Thank you, Madam President,
At the beginning I would like to thank the Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, for her statement, and we commend her steadfast efforts and dedication in coordinating and leading the international efforts to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world. I am also pleased to congratulate Mrs. Ngcuka for being selected as member of the Executive Committee of the Secretary-General, which represents the commitment of United Nations, at the highest levels, to support the agenda of gender equality and women's empowerment.
We would also like to congratulate the new members of the Executive Board and the bureau under the chairmanship of the Permanent Representative of the UAE, and we wish them success in promoting the work of the Board and UN Women.
The delegation of my country would like to affirm the UAE continued support to UN Women, and we are very pleased with the continuous growing partnership between us. In October 2016, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, the leader of the national efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, UN Women liaison office was opened in Abu Dhabi, where it will support Entity’s strategy in the Gulf region.
Hosting UN Women Liaison Office demonstrates our commitment to support the Entity and the important role it plays in our region and around the world. We are confident that the liaison office in Abu Dhabi will play an important role in mobilizing the necessary support for the Entity and in expanding the base of resources in all forms and sources, which will contribute to meeting the requirements for the expected expanding scope of the work of UN Women around the world.
The empowerment of women is one of the main pillars of UN Women’s mandate, of which economic empowerment constitutes a big aspect of it as a fundamental base for achieving the agenda’s goals of gender equality and women’s empowerment and sustainable development goals. The choice of” women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work”, as the main theme of the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women, is a timely important decision. My delegation looks forward to participate effectively in the Committee’s discussions.
The UAE is committed to promoting the international efforts for women's economic empowerment. Last week, in cooperation with the UN Women and with the participation of the Executive Director, we hosted the meeting of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. We are proud to be members of the panel, through the membership of her excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of state for tolerance. We are looking forward to the launch of the first report of the panel during the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March.
My delegation read the document submitted by the Independent Evaluation Office on the Regional architecture of UN Women, which is a key element in the implementation of the mandate of UN Women, as represented through field presence for the concrete implementation of the agenda of gender equality and women's empowerment. The document includes important information and recommendations on the work and achievements of the various offices in the regions and countries and the work of UN headquarters. Such information was presented through assessments and findings based on logical analysis and detailed explanation of the achievements, challenges and causes, and how to improve strengthening the offices in order to achieve the desired results.
The UAE commends the success achieved by UN Women in its field presence, as demonstrated by a significant increase in the numbers of its regional and subregional offices, which stands as proof of the relevance and effectiveness of UN Women's role in realising its mandate and meeting the expectations of key stakeholders. We welcome the recommendations of the Independent Evaluation Office and UN Women management response and acceptance of the recommendations. We believe that the analysis and recommendations proposed by the Office will strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of UN Women, which will greatly help to enhance its capacity to better perform its mission.
The scope of UN Women’s mandate is rapidly expanding due to the changes and the security, humanitarian and economic conditions happening in the world, which led to doubling the responsibilities of UN Women since its creation seven years ago, as well as to a growing demand for its support and leadership in achieving the global agenda for gender equality and the empowerment of women. However, the core budget of UN Women is almost entirely dependent on voluntary contributions from donor countries, which cover 98% of the budget, while the resources allocated from the regular budget of the United Nations, only cover 2% of the UN Women’s budget. The UAE sees that it is necessary to review UN Women funding architecture which lacks the required sustainability to support the Entity in the implementation of its composite mandate and to achieve the goals agreed upon by the international community regarding women and girls and sustainable development. The issue of UN Women funding should be given priority, the necessary steps must be taken to change the current situation and ensure increased funding from the regular budget of the United Nations for UN Women and allocating fixed, predictable and reliable sources of funding. Without that, we cannot translate our commitments and obligations to make gender equality and women's empowerment and sustainable development into a tangible reality.