Statement by John F. Sammis, Deputy Representative to ECOSOC, to introduce the Third Committee Resolution A/C.3/66/L.20, Rev.1 "Women and Political Participation," November 18, 2011

John F. Sammis
United States Deputy Representative to ECOSOC 
New York, NY
November 18, 2011

Mr. Chairman, the United States has the honor of bringing to the floor for action, on behalf of 84 co-sponsors representing cross-regional support, draft resolution A/C.3/66/L.20, Rev.1 entitled Women and Political Participation.

Mr. Chairman, this resolution points to the importance of women’s involvement in the political sphere. Women embody an enormous potential for serving their countries which has not been fully tapped into. The steps that this resolution enumerates can help to remove barriers, and support and encourage women to play an active part in all stages of politics and to serve in public office. We hope that it will serve as a guide to governments, civil society, the UN system, and most of all, to women throughout the world to facilitate their political participation.

Despite the benefits that women’s political participation can bring to their communities, women’s voices in political decision-making are still muted. Discriminatory laws and practices persist. Countries need to take proactive measures to ensure that women enjoy their right to participate on an equal basis with men. The resolution we will adopt today applies broadly to women everywhere, but also draws attention in a few key paragraphs to situations of political transitions. We have held several rounds of informal consultations to find a balance in this text that will reinforce the rights of all women in all situations, while also drawing attention to the current events that have been unfolding during the past year, and the challenges and opportunities that women face.

Mr. Chairman, as you can see, the flexibility the co-sponsors have demonstrated by accepting amendments to our text is not inconsequential. We have worked hard with all partners to attempt to reach a consensus.

This resolution speaks to women, and on behalf of women, in all parts of the world. We hope women will be inspired and emboldened by it to take an active part in the political life of their countries. We are thankful to the Member States, from all regions, that have already shown their support for this effort by signing on as co-sponsors, and we welcome more co-sponsors. We urge all delegations to give their support to the adoption of this resolution.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2011/284