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Statement by H.E. Mr. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations at the UN-Women Executive Board Second regular session


Mr President, Mr Executive Director, distinguished delegates,


Let me start by congratulating Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka on her appointment as Executive Director of UN Woman and thank her for her inspiring statement earlier today.

Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls continue to be one of the priorities of Estonia’s human rights related activities. We have been, and continue to be a strong supporter of UN-women and the significant work done to empower women around the world.

During the next three days we have an important task in front of us in endorsing the 2 key documents of UN-Women`s activities: the Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 and the Integrated budget for the UN-Women for the biennium 2014-2015.

The programmatic priorities of UN Women are well chosen and relevant. We fully agree that results in each area are essential to achieving results in others -starting from the assumption that if women lead and participate in decision-making at all levels, they will have more possibilities to influence the policies in other areas outlined. We also applaud as many other delegations before, the strengthened development and management results frameworks with improved indicators and baselines. Also the risks described in the framework will certainly prove to be utmost useful in order to strive for avoiding them.

Let me stress two of the programmatic priorities: combating violence against women and girls, including the recently strengthened point on sexual and reproductive health services for survivors and advancing women`s participation in peace processes.

It is a terrifying fact that 35 per cent of women are experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. We are certain that UN-Women has the capability of making a change, this was among others proven by the successful coordinating role of UN Women during the last session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

We thank for the thematic Evaluation on the Contribution of UN-Women to Prevent Violence against Women that is being presented later during this session. We are glad to see that many of the recommendations and challenges outlined in the evaluation report are already in one or other way addressed by the strategic plan and the specific indicators defined in the Development Results Framework. We would especially like to commend the steps taken in providing guidance at the regional and country level on how to translate normative work into operational work, on which we too see a great role for UN-Women.

We would also like to commend the indicator (3.2.3) on increased awareness of women and girls of availability of multi-sectoral VAW services. Awareness raising campaigns and education are pertinent to eliminate gender stereotypes, empower women and girls to report incidents and use available services.


As the second point I would like to stress the prioritization of women’s leadership and participation in peace and security and humanitarian action. In this regard we see the indicator of raising the number of National Action Plans or other relevant planning instruments from 40 to 60 countries as highly relevant. Estonia has developed its national action plan in 2010 and has advised some states on developing their NAPs. We would be ready to cooperate in this regard with other states also in the future.  

Let me also stress that the areas of violence against women and participation in peace processes have both a very strong linkage to the serious crimes against humanity, the sexual violence in conflict. In this context we are glad to note that more judicial and security personnel trained in security threats to women and effective investigation and prosecution of gender crimes in conflict is listed as one of the anticipated results under the respective fourth impact area. Let me also stress that we value highly UN Women`s important role as a member entity of the Network United Nations Action against sexual violence in conflict. In this context let me also inform you that Estonia organizes a side–event on enhancing accountability for sexual violence in conflict during the upcoming GA high-level week


Mr President,

As conclusion let me emphasize two additional points. We value highly the important role of Un Women in driving the implementation of the system-wide action plan in frames of the UN. And as we have also stressed at the UNICEF Executive Board session in the beginning of September, Estonia believes that the continued focus on Delivering as One will result in further improvement for collective action and strengthening of the programming instruments. It also helps to avoid overlaps and define clear roles and responsibilities.

As next we will be very interested in hearing about the results in implementing the strategic plan.

Thank you


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