UN Women opened a new liaison office in Geneva on 6 October 2016. Switzerland is confident that UN Women's permanent presence in Geneva will actively contribute to Switzerland's advocacy for gender equality and women's empowerment. These priorities are a strategic objective of Switzerland's international cooperation for the years 2017–20.
Switzerland has supported UN Women since its creation in 2010 and enjoys an excellent reputation in the organization. It is able uphold its positions there and is an influential member of its Executive Board. Switzerland has committed funds totalling CHF 48 million for UN Women for the three-year period of 2015–2017, an amount of CHF 16 million per year which makes it one of the institution’s three largest donors.
Over the years, UN Women has developed into the world's most important institution for the promotion of gender equality. Its main role is to support the development of worldwide standards, help member states apply them, provide technical assistance and appropriate financial support to member states and advance gender equality within the United Nations system in general.
Through its presence in Geneva, UN Women exerts greater influence on the intergovernmental decision-making processes. It also enhances its strategic cooperation with various actors in the International Geneva, particularly the specialised agencies of the UN, civil society, academia and the private sector. UN Women aims to raise the awareness of having a gender-based approach in a broad range of fields, including health, migration, humanitarian aid, disaster risk reduction, and peace and security.
"By opening a UN Women liaison office, the United Nations and its member states are sending a strong message – an acknowledgement of the importance of being here in Geneva to influence the multilateral debate and to help fulfil global political commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals," stressed Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organizations in Geneva.
Switzerland supports gender equality as one of the key objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Gender equality is an integral part of human rights and a necessary condition for genuinely inclusive and sustainable development.
Because strengthening the gender perspective at the international level is critically important to Switzerland, it will finance the new liaison office for two years.
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