Thank you for the opportunity to speak at this important roundtable.
Australia welcomed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
We consistently pursue these issues internationally and domestically, and are pleased that they are taking a prominent position at the World Humanitarian Summit.
I am also pleased to have Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja here with me today.
Australia’s advocacy efforts are matched by our policy and programming initiatives.
We support all proposed core commitments at this roundtable and will continue to support dedicated programs that target the inclusion and empowerment of women such as UN Women’s new Global Acceleration Instrument to which Australia was the first, and remains, the largest donor.
Our goal is to see that all women are able to participate fully, freely and safely in political, social and economic life, including in humanitarian contexts.
Australia has been working closely with its MIKTA partners – Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Turkey – to advance the interests of women and girls in crisis.
On behalf of the MIKTA group of countries, we commit to work closely with local and national women’s groups to provide them with practical support to increase their capacity to deliver in humanitarian settings.
And ensure that humanitarian programming both meets the needs of women and girls and meaningfully involves them in program design, delivery and monitoring.
As a Champion of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, we will continue our work to ensure accountability and justice for survivors of sexual violence and support services for women and girls to regain their dignity and wellbeing.
To complement this, we will engage men and boys as part of our efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence during and after crises.
As a founding member of the Call to Action, Australia reaffirms its commitment to the Call to Action and its ‘Roadmap’ for implementation.
We will continue to partner with local and national women’s groups to increase their capacity to assist in humanitarian settings in ways that meet the needs of women and girls, and meaningfully involve them in program design, delivery, and monitoring.
We will continue to support sexual and reproductive health in emergencies, such as safe birthing kits.
Women must not only be consulted and have their voice heard, but be in leadership positions, actively determining humanitarian priorities and resourcing in a crisis.
We also commit, for the first time, to apply a gender marker to all humanitarian funding providing by the Australian Government – to ensure gender issues are considered at all stages of the program cycle.
These commitments will supplement our broader efforts to advance gender equality globally and strengthen women’s leadership before, during and after a humanitarian crisis.
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