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I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of EU.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank delegations of Mexico and Colombia for introducing this resolution and for their continued leadership over the years. The EU is a strong supporter of all efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls, including by this Council's Working Group on discrimination against women. We find the objectives of this year's resolution especially timely and important.
We recognize the importance of addressing the causes of deprivation of liberty of women and girls from a gender perspective. We particularly welcome this resolution’s call for a balanced gender representation across UN system. We see this as an essential step towards bringing about structural change needed to advance substantive gender equality and gender parity in line with the Secretary-General’s system-wide strategy on gender parity. Also, the EU strongly supports the renewal and broadening of the mandate of the Working Group to also include discrimination against girls.
Elimination of all forms of discrimination will become a reality only through a comprehensive and systematic work towards the achievement of gender equality.
Furthermore, the EU would like to underscore the importance of preventing and eliminating gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination and violence against women and girls.
Moreover, we firmly believe that every individual has the right to have full control over, and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence. In this regard, the human rights based approach to women's and girl's health is important for the elimination of barriers that hinder women and girls' full and equal enjoyment of all human rights.
The EU remains committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Programme of Action of the ICPD and the outcomes of their review conferences and remains committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights, in this context. In this regard, we stress also the need for universal quality and affordable comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and health-care services.
The EU is strongly convinced that the draft resolution in front of us today contains very important elements that emerged from a transparent and open informal negotiation process.
We will vote against any amendments to this resolution and call on others to do the same.