I am so pleased to participate in this 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
While I am glad we were still able to gather here today to adopt the Political Declaration, it is a stark contrast to the opening sessions of previous years.
We can all see that something is missing. In this hall, and throughout the UN.
We miss the energy, courage, and voices from the diverse global women’s movement that we usually greatly benefit from.
While the circumstances of our meeting may have changed, its purpose remains a critical one.
We are gathered to mark an important milestone, and to re-commit to achieving gender equality and the full empowerment of all women and girls.
Twenty-five years ago, world leaders and women’s organisations came together at the Fourth World Conference on Women.
There, they agreed on not just a vision, but a roadmap for gender equality: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Since 1995, the Platform for Action has guided and inspired the work of Governments and other stakeholders in their efforts to promote women’s rights, and, eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, everywhere.
Important gains have been achieved over the years. Yet, it is also evident that our task remains unfinished.
Women and girls are still being left behind.
And still, no country can claim they have achieved full gender equality.
Achieving gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls is a fundamental part of the 2030 Agenda.
And we know that gender equality is the fast-track to making progress across all our goals and targets.
It is a core commitment of the Economic and Social Council to advance the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda. And it remains a clear priority area as we embark on the Decade of action and delivery for the Sustainable Development Goals.
The contribution of this Commission remains vital.
The Commission on the Status of Women was one of the first subsidiary bodies created by the Economic and Social Council in 1946.
And today CSW has undoubtedly become the highest profile part of ECOSOC’s work.
Your efforts remain as fundamental as when CSW was created nearly 75 years ago.
This is evident from the Political Declaration on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women to be adopted later today.
The text is a strong reaffirmation of our commitment to the full, effective, and accelerated, implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
It seeks to strengthen collective efforts towards gender equality, the empowerment of women, and the full realization of human rights for all women and girls.
Those commitments add much needed momentum for the decade of action on sustainable development.
While we had to scale down important parts of the session, this does not impact our shared commitment for sustained action to achieve gender equality.
The fight for women’s rights- as always- persists.
As governments we must stand together with civil society across the world, to speak up for women and girls, and protect those who defend their rights.
Let me assure you that ECOSOC will continue to support the work of its Commission. And is fully committed to contributing to accelerating progress for all women and girls.
And as the President of the Economic and Social Council, I offer you my full support to complete the unfinished business of securing equal civil, political, economic and social rights for women and girls everywhere.