Annual session of the Executive Board marks a turning point

Date: Friday, June 28, 2013

During the 2013 annual session of the UN Women Executive Board, held 25-27 June at UN Headquarters in New York, Member States expressed their strong support to the three-year-old organization through political and financial commitments. Decisions were also adopted on the implementation of the 2011-2013 Strategic Plan and the Report of the UN Women Evaluation Function 2012.

Ms. Puri delivers her opening statement to the 2013 Annual session of the Executive Board on 25 June, 2013. Photo credit: UN Women
Ms. Puri delivers her opening statement to the 2013 Annual session of the Executive Board on 25 June, 2013. Photo credit: UN Women
“I truly believe that this session marked a turning point for UN Women. Over the past three days, you have celebrated our success and achievements, and not only our potential,” said Acting Head of UN Women Lakshmi Puri, in her concluding remarks on 27 June. “You acknowledge that UN Women has until now been under-resourced and you have committed to support us both politically and financially.”

Speakers overwhelmingly commended UN Women for the impressive results achieved and reaffirmed their strong support for its work. In particular, they commended UN Women’s leadership role in supporting the strengthening of international norms and standards on gender equality issues, including combating violence against women, enhancing political participation and leadership, and access to economic empowerment opportunities.

Various Member States also welcomed the roll-out of the System-Wide Action Plan for Gender Equality (UN-SWAP) as a major step forward in the way the UN system holds itself accountable to its gender equality commitments.

“We believe that the success of UN Women is critical to the quality and effectiveness of the whole UN system,” said Tine Morch Smith, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway, which was among the 10 countries that announced increased contributions, and 50 Governments that voiced their support for UN Women during a special pledging event on 26 June. “We therefore urge all Member States to step up and support UN Women during these critical years.”

Several speakers highlighted the role of UN Women in supporting the incorporation of gender perspectives in the elaboration of the Post-2015 development framework, welcoming the presentation of UN Women’s new position paper. Other delegates offered positive feedback on the organization’s implementation of the regional architecture that the Board approved last year. Board Members also heard about UN women’s work towards implementation of the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

The final day of the session, 27 June, began with a special briefing on UN Women’s work at the country level in South Sudan, which featured a presentation by Dr. Priscilla Joseph Kuch, Deputy Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare of South Sudan. A short film on UN Women’s South Sudan programme was also shown and several missions praised the efforts presented as concrete examples of progress and achievements.

“We are very proud of the results that we have achieved, and how far we have come in a relatively short period of time,” Ms. Puri said, in her opening remarks. In closing, she expressed gratitude for the praise given to UN Women, and acknowledged the constructive advice and recommendations moving forward. “We need to get to that point where change is irreversible and exponential. With every step that UN Women takes with you, we move closer to that point.”