Sommaire: July 18, 2002: Statement by Counsellor Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN, on behalf of the European Union, at the ECOSOC Substantive Session. Sub-item 7 (e): Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the UN system (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union under Sub-item 7 (e): Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the UN system. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the Union - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - and the Associated Countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the EFTA countries members of the EEA Iceland and Liechtenstein have expressed their wish to align themselves with this statement.
With the Beijing Platform for Action gender mainstreaming became a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality and the human rights of women. The ECOSOC endorsed this strategy by adopting resolution 1997/17, and the European Union therefore welcomes the establishment of this important new sub-item on the agenda. The sub-item is pertinent to monitoring progress made in gender mainstreaming, but most importantly it creates the opportunity to increase efforts to systematically reflect gender perspectives in discussions and outcomes of all areas pertaining to the Economic and Social Council.
While the European Union notes some progress in mainstreaming a gender perspective in the UN system, gender issues are addressed to varying degrees and in different forms. Gender perspectives are still not always addressed as a matter of routine, and the analysis of issues and the formulation of policy options are not always informed by a formulation of gender differences and inequalities.
Consequently, it is pertinent to continue efforts so that a comprehensive assessment of progress over time can be undertaken when the ECOSOC takes up gender mainstreaming at one of its future coordination segments before 2005. Opportunities to narrow gender gaps must be consistently identified to support greater equality between men and women.
The EU appreciates the progress made by the subsidiary bodies of the ECOSOC in giving attention to situations that are specific to women and to the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into their work.
The Commission on the Status of Women naturally plays a catalytic role in support of gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting issue to all activities of the United Nations system.
The Commission for Social Development identifies gender equality as one of the essential elements for social and people-centred sustainable development. This is also affirmed in the Consensus of the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development recognising the need for mainstreaming a gender perspective into development policies at all levels.
Several other subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC have done likewise in their respective areas by for example continuing to use and call for data disaggregated on the basis of sex and to further develop quantitative and qualitative indicators that provide separate analysis by sex so as to assess and analyse progress in the empowerment of women.
The EU also notes with appreciation the work of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality and their efforts to ensure that the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) addresses gender perspectives systematically.
In this context, the European Union would also welcome the engagement of the Security Council in considering humanitarian issues and the effect of conflict on women and children. By adopting the landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in 2000 the Security Council emphasized the role of women in contributing to the promotion of peace, security and human rights. Likewise, the EU welcomes the efforts by the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women in mainstreaming a gender perspective into their work.
The EU believes that one of the major challenges is to implement the mainstreaming of the gender perspective and the dimension of equality in all European Union policies. Gender mainstreaming is thus a guiding principle of the Union's inter-governmental processes as well as of bilateral programmes of Member States.