Thank you Mr. President.
I would like to begin by congratulating you on your presidency of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. I wish you and the all the members of this bureau great success.
The selection of “Women’s Empowerment and its Link to Sustainable Development” as the priority theme of this session is a timely choice. This year we must commit to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Goal 5: “achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” I am pleased to reiterate my country’s readiness to cooperate and strengthen international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Nationally, the leadership of the UAE recognizes the key role of women as partners in state-building and in achieving inclusive and sustainable development. It is through the consistent and meaningful empowerment of women in a range of priority and decision-making roles that the UAE expects to achieve real progress in our commitment to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the domestic level.
Additionally, the UAE remains steadfast in supporting women in their transition to leadership roles in a broad range of political, economic, and social decision-making processes. Just last month, five women ministers were appointed to the new UAE federal government, increasing the number of female ministers to eight. That means that close to one third of the UAE Cabinet is female. What is more, all the new women ministers hold critical portfolios for the country and our region – leading ministries of community development, international cooperation, tolerance, youth, and happiness. This development reflects the UAE’s firm conviction that women are key partners in the development and progress of the nation.
These efforts do not take place in a vacuum, and we have found that national partners and strong institutions are critical to achieving progress. Several women’s organizations in the UAE play priority roles in furthering the empowerment of women and enhancing women’s roles in the development process, particularly the General Women’s Union, which is the principal national mechanism for the empowerment of women. This organization plays an important role in building women’s and girls’ capacities in various fields. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union, leads national efforts aimed at empowering women, strengthening their position in society, and ensuring their effective contribution to the UAE’s development process. These efforts have significantly contributed to increasing women’s access to leadership positions, and to furthering the overall development of our society.
In order to measure our own – and the world’s – progress, the UAE believes that effective monitoring and periodical evaluation of the implementation of the sustainable development goals will be critical to maintaining and furthering gender equality and women’s empowerment. Therefore, our government announced last month that the UAE World Government Summit will serve as an annual platform to gathers leaders of governments, prominent academics, policy-makers and practitioners as well as private sector representatives from over 125 countries to review the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda. We see this as an important opportunity to share best practices in monitoring, reporting, and financing mechanisms related to the Goals, including Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Based on our national experience, the UAE firmly believes that gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the core of peaceful and prosperous societies. We believe that safeguarding these principles can protect communities from the challenges that hinder the achievement of sustainable development, particularly noting the impact of the rise in extremism on our region’s growing youth populations, heightened unemployment, and the increase in violations of the human rights of women and girls, including their vulnerability to all forms of violence.
We believe that to successfully navigate and manage these challenges, we need to build multilateral partnerships in support of the global empowerment of women. That is reflected in the UAE’s committed international role and strong partnership with the United Nations, particularly with UN Women. We look forward to the opening of the UN Women liaison office in Abu Dhabi this year in order to further strengthen this partnership and expand the scope of the implementation of UN Women’s strategic plan in the region.
The UAE is also committed to strengthening the capacities of communities worldwide in resilience, recovery, and the achievement of post-conflict development. Through its Mission in New York, the UAE leads a number of partnerships in support of “Women, Peace and Security”, a critical agenda which calls for the participation and representation of women in every aspect of building and sustaining peace.
The UAE delegation is following the ongoing consultations on the Agreed Conclusion with great interest. This will serve as a central component to the international agenda on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the coming years. We are working closely with other countries to produce a comprehensive document that takes into account the interests and concerns of all Member States of the United Nations.
In conclusion, Mr. President, let me reiterate the UAE’s continued commitment at the national, regional, and international level towards achieving the full empowerment of women as a prerequisite for the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a vital next step to our common aim of achieving peace and security throughout the world.