Thank you to Qatar and Ghana for inviting to this important meeting, and thank you to the Secretary-General for your good and informative briefing on system-wide efforts for gender parity in the United Nations.
Gender parity in the United Nations is a Norwegian priority, and we support your efforts wholeheartedly. In that respect, we are very happy to see that the Secretary-General has achieved gender parity in his Chief Executive Board (CEB) and even more so. We will for sure continue to support efforts.
Women encounter various obstacles that prevent them from participating in business activities, in the labor market and in politics. Women are also often sharing a greater workload at home, which puts them on less advantageous terms than men.
In Norway, we have over time promoted gender parity in the work place through, among others, equal access to education for men and women, flexibility in the workplace, affordable kindergartens and compulsory paternity leave.
This has enhanced female participation in our labor market making women, not oil and gas, our greatest economic resource!
Overcoming the obstacles facing women in the labor market is crucial to ensure gender parity in the United Nations, and reap the benefits from women’s contribution.
Women in the United Nations can enrich the Organization with additional skill and new perspectives. Women can also bring the Organization closer to the peoples it is supposed to serve, and they can ensure that the United Nations live up to their mandates.
Despite all commendable progress, we still see gaps in gender parity in peacekeeping operations.
How will you, as a Secretary General, concrete plans to increase the gender parity in peacekeeping operations?