UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér visits Brussels and the new European Union leadership

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér visited Brussels, Belgium, from 4 to 5 February 2020.

The visit was intended to continue strengthening partnerships with the European Union, and particularly with the new European Commission and the EEAS in order to accelerate progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, both at home and abroad.

In the context of the preparations of the CSW64 and the upcoming Generation Equality Forum, Ms. Regnér met with Commissioner Dalli, Commissioner Urpilainen, Commissioner Johansson and Commissioner Vestager. She also met key partners from the European External Action Service and the European Parliament as well as EU member states. Finally, Ms. Regnér also took the opportunity to engage with civil society representatives to exchange views on gender equality issues in EU and their engagement in the upcoming events.

Highlights

During her visit, Deputy Executive Director Regnér met with European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, with whom she exchanged views on gender equality in Europe and in the world. They exchanged about the envisaged EU Gender Equality Strategy and the recently published Secretary-General’s Report on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as well as the upcoming CSW, also in the context of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declarationand this year’s Generation Equality Forum and the Action Coalitions.

Deputy Executive Director Regnér with European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. Photo: UN Women
Deputy Executive Director Regnér with European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. Photo: UN Women
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
Deputy Executive Director Regnér with Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen. Photo: UN Women

Ms. Regnér also met with Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen. The discussion centered around progress made at global level on gender equality while also highlighting the remaining challenges, one of which being violence against women.In this context, they exchanged about the important EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls as well as key milestones of 2020, including the Generation Equality Forum.

Ms. Regnér met both with the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Evelyn Regnér, as well as with the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé. She welcomed the upcoming visit of the joint FEMM-DEVE Committee delegation to CSW 64 and the role of parliamentarians in the Beijing+25 process. 

Deputy Executive Director Regnér with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson. Photo: UN Women
Deputy Executive Director Regnér with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson. Photo: UN Women

In addition, Asa Regnér also met with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson and Commissioner for Competition,  Margrethe Vestager, exchanging on SDGs, the gender dimension of migration as well as digitalization and artificial intelligence.

Civil society representatives from Oxfam, European Women’s Lobby, EndFGM Network among others, also attended an exchange of views with Ms. Regnér to discuss the upcoming Generation Equality Forum, CSW64 and their role in these processes.

Deputy Executive Director Regnér participates in the OECD conference on Ending Violence Against Women. Photo: UN Women
Deputy Executive Director Regnér participates in the OECD conference on Ending Violence Against Women. Photo: UN Women

On 6 February 2020, Ms. Regnér also participated in the high level OECD conference, in Paris, on Ending Violence Against Women. Ms. Regnér welcomed the OECD call to Action 21 of the 37 governments adhering to the OECD Gender Recommendation listed violence against women as one of the three most urgent gender equality issues in their country. The OECD Public Governance Committee has called on the OECD to support countries in providing an integrated, cross-Ministerial and state-wide response towards violence against women through its Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and Action Plan. Ms Regnér called the OCED governments and partners to use the evidence and their power to changer power patterns to end violence against women and girls.