Statement by H. E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia at the Anual Session of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women
I would like to thank Ms. Madame Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director for her opening
statement and for the presentation of the Report on the progress made in
implementing the Strategic Plan, 2011–2013.
Estonia has always been a great supporter of UN Women
to enhance the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls
globally. In fact, we supported UN Women already before it was established - as
the Estonian ambassador was one of the facilitators of the resolution that
created UN Women.
Therefore we are especially glad to learn from the
report presented today, that UN Women has not only proven that it is a
necessary entity in furthering the enjoyment of all human rights by women and
girls, but that it is also doing exceptionally good work in all its priority
areas. Indeed, we acknowledge the fact that UN Women has in 2013 shown highest
programme delivery since the Entity’s establishment and that in all the
priority areas described in the report, UN Women has shown largest success in
the last year of the strategic plan, in 2013.
As a member of CSW and as a member of the bureau of
CSW this session, we would once again like to thank UN Women for its very good
work in facilitating a successful fifty-seventh session of the Commission on
the Status of Women.
We commend your work in preparing the thorough
guidance documents for assessment of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action, we are happy that Estonia has submitted its report on the implementation
and that we can thereby contribute to the global review to be prepared on the
basis of the reports of all countries. We would also like commend your work in
creating the electronic possibilities for people around the world to associate
themselves with the campaign of Beijing + 20.
As we have heard so many good statements already
today, describing all the areas of UN Women`s work, let me concentrate on some
key topics for us.
Firstly, furthering the normative framework on gender
equality: As much as we always stress the importance of UN Women in translating
the norms into practice and all three aspects of the mandate (normative,
coordination and operational), we have to stress the promotion of the global
normative framework. We all know that norms come into being if they are
supported by so many agents that it becomes „normality“. Gender equality and
the fact that the rights of women and girls are being considered as the
normality thereby depend on all of us and UN Women has a great part to play in
this. Thereby I would especially like to stress the importance of combating
gender stereotypes and enhancing awareness raising campaigns among others for
women and girls themselves - unfortunately the reality is, that many women and
girls don`t even know about their own rights. Let me mention a campaign of
Estonia that you all can watch in Youtube or on a web page http://www.stereotyyp.ee/en/videos. (Check the page form Papersmart).
In this relation we would like to stress the
importance of education: we know that education is not explicitly included in
the strategic plan of UN Women in order to avoid duplication with other
entities and we agree with this approach. However, we know that education is
the most powerful tool to enhance economic independence of women and to further
the empowerment of women and girls. Therefore we would like to further
encourage UN Women`s cooperation with UNICEF and with the Secretary General`s
campaign Education First.
As to the women, peace and security agenda, we are
concerned that in conflict and post-conflict situations, gender dimensions are still
seldom considered. However, we would like to commend UN Women on the work in
cooperation with the Security Council and wish you success with the global
As to the violence against women, I am glad to note
that the Estonian Government that took office in March 2014 has made a
commitment to sign the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against
Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). In fact, we would like to
COMMIT to do it, through the UN Women project COMMIT.
Fourth, IT solutions: we would like to stress the importance of an increased application of the
modern ICT solutions in the activities of UN Women and I can assure you that Estonia
is ready to support your projects in this field.
Fifth, cooperation among UN Women entities: we commend
UN-Women`s recent cooperation with mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and
we would like to stress, as always, the necessity of the implementation of the United
Nations System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
and the leading role of UN Women in this regard in the
As to the SDG-s, discussed now on the daily basis, we
add our voice to the call by UN-Women and other stakeholders, who are
calling for a stand-alone goal on gender equality, rights and empowerment of
women and for the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all other goals and
targets. We would thereby like to stress that sexual and reproductive health
and rights need to be included.
We are glad to know that UN Women has increased its
donor base, however the targets set are not met. Estonia has supported UN Women
financially since its creation and we are committed to support it also in the
future. Actually, I am proud to say that we are gradually increasing our
support year by year and will do it also next year. This time, we would like
to, in addition to the core- contribution- to support a field that is
especially dear to our heart, namely, e-solutions and e-education. In this
regard we would like to applaud the initiative of the Santo Domingo Global Learning
Centre Virtual Campus.
The world would be ideal if we would actually not need
to discuss the issues of gender equality and empowerment of women - if no one
would ever question the equality of men and women – but we do need it and we
will need it for a very long time until we achieve this goal all over the world.
Estonia will assure UN Women our support in this regard.