United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Italy, Spain and Turkey


New York, 5-9 May 2014


Statement delivered by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Secretary General of International Development Cooperation

Cluster 3: Gender equality and women´s empowerment; Water and Sanitation
Tuesday 6th May – Morning session

I have the honour to speak on behalf of Italy and Turkey.

Mister Co-Chair,

If sustainable human development and poverty eradication are to be at the center of the future agenda, inequities must be addressed based on a human rights approach. In this sense, gender equality and equity and women´s empowerment is absolutely vital for sustainable development.

For this reason, our team would like to joint our statement to the overwhelming consensus on a standalone alone goal on gender equality and on mainstreaming gender throughout other SDG goals through appropriate targets and indicators about formal and real equality, and specific goalds and targets towards eliminating all forms of discrimination against all girls and women and diminish gender inequalities. The result of the recently 58th Commission on the Status of Women must be appropriately reflected.
We also believe that a specific mention to women as “agency” of development should be made to underline the proactive role women should play in the new development agenda, not only as vulnerable persons needing to be specifically addressed, but also as fundamental actors in key processes related to food security, natural resources management and conservation and conflicts resolution. A specific reference to assistance and empowerment of migrant women should also be included.
Additionally, we would like to make some contributions to the proposal made by the Co-Chairs:
- A target to implement gender-specific policies for formal and real equality and for eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls must be also included. This situation becomes more complex when multiple discriminations occurs – gender discrimination together with caste, race, ethnic and indigenous identity, disability, marital and family status, HIV status, and sexual orientation, or when it happens in a situation of extreme poverty, armed conflicts or humanitarian crisis, or when it´s linked to human trafficking, female genital mutilation, child and forced marriages or gender-based violence. Female poverty and exclusion is evident, but at the same time women are invisible drivers of development, sustainability and peace in any region in the world.
- Target a) should read: “by 2030 implement policies that ensure women’s equal participation and empowerment at all levels of decision making; and end all forms of discrimination in law, policies and practices against women of all ages, in order to ensure access to justice to women and girls and in particular to those belonging to vulnerable groups such as migrants and disabled”.
- Furthermore, when talking about violence, women´s and girl´s trafficking for sexual purposes has not been mentioned, being one of the worst ways of gender-based violence and a problem which is increasing (although we acknowledge that it is further mentioned in Focus area 16, it should be also reflected in Focus Area 5).
- Regarding point c), although in late years advances in women and girls’ access to education have been reasonable, there is a sound lack in several regions because religious, cultural and social factors. This must be also envisaged at this Goal.
- Target g) should include “ending all forms of harmful practices including FGM”
- Target h) should read “by 2030 reduce and redistribute the burden of unpaid care work by promoting public awareness on shared responsibilities”.
- Promote the availability of gender disaggregated data, including gender sensitive indicators in biodiversity, to improve gender equality policies, including gender sensitive budgeting
- In order to ensure and increase the women's involvement in economic and social life as well as support their employment, measures and/or incentives such as child care facilities, flexible working hours should be extended. Therefore a target can be added in this regard.

Mister Co-Chair,

Turning to Focus Area 6, our team supports a standalone goal on Water and Sanitation, for the full realization of the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, and considering the whole water cycle.
We would like to make the following comments on the basis of the Co-Chairs´ document:
- On point a), we suggest the language “prioritizing actions in favour of women and girls”, as “universal access” also includes women and girls. - There is a need to acknowledge and highlight the important role that women play in taking care of persons and households, in preserving natural resources and sustainability, and in guaranteeing food security and nutrition. In this sense, it is essential to empower women and women’s organizations to make them participate in the decision-taking process, to be able to access to natural resources, like water and their use, and to be an active part of the development process and in the fight against poverty.
- Regarding point b), it does not reflect the problem in the maintenance and exploitation of the treatment plants. We propose the following wording: “to reduce by x% the percentage of wastewater that is not treated in treatment or reusing plants”
- On point d) we would like to make a reference on “participatory management”, suggesting the following text “Implement integrated water resource management in a participatory manner, including transboundary co-operation as appropriate”.
- For point e), we propose to add the following wording: “to implement Water Management Plans, including inventories of basin water resources, in order to bring fresh water extraction in line with sustainable supply, protect and restore ecosystems”.
- We consider point g) to be incomplete as it does not consider the diversity of contexts and the existence of many other efficient solutions apart from rainwater harvesting. In this sense, we believe that the water supply solution must be defined after a careful study of alternatives.
- With regard to point h) it could be included the following wording: "Implement plans against floods, including risk maps, land management measures, and, where appropriate, infrastructure to mitigate damages"
- A reference to the availability of data could also be made: “Elaborate inventories of basin water resources, including surface and ground water, and implement monitoring systems of water resources”.
- Due to the integration of infrastructure theam with economic growth, investment needs for water and wastewater infrastucture is missing. Therefore we believe that an additinal target for investing in infrastucture should be added.

Thank you very much