United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Groups: Women

Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development!
(Check on delivery)2!
Distinguished Chair; Delegates; Friends;!
This statement today is made on behalf of SIDs feminist, gender-equality and
women’s rights advocates represented here in Samoa by an intergenerational team
working across many areas of sustainable development.!
We acknowledge the clear focus on gender equality, women’s human rights and empowerment
in the S.A.M.O.A Pathway document. We are particularly pleased with the emphasis
on women smallholders and small-scale food producers but call for fuller recognition of
fisher women and those working in aquaculture, tourism, and for better safeguards for the
security and empowerment of women working in non-traditional sectors. !
2 Statement delivered by Shirley Tagi, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Fiji.
We also acknowledge the political commitment demonstrated through the UN Women and
WMG organised High Level side event on ‘Gender and Women’s Empowerment: Beyond
Beijing+20 and the Post 2015 Development Agenda’ held yesterday, with the Governments
of Samoa, Tuvalu and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the SPC.!
What we need now is a clear S.A.M.O.A Pathway implementation plan.!
In such implementation, WMG reiterate that women and girls must never be instrumentalised.
Women are not just implementers of development, but full rights bearers. We
therefore welcome the clear commitment to end all forms of sexual and gender based violence,
and to end all forms of discrimination against women. We urge that these issues
remain front-and-centre in governmental positions for upcoming multilateral agreements.!
We also call for clear affirmation of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as
central to realization of all other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. We
commend Tonga, Vanuatu, Aruba, UK, the EU and others for strong supportive statements
at this Conference. Young women advocates are also leading calls for Comprehensive
Sexuality Education (CSE). We commend SIDS States already integrating such approaches,
including Vanuatu, Fiji and others, and those such as Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
who affirmed this call, and on full recognition of SRHR.!
Unfortunately, many SIDS States still criminalise adult same-sex relationships, enabling
violence and discrimination against people with diverse sexual orientation and gender
identity. This is contrary to universal human rights, and our traditions of fluidity, community
care and wellbeing of all islander people. We look forward to removal of these archaic laws
and penal codes, most from colonial pasts and now repealed in those origin countries, but
still left over in ours. It is time to end another colonial hangover.!
Further, we call for ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD), with draw-down to national laws and policies. We also call
for specific attention to intersectional discriminations faced by women and girls with disabilities.
Therefore it is essential to recognise disability as a cross-cutting issue and we call
for disability mainstreaming in all priority areas. Similarly, we support the calls of the Major
Group Forum Outcome statement, and those of the Indigenous Peoples and Children and
Youth Major Groups.!
We commend SIDS leadership on climate change adaptation, mitigation and loss and
damage as core to all development agreements. We commend those States and non-state
actors now working actively on gender and climate change initiatives, on oceans health,
and in particular using a biosphere approach to sustainable development recognising interdependence
of atmospheric, terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Overall, we call for a
future that is post-extractivist, with renewable, affordable and accessible energy technologies
shared with SIDS under a ‘technology transfer’ pillar. We also call on SIDS members
to prioritise climate-induced cross-border displacement in the human rights protection
agenda, warranting urgent international attention, and for States to fulfil their obligations
under the legally-binding conventions in the Chemicals & Wastes cluster, including the
new Minamata Convention on Mercury.!
We reiterate that in this discussion of partnerships, the’Global Partnership for Development’
must never be collapsed into the idea of ‘Partnerships’ in the plural. The Global
Partnership for Development is specific, principally between governments of south and
north countries, with north countries taking the lead in providing resources and means of
implementation. A genuine and balanced global partnership requires all actors to prohibit,
rather than perpetuate any global obstacles to sustainable development. !
Finally, to be good-faith partners, ALL governments, business and international institutions
must assess and address the impact of their policies and agreements on human rights inside
and outside their borders.!
The WMG will work with all partners of goodwill to ensure that the lives of women, girls,
transpeople and men and boys in the SIDS states are rich, full and long, and that ALL
SIDS people can look to the SAMOA Pathway to implement meaningful strategies and
partnerships to deal with the many complex issues we must now all face in coming
We thank you.!
3 September 2014, Apia, Samoa