Statement by the Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United nations, Mr. Margus Kolga, at the Annual Session of UN Women Executive Board
Please allow me to start by thanking Ms. Bachelet and her team for the efforts and broad based consultations that led to the formulation of the UN Women strategic plan for the period 2011-2013. We welcome the outcome of this work and look forward to the UN Women achieving its full capacity in the coming years. It is our belief that the implementation of the plan should help close the gaps between our global normative and policy commitments and women’s daily realities.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continue to be one of the priorities of Estonia’s development and human rights related activities. In the next years, building our strong support for the establishment of UN Women, we will continue to work for strengthening UN action on gender equality as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board.
Estonia welcomes the main goals outlined in the development results framework of the strategic plan. We particularly value the focus on preventing violence against women and girls and increasing women’s leadership in peace and security and humanitarian response, including the implementation of UNSCR 1960(2010). In both of these areas it is important to build on the existing intra-agency coordination, commitments and action plans. Estonia looks forward to cooperating with UN Women in the implementation of these priorities.
It has been repeatedly reaffirmed that the establishment of UN Women does not relieve the rest of the UN system from the responsibility of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. On the contrary, we expect these efforts to be strengthened and systematised. We therefore welcome the UN Women’s commitment to greater coherence and accountability within the UN system and all efforts to ensure gender mainstreaming at the global level, including through Chief Executives’ Board; at the regional level through regional coordination mechanisms, and at the country level through resident coordinators and the UN country teams.
In this regard I am glad to note, for example, that UNDP has taken a leading role in integrating gender equality into the global dialogue on climate change and other environmental issues. Estonia commends all efforts by UN agencies to strive towards an efficient division of labour following the establishment of UN Women.
We also strongly welcome the plan’s emphasis on ensuring systematic consultations with the civil society, including through the initiative of establishing a civil society advisory group at the global level and, where required, at national and regional levels. Cooperation, exchange of expertise and knowledge with the civil society is essential. We value UN Women’s cooperation with a broad range of civil society groups, including, among others, indigenous women and girls, and hope that their expertise and needs will be taken into account in the implementation of the plan.
Our overarching aim is to ensure that UN Women realizes the goals set forth in its founding resolution. We need stronger data collection, monitoring and evaluation but also concrete actions for the advancement of the situation of women. The creation of UN Women was of particular importance to us and you can rely on Estonia’s support to making UN Women fully operational and launching its activities in line with the strategic plan .
Thank you, Madame President.