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I have the honour to speak on behalf of Albania, Australia, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Switzerland, The Republic of Moldova, The Republic of North Macedonia, Ukraine, Uruguay and the European Union and its 28 Member States.
We welcome the adoption of the Resolution on the "Scope, modalities, format and organisation of the high-level meeting on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women." This important event will close a year of renewed initiatives and actions for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action provides a momentum for all of us – States, Civil Society, private actors - to join forces and renew our commitments to gender equality and women's empowerment for all. We are ready to take our part and call on all partners to do the same.
Civil society organizations and human rights defenders play a major role in implementing Beijing. Civil society and human rights defenders are our eyes and ears on the ground and are critical in implementing international efforts to promote and protect human rights, including the human rights of women and girls.
To this end, we welcome the text’s references to Civil Society participation in this process. No less than three Civil Society representatives will address the high-level event next September. They will play an important role in all other events, including the multi-stakeholder interactive hearing and the Generation Equality Forum. This is a clear recognition of the major contributions made by civil society, including women’s and community-based organisations, feminist groups, women human rights defenders, girls’ and youth-led organisations and trade unions to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
We remain concerned about the increasing trend by some member states to restrict civil society and human rights defenders at the United Nations, which we have seen across bodies and in modalities resolutions, particularly during this session of the General Assembly. This group will never accept such intimidating practices and will stand by all organisations and individuals that are being attacked simply for what they stand for or who they are. We also urge others to do the same in future resolutions so that we are not faced with this issue again.