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Nordic Statement on Gender Equality and the 2030 Agenda

Item 3. Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Nordic end of session statement circulated 2 October 2017.

As circulated by Counsellor Linda Ekholm (Finland).

Mr. President,

I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and my own country Finland.

Mindful of the Council’s endeavors to identify linkages between the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the fulfillment of States’ human rights obligations, we would like to highlight a few points in this regard.

The Nordic countries are strong supporters of gender equality and human rights based approach to development and underline that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda must be consistent with States’ obligations and commitments under international human rights law. These oblige us to take all necessary steps and measures to ensure that any policies, programs, or actions promote human rights and that they have no negative or adverse human rights impacts.

Gender equality is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda and the fulfillment of all goals and targets. We underline that the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals and targets cannot be achieved unless the underlying causes of exclusion and marginalization are addressed. Ensuring equality and non-discrimination are immediate and cross-cutting obligations for states. The Council, as an important platform for promoting respect, protection and fulfilment of women’s and girls’ rights, should outline ways to address discrimination of women and girls in law and practice. Discussions and meetings on gender mainstreaming in the implementation of the Agenda must therefore have the rights of women and girls, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), at the forefront.

We, as many others, are committed to reducing the Council’s workload and in doing so, we aim to ensure it lives up to its maximum potential in promoting human rights. It is our view that all initiatives related to the 2030 Agenda should build on and clarify the linkages between states’ human rights obligations and the 2030 Agenda, in other words outline a human rights based approach to Sustainable Development.

I thank you.