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National machineries for gender equality: A CEDAW perspective

I would like to commend  the organizers  of this roundtable for this excellent initiative. This roundtable provides a great  platform to discuss  and analyze the capacity of national machineries for gender equality and to take stock of their efficiency and/or weaknesses. Though we live in economically challenging times, gender equality is not a bonus of good times. Equality rights are human rights — a basic principle that shapes the way we live, in good times and hard times. Gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but is also an essential component of sustainable development, social justice, peace, and security. These goals will only be achieved if  the national machinery is strong and women are able to participate as equal partners, decision makers, and beneficiaries of the sustainable development of their societies. Governments  must take responsibility for the choices they  make between cutting costs today and missing out on the immediate and longer-term benefits of an investment in gender equality. I commend the Government of Belarus for being part of this important roundtable. Your presence and active participation is a strong signal not only for the people of Belarus and to the region but to the whole world………that  everywhere, the   National  framework  on Gender Equality   must confirm the Government’s role as part of a broad-based partnership in society, consulting and acting in concert with individuals and with public, para-public and private institutions.