Israel's representative to UN boards delivered a statement earlier today on behalf of Canada and Israel about the joint UNICEF-UNFPA program. Read his full statement here:
Executive Director, Members of the Board,
I am delivering this statement on behalf of Canada and Israel. Let me start by thanking the evaluation offices for their hard
We strongly support all efforts to eliminate FGM/C anywhere in the
world where this harmful practice persists.
We recognize the challenges of addressing this issue, including the complexity
of designing and executing programmes in this regard. We therefore thank those at UNFPA and UNICEF that
have been working tirelessly on this topic, from Headquarters to those in the
Every year, three million girls are at risk of being subjected to
FGM/C. The practice is nothing less than
a violation of human rights, notably rights pertaining to mental and physical
health, including sexual and reproductive health. We appreciate the fact that the Joint
Programme is necessarily culturally sensitive in design, while retaining its human
The joint UNICEF-UNFPA programme stands as a shining example of effective
inter-agency cooperation, with each partner bringing its own expertise to the
table. This cooperation was also
welcomed in General Assembly resolution 67/146, which was adopted by consensus.
Turning to the Joint evaluation and the Joint managements’
response, we would like to offer a few brief comments.
First, we should acknowledge and applaud the results of the Joint
Programme: the dedicated efforts of programme staff and others have led to the
abandonment of the practice in 10,000 communities. This remarkable achievement cannot and must
not be forgotten in our discussions on the Programme.
We appreciate that the objective of the first phase was somewhat
ambitious: to reduce the practice in target countries by 40%, and to see its
total elimination in one country, all within five years. Even with this high bar, the evaluation
confirms that strong progress was made. Nevertheless,
we would appreciate additional information on how the initial goals were set,
and why the evaluation concluded that shortfalls were primarily due to the
ambitious target. This information is
especially relevant as the Joint Programme embarks on Phase 2.
Additionally, we believe that establishing reliable baselines for
the next phase will enable more reliable evaluations of progress. We welcome managements’ commitment to more
systematically determining these baselines in Phase 2 and would further
encourage the Joint Programme to improve their monitoring and reporting on
horizontal issues, for example, gender equality and human rights.
The evaluation notes that the regional dimensions of the programme,
intended to effect change at the local level, were not fully operationalized in
the first phase. Management has accepted
the recommendation to step up this approach in Phase 2. We believe that the determination of whether
regional-level investment has a catalytic effect will help establish the most
efficient entry points for interventions, and inform future programme design.
Finally, Mr. President, we are very pleased that management endorses
the recommendation to proceed with Phase 2 of the Programme, beginning this
year. Continuing the work begun in the
first phase, the Programme will seek to consolidate the strong gains already
made. We also welcome the addition of
two additional countries to the Programme, as well as managements’ commitment
to further strengthen UNICEF-UNFPA coordination.
Let me conclude by expressing one more time our appreciation to all
those participating in this important programme.