Delivered by: Jawaher AlHebsi, Third Secretary

Mr. President,

At the outset, the UAE would like to express our appreciation for your efforts in guiding this meeting.

Two weeks ago, the world gathered here in New York to accelerate the progress of the SDGs at the SDG Summit. The latest Gender Snapshot is a stark reminder that the advancement of women and girls requires a comprehensive approach that looks beyond SDG 5 only. We must address discrepancies in their access across the board, including health, education, and clean energy by expanding our scope in the actions we take to strengthen women’s roles.

Therefore, the UAE would like to highlight the following three areas for the advancement and empowerment of women and girls:

First, it remains critical to promote women’s equal participation in the economy, as this enables their full, equal and meaningful participation in society. This includes implementing policies of equal pay for equal work. The UAE has undertaken relevant legislative amendments to this end, and now ranks 8th in his regard according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report.  It is also important to engage all actors – public and private alike –  in the shared goal of strengthening the position of women and girls in society. In the past year, additional leading local and multinational companies from the private sector signed the ‘SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Women’s Leadership in the UAE Private Sector’, an initiative by the UAE Gender Balance, the federal entity responsible for developing and implementing the gender balance agenda in my country. This brought the total number of companies that signed the pledge to 65.

Second, we know that increasing risks from climate change provide us the grim prospect of up to 158 million more women and girls being pushed into poverty by 2050. This serves an urgent reminder that when crafting actions aimed at accelerating climate action, women and girls must be front and centre. To advance gender equality through the just transition, COP28 in the UAE will launch a ”Gender-Just Transition Partnership” on Gender Equality Day in December. This partnership will be underpinned by better finance flows to support women-led climate action and better quality, gender-disaggregated data.

Third, regional efforts are an important tool to drive implementation of international frameworks aimed at protecting women and girls and promoting women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in society – from education to politics and economics. This is why the UAE hosted the launch of the Arab Declaration to Combat All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls, which was adopted by the League of Arab States in March 2022. We also host the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak WPS training initiative, in partnership with UN Women, which trains female cadets and supports gender-responsive security sectors in the region. This is part of our collective aim to strengthen women’s roles as agents of peace in the region.

In conclusion, Mr. President,

The UAE also remains a steadfast partner in domestic, regional and international efforts to promote and protect women and girls. Our advancement of Emirati women and girls is with thanks to the constant support and guidance of the country’s leader in empowerment, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. We also reiterate our full support for UN Women, which earlier this year, we pledged 15 million dollars over the next three years.

I thank you.