Monday, September 28, 2015

70th UNGA: World leaders agree to close the gender equality gaps

Eighty world leaders have made concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps at a historic event co-hosted by UN Women and the People’s Republic of China, at an event titled, “Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Commitment to Action.” In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon directly addressed the assembled world leaders, saying: “As Heads of State and Government you have the power and the responsibility to ensure that gender equality is—and remains—a national priority.” He continued to outline three areas for action: “First, I urge you to create and energetically implement coherent gender equality policies. Second, provide significant financing for gender equality so that commitments become reality. And third, monitor progress so that all governments will hold themselves and each other accountable for the pledges made here today.” Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China who opened the event said there is still a long way to go in achieving gender equality saying that the international community should reaffirm the spirit of the Beijing Conference with renewed commitment and pledge greater efforts to promote gender equality and women’s all-around development. President Xi Jinping announced that to support women’s development worldwide and the work of UN Women, China will contribute USD 10 million for the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the realization of the related goals in the post-2015 development agenda. President Xi further said China will support women and girls in other developing countries by providing health care, vocational training, financing for education and other assistance. UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasised that as the highest leaders in the land are taking personal responsibility for their commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women, the world looks up to them to lead the game-changing actions that secure and sustain implementation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that making new commitments with Sustainable Development Goal 5 are good but action is better saying, “while actions announced will vary, they are expected to align behind a common message: The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without gender equality”. Angela Merkel added that if countries act immediately to translate the goals into action, and close many remaining gaps in implementing the land

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