New York, US - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday pledged to root for women everywhere, while stressing the need for the UN and its partners to lay the groundwork to enable all women to enjoy their rights and be empowered.
Ban made the pledge at a photo-op with former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), ahead of their meeting at the UN headquarters.
He noted that 2015 would be crucial for the future of development and the future of women’s rights, saying: "Next year marks the target date for the achievement of the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals, which contain specific benchmarks for gender equality."
He said that countries were also working toward the adoption of global development agenda beyond 2015, as well as on securing a global climate change agreement by the end of next year.
Ban noted that 2015 also marked the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing World Conference on Women.
The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, is considered the key global policy document on gender equality, addressing critical areas such as women and poverty, violence against women and the human rights of women.
The secretary-general said there had been a great deal of progress since then, but too many women still faced far too much discrimination and violence.
He added that the UN family looked forward to continuing to work closely with Ms. Clinton for sustainable development and opportunities for all the world’s women and girls.
This week in New York, UN Women is hosting a number of events on gender equality on the margins of the current meeting of the working group tasked with preparing a proposal on the Sustainable Development Goals called for by UN member states at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The overall issues to be discussed by the group include oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity, conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, and rule of law and governance and promoting equality.