Statement by H.E. Margus Kolga at the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of UN Women
Thank you, Madame Chair,
Please allow me to start by thanking Ms Bachelet for sharing with us her vision for the work of UN Women. We appreciate both the strategic view and core principles laid down as well as the concrete short-term actions identified to ensure that UN Women is able to respond to the increasing demands for support for the promotion of gender equality. We are looking forward to the next steps that are crucial in launching UN Women in its full capacity: the results of the capacity assessment exercise and the strategic plan. We are equally interested in the forthcoming system-wide strategy on gender equality to be prepared with the UN Development Group (UNDG) to support the coherence and accountability of UN activities on gender equality. You can rely on Estonia’s support to making UN Women a fully functional and operational organization.
Our overarching aim is to ensure that UN Women realizes the goals set forth in its establishing resolution. We need to set down the essential elements necessary for its operation. This work has already been started by the General Assembly and the Executive Board, to be taken further at this session of the Board with regard to the UNW support budget and its financial regulation and rules. We are looking forward to these discussions in order to provide the UN Women a solid base for its actions.
Undoubtedly, this period offers challenges as well as opportunities, including the sequencing of the agency’s budgetary and programming processes. We appreciate the documents provided by UN Women for this session and are looking forward to the discussions in the coming months on the detailed strategic plan for 2012-2013 to be presented to the Board in June. It is important the UN Women is able to launch its work, including through the consolidation and expansion of its capacity, while maintaining an efficient and strategic distribution of resources.
We highly appreciate the UN Women’s determination to mobilise political and financial support for gender equality, including by encouraging sustainable and predictable funding to make our pledges a reality. Funding, especially to innovative projects and programmes, can make a difference and is crucial for realising the goals of the establishment of UN Women. Estonia will also increase its financial contribution to UN Women. Cooperation, exchange of expertise and knowledge with the civil society is also essential in this regard.
On the assumption of Estonia’s priorities it is important for us that UN Women continues its activities in the field of women, peace and security, where we are expecting that UN Women has the coordinative role; as well as in achieving the millennium development goals and violence against women. Estonia, on its part, has completed its National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 and its follow-up resolutions. While the primary focus of the Millennium Development Goals is on developing countries, gender disparities still persist in all countries and should not be overlooked. Estonia remains committed to the principle of equality between women and men as a fundamental human right.
Gender equality continues to be one of the priorities of Estonia’s development and human rights related activities. Our contributions through UN programs and funds as well as bilateral development cooperation aim to support gender equality and the empowerment of women. The goals of strengthening the participation and leadership of women, including in the context of peace and security, women’s economic empowerment and eliminating violence against women underscored by UN Women are priorities also shared by Estonia.
The creation of UN Women was of particular importance for us. We will continue to work to ensure that UN Women were able to fulfil its potential, including the objectives set forth at its creation.