The sustainable development goal number five on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is so crucial if we are to advance the sustainable development agenda as a whole. For us to reach our ambitious goals, we need to make use of the talent and capabilities of women and girls worldwide. We need to ensure that their rights and ability to make decisions are respected – and we need the boys and men to join us in this endeavour.
As part of Norway’s presidency of the United Nations Environment Assembly, I will advocate for gender balance among panellists and speakers during UNEA-5 in February 2021 – the world’s highest-level decision making body on the environment.
Further to this, I will promote a more gender-balanced UNEA-6 bureau, by strongly encouraging female candidates from the various regions to run for membership in the bureau. The UNEA bureau provides guidance to member states and the UNEP secretariat in the preparation of the biennial Assembly, and organizes the meeting with a view to maximize its impact under the leadership of the president.