Closing remarks by Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Anita Bhatia, at the Second Regular Session of the UN Women Executive Board


[As delivered]

Thank you, Madame President, and thank you, Madame Executive Director.

On behalf of the Executive Director, Asa Regner and myself, may I reiterate thanks to you Madame President Pennelope Beckles for leading us through this session so effectively, and for your fantastic time management skills.  We would also like to thank the Vice-Presidents for their work, and all the delegations for all the statements made over the past two days, which have contributed to such a rich exchange of views. 

Please rest assured that our relationship with the Executive Board is a resource that we really value, and we rely upon this interaction in order to enrich our work. Whether in this room, at informal sessions, or out in the field, as you heard from the session and the videos that you saw of the recent field visit, we have a very real and robust dialogue with you. This relationship and your support are critical assets for us as we continue to align and adapt to UN reform, to implement our change management process, and pursue the demands of the Beijing+25 anniversary campaign. 

We have had a very rich two days. I will not go into the details of all of the issues that arose; you have heard many of them encapsulated in the draft decisions and you will have records of all of the discussions here, so let me just conclude by referring at a very high level to the main issues that came up and to thank you for your contributions on those. 

We heard from several of you about our next biennium’s budget expansion. We share your concern about the decreasing share of regular resources, and the need for flexible and predictable funding from countries, as detailed in the Funding Compact. We urge all of you to look deeply into your coffers to see how you can support our request for more core resources to close the core funding gap once and for all, on the occasion of our 10th anniversary. UN Women is strongly committed to the Funding Compact; we hope that our Board members will also lead by example by keeping up and even surpassing your commitments. We thank all of the Member States who are strong contributors and we urge others to join this club. 

We also call on you to be strong advocates not just for our funding but for the overall approach, including the establishment of thematic funding windows. We also hear your support, and we also hear your desire for more details with respect to those funding windows. 

We thank you for your engagement on the implementation of UN Reform; there was a very rich presentation from our colleagues on how this is working, especially since it is so new. You heard from us on some of the issues that we have since the launch of the Resident Coordinator system six months ago; we will continue to update you on how this progresses. 

You also heard from us on evaluation issues; we appreciate your support on the overall evaluation, not just the meta-evaluation that our colleague presented, but also the in-depth analysis that we presented to you on our humanitarian work. In both of these areas there is more work to be done and we will be coming back to you with the details of that as we develop our capacities in that regard. 

I think you heard a very rich and good discussion on each of these topics; thank you for all the work that allowed us to bring this to fruition. Special thanks for the way that we concluded on the draft decisions, because this will help shape the path for us as well as other agencies.

 I also want to underscore that you heard from us both on the work that we are doing internally as well as the work that the Staff Council is helping us to do on promoting better workplace relations. This was a first for the Board, so I do want to take special note of that. 

In conclusion I would say, distinguished delegates, we have a very important year ahead of us with several important anniversaries. We are approaching the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, most notably the Climate Action Summit, as well as the high-level week. When we next meet, for our First Regular Session of 2020, we will be fully immersed in the Beijing+25 events, mobilization and process. This is an incredibly ambitious plan and a historic opportunity for which we need all of your continuing support. 

Let me also thank all the others who have worked so hard to make sure these last two days were successful. In addition to all of your participation, I would be remiss if I did not thank the Secretary, the Secretariat team and our interpreters, who are invisible but very important for the good functioning of the Board. 

With that, let me again thank you very much for your active engagement and discussion and we look forward to seeing you next year.


Thank you very much.