India calls for 'effective prioritisation' of gender issues | india | Hindustan Times
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India calls for 'effective prioritisation' of gender issues

india Updated: Jan 26, 2011 15:25 IST
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India has underlined the need for the UN to prioritise its goals on gender equality and empowerment of women so as to prevent efforts becoming diffused at a key meeting of the world body.

"Unless there is effective prioritisation, efforts will get diffused," Hardeep Singh Puri, India's ambassador to the UN said yesterday.

At the first executive board meeting UN Women, the newly created entity which will focus on the overall condition of females, Puri said it needs to effectively prioritise its goals if it wants to achieve results.

"Our effort should, therefore, be to prioritise the focus on gender equality, the empowerment of women and gender mainstreaming," the top Indian diplomat said.

Setting out a 100-day action plan, former Chilean president and now head of UN women, Michelle Bachelet, laid out five priorities.

These included - ending violence against women; ensuring women's full participation in conflict resolution, enhancing women's economic empowerment as well as expanding leadership and participation.

"I am determined that UN Women will be a catalyst for change, offering new energy, drawing on long-standing ideas and values," she told the board.

Puri said that from India's national perspective the priority areas Bachelet mentioned were "extremely important."

"These mirror the priorities of our Government as well as the extremely proactive civil society in India," he underlined. The Indian envoy also stressed that lack of coordination among the various UN actors was a major constraint for reform.

"Multiplicity of UN actors in the field had led to lack of accountability and delays in identifying the right agency for cooperation," he said, adding that the 100-day Action Plan rightly addresses this as one of the core principles for UN Women.

Puri, however, pointed out that last year Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had proposed that the UN Women be created with the initial corpus of USD 1 billion but now the target had been set for USD 500 million. "The lower target of USD 500 million should not make us complacent and limit ourselves," he said.