German statement at the Annual Session of the UNWomen Executive Board Meeting
On behalf of the Government of Germany I would like to thank Executive Director Bachelet for presenting the Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013 of UN Women and for outlining the vision, mission and priorities of action in the forthcoming years.
Gender Equality and the empowerment of women are among the cornerstones of German Development Cooperation as outlined in its Gender Action Plan 2009 – 2012.
Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Their integration into national and international agendas requires continued attention and we encourage UN Women to strengthen efforts in this respect. We are fully supportive of the mandate of UN Women to assist the UN system as a whole to progress more effectively and efficiently toward the goal of achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment and rights.
In this regard we commend the Executive Director on having set up a plan that combines the assets of the pre-existing entities for gender issues and tries to maximise efficiency in achieving synergies and coherently tackling the challenges as outlined in the plan.
Germany has been a strong supporter of UN Women from the very beginning of the discussions which led to its establishment. We highly appreciate the programmatic priorities that have guided the preparation of the Strategic Plan, amongst them supporting women leadership and participation, economic empowerment and combating violence against women.
We commend the Executive Director for the open and transparent process in which the strategic plan was developed. UN Women accomplished consultations and country-level Capacity Assessments with a great variety and a high number of partners, amongst them Civil Society Organizations, academia, governments etc. We highly appreciate that endeavour.
Furthermore Germany is content to see the Executive Director’s intention to align this strategic plan with those of UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, in order to achieve maximum efficiency of the UN system when it comes to promoting gender equality and ensuring the empowerment of women.
In terms of guidance and endorsement of the implementation of the strategic plan, Germany would like to provide the following comments:
- Germany supports a realistic approach, in order to ensure that the available resources are utilized in a manner that ensures maximum impact within the mentioned priorities;
- In this regard, we recommend that UN Women takes a flexible approach in responding to national priorities and needs, especially when establishing a permanent presence on the ground. As in other situations, “one size obviously does not fit all”.
- One of the guiding principle of the Gender Action Plan of the German Government for 2009 – 2012 is cooperation and exchange with Civil Society organisations, and specifically women’s rights groups and grassroots organisations. We would highly appreciate if UN Women would take a similar approach and would involve Civil Society in decision making at all levels.
- Furthermore we ask UN Women to ensure close coordination and alignment with other relevant stakeholders, including the donor community, in its operations in partner countries.
Germany welcomes the strong commitment of the Executive Director to results orientation. In this regard we are looking forward to the implementation of the strategic plan which clearly aims at strengthening evidence-based decision making leading to higher impact on the ground.
We are content to see that the plan is driven by a longer-term vision and includes goals and results up to 2017 and that it will be assessed and revised in 2013. We commend the intention to ensure harmonization of the Strategic Plan with those of other UN funds and programmes.
Women’s dynamics are humankind’s greatest untapped resource. As outlined in the strategic plan, UN Women will endeavour to help realize this potential. Please be reassured that Germany will fully assist in achieving this mission.
We look forward to the outcomes of the discussions between UN agencies, lead by UN Women, on how to best ensure that the UN system uses its full potential to achieve results in gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Ultimately, we express our full support of the current version of this comprehensive and well structured strategic plan. Time has come to endorse the plan.