SINT MAARTEN/UN HEADQUARTERS, New York— The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis, and the Executive Director of UN Women, H.E. Sima Sami Bahous, convened the highly anticipated 2nd annual meeting with women Heads of State and Heads of Governments during High-Level Week. The Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs, Silveria Jacobs was welcomed, with a member of her delegation, as a current woman Head of Government.
This significant gathering centered its discussions on the critical theme, “Accelerating the implementation of SDG5 towards achieving Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability.” Esteemed former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ms. Helen Clark, served as the moderator, ensuring a productive and engaging dialogue.
During the event, His Excellency Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th session of the General Assembly, delivered the opening remarks, followed by opening remarks from Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women. Her Excellency Ms. Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, introduced an interactive segment, where leaders shared insights and actions related to SDG5. This interactive session aimed to foster dynamic exchanges of ideas.
The gathering delved into the actions undertaken by women leaders to effectively lead in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG5. Leaders had the opportunity to share valuable practices that can serve as models for other nations. Discussions centered on recommendations and insights from women leaders to empower women and girls as catalysts for change across various decision-making domains, encompassing economic and social policies, peace initiatives, climate action, and more.
The meeting sought input from women leaders regarding the Summit of the Future, aiming to propel gender equality and advance the rights of women and girls. The emphasis here is on departing from conventional approaches to achieve substantial progress and create lasting impact.
Prime Minister Jacobs was able to voice her opinion to the tune of underscoring the pivotal role of SDG 5, dedicated to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, as a catalyst for broader societal progress. She emphasized that gender equality is not just a goal but a powerful force driving peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability. The Prime Minister acknowledged the presence of inherent biases within the 2030 Agenda, particularly racial biases that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. She also stressed the need to actively dismantle these biases and advocate for an intersectional approach within SDG 5. Prime Minister Jacobs concluded by emphasizing that SDG 5 is not just one of seventeen goals but a linchpin holding the entire framework together, stressing the importance of placing gender equality at the forefront of efforts for a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.