United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Least Developed Countries (LDCs)




SIXTY EIGHT SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
*******
ELEVENTH MEETING OF THE OWG ON SDGs
(Gender equality and women’s empowerment
Water and sanitation)




STATEMENT
BY

H.E.MR. JEAN -FRANCIS R. ZINSOU
AMBASSADOR PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BENIN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
CHAIR OF THE GLOBAL COORDINATION BUREAU OF LDCs

























NEW YORK, 6 MAY 2014

Distinguished Co-Chairs
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen,


I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of LDCs. This statement supplements the statement made by Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.

On gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Group of LDCs is of the view that the issues captured in the Co-Chair’s focus area document are comprehensive. The group would like to stress few areas that are particularly important to it.

In line with the agreement of the IPoA, the Group would like to see specific targets on achieving equal access of women and girls to education, basic services, health care, economic opportunities, and decision-making at all levels. This should go under sub-itme 5 (c) of the working document.

The Group also supports the provisions made in the working document especially those related to ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women of all ages, ensuring equal employment opportunities for women and equal pay for equal work and promoting the availability of gender disaggregated data.

Achieving all these goals and targets related to gender equality and women’s empowerment would depend on the availability of appropriate means of implementation. Women and girls would need access to finance including microfinance, access to education, health care and massive employment opportunities. The means of implementation for this focus area needs to be spelled out in the above areas.

On water and sanitation, the Group broadly supports the areas articulated in the working document. However, the issues addressed under all sub-items, especially under 6 b, c, e, f, g and h are highly finance and technology-intensive. The LDCs will need appropriate level of finance and technology to be able to perform on these targets. Otherwise they would not be relevant for them. This is the reason the Group of LDCs is asking for differential treatment.

Furthermore, water and sanitation related infrastructure and facilities are vitally important to achieve the relevant goals and targets. The Group would therefore like to propose to retrieve the earlier proposal contained in the Co-Chairs focus area document, which reads as follows:

“Provide adequate facilities and infrastructure, both built and natural, for safe drinking water and sanitation systems in all areas”. For LDCs, specific indicators need to be put in place to track many dimensions of this target, which includes, among others, the percentage of households with piped water and good quality sanitation facilities in their homes. The group would like to support target “d” on appropriate trans-boundary cooperation on water.

On appropriate means of implementation, the Group of LDCs would like to make the following proposals:

(a) provide enhanced financial and technical support to LDCs to improve and expand water and sanitation provision, including water pipelines and sewage networks (based on IPoA), and

(b) help LDCs preserve and develop water sources, manage water sheds and enhance water productivity, including through sub-regional and regional collaborations (IPoA).

I thank you all for your kind attention.