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CSW68: STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN GROUP


H.E. Amongi Betty Ognom

Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Dev't


ON BEHALF OF THE AFRICAN GROUP

AT THE 68TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION O N THE STATUS OF WOMEN

PRIORITY THEME: ACCELERATING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF GENDER EQUALITY

AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS BY ADDRESSING

POVERTY AND STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONS AND FINANCING WITH A GENDER PERSPECTIVE"


NEW YORK MARCH 11, 2024

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Chairperson,

On behalf of the African Group, allow me, to congratulate you and your bureau on the

excellent manner in which you are conducting the proceedings of this 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. We are confident that these deliberations will result

in a successful conclusion under your able leadership. Chairperson,

The African Group believes that the adoption of the 2030 Agenda was a clear indication that the future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. The world will be a better place in 2030 if we act collectivity and genuinely map the road to truly inclusive sustainable development on the fight against poverty and hunger, ti wil be for us all, to ensure that the journey is successful and its gains are irreversible. The African group is concerned that six years before the expiry of the 2030 Agenda, it is estimated that millions of people may still be living in extreme poverty by 2030 of which more than 10% will be women and most of them live in the sub-Saharan Africa.

The Group underscores that the true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 is the outcome of its implementation. It is our duty to build a better future for all people including women and girls that have been denied the chance to lead descent, dignified lives to tap their full human potential. The Group reaffirms its commitment to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and AU 2063 Agenda. We recognize that it will not be possible to achieve these set goals and targets without a revitalized and enhanced Global Partnership supported by concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

To strengthen these policies, there is a need to broaden and strengthen partnerships including South-South, North-South and triangular partnerships to ensure supportive

international frameworks for trade, taxation, technology and international finance in order to sustain long-term human development approach; and for sufficient, predictable and well-coordinated financing for development, including ODA, debt cancellation and new financing sources, instruments, arrangements and institutions.

In this regard, efforts should be made to reinforce international cooperation, promoting and establishing a fair global trading system, reforming the international financial architecture, facilitating for developing countries access to markets and to technologies, including health technologies as well as to fulfilling the inalienable right to development. The importance of strengthening international cooperation on asset return and recovery, eliminate safe havens that create incentives for the transfer abroad of stolen assets and illicit financial flows can never be overemphasized when ti comes to eradicating poverty and mitigating its impact, including on women.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda is key to achieving a balanced financing approach while Governance and institutional implementation capacities at the country level are also both development outcomes and desirable ends in themselves.


Chairperson,

The Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 5: ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions by 2030 and achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls respectively, emphasize the inextricable link between eradicating poverty and the empowerment of women. They are a recognition that by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective will contribute to accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls"

We are convinced that it is possible to make policy choices aimed at accelerating progress towards ending poverty and achieving inclusive, sustainable development for al. Accomplishing these goals require investment in a comprehensive set of economic and social policies aimed at driving women's full economic participation.

The African Group places great emphasis on the cause of the eradication of poverty, as an overarching goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. National, regional and international efforts should be harnessed to achieve this goal. It is regrettable that the current global context with its multiple challenges threaten the successful implementation of the commitments contained in the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of its goals and targets. Those challenges have arisen due to the pandemics, ongoing global financial, economic, the world food crises and continuing food insecurity, the energy crisis and the challenges posed by environmental degradation, including desertification. Those challenges have a disproportionate impact on developing countries, particularly in Africa. Their devastating impacts underscore the multidimensional nature of poverty and the critical importance of social protection for reducing vulnerabilities which women and girls experience.

We are pleased by the UN Secretary-General call for a Sustainable Development Goal stimulus to rapidly scale up financing to accelerate progress towards these Goals. The stimulus requires action in three areas: tackling the high cost of debt and risk of debt distress; massively increasing affordable and long-term financing issued by multilateral development banks; and expanding contingency financing. By mobilizing resources equitably and targeting investments and policies towards ending women's and girls'

poverty.


Chairperson,

Progress in the achievement of S D 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is slow and may not be fulfilled by its target date.

