Thank you, Madam President. We thank Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for her leadership of UN Women. The United States strongly supports UN Women’s work, which is aligned with key U.S. goals for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. These include advancing women’s leadership and political participation; creating economic opportunities for women; preventing and responding to gender-based violence; and empowering adolescent girls. We are pleased that the Secretary-General has included UN Women on the principal-level Executive Committee, as this has helped raise awareness of these concerns throughout the UN system.
Turning to UN Women’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, UN Women has made steady progress toward a comprehensive plan, Integrated Results and Resources Framework and Integrated Budget. We support your efforts to strengthen normative frameworks related to gender equality and women’s empowerment; assist member states to strengthen their activities on behalf of women and girls; and promote accountability within the UN system around gender equality. Overall, the plan articulates a clear vision of how UN Women will focus its efforts in the 2018-2021 planning period. It targets areas within the mandate while recognizing that decisions have to be made about resource spending. We appreciate your commitment to using evidence in the development of this planning document, including increasing focus on larger-scale projects – Flagship Programme Initiatives – instead of small-scale, short-duration projects. We support the focus on monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of UN Women’s efforts, which assures donors that their contributions are put to good use. We encourage you to ensure that adequate financial resources are invested in the evaluation function.
We commend UN Women’s efforts to leverage its unique position in the UN system to help close the global digital gender gap, and appreciate that you have included information and communication technology as a “driver of change” in your next strategic plan. Harnessing innovative solutions will be a key way for UN Women to enhance the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness and increase your ability to deliver results on the ground. We strongly encourage you to work with other funds and programs and share best practices as you work to implement these changes.
We commend UN Women for focusing on cultivating important partnerships with others besides member states and the UN, including with civil society, businesses, foundations, and the media. It is impressive to see that your non-government resources have nearly doubled in 2016, largely as a result of private sector interest in the results of the Flagship Programme Initiatives. We support many of the findings in the report on corporate evaluation of UN Women’s strategic partnerships. An important recommendation is that UN Women establish a commonly agreed framework for strategic partnerships as a part of its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. As UN Women seeks to work more in humanitarian contexts, it is also important to think about how its work complements the efforts of UN agencies which already take a leadership role and have strong operation field presences. We recommend that UN Women think about the kind of gender-related work and partnerships that are still needed in humanitarian emergencies and which would complement existing roles and responsibilities in the humanitarian architecture. We urge you to implement these important and timely recommendations.
Your results framework shows a clear link between outputs and outcomes, which taken together ultimately achieve the impact UN Women seeks. In the implementation phase of the Strategic Plan, we will look for alignment of programs of work with the plan and for evaluation reports to provide evidence for decision-making and progress made against the plan.
The United States remains deeply committed to empowering women, and we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with UN Women and other member states on these important issues facing women and girls around the world.