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Statement by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the UN-Women First Regular session of 2012

24.01.2012

Mr. President,

It is my pleasure to take the floor and commend Ms. Bachelet and her team for the developments they have achieved throughout the past year making UN-Women functional and operational organization. We recognize the need and therefore welcome the decision to increase the number of staff at the headquarters and to strengthen the country presence to meet the demands and needs of Member States and United Nations system. Let me highlight again, that Estonia considers the creation of UN-Women as a very important step towards strengthening UN operational activities on gender equality and the empowerment of women and we support all the efforts which lead to the strengthening of the UN-Women. In this regard we urge UN-Women to cooperate with other UN Funds and Programmes, such as UNFPA, UNDP etc.

Mr. President,

Funding is one of the core elements to enhance the credibility and capability of UN-Women and we regret that this important organization remains still underfunded. However, we welcome that the expected growth of all contributions is expected to double for the biennium 2012-2013. Estonia has on its part contributed core funding to UN-Women since its establishment, and will continue to support its activities by voluntary contributions also in the future. We hope that our contributions help to strengthen the UN-Women capacities to better engage in activities on gender equality and promote the empowerment of women all around the world.

Estonia welcomes the development of capacity development framework as a core strategy to support the achievement of gender equality and to guide the work in supporting national partners to include gender equality commitments in laws and policies and implement those commitments at national, regional and global levels.

We strongly support activities which aim to improve women’s access to justice. In this connection it is highly important to improve gender sensitivity of court policies and procedures, as well as increase awareness of applicable laws and human rights instruments among judges, decision makers and other legal actors.

UN-Women has been successful in mainstreaming gender equality. This is proven by the fact that gender equality has been recently mainstreamed into 27 various strategies on national level, for example such as national AIDS strategies and post-conflict reconstruction strategies.

Mr. President,

We very highly appreciate the work done by UN-Women in striving towards ending the violence against women and girls in 2010 and 2011 with different initiatives and projects in so many countries all around the world. We also welcome the fact that the beneficiaries of these initiatives were not only women and girls, but also men and boys. We should also not forget indigenous women and mainstream indigenous issues into UN-Women strategies.

Estonia is very pleased that UN-Women addresses in its work security and relief to development related aspects. We consider important that women themselves are involved in conflict prevention, peacekeeping operations and peace building as this is the only way to reach the whole population. The leadership of Ms. Bachelet in this role is of crucial importance to the implementation of resolution 1325. We also expect that UN-Women will play an active role in helping to turn the principles of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” from paper to reality. In October 2010, Estonia adopted its First National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325, which determines our priorities and activities for the future.

Mr. President,

Undoubtedly, the year 2011 offered challenges as well as opportunities. We highly appreciate the UN-Women’s determination to mobilise political and financial support for gender equality. Gender equality continues to be one of the priorities of Estonia’s development and human rights related activities and we will continue to work to ensure that UN-Women would be able to fulfil its potential, including the objectives set forth at its creation.

Thank you.

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