NEW YORK – Her Excellency Mrs. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, presided over the Second Regular Session of the UN-Women Executive Board, which convened from August 29 to 30. This session was the last Executive Board meeting of 2017 facilitated by Ambassador Nusseibeh in her capacity as its President.

At the opening of the meeting, Ambassador Nusseibeh reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to UN-Women, underlining the entity’s critical role in leading global efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Noting her first-hand experience while visiting Nepal and India on official UN visits, Ambassador Nusseibeh emphasized, “The field visit demonstrated the vast impact that UN Women has on the ground, and the demand around the world for UN Women’s expertise and experience.” She also reflected on the UN-Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi, launched under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, which aims to strengthen the entity’s work in empowering women and girls in the region.

The Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, lauded Ambassador Nusseibeh’s efforts in advocating for gender equality globally, as well as within the UN framework. She further praised the UAE for its support for UN-Women since its inception, and commended the UAE for leading on women’s empowerment in the region.

Ambassador Nusseibeh presented a report on the Joint Field Visit to Nepal with the Executive Boards of the UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP)/UN Population Fund (UNFPA)/UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the World Food Programme (WFP), and on the UN-Women Field Visit to India, both of which took place in April 2017. During the field visits, the Board witnessed firsthand the impact of UN-Women’s efforts to champion for women and girls, and to leverage its effective partnerships with civil society and governments. Noting the value of the independent field visit to India, Ambassador Nusseibeh encouraged the Board to institutionalize annual UN-Women field visit.

After lengthy negotiations steered by Ambassador Nusseibeh, the Board adopted draft decisions relating to the Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 and the integrated budget for 2018-2019, which aims to better equip the organization to realize gender equality by 2030. Furthermore, the UAE-sponsored proposal to institutionalize annual UN-Women field visits was adopted, as well as draft decisions relating to the management response to the audit, and the financing structure of the entity.

Ambassador Nusseibeh expressed her sincerest thanks to her colleagues for the productive dialogues since the start of her term as President of the Board. She stated, “I will continue to serve as an advocate for UN-Women, and to prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment in all of my work.” She underlined that the UAE will continue to be a steadfast supporter and partner of UN-Women.

Ambassador Nusseibeh will remain President of the Executive Board until the end of 2017, after which she will continue to work towards strengthening collaboration among the Executive Boards, and promote the work of UN-Women.