During the Annual End-of-Year Meeting of the International Gender Champions, H.E. Ambassador Natasha Meli Daudey highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation and engagement in order to advance gender equality and parity.
In a clear attestation of the Government of Malta’s commitment to advancing these efforts, and to Ambassador Meli Daudey’s commitment to her role as a Gender Champion, the Ambassador announced the donation of a financial contribution by the Government of Malta, which will serve to fund a dedicated part-time hub coordinator position for the IGC Vienna Chapter. While Malta’s donation was a token contribution, Ambassador Meli Daudey underscored that small steps can still make a lasting impact.
Ambassador Meli Daudey also spoke about her own efforts to accomplish the IGC Panel Parity Pledge, the Gender-based Violence Pledge, as well as her personal IGC commitments to advance gender equality in 2022. The elimination of all forms of violence motivated by gender is a priority issue for Malta, which introduced the criminal offence of Femicide in the national Criminal Code over the past year. In an effort to build on this dialogue and explore best practises and lessons learnt, the Permanent Mission of Malta in Vienna organized a successful side-event on the margins of the Commission on Crime Prevent and Criminal Justice, entitled ‘Combatting and Criminalising Gender-Based Violence, including Femicide’ which provided a forum for fruitful exchanges by experts from various fora, on what can and needs to be done, to better combat gender-based violence.
During the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Alejandro Solano Ortiz of Costa Rica, H.E. Ambassador Laura Holgate of the United States and H.E. Ambassador Barbara Žvokelj of Slovenia, who occupy the roles of co-chairs of the Vienna IGC, expressed appreciation to Malta for being the first and only country to respond to a call to respond to the call for further investment in this crucial leadership network, despite the country’s small size, and encouraged other countries to follow this example. This was echoed by interlocutors within the meeting, including H.E. Elena K. Sokova, Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), which is currently contributing to the logistical administration of the Vienna Hub.
Discussions focused on actions taken and lessons learnt by Gender Champions, as they sought to fulfil their pledges and commitments of the year. This allowed for an exchange of ideas of initiatives that can be adopted, in order to advance gender equality in the workplace, in multilateral fora, and to close the gender gap, towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The IGC is an international network which brings decision-makers together, within regional hub coordination, in order to consolidate efforts to break down gender barriers. While a lot of work has been accomplished by the Vienna Chapter of the IGC, the impact of these efforts is limited due to a lack of financial and human resources for the hub.
H.E. Ambassador Natasha Meli Daudey of Malta, H.E. Ambassador Alejandro Solano Ortiz of Costa Rica, H.E. Ambassador Laura Holgate of the United States, H.E. Ambassador Barbara Žvokelj of Slovenia and H.E. Elena K. Sokova, Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)