Good morning, Madam President, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates and colleagues.
It is my pleasure to meet you for the first time in the new year, so Happy New Year. I thank you all for your steadfast support to UN Women and I very much look forward to engaging with you in the coming months, formally and informally, as we jointly work to implement our Strategic Plan 2022-2025 and to advance the rights of women and girls. I look to you to provide your feedback and reflections, both on the status of women and girls globally and on opportunities and challenges in the intergovernmental space.
I am delighted to warmly congratulate the newly elected Bureau members. I warmly welcome and congratulate my friend, Her Excellency the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, Ambassador Rabab Fatima as the new President, and His Excellency, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Kyslytsya of Ukraine, and His Excellency, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Valtýsson of Iceland to the Bureau. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Her Excellency, Permanent Representative and Ambassador Squeff of Argentina, who continues to represent her region in the Bureau in 2022. Thank you for taking up this important responsibility. I am confident that under the able leadership of Her Excellency Rabab Fatima as President the Executive Board will take UN Women into its second decade with intentionality to best serve the women and girls of the world.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the outgoing President, Ambassador Turay, and his colleagues at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone for their leadership last year. We sincerely appreciate your steadfast commitment and support to UN Women’s mandate and for leading the Executive Board in 2021.
I would like to thank also the Vice Presidents and staff members from the permanent missions of Germany, Japan, Argentina and Georgia who facilitated countless informal briefings, as well as negotiations and adoptions of the many Executive Board decisions last year.
Thank you to both the incoming and outgoing Bureaus for being gender champions and for supporting the process of strengthening UN Women as a key Entity within the UN family.
Of course, the successful work of the UN Women Executive Board would not be possible without its able Secretariat. I note the commitment and hard work of our Secretary, Jean-Luc Bories, and the entire Executive Board Secretariat team and I thank them for their unwavering support to the Bureau in 2021, especially amidst the ongoing and ever-changing situation of COVID-19.
Excellencies, the Executive Board is the Governing Body of UN Women and the primary forum for my interaction with the Member States. I view our interactions as the top-most priority in guiding our work. I will look to you to advise me, not only on the agenda items but also on the range of issues and challenges that face us, and to have an earnest discussion on the status of women and girls in the context of global development opportunities and challenges: on the upcoming CSW, on our COVID response, and of course, on our Strategic Plan.
In particular, I look forward to engaging with you on our fieldwork, our crisis response and how we can best utilize intergovernmental spaces, and to fulfill our triple mandate.
Working together as partners, we will make a difference. UN Women, through you and with you, will continue to be a driving force for gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.
I thank you very much.