ethnicity and or sexual orientation. Promoting girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights is equally important. Also, we would like to see increased commitment to involve boys and men and youth for gender equality.
The revised strategic plan underlines UN Women’s unique role and mandate in the UN family. Your success is key to achieve sustainable peace and development and human rights for all.