Closing remarks by Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Yannick Glemarec, at the second regular session of the UN Women Executive Board
Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
I would like to thank you, Madame President, for leading this session in such an efficient manner. It was always an immense pleasure working with you.
I would like to extend thanks to the Vice Presidents of the Board and to the entire Bureau for their work. I also thank the Executive Board Secretary, Jean-Luc Bories, my esteemed colleague, for his support.
First and foremost, I would like to thank all the delegates for their insightful remarks and statements over the past few days. This has enabled us to have an extremely rich dialogue and an exchange of views on a number of key topics.
I am not going to attempt to capture two days of dialogue in a few minutes. I would like to simply recall a few issues that were raised by a number of Member States.
One of the two main themes that emerged over the past two days was financing. This was at the centre of the discussion given the announcement by a number of Member States about their contribution to UN Women. I would like to thank Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and China for announcing their contributions.
Financing was also at the centre of our discussions given that one of the key agenda items was a preliminary analysis of the financial implications and others, of the General Assembly resolution 272/279. It is also a topic that came back when we started discussing cost recovery. The issue reemerged when we discussed the joint field visit and the often-counterproductive competition among agencies at the country level. It was definitely a common thread throughout the two days.
I believe that the discussion on financing was extremely helpful. Notably, the discussion on the structured dialogue on financing enabled us to further highlight the key importance of core resources and why core resources are so important for our mandate in terms of normative development, coordination, deepening situational analysis and building ownership for generating results.
I think the best testimony of the quality of our discussion is certainly the Board’s decision 2018/5, ‘Structured Dialogue on Financing: Investing in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment through Financing UN-Women’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021’, which is extremely substantive. I would like to congratulate all the Member States for this achievement. I suspect that paragraph 2 will be quoted repeatedly by different agencies whenever they are asked: what is the added value of core resources? And my gut feeling is that some of these words will find their way into a number of different forums. So, congratulations and thank you very much for that.
The second major theme that emerged over the past two days was UN coordination. Several Member States stressed the importance of strengthening UN-wide coordination mechanisms and strengthening inter-agency coordination. Several Member States also mentioned the particular coordination mandate of UN Women for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The issue of coordination came up again when we discussed UNDS reform, of course, which is all about strengthening coordination; not only programming but delivering as one.
I believe it is fair to say that a very strong convergence of views emerged during this discussion. I do not think during this entire session there was ever any diverging opinion. It seems that, as a collective, we all have a very positive outlook on the UN reform and we have all come to the conclusion that it is something that will tremendously help UN Women to achieve its mandate and to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment.
As we mentioned on a couple of occasions, even if we were to increase the resources of UN Women by 1000 per cent, it would not be enough, given our mandate, to respond to the demand. But with the centrality of the UNDAF, with the increased opportunities in terms of joint implementation and joint financing, UN Women has the opportunity to leverage the entire system and all its partners to achieve its mandate.
There was a lot of discussion about how we could use our comparative advantages to achieve such a goal. Notably, in terms of movement-building, partnership-building and coalition for change-building, and in terms of expertise in gender equality and women’s empowerment.
This is definitely something that resonates with everybody in UN Women and something that we will endeavor to achieve. Our colleagues very much look forward to the discussion we will be having during the First Regular Session of 2019 on knowledge management, and how we intend to leverage these comparative advantages to capitalize on the promise of the UNDS reform.
The need for UN coordination and UN-wide inter-agency initiatives also emerged when we looked at the meta-analysis of UN Women’s 2017 evaluation, because here again we see how the same thematic of coalition-building and partnership emerged very strongly. This is one of the strengths of UN Women. If I can quote my Executive Director, ‘we can punch above our weight because we partner with plenty of people.’
So here again, we seem to have a very strong commonality with you on the importance of coordination. Even the discussion on the working methods of the Executive Boards reflects once again the importance of coordination. We are very much at the crossroads and I am confident that with the support of the Board UN Women will be able to provide outstanding value for money in the coming years and make a tangible difference in the life of every woman and every girl in the world.
Thank you very much for your support.