H. E. MR. RAYMOND WOLFE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS ON SYSTEM-WIDE COHERENCE: REFORM TO THE GENDER ARCHITECTURE
APRIL 15 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My delegation wishes to be associated with the Statement made by Sudan on behalf of the Joint Coordinated Committee of the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Like others here today, Jamaica joined the debate on strengthening the gender architecture more than two years ago, recognizing the inadequacies in the UN system which obscured the effective discharge of its mandate and its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. We share the view that there was, and still is, a need to review the gender architecture in the light of the gaps and challenges arising from fragmentation, overlapping mandates, among other issues identified at the time.
Against this background, Jamaica joins others who have spoken before us in thanking the Deputy Secretary General, Mrs Asha Rose Migiro, and her colleagues in the Secretariat for the comprehensive paper on the four institutional options to address those gaps and challenges, as well as the presentations made today by the Under-Secretary-General.
Jamaica would like to see further progress on the issue in order to preserve the momentum generated since the initial discussions began. We believe that whatever option is ultimately pursued, it should remedy deficiencies and strengthen the multilateral system so that it works for all Member States. It is especially critical in addressing the issue of system-wide coherence, to ensure that the UN system can meaningfully respond to the concerns of countries like Jamaica that are both middle-income countries by economic definition, but are nonetheless small, island developing states that are vulnerable to the vagaries of the global economy. In this context, we note the emerging view that Option D – the composite entity – is the most promising option to strengthen gender equality and the empowerment of women within the UN system.
Although there appears to be some merit in pursuing the composite entity, some concerns remain:
As we seek to achieve progress on this aspect of system-wide coherence, we recall the understanding in negotiating resolution 62/277, that progress should be made in all areas of system-wide coherence namely: delivering as one, funding, governance, and the gender architecture, so that a single comprehensive decision could emerge. That was the basis for our agreement that an integrated holistic approach would be taken.
Concern has been expressed in certain quarters that delays in implementing a revised gender architecture would place the credibility of the Organisation in question, and that it is vital to avoid a North/South dichotomy in our thinking as we move forward. However, if we re-visit the terms of resolution 62/277, it is clear that what was agreed was that equal attention be given to all aspects of system-wide coherence emanating from the High Level Panel Report.
Some have suggested that the credibility of the organization will be compromised if we fail to take action on the gender architecture. However, we strongly contend that if we ignore the collective understanding which serves as the basis for the negotiation of resolutions in this noble house, if Member States should renege on the agreement reached by consensus in resolution 62/277, particularly with regard to the need for an integrated approach, that is when we place the credibility of the Organisation in question.
Consequently, Jamaica, while appreciative of the progress made with respect to the gender architecture, urges parallel progress on the other aspects of system-wide coherence. We look forward to receiving documentation on the other outstanding areas, such as funding and governance, which we feel are critical to the review process. In this regard, we support the call for the preparation of a programme of work, to be presented to Member States, which will include the five priority areas of the intergovernmental discussions on system-wide coherence. This should allocate sufficient time for their consideration bearing in mind the agreement to allow for progress in all areas of this process.
We look forward to engaging in the consultative process on these issues based on an integrated approach as agreed in resolution 62/277.
We also await the responses to questions raised today by the JCC, many of which are concerns we share.
I thank you.