Closing remarks by John Hendra at the LAC Regional Consultations ahead of CSW58

Speech by UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra at the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Consultations ahead of CSW58, in Mexico City, 7 February 2014.

Date: 10 Feb 2014

Her Excellency, Madam Lorena Cruz Sanchez, President of the National Women’s Institute of Mexico;
Her Excellency, Madam Alejandrina German, Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and Chair of the Board of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean;
Her Excellency, Ambassador Yanerith Morgan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations;
Ministers and Government delegates;
Representatives from civil society;
Representatives from the media;
Fellow colleagues from the United Nations;

I would like to express my deep thanks, and that of UN Women, for the terrific engagement and commitment we have seen over the past day and half, and for the very important and strong Declaration you have agreed on, that can now be taken forward to the CSW in March.

For me personally, it has been very gratifying to witness first-hand the active engagement and commitment this region has traditionally demonstrated, as seen recently in the important debates and in the strong and unequivocal language approved in the Santo Domingo, Brasilia and Quito Consensus of the past editions of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean; and in the Montevideo Consensus of the First Regional Conference on Population and Development. Today, once again, a reinforcement of this commitment has been made clear in your Declaration.

In particular, I am very pleased to note a few critical points of this Declaration you will be taking to CSW:

First, the acknowledgement of the need for a transformative and comprehensive stand-alone goal to ensure gender equality, women´s rights and women’s empowerment in the Post 2015 development framework. And, in particular, the recognition of the need to ensure freedom from all forms of violence for women and girls; gender equality in the distribution of capabilities and resources; and gender equality in decision-making in all areas: public, private and household.

Secondly, the need for integration of robust gender mainstreaming throughout the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in all goals and indicators.

Thirdly, the need for measures to fully involve men and boys, as fundamental agents to combat discrimination and stereotypes against women and girls.

Fourthly, the need to include a gender perspective in policies related to climate change and all issues related to the environment, as well as the incorporation of women in decision-making processes in this very critical area.

Fifthly, language reinforcing the unique engagement and critically important contribution of civil society and women’s movements. And here I would like to recognize the very clear and substantive contributions made by civil society representatives throughout this consultation.  

I would also like to highlight the need for efforts to improve national monitoring and evaluation frameworks and ensure accountability for gender equality goals. Your region is already playing a leading role globally in developing the gender statistics and indicators identified by UN Women and we are honoured to support you in this. Continued focus on these areas will be crucial in the region in order to advocate for broader accountability for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at achieving gender equality and women´s empowerment.

Finally, I ask you to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment are fully considered and addressed in implementation. And this means, critically, ensuring i) that adequate resources are allocated to gender equality commitments and priorities, and to the social services and social protection that enable and support women’s empowerment and participation; ii) that women and women’s civil society organizations are fully engaged and participate in monitoring and holding decision-makers to account; and iii) that data is collected, analysed and reported on so that we can measure and understand progress, including in critical areas such as violence against women and the disproportionate share of unpaid care work carried out by women and girls, where data may have been lacking in the past.

Before I conclude, I would like to ask for your strong support in the CSW negotiations to ensure that what you have agreed upon here in Mexico is translated into unequivocal Agreed Conclusions in CSW58. And I encourage you to take the opportunity of the CSW discussions to build a very strong foundation for addressing gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment in a very robust and comprehensive way in the new development agenda, based on the principles and agreements reflected in this Declaration. 

And I also encourage you to use the Beijing+20 commemoration to generate broad awareness of the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment and to take the actions needed to achieve the Beijing Platform for Action, realize CEDAW, and achieve MDG targets for all women and girls.

We count on your support, and we look forward to working with you closely on the road to CSW, to Beijing+20, and to the new development agenda, to ensure gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment, are at the heart of sustainable development, peace and security and human rights.

In closing, I would like to thanks again Ambassador Yaneritt Morgan and Lorena Cruz Sanchez, President of the National Women´s Institute – and all their hard-working colleagues – for the fantastic organization of this consultation and for their superb and heart-felt hospitality. Muchas, muchas gracias.

Finally, I would like also to thank Ana Guezmes and her UN Women Mexico Colleagues, and Moni Pizani and our regional team, for all their terrific support.

We very much look forward to seeing you in five weeks in New York TO TAKE THIS FORWARD at CSW58. Thank you.