Friday, 15 January 2021

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UN Deputy Secretary-General urges progress on achieving gender equality

Deputy Secretary-General. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, speaking at European Development Days, 2018, opening ceremony

The world has no option but to press forward in striving to achieve gender equality in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed said at the opening of the European Development Days in Brussels.

"Gender equality is crucial for every country … for every society,’’ Ms. Mohamed said. "It is a precondition for sustainable development,’’ adding that gender equality is essential in today’s world and that there should be no tolerance of violence against women.

The European Commission has organized the European Development Days since 2006 as a way to provide the global development community opportunities to ``share ideas’’ and create partnerships to solve the ``world’s most pressing challenges.’’

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has made ensuring gender parity at the UN one of his key priorities.

The United Nations is strongly committed to lead by example by empowering women within the Organization itself. Today, for the first time in UN history, there is gender parity in our senior management,’’ the Deputy Secretary-General said.

More than 8,000 people attend the European Development Days, including eight leaders from Africa, senior European Union officials, as well as senior representatives of the United Nations, civil society, as well as Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and Queen Letizia of Spain.

In her speech, the Deputy Secretary-General told the audience that more women than men are living in extreme poverty, dire conditions exacerbated by violence against women.

"Violence against women remains, unfortunately, a global pandemic," she said. The persistence of violence against women results in lost economic and educational possibilities and creates health and reproductive problems among others.  

Deputy Secretary-General. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, signing the UN's #EDD18 Human Rights graffiti wall

This year, the European Development Days are focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the key role that women play for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Both United Nations and European Union leaders highlighted the Spotlight Initiative, a joint effort to eliminate violence against women and girls. 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the Europe’s commitment to the Initiative.  We must ``do everything do fight violence against women,’’ he said. 


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