Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Women have a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

UN USG Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, at IWEC event

United Nations Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach told an international group of business women gathered in Brussels that women had a key role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the importance of Goal 16, which seeks to achieve peace, justice and strong institutions. "Gender equality has a key role to play in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals," Ms. Gallach said.

The Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information at the UN emphasized the need for women to be able to play a greater participatory role in society, in particular in business, politics, the police and the military. She noted that progress needed to be made in countries afflicted by war such as Iraq and Afghanistan but also in Europe.

"Let us not excuse Europe either," said Ms. Gallach, speaking to the annual conference of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge, an organization founded to enable successful businesswomen to support each other and reach new markets.

"Europe is by no means a promised land of gender equality and women’s empowerment. In the OSCE countries, only a quarter of members of both the lower and upper houses of parliament are women," Ms. Gallach told the audience, which included women entrepreneurs from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a bold vision for the future adopted just over a year ago by the United Nations General Assembly,  offer "a plan to address inequality in the world, to address poverty and environmental degradation, to eliminate hunger and build sustainable cities among other objectives", Ms. Gallach told the group of assembled global business women.

"Never has a plan to transform the world in 15 years put women so fundamentally at the centre of its objectives," the Under-Secretary-General said.

Ms. Gallach urged the business women to support the Goals as a way to improve opportunities for their businesses through better education that will increase the talent pool in the workforce, reduced corruption as a result of the rule of law, and more productive employees due to better health care.

"Your support is needed because as women of business, you are uniquely qualified to understand that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals just makes good business sense, and that achieving them will be good for your business and good for your bottom line,’’ Ms. Gallach said.

The world needs all hands to achieve gender equality, she told the business women. "I firmly believe that small daily actions strung together can make big change."


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