Feature Story

Women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership…are key factors for achievement of the 2030 Agenda
United Nations Headquarters, New York City

Ms Emine Bozkurt, member of the International IDEA Board of Advisors, addressing the high-level ministerial segment of the 2017 High Level Political Forum, Thursday, 20 July 2017.  Photo Credit: International IDEA

The 2030 Agenda is now halfway through its first set of reviews and with it, the crucial need to stress that the only way that national governments will make progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is if there is participation and representation of women at all levels of decision making and leadership. This message rang loud and clear at the United Nations where Member States and other key policy stakeholders engaged at the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on the review of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14.  

With this in mind on the afternoon of Thursday, 20 July 2017, Ms Emine Bozkurt, member of International IDEA’s board of advisors took the floor in the ECOSOC Chamber at UN HQ in NY during the high-level ministerial segment of the 2017 High Level Political Forum.  

In speaking to the body of UN Member States, Ms Bozkurt noted the importance of interlinkages among the SDGs, particularly in the case of the review of Goal 5 on “Achiev[ing] gender equality and empower all women and girls”.  SDG 5 provides a unique opportunity to further underline the “people centered approach” that Member States have committed to in the SDGs, therefore indicating that the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment is, not only a goal in and of itself, but also a necessary accelerator for all other goals and targets.  

Ms Bozkurt also noted that the same applies to SDG 16 on “Peace, Justice and Accountable Institutions”.  She noted that from the National Voluntary Reviews, it was clear that “democratic accountability in the 2030 Agenda is favored by a participatory and inclusive approach”. Combined with the targets and ambitions of SDG 5, she noted that in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda, women’s full participation and equal opportunities for leadership are key.  

That being said, while the HLPF provides a unique opportunity to engage with Member States, especially through the National Voluntary Review process, Ms Bozkurt closed her statement by urging key stakeholders to remain vigilant and ensure that “High Level” in HLPF “stands not only for mandate but also for the level of ambition”.