UN Women Executive Board: Statement by Ambassador Berger during First Regular Session 2012

Jan 24, 2012

(as delivered)

Mister President,

Let me start by congratulating you on the election as President of the Executive Board of UN Women. I would also like to congratulate the Vice-Presidents of the Board on their election. We look forward to working with you throughout this year.

At the same time I would like to express our gratitude to the outgoing Bureau, especially its President Ambassador Joy Ogwu, for an impeccable job in leading the Executive Board through its first year of existence and ensuring the full and a rather smooth operationalization of UN Women.

I would also like to commend Executive Director Bachelet for her presentation on the operational activities of UN Women. The report presented to the Board provides an overview about the important activities delivered by UN Women in order to empower women and achieve gender equality in a number of thematic areas.

The organization has come a long way in the first year of its existence and the report shows the impressive work UN Women delivers on the ground. For the next report, we encourage UN Women to strengthen the focus on the results and impacts achieved through these activities.

Let me add some more specific comments and questions on areas touched by the report:

We have noticed in recent years a considerable increase in the demand from partner countries for support to Governments in applying the instruments and methods of gender-responsive budgeting. UN Women has provided support on gender-responsive budgeting to 44 countries. In order to ensure sustainability, it will be essential to support the design of appropriate institutional structures which help to ensure that gender-responsive budgeting is being put into practice. This would help to reduce the impact of fluctuation of personnel on the use of gender-responsive budgeting. How is UN Women planning to ensure the sustainability of its support?

Women‘s business networks and associations are a key factor in the process of women’s economic empowerment. International exchange of women’s business associations is an effective way to strengthen them and to develop sustainable strategies. We therefore call on UN Women to provide intensive and sustained technical assistance to women’s networks and business associations in strengthening their capacity and thus in empowering women economically.

Germany commends UN Women for the support provided for the implementation of the Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. The target for all United Nations Organizations to allocate at least 15 per cent of the resources dedicated to post-conflict recovery to efforts to ensure women’s participation are an important benchmark.

What is UN Women's experience with strenghtening women's participation in transition or post-conflict phases?" 

What other measures is UN Women planning to implement in support of SCR 1325?

2012 will be an exciting year for all of us working with and in the UN system: We have the UN Conference on Sustainable Development coming up in June and the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of the operational activities of the UN this fall.

I would therefore be glad to hear from UN Women how your experiences have been until now in preparing for and shaping these important discussions? To which extent were you able to include gender equality and women’s empowerment issues in these processes and where do you need our support in doing so?

Thank you, Mr. President.

© GermanyUN

Peace and Security

Regional conflicts, fragile or collapsed states, armed conflicts, terrorism and organized crime – all have grave consequences for the people who suffer under them. They also threaten the security and stability of entire regions and peoples.

Development, Environment and Sustainability

The loss of natural habitat for species continues

More than one billion people in the world – almost one in five – have to live on less than 1.25 US dollars per day. Every day thousands of young children die of hunger and illnesses. Poverty reduction is therefore a cornerstone of Germany's engagement at the UN.