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Statement by Counsellor Ms. Zhang Dan on the Reform of UN Gender Architecture

2009/04/15

New York, 15 April 2009

Mr. Co-Chairs,

China associates itself fully with the statement made by the distinguished delegate of Sudan on behalf of JCC. We also want to thank Ms. Mayanja, the Special Adviser of Secretary General on gender equality, for her response to some of the questions raised by member states. China appreciates the paper produced by the Secretariat on Institutional Options for Strengthening the Institutional Arrangements for Support of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of women and supports the reform of gender architecture in the context of system-wide coherence. We are now in the process of evaluating and comparing the various options proposed by the Secretariat and we are of the view that more concrete and evidence-based information is needed to determine which option can best serve the interests of member states, and sensible judgment can only be made when we are fully informed of the pros and cons of different options. In this regard, we want to highlight the following questions which we believe are important:

1. By consolidating all the four gender bodies into one entity, we are expecting improved efficiency and reduced duplication rather than a bigger bureaucracy. In this connection and to better understand the status quo, we would like to request the Secretariat to provide us with a chart listing the current staff number and administrative costs of OSAGI, DAW, UNIFEM headquarter and INSTRAW respectively. We are also interested to know the proposed size of the staff of the consolidated entity and how the staffs are funded and what is the estimated cost.

2. One of the purposes of the reform is to improve coordination and coherence of normative and operational work and to bridge the divide of the policy work of CSW and operational work carried out in the field. From the paper produced by the Secretariat and the clarification provided by the Secretariat, the role of CSW and the relations between CSW and the proposed Executive Board are still not clear? If, according to the Secretariat, the Executive Board is going to supervise all the normative and operational work and report to General Assembly, what will be the role of CSW? What is the financial implication of creating a new Executive Board? In what specific ways can the Executive Board engage and coordinate with CSW to ensure policy outcome reached by intergovernmental processes including CSW be translated into programmes and projects on the ground?

3. I see in the paper that the work of the gender entity at the country level is pretty much based on the assumption of joint programmes or joint programming at the country level, which is basically the "delivering as one" model. This shows how gender reform is linked with other aspects of system-wide coherence. And the delivering as one model is still in a piloting period and hasn't been fully operationalized in many developing countries and in some developed countries, Funds and Programmes do not have their presence. In such circumstances, how can the new gender entity ensure its effective operation on the ground where joint programes do not exist? Since we all agree that gender discrimination happens everywhere, will the new entity only has presence at the operational level in developing countries?

I thank you.

 

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