‘Ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women by 2030 is the mission of our time’ – Executive Director

Closing remarks of UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Executive Board Annual Session, 19 June 2014, New York.

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014

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Good afternoon, Mr. President, members of the bureau, members of the board, distinguished delegates, colleagues and friends, 

I would like to thank you for guiding this annual session of the UN Women Executive Board to a successful conclusion.

I especially thank the President, the bureau members, UN Women colleagues, the Secretary of the Executive Board and his team for all the work put into the preparations of this session.

I 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.

You acknowledge that UN Women has until now been under-resourced, and you have committed to support us both politically and financially.

On behalf of all of us at UN Women, I thank all Member States very much for your numerous expressions of appreciation and support to UN Women.

We are indeed pleased with what we have accomplished together over the last years - the institution we have built - the partnerships we have strengthened, and, as you have so eloquently underscored, the results we have achieved, which has led to higher expectations.

This board session came at a strategic moment as the Beijing+20 review and post-2015 appraisal process is underway.

UN Women looks forward to working with all of you for a dynamic, forward-looking and inclusive process to strengthen action towards achievement of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.

On the opening day of the session, we reviewed the strategic plan and the progress we have made, with a focus on the year 2013.

The report gives to the board an opportunity to use the lessons learnt to review the implementation of UN Women’s current Strategic Plan for the period 2014 to 2017.

We also have the outcome of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 58 and the latest report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

UN Women welcomes the strong support of Open Working Group members for a goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and the integration of gender equality dimensions in all other goals through gender-sensitive targets and indicators.

For proposed goal 5: Attain gender equality, empower women and girls, UN Women is calling for the title of the goal to include: fully realize their human rights everywhere.

UN Women looks forward to working with all of you to realize the future women want by 2030.

We also welcome your support for evaluation. I noted that Member States highly appreciated the joint efforts of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF and UN Women on evaluating the impact of their partnership on joint programmes on gender equality.

The pledging event yesterday was a second success after the turning point of last year. I am sure we will have even more success in 2015. There is appreciation of our accomplishments and recognition that UN Women deserves a new and higher level of support.

I am pleased to report that 44 countries took the floor at yesterday’s pledging event, and UN Women now has a total of 82 pledges.

We have 39 multi-year pledges, nine countries with increased funding, and three countries that pledged for the first time. The pledging event was an unqualified success.

We agree with Sweden that the time has come for a dialogue on structural financing and we look forward to pursuing this as part of our enhanced resource mobilization strategy. We intend to be innovative in our fundraising.

We also take note of discussions on current administrative services provided to UN Women and will look into more independent services in the medium to long-term.

Yesterday we had a chance to focus on the operational response of UN Women at country level. We heard from UN Women representative in Papua New Guinea on the implementation of the safe cities programme.

We saw real challenges and opportunities to align our normative, operational and advocacy mandate. We saw how support and resources are desperately needed to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.

And today on the third and final day of the session we had a chance to focus on the report on audit and investigation and on the a joint event UN Women was coordinating for the first time this year, the Joint field visit of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), UNICEF, UN-Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) to Panama and El Salvador.

The visit was commended by all of you. You commended UN Women coordinating the organization of the visit taking into account the small capacity of the entity.

I take this occasion to thank you again the President of UN Women Executive Board for being the team leader and all the rapporteurs for the hard work they have been doing collecting suggestions and recommendations and writing together the report.

I would like also to thank you Ms. Vanda Pignato Secretary of Social inclusion of El Salvador that presented the board with the Ciudad Mujer project, an emblematic programme that is changing the life of thousands of women in El Salvador.

During this annual session, you have advised us on many important matters and on behalf of UN Women, I thank you. We do not just want to hear praise, but also your criticism, advice and guidance. We cherish an open dialogue!

We have taken note of your comments, suggestions and decisions and will take them forward as we move ahead.

In our focus on resource mobilization, we will continue to widen and deepen our donor base in part through country-specific outreach to traditional and non-traditional donors. We want to encourage double digit contributions amongst UN Member States while reaching out to the private sector.

We will look for innovative approaches, which we will share with you. At the same time, we urge you to re-prioritize and frontload contributions to UN Women to enable us to fully deliver on our mandate and the results in our strategic plan.

I welcome the small, medium and large donations! Your support is a testament to your commitment to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women on a universal scale.

We want to reach a point where our discussions are no longer focused on our shortage of funds, but rather on our collaboration and concrete accomplishments for the future women want by 2030.

We want to direct our energy and total commitment to the mission of our time which is to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls by 2030.

I thank the board for its commitment and the good work of the Secretariat and our staff. We are moving forward with renewed energy after this board session.

I call upon all Member States to commit themselves to the Beijing +20 review and appraisal process. The campaign is a call for action, the momentum for change.

We expect to see you at the Apollo Theater on 26 June for our special event when we celebrate our Beijing+20 campaign, Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity. This is not a mission impossible. This is a mission of our time!

I thank you and look forward to working with on our shared mission!