Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group

Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group
Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has called for greater cooperation between UN Women (the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment) and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, in a bid to further implement the UN Women 2018-2021 strategic plan.

The Kingdom made the statement at a virtual annual meeting of the UN Women executive board.

“The extraordinary circumstances of 2020 posed a challenge to the progress made in regard to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the empowerment of women and girls,” Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Mission to the UN said.

It added: “As the current Women 20 (W20) Presidency, Saudi Arabia’s theme of ‘Putting Women at the Heart of the G20’ adds to the pillars of labor inclusion, financial inclusion and digital inclusion that have been introduced by previous G20 presidencies — a fourth pillar of inclusion in decision making.”

As the current Arab Women’s Committee Presidency, Saudi Arabia “stresses women’s empowerment in the Arab world, with a focus on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the follow-up to the recommendations of the ministerial conference on women’s empowerment and its impact on social development.

“As a member of the executive board of the UN Women and the Commission on the Status of Women, Saudi Arabia reaffirms the importance of ensuring that UN Women is responsive to the needs and priorities of recipient countries.

“As such, for the work of UN Women to achieve concrete and lasting results, there needs to be a stronger level of collaboration and coordination with these countries, taking into account their national interests, development priorities, and the support they need; and stresses taking into account lessons learned so far from COVID-19, to ensure better preparedness in the event that similar crises occur in the future,” the Saudi mission said.

The statement added: “We all perceive the significance of 2020 as it marks milestone anniversaries for the UN and women, be it the UN 75th anniversary, the 10th anniversary of UN Women, the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), and the 20th anniversary of UN General Assembly resolution 1325, not to mention the 10-year countdown to the Sustainable Development Goals. In short, it is a pivotal year for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.”

Referring to the coronavirus outbreak, the statement said: “A lesson learned from the coronavirus pandemic is that addressing the health crisis as well as the socioeconomic impacts of this pandemic, particularly on women and girls, and especially as we enter the Decade of Action of the Sustainable Development Goals, requires system-wide approaches and further collaboration between relevant UN agencies, as well as stronger regional and international partnerships.”

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