General Assembly: Statement by Parliamentary State Secretary Elke Ferner at High Level debate on "Contributions of Women, the young and civil society to the post-2015 development agenda"

Mar 6, 2014

(as prepared for delivery)

Mr. President,

Honorable delegates,

First of all, we would like to thank the President of the General Assembly inviting us to discuss contributions of women, the young and civil society to the Post‐2015 Development Agenda. Diverse, complex and intersecting inequalities on the basis of gender, age, race/ethnicity,disabilities or income undermine future opportunities and reinforce the differences between groups of society or societies at all.

An inclusive sustainable development needs to tackle structural causes of inequality and aims to develop a world of non-discrimination, accountability, equality and participation of all. We all are responsible of the extent to which human rights standards and inclusiveness of development processes are being implemented.The Post-2015 Agenda needs to address equal social, political and economic opportunities.It should tackle access to services, quality education and resources, the elimination of the vicious circle of poverty, gender equality, sustainable economic development, preservation of the environment, natural resource sustainability, and the creation of decent work for all.

To achieve this we strive for and universal approach new global partnership of all states and all stakeholders.The Agenda should be effective, transparent, monitored, and stocked with significant indicators and interrelated accountability.Women, youth and civil society all over the world have already contributed to the preparation of the Post‐2015 Agenda for sustainable development.Germany has hosted several dialogues between representatives of the government and non-governmental actors and will do so in the upcoming process.

Mr.President,

The High-Level Event certainly presents a unique opportunity to address relevant gender issues which have been overlooked or insufficiently implemented in the MDG framework. Without intention to pre-empt the official start of negotiations on concrete goals, targets and indicators, we would like to express our commitment towards designing one ambitious, people-centered and results-oriented Post-2015 Agenda.

Germany actively supports the United Nations in pursuing its strong commitment to gender equality as a human right and in advocating for a process which reflects gender equality as a goal in itself, as well as being thoroughly reflected in all goals. Germany aims at achieving gender equality, empowering women and enforcing women’s rights also through the Post-2015 Agenda.To reach this, Germany is convinced there is a need to address the following 4 issues:

1.     Promote women’s voice, leadership and participation in decision-making processes

2.     Improve women’s economic opportunities as well as access to and control over productive assets and a fairer distribution of family care and household work

3.     Enact and enforce laws, regulations and policies that prohibit all forms of discrimination against women and girls and

4.     Prevent, respond to, and end impunity of violence against women and girls

Germany will support every effort to promote these targets.

Furthermore, we must not forget the involvement of men and boys as an important aspect in realizing gender equality.

Regarding the Youth

Taking into account that today more than half the world is under 25 years old, young people are key for the success of the new global development goals. Therefore, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Germany aims at ensuring that the rights of young people including children are reflected throughout the targets.

We need a strong commitment towards the full and effective participation of young people in the development, implementation and monitoring of the Post-2015 Agenda. Germany is convinced that one of the highest returns of investments for sustainable development is created by the respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights of children and youth

The integration of children and youth requires paying attention to the essential role of good governance, access to quality education, health services and social protection for the development of children and youth.

Special attention also needs to be paid to the protection of children, especially girls, from all forms of violence. Young Girls and Boys are advocates on their own issues. Young people should be actively involved in deciding how their lives are designed and how their future will be look like.

Concerning Civil society

Civil society organizations (CSOs) can play a vital role in shaping development policies and partnerships, and in overseeing their implementation. Many of these organizations no longer focus exclusively on traditional project and program activities but also assume the role of "watchdogs" in all social issues.

Civil society actors have therefore become increasingly important allies in the struggle to achieve our development goals in the global context. An essential precondition for effective participation by civil society is transparency on both sides and a mutual willingness to engage in dialogue. To ensure their continuing active role in the new global constellations, we advocate that civil society participation in international processes and conferences will be as wide and systematic as possible.

Mr. President

We strongly hope the outcome of this event will provide a meaningful input to the ongoing deliberations of the Open Working Group. Just ahead of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women, we are confident that this high-level event also offers impetus for the ongoing implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

© GermanyUN