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Third Committee

(New York, October 13, 2009)

Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, Item 62: Advancement of Women


Mr. Chairman,

My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered by Mexico on behalf of the Rio Group and by Sudan on behalf of G77 and China.

Gender equity and equal opportunities and rights between men and women are principles governing our national development model. The 2006-2010 National Development Plan integrates gender perspectives in its framework policies. Including in the policies for democratic security; social equity and poverty reduction; economic growth; environment and sustainable development.

Additionally, various affirmative actions benefit women in a specific manner, in issues related to prevention of violence, employment and development, political participation, and education and culture. The Office of the Presidential Counsellor for Women's Equity plays a leading role in the initiatives, in partnership with public entities, international cooperation agencies, private sector and civil society organizations.

Mr. Chairman,

Colombia recognizes the importance of strengthening legal and institutional frameworks, as well as social awareness, as essential requisites to address gender based violence. To this purpose, in 2008 our Congress passed the Law 1257 that strengthens actions for awareness, prevention and punishment of all forms of violence and discrimination against women. This legal achievement is complemented by the continuity of the strategy to promote women's access and the defense of their rights in the justice system; educational campaigns with women heads of households on rights, complaints mechanisms and institutional response services; and training for public officials, among other actions.

Also, we agree with the Secretary-General on the importance of including gender perspectives in humanitarian assistance, in demobilization and disarmament processes, and in actions for assistance to victims of violence.

In Colombia, the policy for the assistance to displaced people has a Guideline for the Gender Differential Perspective, formulated by the Office of the Counsellor for Women's Equity with the support of UNHCR. Additionally, in the demobilization and disarmament process taking place in the country, different mechanisms to prevent domestic violence against demobilized women and promote their economic autonomy and participation are being implemented. Also, the regulatory framework and budget resources for reparation to victims of violence, including thousands of women, have been strengthened in a multi-annual budget plan that has begun in 2009. And the strategy to fight against trafficking in persons, with gender perspectives, continues its implementation, supported by IOM and the UN.

My delegation reaffirms that all strategies for poverty eradication, entrepreneurship and access to employment, must also incorporate gender perspectives. With this vision, Colombia has included such a dimension in the policy Bank of Opportunities that promotes access to micro-credit; in the policy for eradication of extreme poverty Red JUNTOS; and in rural development initiatives, in line with the Rural Women Act adopted in 2002.

The Families in Action program, which covers today 2.5 million families, allows direct cash transfers to the mother, subject to compliance with commitments related to children nutrition and education. Also, the agreement Equal Employment Agenda, signed by the major business associations in March, represents a significant commitment to address the discrimination between women and men at work.

In formulating and evaluating policies for the advancement of women, objective and disaggregated information is essential. In this sense, we will continue to support our Gender Affairs Observatory, created in 2004, and strengthening the National Statistics Department's work, to consolidate databases that meet this need.

Mr. Chairman,

Colombia has taken note of the reports submitted by the Secretary General. We express our recognition for the United Nations work in the various initiatives aimed at eradicating violence and discrimination against women. As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Beijing's Declaration and Platform for Action, we expect that collective action is strengthened for the implementation of these commitments, as well as for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

We recognize the actions of the UN system to protect women migrant workers. As a country of origin and destination of migrants, Colombia hopes that the UN promotes the ratification of the relevant international instruments to prevent violence that affects these women and to promote the full realization of their rights.

Let me share with you the recent approval of two resolutions promoted in the Human Rights Council by Colombia and other states. One relates to maternal mortality and morbidity, and promotes further action on an issue that lacks of progress for the attainment of one of the development goals agreed in this Assembly. The second resolution relates to new provisions for the elimination of discrimination against women.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we reaffirm the importance of international cooperation in supporting national efforts to advance in gender equality and empowerment of women. To this purpose, Colombia hopes that the reform of the United Nations gender architecture will progress and be completed in this session. We will continue to support this process in order to define a composite entity at the highest level, with the political, technical and financial capacities to strengthen the agenda for the advancement of women in all regions.

Thank you very much.


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