Statement at UN-Women Executive Board Annual session (18 - 20 June 2024) by the Republic of Latvia

New York, 18 June 2024

Madam President, Madam Executive Director,

In this session we look at the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the years 2022 to 2025. We are at the mid-point of the Plan, and can take stock of the progress achieved in the last two years.

I would like to thank Ms Sima Bahous and her team for preparing the report. It allows us to look at the key results of UN-Women’s work to end violence against women, to enhance women’s participation in governance, to support women’s economic empowerment and the WPS agenda.

We welcome the active role UN-Women has played to achieve progress in all these areas. UN-Women has provided expertise to governments to help develop laws that further gender equality and women’s empowerment. UN-Women has supported governments in providing essential services. It has worked to ensure that budgets are spent in ways that advance gender equality. UN-Women has worked to promote positive social norms and gender roles, including through involvement of men and boys. UN-Women has contributed to the increase of collection of sex-disaggregated data. And within its UN system coordination role, UN-Women has worked to promote the incorporation of gender perspectives into all UN policies and programmes.

Madam President,

Latvia also has done its part in the last two years to help advance gender equality at home, abroad, and here at the UN. To strengthen the legal framework for preventing and combatting violence against women, Latvia last year ratified the Istanbul convention. Through partnerships we've established rehabilitation facilities in Ukraine to support survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the Russian military. In Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe we have empowered local women by helping them to start businesses and use digital tools.  In Uzbekistan we have worked to enhance participation of Uzbek women in the IT business sector and women’s access to public spaces. At the UN Latvia has been an active member of the CSW, taking up responsibilities of the Vice-Chair for three years, as well as taking part in this Executive Board. In these institutions our goal is to set the highest possible standards for gender equality and to support UN-Women in carrying out its triple mandate of providing normative support, UN system coordination, and carrying out operational activities.

Madam President,

Despite the active role played by UN-Women and many countries, including Latvia, progress is slow in the key areas of the Strategic Plan. Advancement of women’s political participation is stagnating, women’s labour force participation lags far behind men’s, progress on ending violence against women is weak, wars and armed conflicts are on the rise and with them the disastrous effects on women and girls.

Therefore, in order to accelerate progress, we need to further mobilize around gender equality. We welcome the opportunities of the Summit of the Future, the 30th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the HLPF next year to ensure that gender equality is well positioned in the international agenda.

Madam President, Madam Executive Director,

UN-Women can count on Latvia’s continuous support for the implementation of the Strategic Plan in these two years that are left, as well as for the development of the new plan for 2026-2029.

I thank you.