UN Women Executive Board – Second Regular Session
Joint Nordic Statement
Delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson,
Permanent Representative of Iceland
Mr. President, Madam Executive Director, colleagues,
Congratulations to Ambassador Muhith on his appointment as President of the UN-Women Executive Board. We look forward to working with you on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
I deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Iceland. We align ourselves with the joint statement on the structured dialogue on financing, to be delivered by Switzerland.
First and foremost, the Nordics would like to emphasize the importance of adequate, flexible, and predictable funding for UN-Women to fully execute its triple mandate. We share your concerns, Madam Executive Director, on the balance between core and non-core funding. While we applaud last year’s record high revenues, it is indeed alarming that regular resources grew by less than 11% between 2018 and 2021 compared to a 62% growth in other resources.
Multiple crises in 2021 have derailed progress in various areas of sustainable development. During times of heightened and complex crises, regular and flexible other resources are increasingly important as it enables a rapid and agile response. This was exemplified through UN-Women’s recent response to Taliban’s takeover of power in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine. This includes the scaled-up provision of services for women, by women, in Afghanistan and UN-Women’s support to women’s civil society organizations in Ukraine. We also applaud UN-Women’s collaboration with UN sister entities to ensure gender-responsive humanitarian action.
We appreciate your emphasis on implementing the UN-Women 2.0 vision, including placing UN-Women at the heart of the UN system and pivoting more to the field. We take note of your comment that substantially increased resources will be made available to strengthen capacity in the field. Does UN-Women have a concrete plan for where these resources will be directed to in terms of UN-Women’s triple mandate in the field, i.e. normative, coordination or operational activities?
Allow us to again highlight the importance of risk management, audit and oversight for UN-Women and all UN entities. We look forward to discussing this further under the assessment of the independent evaluation and audit services agenda item but would nevertheless like to take this opportunity to call for continuous improvement and strengthening for all parties involved.
Finally, with UNGA High-Level Week upon us, and the Transforming Education Summit, we would be remiss if we did not highlight the importance of gender equality for progress on quality education. Girls’ education is under threat globally due to COVID-19 interruptions. And in Afghanistan specifically, the only country in the world where girls are banned from going to high school. We urge UN-Women to continue advocating for gender transformative approaches in education.
Madam Executive Director,
You and your staff continue to have the full support of the Nordic countries.