Advancement of Women - Statement by Iceland
H.E. Ambassador Gréta Gunnarsdóttir
GA66 / Item 28 - Advancement of Women
Allow me to start by congratulating you and other members of the Bureau with your election to this very important committee. You can rest assure that the Icelandic Delegation will work with the Bureau in the spirit of cooperation throughout this session.
Allow me also to use this opportunity to convey Iceland´s sincere congratulations to the winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot, Ms. Leymah Gbowee and Ms. Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. These women have shown extraordinary courage and determination in their fight for peace. Their fellow country men and women can be proud of their contributions not only to their own communities but also for the example they have set for women and men around the world. As with Ms. Karman´s own words “this is a prize for Yemen, Yemeni youth and women.” We encourage the Government of Yemen to recognize the honor granted to the Yemeni people with this award and to give Ms. Karman and her supporters the opportunity to exercise their freedom of expression and their right of peaceful assembly without fear of violence.
It is appropriate, when discussing women´s politial rights and their contribution to peace and security to make a reference to Security Council resolution 1325. As acknowledged in the resolution the participation of women is an important prerequisite for sustainable peace. Iceland has both actively advocated and supported women’s participation in peace negotiations.
There is no democracy without women. Women everywhere should be a part of the political process, including as candidates and voters. In this regard we welcome the part played by women in the Arab spring and hope that their particpation will bear fruit in the future of their countries. Libya is a case in point. Having played an important role in bringing about the change in Libya, women must be fully included in the rebuilding and reconciliation process. Iceland strongly encourages the Secretary-General and his representatives as well as others involved in the process of bringing stability to Libya to ensure that resolution 1325 is fully implemented in all their work.
We welcome the discussion that is taking place in the Third Committee this year on women and political participation, including through the draft resolution on the subject put forward by the United States. It is a timely discussion and should in no way be limited to countries undergoing political transition. The subject is relevant for all member states.
Iceland attaches great importance to the full implementation and universal ratification of the Convention on the Eliminiation of All Forms of Discriminiation against Women, CEDAW. Accordingly, we call upon all states that have not yet done so to ratify or acceed to CEDAW as soon as possible. In the same way Iceland calls upon those States that have made reservations that are incompatible with the purposes and objective of the treaty, to immediately withdraw them.
Allow me finally to reiterate my Government’s commitment to UN Women. We fully support the vision and priorities set out in its Strategic Plan. In line with Iceland´s strong support of UN Women, the Icelandic Parliament recently adopted a Strategy for Iceland’s Development Cooperation for the years 2011-2014, where UN Women is identified as one of our four key multilateral partners.
The UN membership has high expectations towards UN Women in continuing the advancement of women around the world. We count on UN Women with the help of us, the Member States, to live up to these expectations.
Thank you, Madame Chair