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United Nations Will ‘Lead by Example’ in Workforce to Achieve Gender Equality, Says Deputy Secretary-General at High-Level Round Table

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the High-Level Leaders’ Round Table on Women and Girls: Catalysing Action to Achieve Gender Equality, at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul today:

I call to order the High-Level Leaders’ Round Table on Women and Girls: Catalyzing Action to Achieve Gender Equality.  Allow me to begin with some brief introductory remarks.

You are here to make commitments to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s rights in humanitarian action.  These goals are critical to meeting this Summit’s objectives.

We can help end need when humanitarian assistance addresses the priorities of women and girls.  We can build resilience by supporting women’s work as agents of change and empowering them in decision-making roles.  And we can better respond to crisis by ending the scourge of violence against women and girls in emergencies.

By providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health, we will protect the well-being of women and girls everywhere.  By ending gender-based violence, we will provide women and girls with the security that they need to build dignified futures.

By ensuring that humanitarian programming is gender-responsive, we will lay the foundation for peaceful and inclusive societies, which are resilient to future crisis.  And by complying with humanitarian policies and frameworks, we can guarantee that respect for gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights are at the heart of all we do.

This is a commitment session and we intend to lead by example.  The United Nations today commits to ramp up action on gender equality and to strive to increase the percentage of women at all levels in the continuum of our work — from humanitarian action to development, from field to headquarters.  We will seek to surpass 40 per cent by 2020 and achieve a 50 per cent fully balanced workforce by 2030.  We also commit to doing more to raise awareness on the imperative of gender equality and empowerment across the Organization.

With these initial words, let me now turn it over to our co-chairs for their statements.

For information media. Not an official record.