Let me thank the Executive Director for her inspiring opening statement, and congratulate UN Women on the final version of its new strategic plan.
We commend UN Women for an open and inclusive process with the plan, and believe that the plan, with it attachments, would move UN Women in the right direction. We recommend the board to approve it during this meeting.
The priorities and approaches of the plan corresponds well with Norwegian priorities in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.
We will not achieve the 2030 Agenda if we do not succeed in meeting the needs, respecting the rights and benefiting from the competence and capacity of women. And not only the easy-to-reach women. We welcome UN Women’s follow-up of the principle of “leaving no one behind” and the work to prevent multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination within the framework of the Strategic Plan.
We believe that strategic work to ensure girls’ right to education and women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights is an essential part of this picture. When all women are free, educated and empowered to make their own choices, and gender equality is a reality, we all grow and get more secure.
Norway approves of the integrated nature of UN Women’s role in normative support, UN coordination and operational activities. These pillars are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
However, in face of great demand and endless needs, we believe we will get the most out of UN Women’s unique expertise and competence, if the normative and coordinating parts of its mandate are given sufficient priority.
72 laws in 61 countries affecting 1.6 billion women only in 2016. The numbers speak for themselves. We are quite impressed with UN Women’s normative work. And, we continued to see positive developments over the summer with concrete new laws that protect women’s rights in several countries across the world.
We commend UN Women for its commitment to working jointly at country level and delivering as one. We encourage UN Women to continue to diligently report on its follow-up of the QCPR.
We would be interested to learn more about UN Womens work with regard to the planned changes in its regional architecture and also on its systemic approach to risk management.
We can approve the proposed institutional budget and support the integrated budget. However, we believe that the budgeting is quite optimistic, and we would in that regard remind of the importance of the structured dialogue on financing.
The purpose of the Structured Financial Dialogue must be to secure financing of the priorities of the Strategic Plan through more flexible resources.
An independent and sufficiently resource internal audit that works according to the highest standards of transparency is crucial for our confidence in UN organizations. Norway is of the view that a decision on UN Women’s internal audit should have been presented to the Board based on a thorough formal report from UN Women.
When girls and women’s rights are respected, we all get more prosperous and more secure. Not only women but also men. That is why boys and men must be champions for gender equality, and why UN Women is such an important partner.