As delivered by Minister Catherine Godin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Mountains Group, including Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
We welcome this important discussion on the role that the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council can play in implementing Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The 2030 Agenda and international human rights standards are closely linked. The Goal 5 targets to end and eliminate all forms of discrimination, violence, and harmful practices against all women and girls are rooted in the rights to equality and freedom from discrimination. In our view, taking a human rights-based approach to implementing the SDGs at the global, regional, and country levels can only help strengthen and ensure accountability and progress.
At the country level specifically, the UPR mechanism can serve as a powerful tool in pursuing reforms and bringing about positive change in societies, helping towards achieving SDG targets. The work of the Human Rights Council has already made important contributions towards attaining progress on Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda – notably through resolutions on discrimination and violence against women. However, much more work needs to be done to fully achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. We encourage all States to engage constructively in the UPR process by working with all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organisations, to implement recommendations.
Recognizing that gender equality is essential to achieving a prosperous, sustainable, and equitable future for all, we stand ready to learn from the recommendations of our own UPR processes and strive to integrate a gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in our respective countries. We invite all of you to join us in turning political will into effective action.