Explanation of vote by Ambassador to the General Assembly Richard Croker at the UN Second Committee.

Thank you Chair.

In regard to the amendment put forward by Egypt, we deeply regret it. Let me be clear, it is an attempt to limit discussions on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in this fora.

Let me read a quote if I may:

“Realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets.

The achievement of full human potential and sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied full human rights and opportunities.

Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunity as men and boys for employment and leadership.”

I could go on, the paragraph continues.

It is not a UK view, it is directly taken from the SDG Declaration that our Leaders reaffirmed weeks ago in this building.

This subject is relevant to this committee, and we deeply regret the amendment. The argument that it is a Third Committee issue completely undermines the efforts that the majority of Member States are taking to unlock the full potential and power of women and girls to accelerate progress on all global development priorities.

Any decision to vote in favour of the amendment undermines the SDGs. It decommits – not recommits – to them.

On top of this, procedurally, we are also seriously concerned about the precedent this is setting, with one committee unilaterally seeking to task another committee.

However, we are clear that even if this amendment passes, it cannot preclude the discussion of gender equality as a central element to sustainable development in the Second Committee, as set out in the SDG Declaration.

It is for these reasons we will vote against the amendment.

Thank you.

Published 22 November 2023