Statement by H. E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations at the 8th Session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
Interactive exchange of views on
“Promoting equality, including social equity, gender
equality and women’s empowerment”
Distinguished co - Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset I would like to congratulate the members
of this working group and especially the co-chairs on the intensive and hard
work you have endured until now. We have observed your work with great interest
and look forward to the final outcome of the discussions.
I associate myself with the statement by the European
Union and wish to add and emphasize few aspects, more precisely on the topics
of gender equality and women’s
We are all familiar with the major agreements and
frameworks on women`s rights and gender equality such as for example CEDAW and
Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action. We recently affirmed our
commitment to these documents also in the frames of Rio +20.
Despite a vast global normative framework and a number
of legally binding commitments the gender inequalities and - discrimination
persist. The next generation of development goals will not be complete if these
great concerns are not addressed.
Therefore we add our voice to the call by UN-Women and other stakeholders, who are calling for a stand-alone goal on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s
empowerment and for the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all other goals
and targets. Among the areas that the stand-alone goal needs to address we
would like to stress in particular the following:
against women and girls must stop. In the light of the debates to be held
here on Thursday afternoon and on Friday I’ll add, that the post-2015
development agenda should address also the need to end sexual violence as
method of war.
and girls must have equal access to resources and opportunities. In this
context Estonia would
like to stress the need to improve the access and quality of education for
girls and women on all levels, increase efforts to promote decent work as well
as control over land and productive assets and women’s opportunities to engage
in collective action. We also would like to emphasize access to ICT and the
Internet as a mean and tool for all-inclusive
society that enhances education, empowerment, freedom of expression,
access to good governance etc
One of the shortages of the MDGs was also the fact that
not enough attention was drawn to the important question of sexual and
reproductive health and rights. SDGs should correct this mistake.
Ladies and gentleman,
As the call for including above mentioned issues in
the new development agenda is so strong and vast we are sure it will be
reflected also in the final outcome of the work of the open working group. Investing
in women and girls is a smart thing to do and one of the most secure ways how
to ensure the sustainable development of different societies.
Last but not the least I must underline, that as with
all other new sustainable development goals, also in the context of equality special
attention must be paid on the governance
issues. The gap between the plans, objectives and policies on the paper and
the real life implementation should be prevented. The SDGs must be accompanied
with means to support transparent, accountable, measurable and effective
governance. We need grass-root level awareness raising and educational
activities, for girls and boys, women and men, so that civil society would be
able and empowered to hold the governments answerable and contribute also from
their side to the struggle to achieve the sustainable development, which is
human-centered and leaves no one behind.