Statement by Finland at the
2nd plenary meeting of the Executive Board of the United Nations
Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
H.E. Mr. Jouni Laaksonen
Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations
New York, 13 February 2018
Madam President, Executive Director, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by thanking you, Madam Phumzile, for your comprehensive statement. As one of the Vice-presidents, Finland would also like to take this opportunity and congratulate you, Madam President and other Vice-presidents on your election to the Bureau. We look forward to a year of good cooperation with you.
As one of the biggest donors and a close partner to UN-Women, Finland remains committed to work with UN-Women in promoting the rights of women and girls. We wish to express our full support to you, Madam Phumzile, and all your colleagues around the world in your relentless efforts and strive for delivering results and improving lives of girls and women.
The August session of the Executive Board set a clear direction to UN-Women for the next four years. It is of utmost importance that the roll-out and implementation of the Strategic Plan is undertaken in a consistent manner across the organization. We would like to see that as a result of the new Strategic Plan and efforts to make UN-Women fit for purpose, we witness UN-Women’s strengthened role and capacity to deliver in the field.
As you are well aware, one of our priorities in the UN-Women’s work is to eliminate multiple and intersecting discrimination. We expect UN Women to deliver concrete results in this regard and to enhance the rights of women and girls with disabilities during this strategic period. We also continue to emphasize the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights for every women and girl.
We encourage UN-Women to develop its collaboration and coordination with its UN sister agencies as well as other relevant stakeholders in line with the objectives of the ongoing UN development system reform. We look forward to the strengthened coordination and partnerships and concrete results in joint implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the implementation of the commitments made in the common chapter of the Strategic Plan.
In addition to a coherent and effective UN development system, a more strategic approach to gender mainstreaming is required for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We expect that UN-Women is committed and proactive in the UNDS reform and expect to see strong links between the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the UNDS reform. We put special emphasis on UN-Women’s unique role in coordinating the accountability of the UN system on gender equality and girls' and women's empowerment, both in humanitarian and in development contexts. This role should be taken fully into account in the UNDS reform.
Women, men, girls and boys face different challenges also in the response to HIV. Across communities and countries unequal power relations, gender-based violence and discrimination affect the ability of women and girls to prevent HIV and mitigate its impact. Advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights is therefore essential. We thank UN-Women for its constructive role in the implementation of the Joint HIV/AIDS Programme and follow-up of the recommendations of the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board.
As we recognize the importance of innovations also in the promotion of gender equality and the rights of women and girls, we are pleased to have a briefing on Innovation Strategy in this Board Session and look forward to the discussion on this matter.