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Outcomes of Prepcom for Poland

2004-12-20 11:07:22 / News read 2484 reading
Official letter of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to the Polish Prime Minister.

Excellency,

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has been privileged to work in close partnership with the Government of Poland and with Polish civil society to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in Poland as well as throughout the region and at the global level. We have appreciated the leadership of the former Secretary of State and Plenipotentiary for Gender Equality, Ms. Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, currently Deputy Prime Minister, who supported our regional work to promote strengthened implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and we are eager to similarly collaborate with her successor, Minister Magdalena Środa. We are also proud to support and partner with many committed and highly skilled Polish women’s NGOs.

Poland has taken important steps to comply with paragraph 201 (a) of the Beijing Platform for Action, which calls for location of the gender equality machinery “…at the highest possible level in the Government, falling under the responsibility of a Cabinet minister”. In this regard, Poland represents a positive model for the entire region. We were therefore concerned to learn that the Government of Poland is considering a decision to lower the existing status of the Polish national machinery for gender equality.

It would be particularly regrettable to see the status of the Polish national machinery for gender equality reduced rather than strengthened on the background of the outcomes of the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 10-year review of Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing +10), which concluded last week. Governments of the ECA region concluded the meeting with a reaffirmation of their commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action, and they furthermore recognized the need for strengthened action to be taken towards its full implementation.

UNIFEM views the preservation of the existing status of the national machinery as critically important for its effective functioning. We therefore express our most sincere hope that the Government of Poland will reconsider its decision.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Osnat Lubrani
Regional Programme Director
UNIFEM Central and Eastern Europe

H.E. Mr. Marek Belka,
Prime Minister of Poland
Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3,
00-583 Warsaw, Poland
Fax: (+ 48 22) 661 11 24
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