CSW54:n yleisistunto: kulttuuri- ja urheiluministeri Stefan Wallinin puhe New Yorkissa 3.3.2010
Finland associates itself fully with the statement made earlier on behalf of the European Union by the distinguished representative of Spain.
Mr Chair/Madam Chairperson,
The year 2010 is a very important year internationally. We are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals. Last December we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the 10th anniversary of its Optional Protocol. Finland is committed to continue the work to reach the goals set in these mutually reinforcing international commitments.
In the globalized world, where great ideas as well as various global crises alike move from one place to another more quickly than ever, women’s contributory role cannot remain locked anymore.
Finland continues to promote women's and men's equal participation in political and social decision-making and leadership at all levels both nationally and internationally.
The Government Report to Parliament on the Human Rights Policy of Finland sets the priorities of Finland’s international human rights policy: the rights of women, the child, persons with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities and indigenous peoples. Strengthening women’s and girls’ rights is one of the cross-cutting issues in Finland’s Development Policy Programme.
The strengthening of the UN work on gender equality and women empowerment continues to be a high priority of Finland. I would like to express Finland's strong support for the establishment of a new gender entity that would be a central driver in the UN system for gender issues and that would strengthen and improve the work in the field related to gender. I believe that the establishment of the gender entity would promote the achievement of not only MDG3 but the MDGs as a whole. I look forward to seeing the new Composite Gender Entity operational before the high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in September 2010
In this context, I would also like to highlight MDG 5 on maternal health and the need to ensure the full realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights for the achievement of this goal. Finland is committed to making the 2010 MDG Summit a success. We need to send a strong political signal on the importance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
When promoting the rights of women, Finland emphasises the participation of women in the power structures of society. One of our strong areas of emphasis in this respect concerns decision-making processes on matters affecting climate change. Finland has taken an active role in ensuring that climate change decision making is inclusive for both women and men. Climate change does not affect women and men in the same way. It has a gender-differentiated impact. Finland stresses that it is only possible to achieve the climate targets if the knowledge and views of both women and men are included and if both women and men are committed to the goals. We appreciate the enormous support we have received in enhancing this important issue and look forward to building partnerships in this area. We remain confident that gender aspects and recognition of women’s role will indeed appear in the final text of the climate agreement hopefully adopted in Mexico at the end of this year.
Furthermore, Finland is committed to the aims of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and has integrated them in both internal and external policies. Finland will continue to give financial and political support to further these aims. Through our National Action Plan (NAP), from 2008, Finland will further deepen its long traditions and efforts to fully implement the goals of Resolution 1325.
Mr Chair/Madam Chairperson,
The Government Report to Parliament on the Human Rights Policy of Finland incorporates a presentation of the national and international human rights policy into one document. Action at national level provides a basis for a credible international human rights policy. This is the case also concerning the rights of women. Gender equality is one of the core values of the Finnish society. It is enshrined in the Constitution and, more specifically, in the Act on Equality between Women and Men. Guided by this principle, Finland has worked firmly to implement and fully achieve the commitments made in the Beijing Platform for Action.
Finland is among the leading countries in the world when it comes to women’s involvement in political decision-making. Equally many representatives of both genders among the decision-makers, however, does not solve all the problems. We have in recent years also focused on gender mainstreaming in the Ministries’ work. The aim is to assess the impact of decisions on women and men at the stage when decisions are being prepared.
Some of the most important decisions regarding gender equality concern working life. To make the reconciliation of work and family life possible, Finland has purposefully made efforts to organise a high-level, affordable day care provision for families with children. All children under school age are entitled to day care.
The Finnish Government takes violence against women seriously and has decided to draft a multi-sectoral programme to reduce it. The programme will aim at executing concrete measures and disseminating good practices among the professionals and authorities, who get in contact with the victims of violence in their daily work.
Beijing Platform For Action’s call for equal rights and opportunities between men and women remains as relevant today as it was 15 years ago. Finland on its part continues to work for the advancement of women’s human rights.
Thank you, Mr Chair/Madam Chairperson.