Remarks by Mr. Nick Beresford: The Signing Ceremony of the Partnership Agreements of the LWGE Program

Feb 22, 2018

HE Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi,

Swedish Counselor and Head of Sida, Mr. Samuel Hurtig

Oxfam Country Director, Ms. Lim Solinn

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen


On behalf of UNDP, it is my great pleasure to participate in the signing ceremony for ‘Leading the Way for Gender Equality (LWGE)’ Program.My sincere thanks to HE Minister Ing Kantha Phavi and her dedicated staff here at MoWA for their leadership in designing our future work together for women and girls, boys and men, for gender equity. My thanks also to Sam Hurtig and the SIDA team for their solid support for gender equity and to building the institutional strength of the MoWA.

I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that SDG 5 is written in strong, clear and absolute terms: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  The first 2 targets are:

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

We had a great meeting this week with Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and his ministers including HE MoWA. Samdech Hun Sen repeatedly made the point that he sees the challenge shift from physical infrastructure to human development. If we can achieve gender equity we really can address human development. If women and girls can realize their full potential then boys and men win too as those wins accrue to all of us.

And what more appropriate DP partner than Sweden, a country that leads with a feminist foreign policy. Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation lists 6 key objectives: human rights, freedom from violence, participation in peace efforts, political participation, economic empowerment and SRH rights.

HE Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi has consistently emphasizes the centrality of gender to successfully supporting human development. There’s great opportunities here for us to have MoWA work closely with MoEF to clearly make the economic case and show the policy direction necessary to seize the opportunity of fully engaging both sides of the population into the productive economy.  Here we have a government very open to the argument if we can make it clearly and forcefully.

In closing, I’d emphasis the importance of measuring results.  HE the Minister told us how Samdech PM had asked if all the investment over so many years was actually having any affects on gender equality.

That is the right question.

We must be better able to answer this.

We must hold ourselves to good account and I think this is something we can do well.

I am very happy to sign this project document and start a fresh agenda of action, under the leadership of MoWA and together with our partners SIDA. 

Many thanks.

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