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UN Women: Executive Board

Nordic statement by Ambassador Mari Skåre at the Executive Board of UN Women, 12 February 2019.

| Executive Board

Madam Executive Director, Madam President and Members and Observers of the Executive Board,

I am delivering this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and my own country Norway.

Let me start by thanking Madam Executive Director for her opening remarks and for her continuous leadership in promoting the rights of women and girls and gender equality.

The Nordic countries have always had a strong belief in the mandate of UN Women and we continue to remain strong supporters of the organization. As major donors – together contributing over a quarter of UN Women’s core funds – we are equally committed to supporting the organization towards achieving greater effectiveness and results.

In this regard, we would like to draw your attention to the findings of the recently published MOPAN assessment of UN Women. You all have received invitations to the separate event to be held tomorrow morning at the Swedish Permanent Mission – we are looking forward to the detailed presentation of the findings and a discussion about them, and how to assist the UN Women leadership, at this event.

The MOPAN assessment shows that UN Women has made significant progress in several areas in recent years. For example, the report demonstrates that UN Women has a clear strategic vision and has established itself as a normative leader on women’s rights and gender equality at global, regional and country level.

However, there are still challenges to be addressed. As illustrated in the assessment, UN Women’s staff is highly committed to the organization’s vision and works hard. At the same time the workload is high and often exceeds staff capacity. The risk and experience of burn out was found in 2014 and 2016 workforce surveys.

We wish to take a moment to express our concern for this as well as other issues related to the well-being of the UN Women staff and UN Women as a working environment.

UN Women should be a champion in creating and supporting a culture of respect, zero tolerance and accountability for discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment and abuse of power. Both in UN Women and within the UN system at large.

As stated by the UN Secretary-General, every employee, including interns, needs to feel safe, respected, empowered and appreciated and managers, staff and senior leadership alike are responsible for creating a safe place to work.

Therefore, we welcome UN Women’s leadership in this regard, and for the transparency around the measures taken so far and look forward to following up these efforts with you.

Thank you for your attention.