Ministry Statements & Speeches:
New Zealand congratulates UN Women on its successful delivery of the Strategic Plan. Momentum towards gender equality and women’s empowerment is stronger than ever before. Broad participation is a critical success factor for women’s empowerment. It is encouraging that last year over 1,100 non-government organisations participated in the Commission on the Status of Women. Despite some progress, life remains extremely hard for large numbers of women and girls, for example, those working very long hours in unpaid labour. These women need opportunities to express the full range of their talents, and to be properly compensated for their contribution. Gender mainstreaming throughout the UN System has increased in depth and breadth. We congratulate UN Women and all those responsible for the significant increase in the number of UN entities meeting or exceeding requirements under the UN System Wide Action Plan for gender equality.
New Zealand commends UN Women for the quality of its evaluations. Though we understand that the Pacific hosts a comparatively small population spread over a large area, New Zealand would like to see greater evaluation coverage in the Pacific region over time.
Small Island Developing States now have a strong framework for gender responsiveness through the SAMOA Platform. The 2012 Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration sets out goals and targets for gender equality in the region. New Zealand appreciates the work being undertaken by UN Women in the Pacific towards the implementation of high level commitments made by Pacific Leaders.
For example, UN Women works in four Pacific Island countries through its Markets for Change Programme, to improve conditions for vendors in markets who sell agricultural and other products. The majority of these vendors are women and over time, local authorities have begun to consult these women about the running and organisation of these markets. We look forward to learning more about the review of the regional architecture of UN Women. We will look for assurances from UN Women that it takes into account the costs associated with working in the Pacific, including the need for long distance travel and coordination. New Zealand is interested in UN Women’s preliminary analysis that it is having some success in influencing the development of the work plans of UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs). We are pleased that UN Women intends to deepen its analysis in this area. UN Women’s mandate may be best served by influencing other UN agencies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as cross-cutting issues in their programme activities.
New Zealand strongly supports the work of UN Women on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security. The 2015 Global Study on implementation of this resolution shows the value of engaging women in all areas of work on peace and security. New Zealand is supportive of efforts to ensure that the perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence are brought to justice and that survivors receive adequate support to assist their reintegration into communities without stigma.
To conclude, New Zealand continues to demonstrate its support for UN Women through our multi-year funding commitment, and wishes UN Women well for the complex task ahead of development of its new strategic plan.