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Statement to the Third Committee by Helen S. von Ernst, Second Secretary

                               Statement by Helen Inga S. von Ernst

                               General Assembly 74th session, 15 November 2019

                               Third Committee






Mr. / Madame Chair,

Across all regions, countries and sectors, women are paid less than men.

According to the Global Wage Report 2018, the global gender pay gap is estimated at 20%.

Despite international and national efforts to address this challenge, progress on narrowing the gender pay gap has been slow.

While the principle of equal remuneration for women and men for work of equal value has been widely endorsed in ILO conventions, CEDAW and CESCR and other instruments - applying it in practice has proven difficult.

In order to celebrate efforts of stakeholders to achieve equal pay for work of equal value and urge further action, Australia, Canada, Germany, Panama, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and my own country Iceland, all members of the Equal Pay International Coalition, have joined together in presenting the draft resolution on the International Equal Pay Day contained in document A/C.3/74/L.49, under agenda item 70.


Mr. / Madame Chair,

We are pleased that this resolution establishes September 18th as International Equal Pay Day to be observed each year beginning in 2020. The International Day will ensure celebration of progress achieved and to support the fight for equal pay.


All Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, other international organizations and civil society, including non‑governmental organizations and the private sector, are invited to observe the International Equal Pay Day and the resolution also invites, UN Women and ILO, in collaboration with all relevant organisation, to work together to facilitate the observance of the International Equal Pay Day.

We are pleased that the resolution also recalls our commitment to achieving equal pay for work of equal value, as outlined in target 8.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the human rights framework that underpins the fundamental rights nature of equal pay.


Mr. / Madam Chair,


We would like to thank all the delegations for their constructive participation and collaboration, both in the informal consultation and through bilateral discussions.

We would like to thank all the 93 delegations that have already co-sponsored the draft resolution. We invite all those who share our view on the importance of efforts to urge further action to achieve equal pay for work of equal value to join us as co-sponsors.

Mr. / Madam Chair,


We take this opportunity to reaffirm once again our strong commitment to Equal Pay and we look forward to working with all partners to celebrate the first International Equal Pay Day on 18 September 2020.


Thank you Mr./ Madam Chair.


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