UN Women: Structured Dialogue on Financing

Joint statement by Norway's Deputy Permanent Representative May-Elin Stener, on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland. Estonia and Norway to the second regular session of the UN-Women Executive Board, 1 September 2016.

| Executive Board

Common statement on the Structured Dialogue on Financing, incl. Cost Recovery

I am honored to be making this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia and my own country, Norway.

This past year, three highlevel reviews of UN’s peace and security work have clearly stated that we need to focus more on political solutions to conflicts – and more on prevention. Inclusive political processes are imperative. Civil society and women’s organisations must be aboard, as clearly demonstrated in yesterday’s side event with the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. This is about lasting peace and sustainable development.

We have a wider and deeper commitment to women’s participation than before, and a better understanding of the security as well as development implications of ignoring women’s voices and women’s rights.

Humanitarian crises and large movements of people have forced everyone to see that the three pillars of the UN really are indivisible and interdependent: Rights, development and security need to go hand in hand.

All of these developments place UN Women at the heart of matters. UN Women has a unique triple mandate and deals with all three UN pillars. UN Women has experience, knowledge and methodology that are highly relevant for the whole UN system, at this time more than ever.

We know that UN Women recognizes this opportunity, this responsibility. The demand for UN Women’s input and assistance is increasing. Yet, at the same time, UN Women is a small organisation within the UN family, with a relatively modest budget.

We are looking forward to the report on the adequacy of present assessed contributions that will be presented to the General Assembly at its 71st session. We would welcome a dialogue with UN Women on how this report could be used as the new strategic plan and budget are developed.

Full cost-recovery from activities and programs that are financed through earmarking is an important principle. Core resources are not to subsidize earmarked contributions. This is about burden sharing, about flexibility and predictability for the organisation, and about ensuring incentives for more high quality funding.

We continue to emphasize the importance of core resources, as they support the full implementation of the Strategic Plan. And we encourage efforts to seek innovative sources of financing.

UN Women makes great and successful efforts to mobilize more donors, more funds and funds of higher quality. We should all work to assist UN Women in that regard. Yet, so far, a funding gap persists.

There is need to further broaden UN Women’s donor base, including by engaging non-traditional donors and private sector partners in particular, as well as to strengthen the role and capacity of National Committees. To what extent do the various resource mobilization strategies result in increased funding - corresponding to the efforts put in?

We would welcome UN Women’s comments on how the organization will deal with the increasing funding gap. How will UN Women ensure that its planning is ambitious and forward leaning, yet realistic and reflective of available funding?

Prioritizing will have to be a priority in the time to come. We welcome UN Women’s efforts to focus its work, as illustrated through the flagship initiative. And we are looking forward to following developments closely.

Irrespective of available funding, though; in no way can – or should – UN Women implement all the programs that need UN Women’s insights and guidance.

As UN Women is finding its role in the implementation of the sustainable development goals, and as we are developing a new strategic plan for UN Women’s work, we need to be mindful of both the scope of UN Women’s mandate and its limitations.

UN Women needs to be involved in a wide range of policy developments and programmes. But, UN Women will reach further if it truly becomes the champion of coordination.

We congratulate UN Women on its efforts in coordination, and its many successes, not least in normative work. Yet we note that there is still a way to go, particularly at country level.

We would welcome a concept note for the new strategic plan at the next meeting of the executive board, at the first regular session in 2017. We know that the process will not be finished by then, but would ask that some preliminary directions are given, as to where the planning is headed, reflecting priorities. We would ask that insights and follow-up from the evaluation of the coordnation work of UN Women are included, as well as plans to implement the new QCPR.

We are looking forward to working with UN Women on the development of the new strategic plan. Because we do want it to be strategic, and catalytic for the whole of UN.

We believe that UN Women’s success is key for the successful implementation of the sustainable development goals, and that UN Women’s contribution is essential as we strive for peace and security.

We remain grateful for UN Women’s good work and for our effective and cordial cooperation. Thank you.