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Statement by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations at United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women first regular session of 2014


Mr President, Ms Executive Director, distinguished delegates,


I would like to thank Ms. Madame Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director for her opening statement. I would also like to thank UN Women for introducing the thematic evaluation on the contribution of UN Women to increasing women’s leadership and participation in peace and security and humanitarian response.


Let me start with some comments on the evaluation report and the Management Response of UN Women. We would like to commend UN Women for the invaluable and successful work in both, shaping global policy and norms that advance women’s leadership and participation in peace and security and in increasing women’s leadership and participation in various areas of peace and security on the ground. The evaluation report provides a comprehensive and useful analysis of UN Women`s activities in the respective field and we hope that UN Women will be able to make full use of the recommendations outlined in the report during the period of the Strategic Plan for 2014-2017.


UN Women is already in a strategic position to influence global policy and debates in this field. In the future, more focus should be put on building country-level capacity and strategic planning within UN Women’s country and regional offices, whereas recruiting Regional Peace and Security Advisers will certainly have a positive effect in this regard. In addition, we support, as we have expressed before, the principle of Delivering as One and increasing further joint programming and collaboration with other United Nations entities on peace and security and humanitarian response.


We find it important for the UN Women activities, to take a more proactive role in the field and would in this regard especially stress the role of education, which was regrettably not touched upon in the thematic evaluation report. Enhancing education, for both the girls and women as well as for boys and men means also contributing to better knowledge in health care, sexual education, increase of decent job capabilities, and that all together enhances the more inclusive, prosperous and equal societies.


As to the NAP-s, the indicator of raising the number of National Action Plans or other relevant planning instruments in the UN Women Strategic Plan is highly relevant and we would be ready to cooperate in this regard with other states. In the same time we need to bear in mind, as Ms Anne Marie Goetz has recently emphasized, that development of NAP-s should not so much focus on the process itself but more on the substance of these plans.


Mr President,

Estonia would like to stress the importance of an increased application of the modern ICT solutions in the activities of UN Women, including in the field of women, peace and security and we commend in this regard the development of the web-based knowledge hub for the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Women, Peace and Security. We should make greater use of technology for development and for the empowerment of women. Let me mention that Estonia plans to emphasize this topic also in the frames of the upcoming CSW session.


There are major steps taken in the field of women, peace and security in recent times including the two Security Council resolutions adopted last year, the general recommendation of CEDAW and further important activities are being planned, as for example the global review of the NAP-s. We trust that UN Women will have an invaluable role in these developments.


The 15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 will be an important milestone for advancing the field. In fact, for Estonia, already the year 2014 will be an important one, as the period of current NAP will end and an updated NAP will be elaborated after carrying out an in depth analysis. In addition, every year, Estonia presents a report of implementing the NAP to approval by the Government of the Republic of Estonia.


On the other note, we all read form the evaluation report that financial resources for peace and security are insufficient to meet the expectations generated with the creation of UN Women, particularly at country level. We know that UN Women has been underfunded through all the years of its activities and would like to assure in this regard the continuation of Estonia`s financial contribution to UN Women`s activities. As in previous years, we also plan to increase our financial contribution.


As to other topical issues, we would like to commend UN Women`s  initiatives in evaluation the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls and wish UN Women success for the coordination of the next session of Commission on the Status of Women, on this topic, in which Estonia plans to participate actively. We also would like to highlight that we strongly share UN Women`s call for a stand-alone gender equality goal together with full integration of gender equality in all other goals in the post-2015 development agenda. As to the WPS agenda, we also think that ending sexual violence as a weapon of war should be touched upon in the SDG-s framework.


Let me end by wishing you success also with third important issue on UN Women`s agenda currently, namely the evaluation of Beijing +20 and assure our full cooperation in this regard.


Thank you!


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