Welcome Remarks by Ms Amina Mohammed, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP at the High Level Meeting of the Network for Women Ministers and Leaders of Environment

GENDER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RIO+20 COMMITMENTS

- Your Excellencies Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi and Ms Sandra Herrara-Flores the Co-chairs of the Network for Women Ministers and Leaders of Environment

- Your Excellencies Ministers and Deputy Ministers for the Environment

- Colleagues from the United Nations

- Government representatives,

- Partners from the civil society

Good Afternoon!

First, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of you, to the UNEP Pavilion for this important meeting of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment. This meeting is hosted by UNEP in collaboration with the World Conservation Union, (IUCN); Women in Europe for a common Future (WECF), Global Water Partnership (GWP), Women Environmental Development Organization (WEDO) and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA). We continue to appreciate the partnership that we have with the NWMLE and our collaborating partners.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This meeting is a historic one as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, 20 years since the Rio declaration of 1992 and 40 Years of UNEPs existence. All three anniversaries provide us with many opportunities to forge ahead in ensuring that sustainable development and in particular environmental management is gender responsive. There are still a number of milestones to be reached and we are heading there. This is also a time to reflect on the achievements made as well as the way ahead for the Network.

In UNEP, the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, remains a key implementing partner in addressing the integration of gender perspectives into national environmental management planning processes. In the past three years, UNEP has provided secretariat support to the Network, though with a particular focus on organizing its meetings in different UNEP Governing Council fora. At global level, UNEP as a founder member of Global Gender and Climate Alliance has worked collaboratively with the Network in ensuring that gender perspectives on climate change are highlighted in the climate change negotiations and deliberations.

UNEP is committed to strengthening the support we render to the Network through a strengthened Gender Unit. However, as we look into Rio+20 and beyond we need to review the implementing structure of the Network at national, regional and global levels with a view of strengthening the Network so it can function better.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the next one year, UNEP will develop a new Gender Policy and Plan of Action following recommendations from a recently completed review. The new Gender Policy and Plan of Action will be aligned with the UNEP Medium Term Strategy for 2014 ? 2017, gender outcomes of Rio+20, and will enable UNEP to implement to better serve its partners. achieve the objectives set out in 2002.

UNEP is committed to ensuring that the gender outcomes made in Rio are implemented through its Programme of work and operations. Today we make our commitments and wish to share these with you. In particular UNEP is committed to:

1.Through its respective Divisions, provide technical support to the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment enable it carry out its functions in national, regional and international fora in ensuring that policies and strategies to implement the Rio+20 outcomes are gender responsive.

2.In collaboration with key strategic partners develop by October 30 2012 a comprehensive framework for the implementation of the gender commitments adopted in the RIO+20 summit and facilitate the holding of annual meetings alongside the UNEP Governing Council meetings to monitor and evaluate the progress made

3.Ensuring that gender perspectives are fully integrated and implemented through UNEP's Programme of Work and in UNEP's support to its partners and stakeholders

4.Undertake research and publish every five years a Global Environmental Outlook that focuses on the Gender and Environment, in cooperation with strategic partners from NWMLE and civil society.

5.Continue ensuring that all publications by UNEP address gender equality and women's role, and to publish regular Women and Environment briefs to create awareness on topical issues

6.Undertake in collaboration with strategic partners to identify and develop gender sensitive criteria and indicators to be applied in all areas of environmental assessments, and in the implementation of RIO+ 20 outcomes and the Sustainable development goals.

7.Undertake to ensure that gender perspectives are fully addressed in the key documents for discussions at the annual UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministers for Environment forum meetings and Gender related papers are presented in the Ministerial roundtable discussions.

8.In collaboration with key strategies partners develop and maintain a global database on gender and sustainable environmental management and make it available for use by partners, civil society, governments, UN agencies etc.

In addition, we wish to call upon our sister agencies, partners in the civil society to make similar commitments to ensure gender responsive implementation of the Rio+20 Outcomes.

As a follow-up to this event, we would like call for recognition of the commitments made here today by the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, UN agencies and partners. In this regard, we call upon the UN Women to take forward these commitments for endorsement by the Presidents attending the Women Leaders Form to be held tomorrow 21 June 2012. In particular, we wish to call upon the Women Presidents and heads of Government to heed our call for a UN General Assembly resolution that will set up a process for the implementation of the Rio+20 Gender commitments and outcomes through a collaborative mechanism involving UN, Governments and Civil Society.

It is therefore my sincere hope that in today's deliberations we shall come up with concrete recommendations that will ensure that through the Network we have "One Voice" on gender and sustainable environmental development in international, regional and national fora.

Thank you.


 

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