UN Deputy Secretary General Declares Women's Role Essential to Reaching Development Goals
The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro announced in a speech that efforts to reach the UN's Millennium Development Goals must focus on empowering women. Deputy Secretary General Migiro spoke in New York on Tuesday to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York about leadership training and development for women and girls.
The Deputy Secretary General said in her speech, "Empowering women is not just an end in itself; it is a prerequisite for reaching all of the Millennium Development Goals--- our common vision to build a better world in the twenty-first century."
The eight Millennium Development Goals are goals set by the UN to aid the world’s most disadvantaged people, who are disproportionately women and children, by 2015. They include ending extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development.
In her speech, the Deputy Secretary General outlined key areas where countries should step up their efforts to attain these goals by empowering women. She urges governments to promote affirmative action, to protect women's human rights, to train women in leadership, and to end violence against women.
The UN has been focusing its efforts of empowering women. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has launched a program to end violence against women. Deputy Secretary General Migiro also voiced support for a centralized women's agency in the UN. She said, "In all these efforts to empower women, the United Nations must be at the forefront."
Media Resources: UN News Centre 03/12/08; Deputy Secretary General's Speech 03/11/08; UN Millennium Development Goals; Feminist Newswire 03/04/08, 03/06/08