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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
Marie Yvette Banzon
Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations
On the consideration of the UNIFEM Strategic Plan 2008-2011
Second regular session of the Executive Boards of the UNDP and UNFPA
13 September 2007
Thank you for the opportunity to address this meeting. Allow me also to thank the UNIFEM for its preparation of the draft strategic plan for 2008-2011. We would also wish to extend our appreciation to Ms. Noeleen Heyzer for her excellent work in steering the UNIFEM as its Executive Director, for her passion that has been so instrumental in the UN’s work to promote gender equality, and we welcome her back to our region as she takes on a new assignment as Executive Secretary of the UN ESCAP.
The operational work of the UN on gender becomes more and more crucial at this time that we are getting closer to our MDG deadlines. The UNIFEM’s work is not only important for helping us achieve Goal Three, which is the direct goal, but it also impacts on the success of efforts on the other seven goals. UNIFEMS’s work in the four strategic areas remains necessary and even critical for some countries. The Asian region has particularly benefited from programs that addressed violence against women and HIV/AIDS, those that dealt with women’s migration, and those that dealt with furthering understanding and implementation of the CEDAW. In the Philippines, among other projects, we have worked with UNIFEM to build the ICT capacities of women entrepreneurs, particularly in the small and medium businesses, which aimed at empowering them and increasing their competitiveness. This is the kind of collaboration that clearly shows the importance of UNIFEM’s work in helping countries achieve their development goals.
We agree that much of UNIFEM’s strength lies in its ability to build and take advantage of partnerships for gender advancement. We are happy to see that the strategic plan intends to enhance this foundation of networks.
The assessment made by an external group is a valuable exercise that should be conducted periodically. We welcome the responses and adjustments made by UNIFEM in favor of concreteness in the Fund’s direction, clarity in the message it gives to stakeholders about its work, better monitoring and reporting, and enhanced coherence between its plans and its outcomes.
We appreciate that the strategic plan was prepared bearing in mind the General Assembly’s discussions on the new gender architecture of the UN. We believe that the process of the debate on the gender architecture should not hamper the UN’s work on the ground. Furthermore, we also think that the strategic framework is a plan that will be valid and fit into whatever shape the new gender architecture takes. Indeed, the operational work of the UN on gender should be here to stay and should even be strengthened. In this regard, my delegation would like to express its support for the new strategic plan in order to give the direction to the UN’s gender work on the ground, as well provide the necessary capacities and resources to carry out its programs.
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