Joint statement on gender in UNDP at the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board
Members of the Executive Board,
I am pleased to be delivering this statement on behalf of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States, as well as my own country, Israel.
First, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome UNDP's important efforts in mainstreaming gender equality throughout its various projects and programs.
The importance of promoting gender equality in the context of development was recently highlighted at the 4th High Level Forum on aid effectiveness in Busan. The Busan Outcome Document emphasizes the need to accelerate efforts to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women.
We welcome the administrator's Oral Report of the UNDP gender equality strategy and action plan.
We congratulate UNDP for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives as outlined in the development results of its gender equality strategy. We are pleased to see that UNDP has also delivered on the institutional results by deepening measures such as the gender steering and implementation committee and the gender marker. We would like to commend the leadership and commitment of UNDP management towards greater accountability for gender equality at the corporate and country levels and urge them to continue along the same path.
We encourage UNDP to further strengthen the commitment to and prioritization of gender equality within the organization at all levels and would like to underscore the importance of continued top management commitment at headquarters, regional and country level in this regard.
We would appreciate more clarifications on the status of the Mid Term Review document completed in 2011, and the implementation of its recommendations.
We would also like to get an update on progress towards gender parity within UNDP and the challenges with achieving parity. We notice that women are still underrepresented in positions at P4 level and above and would appreciate more clarification on the reasons for this and how UNDP plans to approach this.
We urge UNDP to explore the possibilities of strengthening gender equality in the organization when making all decisions related to personnel.
As the overview showed, the percentage of projects making a significant contribution to gender equality has reduced. We are convinced that progress is better achieved and measured when results and targets are properly planned for. In that regard, we strongly encourage UNDP to ensure a systematic integration of gender equality in all country program documents coming before the Board. As the overview showed, the percentage of projects with a significant contribution to gender diminished, which underscores the importance of maintaining good attention for gender in programming.
While the report highlights very important achievements, we would have appreciated the opportunity to receive a background document sufficiently in advance of the Board session to allow for proper review and analysis for a meaningful discussion. We request UNDP to provide the Board with such a background document for the first regular session 2013.
We would like to request UNDP to better elaborate, in future reports, on a few issues which are of great importance in our view:
The first is women's participation in politics, in peace negotiations, peace building and reconstruction. Women's political participation is fundamental to democracy and sustainable development, and peace. Women’s participation, on an equal basis with men is essential in all contexts, during times of peace, conflict, post-conflict and especially during political transitions, which are prevalent today in certain regions of the world. UNDP has an important role to support efforts across the UN system in this regard.
Secondly, we are pleased to see that the report discusses economic empowerment of women in the broader context of enabling environment where women are economically empowered. We would be interested to hear more about current and future plans for integrating gender perspectives in UNDP's contribution to the global efforts towards sustainable development, especially in the context of Rio +20.
We hope these issues will be central pillars in future reports, including in a future gender equality strategy, which should inform the next UNDP strategic plan.
Finally, a strong partnership between UNDP and UN Women is vital to contribute to achieving real results. UN Women provides an essential and powerful global voice for women’s empowerment and gender issues while UNDP has an extensive global presence. We welcome the fact that UNDP is seeking to increase cooperation with UN Women. We encourage UNDP to enhance dialogue with UN Women on their operational activities, their thematic relationship as well as on country level gender capacities and coordination. This is very important in our view, in order to enhance gender equality and empowerment of women in an efficient way on the basis of synergy and complementarity.