Commission on the Status of Women: Statement by Director General Ursula Müller on "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”

Mar 12, 2014

"Mr. Chair,

The expert panel has raised many thought-provoking aspects for our reflection and dialogue. I would like to add to the debate some reflections from a German perspective.

Accountability is an important element for the effective implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Accountability has to go hand in hand with the equal participation and leadership of women, in decision-making processes at all levels and with the involvement of girls and women’s organizations.

Accountability and participation are firmly anchored in German politics, especially in development cooperation and in our relationships with partner countries. We see them as key human rights principles.

But let’s be clear: Accountability and participation are not gender-neutral. Governments and public institutions should be accountable to their constituency – of which half are women. This means that the state has the duty to do both: it has to exercise accountability and it has to provide an enabling environment which encourages accountability and participation. As discriminatory policies, structures, norms and behavior still hinder the realization of gender equality, women and girls are often excluded from both.    

Mr. Chair,

Germany is convinced that the implementation of the MDGs, especially for women and girls, can only be achieved through contributions from all stakeholders, duty bearers and rights holders alike. International development cooperation also has an important role to play in the context of aid effectiveness, and strong and inclusive partnerships. From our own experience we know very well that it is a big challenge to increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability of our development policy, and of our engagement with partners worldwide.

We are convinced that the key to an effective implementation of global development goals lies not only in improved procedures and mechanisms of delivery. We strive to work hand in hand with civil society actors worldwide as they provide valuable knowledge, potential and the power for innovative changes.

Aiming to learn from the MDGs, we should therefore not only aspire to build stronger and gender-sensitive monitoring frameworks and accountability mechanisms. But we must also ensure the meaningful participation of women and men, as well as girls and boys within such processes!

Let us learn from civil society organizations when we assess the achievements and challenges in implementing the MDGs for women and girls. Let us listen to them when we assess our public revenues and expenditures. And let us contribute to their capacities in order to improve the collection and use of gender-disaggregated data which is a crucial element for a regular reporting mechanism on the implementation of the MDGs.

Mr. Chair,

I would like to underline that we will only achieve greater effectiveness and accountability if we learn from each other on how we can support women and girls to express their interests and needs. Their voices must be heard – finally!

Germany emphasizes once more that we need the leadership of women, and the voice and involvement of women and girls, especially of those facing multiple forms of discrimination and exclusion, if we want to achieve greater effectiveness and accountability in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and of a future post-2015 agenda.

I thank you."

© GermanyUN