Women continue to face discrimination, carry the burden of poverty and remain vulnerable in many ways. Women still outnumber men among the world's poorest people. Many women work in vulnerable, low-paid jobs and in the predominately informal sector. We welcome emphasize on strengthening efforts for women and girls to realize the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental, their right to education, to employment and decent work.

This year's theme on accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective carries therefore a particular significance.

It highlights the importance of addressing the root causes of poverty, as they disproportionately affect women and girls. These include, but are not limited to, addressing the feminization of poverty, ensuring the economic empowerment of women and girls, through, inter alia, ensuring equal access to affordable quality education, healthcare, local and global markets, productiveresources, including land ownership and micro-financing, decent work, an adequate standard of living.

The African Group is cognizant of the fact that poverty is a complex problem involving a set of economic as well as social development issues that cannot be solved through economic growth only but through a human-centered approach as recognized by the principles and goals of the Copenhagen Declaration.

We also recognizes that historical injustices rooted in colonialism and transatlantic slaves trade have undeniably contributed to the poverty, underdevelopment, marginalization,

social exclusion, economic disparities, instability and insecurity that affect many people including women and girls in different parts of the world, in particular in developing countries. The need to develop international programmes for the social and economic development of those countries as underscored ni the Durban Declaration and programme for action still remains.


Chairperson,

The African states realize that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. The

Group underscores the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The Group appeals that women in conflict, post conflict zones and in countries facing sanctions should be accorded assistance needed to strengthen their productive capacities in all sectors that will enable them to move to sustainable patterns of consumption and production with equal footing with women from other countries.

The Group realizes that violence against women and girls is a universal phenomenon. Injustice and inequality persist in both developing and developed countries impacting women's health and wellbeing, violates their fundamental rights, impoverish women, their families and societies as a whole and limit women's opportunities for education, training, employment and political activity.

Chairperson,

Although migration has the potential to foster more equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth and human development for both countries of origin and destination, Women with irregular migration status are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse, movement by irregular means may also increase women's vulnerability to trafficking. The Group believes that all these factors result in the exclusion of women from the benefits of education and sustainable development, and these place women at risk of violence. The Group appeals that the international commitment to provide inclusive equitable quality education and bridge the digital divide at all levels and to those in vulnerable situations to have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them acquire knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in the societies.

Chairperson,

Women continue to face persistent structural constraints that prevent them from fully participating in socioeconomicand political life and contribute to the improvement of their

circumstances. Women's lack of access to land, agricultural technologies and financial capital hinders opportunities to diversify their livelihoods or increase resilience in the face

of disasters. On the other hand, women's economic empowerment is also a driver of development that addresses poverty, reduces inequalities and improves children's health,

nutrition and school attendance. African leaders understand that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is not just a goal in itself, but a key to meaningful sustainable development and economic growth. A lot of progress has been made by African countries in terms of political participation of women and their economic empowerment through micro-credit programmes and schemes. We are pleased to inform the international community of the "HER AfCFTA Initiative" created by the AfCFTA Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programmes that advance the cause of increasing the capacity of women-led businesses and the exports of women-led entrepreneurs in the continent.


Chairperson,

Maternal deaths, which are largely preventable, are linked to inadequate health care services for women. Distance from health facilities and availability of health experts remain major barriers in Africa. In the same vein, Africa has not been spared the HIV and AIDS epidemic. HIV and AIDS contributes to high mortality rates, high expenditure in health sectors while it also worsens poverty by reducing the productive capacity of labor forces through illness and death, thereby slowing down economic growth and development. Inadequate access to portable water, access to proper sanitation and lack of environmental energy fuels further worsens the situation of health status of women and girls in Africa.

The Group fully agrees to the building of resilient infrastructure, promotion of inclusive, sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation targeted to women and girls. The Group therefore calls on the internationalcommunity to fulfill their commitments including the reforms of the international financial architecture, transfer of ODA, including the commitment to devout 0,7% of donors' national income, ransfer oftechnology and access to markets as well as technical assistance and capacity building which remain critical for women and girls in Africa to exercise their potential.

And to conclude Chair, the Group reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of this csw68 theme:" Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the

empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with agender perspective" in line with other internationally

agreed development plans, goals and commitments,as well as their national programmes and priorities.

thank you, Chairperson.


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