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Statements on Human Rights by the UN Secretariat

23 November 2012

UNIC/PRESS RELEASE/152-2012

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES STATES TO MEET COMMITMENTS TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

 

United Nations, New York, 23 November 2012 – Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Governments to live up to their obligations to end the global problem of violence against women and girls, one of the most widespread human rights violations.

“On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world”, said the UN chief, in a message for the Day.  “I urge all people to support this important goal”, he continued.

The Secretary-General’s appeal comes ahead of the March 2013 session of the 45-member UN Commission on the Status of Women, which will focus on preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. Thousands of government and civil society representatives are expected to converge on UN Headquarters in New York for the annual meeting.

States have concrete and clear obligations to address violence against women under international law, including the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Increased political action by States, backed by adequate resources, is also a major target of the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. Launched in 2008, UNiTEaims to raise public awareness and increase resources for preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. Among the key aims of the campaign, which will run until 2015, are the adoption and enforcement of national laws and action plans.

To support the goals of UNiTE, UN Women this week launched COMMIT, a new initiative asking governments to make national commitments which will be showcased online (http://saynotoviolence.org/commit), with the United States and Austria among the first countries to commit to specific actions.

The UNiTE campaign also works to engage men as part of the solution to end gender-based violence. Since its launch in 2009, members of the Secretary-General’s Network of Men Leaders have undertaken specific actions to end violence against women and girls, from raising public awareness to meeting with young men and boys.

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