Honorable Primer Minister, distinguished delegates, colleagues
Speaking on behalf of the women’s caucus
Twenty years ago, Principle 20 of the Rio Declaration highlighted that “women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development” Today in Hyderabad we urge parties and the COP Presidency to remember this principle and to recognize that they are in a unique position to pursue transformative implementation where women are recognized as crucial stakeholders and agents of change.
In this COP, a dynamic group of women from different regions and backgrounds have been working to ensure that gender equality and women’s rights continues to be at the heart of the CBD and that gender is recognized as a critical crosscutting issue that is necessary for the full and effective implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets. These women are watching and ready to support ambitious goals, however we need that Parties not only acknowledge the importance of gender mainstreaming; but that Parties engage in a comprehensive revision of their plans, policies and actions to guarantee that these are gender responsive.
The Women’s Caucus would like to congratulate the actions carried out by the government of Finland for their support of the gender program at the Secretariat and the government of Japan and the Japan Biodiversity Fund, which made possible the participation of this diverse group of women. We also welcome the efforts to include text on gender mainstreaming in these negotiations, but are profoundly disappointed that the negotiations lacked ambition and excluded gender concerns and references to women’s empowerment. Likewise, the negotiations excluded proposals that would have ensured that the work on gender remained and continue to be improved, such as:
- the establishment of a much needed expert group on gender indicators
- gender budgeting for all CBD programs of work
- and the recognition and incorporation of women’s traditional knowledge and practices
Without gender equality and women’s rights sustainable development will not be achieved. India as a mega diverse country and emerging economy has the challenge and opportunity to change paradigms, and integrate in their development the three pillars of sustainability in a gender responsive way. India could serve as an example to the world, and we urge the COP Presidency to make gender a priority during these next two years.
Thank you very much,
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