The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.


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Statements and Speeches

Statement by Ms. Sherina Saran, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, at the Annual Session of 2016 of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)

27 June 2016

Mr President,

My delegation wishes to thank the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) for convening this important Annual Session for 2016 of the Executive Board. We further express our gratitude to the President of the Executive Board, H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations, and to the Executive Director of UN-Women, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for their statements, respectively.

My delegation wishes to make the following observations, on this important Annual report of the Executive Director of UN-Women and the midterm review of the strategic plan, 2014-2017.

We welcome UN-Women’s efforts in delivering on its mandate by supporting Member States to implement international-agreed standards in the field of the empowerment of women and girls, including gender equality.

Whilst acknowledging the Six Impact Areas; namely: 1) leadership and participations, 2) economic empowerment, 3) ending violence against women, 4) peace, security and humanitarian action, 5) national planning and budgeting, 6) global norms and standards; and the overall progress to date of 33 % achieved and 25 % on track, my delegation remains concerned about the lack of progress in certain areas, such as the exclusion of women, especially the poor, from economic empowerment and benefit from development.

Mr President,

In order to eradicate the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the full inclusion, prioritization and strengthening of all women and their roles in society is a key driver. We therefore need to enhance action to ensure that UN-Women is able to achieve 100% compliance on all impact areas identified.

My delegation is of the view that the role and participation of women in addressing the identified impact areas above, as well as their sustainability in this regard is undisputed. Whilst acknowledging the capacity building training, systems and resources that are being provided, cognizance must be made around the new and recurring health pandemics, ranging from the ZIKA virus to the recent yellow-fever outbreaks that the world has to address, bearing in mind the additional risk and burden that they place on women and girls.

Mr President,

My delegation commends UN-Women for leading on the United Nations System-wide Action Plan (SWAP) on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and its mainstreaming of gender into the operational activities of the United Nations Development System.  This initiative is remarkable, as it demonstrates the UN’s ability to not only call upon Member States to incorporate women’s empowerment and gender equality into national policies and action plans, but also to conduct an introspection and address these inequalities that exist within the UN System.

And finally, Mr President, my delegation wishes to inform that UN Women Multi-Country Office in South Africa has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the South African Post Office to convert post office buildings into enterprise hubs to provide digital literacy skills training to women, in particular entrepreneurs living in rural areas.

South Africa remains committed and is in full support of UN-Women and the entity’s contribution to the promotion, protection and fulfillment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and to build a society that is just and equitable for all.

I thank you.