Delivered by HE Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council

Madame Chair, Your Excellency

I thank the Swiss Federation and Her Excellency Viola Amherd for convening us today to discuss this important topic. The UAE also thanks the briefers for their valuable contributions.

Today’s meeting is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of those who have come before us. The UAE pays tribute to the women and men who have, through decades of struggle and sacrifice, built a robust international framework for the protection and promotion of the rights of women, comprising the core elements of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Women Peace and Security agenda, and the principles and instruments of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Today’s meeting is also an opportunity to consider how to build upon this international framework. The UAE firmly believes that in order to provide the greatest protection of women’s rights, we must better leverage the intersection and interplay between the pillars of the international framework. This is critical not just to achieve the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in public and private sectors, but also to ensure a resilient and sustainable international framework, with pillars that support and reinforce one another. With this objective in mind, I would like to share three points today:

First, the Security Council’s Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, which the UAE co-chaired with Switzerland last year, has integrated important elements of the CEDAW in its country-specific discussions. The Group’s meetings and products make important contributions to the implementation of the WPS agenda, and they also provide an opportunity to highlight synergies between CEDAW and the WPS agenda more consistently, to ensure they are mainstreamed into the Council’s work and products.

Second, we must also link the WPS agenda and CEDAW with the Sustainable Development Goals. In this way, governments working to achieve the 2030 Agenda can align and coordinate their efforts and commitments to these frameworks.  In 2017, the UAE established a National Committee on SDGs to implement the 2030 Agenda at the national level. As Chair of the National Committee’s Council on Sustainable Development Goal 5, I lead the Council’s work in analysing, discussing, and recommending tools that can further have a positive effect on the gender balance and equality in the UAE and beyond. Incorporating the WPS agenda and CEDAW principles within national institutions working on the Sustainable Development Goals can help achieve measurable progress and impact.

Third, in line with its four pillars, the WPS agenda must be applied to the entire peace-continuum, including in the lead up to and after conflict. We must acknowledge the multifaceted nature of the WPS agenda, and its enduring relevance and importance throughout the peace continuum. This means that any decision or action to promote women’s critical roles as agents of change must take into consideration the different, existing frameworks relevant to gender equality and the protection of women and girls as well as the interplay between them.

To conclude, I want to highlight that today’s discussion has demonstrated once more that the international community has already established a robust framework as a basis for strengthening women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation. In these times, where inclusive peace negotiations are more critical than ever, Member States must intensify cooperation to ensure this framework’s potential is fulfilled in a comprehensive and efficient manner. 

Thank you.