Delivered by: Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative

Excellencies, colleagues,

Thank you to the co-chairs, Qatar and Rwanda, for organising this meeting, and to the Secretary-General as well as UN Women’s Executive Director for sharing with us some insights as we take stock five years on about UN efforts to strengthen gender parity within the system and leadership.

The UAE is a staunch believer in leading by example, and the United Nations, as the only truly global organization, holds a unique position to do just that when it comes to gender parity. The visibility of female UN personnel, especially in senior positions, is not just instructive for its Member States, but also an inspiration for women and girls all over the world. It’s clear that statements of intent alone are not sufficient to achieve gender parity, and we need extraordinary measures to accelerate progress. As Member States, we have the ability to ensure that gender parity is part and parcel with our nominations of leading positions of UN agencies, and it’s our duty, collectively, and especially as members of this Group, to keep this at the forefront of our deliberations.

I have two main questions and will keep them brief. We all agree that meeting certain numbers is critical, but creating enabling environments is equally important. Concerning the decrease in the number of women working in the UN field positions between 2017 and 2022, it was very useful indeed to hear from the SG directly about what has caused these challenges, and appreciate your personal commitment, Secretary-General, on putting in place some measures in response to these challenges. I think we’d be interested to hear more on whether there are specific programmes and initiatives that are in place to try to expand the pipeline of female staff in the field, and how can Member States support in this regard.

UN Women, Ms. Sima Bahous, thank you so much for your presentation, and congratulations on all your achievements, including the booklet that you have just mentioned. It will be, I’m sure, a very useful guide that will serve the UN and also including peacekeeping missions, and help all achieve our common objective. What can member states do, Ms. Sima Bahous, to better target funding for initiatives like those that you have mentioned, which improve the capacity of women, and to retain women, in this sector? Whether or not you have identified specific, I would say, gaps or challenges for mobilizing funds for gender parity programmes?

To conclude, the UAE supports the UN in its efforts to remain on track to achieve our common objectives, as I mentioned. Thank you so much again.