United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women
Annual Session of 2015, UN Women Executive Board
Agenda Item 2: Strategic Plan
H.E. Mr Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations
New York, 30 June 2015
At the outset, the Maldives would like to thank Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN-Women, for her statement and for her report on the progress made on the Strategic Plan during 2014. As a member of the Executive Board since 2012, we welcome this opportunity to contribute to this Annual Session by responding interactively on the published Strategic Plan.
The Maldives is pleased to have witnessed the immense progress UN-Women has made, becoming a more efficient, organized and stronger institution each year. In the past years, the Maldives had the pleasure to work with UN-Women in a number of multilateral processes, ranging from its active engagement in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to the preparation for the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. We have collaborated in advance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Group of 77 and China (G77) and coordinated for the ministerial conference on the role of women in the development of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
This active engagement in a broad range of activities and initiatives is highly valuable. By establishing these linkages, UN-Women not only responds to its comprehensive mandate, but ensures that tangible outcomes are made possible.
The report clearly demonstrates progress across almost all indicators of the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan (UNSWAP). My delegation welcomes the progress made in Impact Area 1: Leadership and Political Participation, being a priority area of work in 82 countries out of 86 countries where UN-Women had programme presence. The Maldives places a high priority on increasing women’s political participation and ensuring avenues to encouraging more women political leaders.
The Maldives is pleased to note that compared to 2013, there were 9 new donors in 2014, including 3 being private sector partnerships. These new donors have resulted in UN-Women’s highest level of core and non-core resources since the Entity’s establishment. However, there is still an ongoing funding gap as the organization still falls short of the 500 million USD envisioned for its minimum budget. Without the necessary resources, it is hard for UN-Women to realize its full potential.
Although we welcome the progress made, we take note of how much is yet to be achieved. Looking at the management response, we see a drop in implementation rate. Of the internal audit recommendations, only 75 per cent of the recommendations have been implemented and of the external audit recommendations, that number falls to only 71 per cent. In this area, is great room for progress and therefore it was promising to hear UN-Women is already working on its full implementation.
The Maldives looks forward to more information about new flagship programs UN-Women is developing, including programs on job creation and income generation, with the end goal of increasing the economic empowerment of women. As mentioned in last week’s informal meeting, the flagship programs will be the key vehicle through which UN-Women will work with its partners. We look forward to more information on proposed land and climate resilience programs in this regard.
The work that UN-Women does is of vital importance. It has been an honour to fully support the Entity’s work and we advocate the necessity for enhanced global support for the organization going forward. The realization of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment is not only imperative, but is also achievable through global dedicated commitment. The Maldives remains steadfast in its commitment to achieving these goals, and looks forward to working together with the international community for the advancement of women everywhere.