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Statement: 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (10 March)

Mr President,

It is an honor for the Argentine Republic to be present again at this important forum which aims at reflecting on the progress and achievements made in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) for women and girls.

We hope that this session will allow us to reach agreements that involve contributions to the formulation of the new Post 2015 Development Agenda. Finally, we trust that the conclusions we hope to achieve at the end of this session, will gather the remaining challenges, guide our future actions and realize the renewed commitment of the States with targets for the advancement of women.

Argentina celebrates the achievements worldwide in educational equity and political participation of women posed as MDG targets for gender equality. However, we also recognize that such wording was not enough to consider other key areas of structural inequality between men and women which are also obstacles to the development of women and the full exercise of their rights.

For this reason, we believe that the future development agenda should include critical issues that make gender equality, such as the elimination of all forms of violence against women, access to comprehensive health care, including sexual and reproductive health - and recognition of reproductive care, among other topics, as well as ensure indicators and gender specific goals that are transversal to all other development goals.

In this context, Argentina accompanies the position expressed by the Secretary General in his reports to the Commission and agrees with the assertion that the future development agenda must reclaim the goal of substantive equality between men and women included in the MDGs, but this time contemplating multidimensionality that such equality implies, which encompasses, among others, the just mentioned aspects.

We also affirm that gender equality is essential to achieving a sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic growth fundamental for the eradication of poverty and sustainable development. In this regard, we reaffirm that economic development and the respect and promotion of human rights, including the rights of women - are necessarily linked.

It is important to note that the current discussions about the post-2015 international agenda pose both challenges and opportunities for the women's agenda and that is why it is a priority to accompany and assist in their design.

Argentina is part of the group of countries that drive the need for items that promote gender equality to be reflected explicitly in the new development agenda, and to promote the mainstreaming of gender as a crosscutting element in the new Sustainable Development Agenda, as agreed at the recent CELAC Summit II of Latin American and the Caribbean countries and other fora.

Another compelling argument is the identification of the means of implementation that enable the realization of the new development agenda. In this regard, a frank and realistic discussion is needed that will set targets and quantitative indicators for the purpose of international cooperation.

In regard specifically to gender, not only must we redouble our efforts to achieve and / or exceed the targets set in the MDGs, particularly in regard to maternal morbidity and mortality, but also clarify and operationalize other key objectives, especially eradication of all forms of gender violence, providing them with periodic accountability mechanisms.

At the national level, in 2003 the Argentine government made an adaptation of some of the targets linked to the MDGs to make them more stringent than those established at the global level and defined according to the needs and expectations of our country. Also, the government added to the internationally agreed goals, the "Promotion of decent work" in the conviction that a just and inclusive society is built ensuring decent work for all its inhabitants.

To date, the evaluation by Argentina states that many of the previously set targets were reached. Still, work continues on those more ambitious  goals that have been hindered by different obstacles. In particular, we notice drastic reduction of poverty, almost complete educational coverage from the primary level in the whole country that is equal for men and women, one of the highest rates in the world in regard to the participation of women in the National Parliament and reductions in infant mortality and vertical transmission of HIV, among other achievements .

Furthermore, beyond the agenda marked by the MDGs, Argentina has undertaken numerous actions to improve the situation of women, among which we mention:

- Progress in the prevention and punishment of gender violence.
- Progress in the protection and promotion of sexual and reproductive rights of women, particularly in relation to the establishment of treatment protocols for not punishable abortions under the health system.
-  Progress in the protection of women workers, in particular the recognition and protection of labor and social rights of domestic workers.
- Deepening of Argentina's commitment to the international community and to established agreements by withdrawing the statements of reservation made  to the Declaration and Platform for Action of the Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) in view of  national developments in legislation and public policy.

Mr President,
Without neglecting the necessary and renewed effort required to move closer to the goals set by the MDGs by 2015, we must also remember that the new development agenda will provide the overall framework within which the future agenda for advancing women will be settled. As I said earlier, it is desirable that this agenda be explicitly made visible and count with specific objectives and targets, bring monitoring, evaluation and adjustment where necessary.

In this context, Argentina today wishes to reiterate its firm commitment and most determined vocation to support and accompany all initiatives of the community gathered here that point to moving forward on the path of sustainable and inclusive development in the framework of full respect human rights for all.

Thank you very much.

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular