Item 8: GD Follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (4.10.2021)


Human Rights Council 48th Session. 

Item 8: General Debate

Nordic-Baltic statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi


4 October 2021

Madam President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Estonia.

Gender equality, empowerment of all women and girls and their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights is one of the most important priorities for the Nordic-Baltic countries. A gender transformative perspective should always be taken into account in decision-making and resource allocation. More work is needed to mainstream gender across the Council’s work, including in resolutions and mandates, in fact-finding missions and COIs.

In order to ensure durable peace, prevent conflicts and protect inclusive societies, it is crucial to ensure women and girls` full, equal and meaningful participation in all peace building efforts and decision making processes.

We cannot ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights by all women and girls unless we ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and the promotion, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Important discussions on these issues have been held also during this HRC session.

Generation Equality spearheaded by UN Women, Mexico and France, has been created to define ambitious investments and policies on gender equality in order to achieve tangible results on the ground in 5 years’ time. In this framework, six thematic action coalitions and a Global Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action have been launched. We urge all countries and other stakeholders to engage in Generation Equality and join us in creating a gender equal world by 2026.

I thank you!