Mr. Secretary General,
Madame Phumzile,
Distinguished panelists,

Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, for championing this platform, and for your commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality. And thank you, Madame Phumzile, for your steadfast support in defending the rights of women and girls everywhere. Let me begin by offering my thanks for the opportunity to represent the UAE in this critical discussion on Every Woman Every Child’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

The UAE is committed to advancing this global movement. Since our nation’s founding, our leadership has made the full and meaningful participation of women in every aspect of our society a core principle, recognizing that women are equal partners in the development of the nation. It is in regard for firm belief that the UAE seeks not only to empower women, but to empower society through women, in every setting, everywhere. This is even more critical when women are caught up in humanitarian or vulnerable settings.

The UAE has continued to strengthen this platform. Last year, under the patronage of our first lady, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the UAE hosted a meeting of development and humanitarian experts in maternal and child health in Abu Dhabi to engage the Every Woman Every Child EveryWhere global movement.

This unprecedented gathering developed the Abu Dhabi Declaration in January of 2015, which generated momentum for the renewed Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy – launched at the General Assembly last year – to add focus on the “everywhere” component – that is, to broaden and strengthen this global movement and leave no one behind.

The Abu Dhabi Declaration helped ensure not only that gender is a key consideration in responses to humanitarian emergencies, but also that humanitarian settings are a key consideration in strategies for the advancement of gender equality. As we know, crises deepen existing gender inequalities, marginalization, and exclusion. Yet, women and young people are often both the first responders to crises and the leading innovators of sustainable solutions in crises.

This is why the UAE is dedicated to this initiative, for which we will continue to provide our steadfast support. The UAE is proud to announce that H.E. Rym al Falasi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, will serve on the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Every Woman Every Child.

The UAE will host a meeting of experts in Abu Dhabi this April to develop a 5-year plan for implementation of the Global Strategy, and to ensure that women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ needs in humanitarian and fragile settings are thoroughly addressed.

Our hope is that this meeting will inform and enhance international action and implementation of the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy, particularly in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit and World Health Assembly this year.