Director-General Champions girls' education at a High-level Inter-Agency Event on MDGs for girls and women in New York
On 11 March, Director-General Irina Bokova was a key-note speaker at the CSW 58 High-level side event, "Heads of UN Agencies on accelerating progress on the MDGs for women and girls and realizing women's and girls' rights in the post-2015 development agenda," chaired by the Executive Director of UN Women.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa and high-level representatives from the UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank were also panellists.
Taking the floor, the Director-General noted that although there has been tremendous progress in providing education for girls and women since 2000, in terms of access, equity, quality of learning, and literacy, there is still a long way to go.
"We know girls' empowerment is one of the most powerful transformative forces we have -and yet this power is being squandered", she underlined.
The Director-General provided sobering data from the latest GMR and reminded the participants that despite advances, a generation of young women is being left behind.
Her remarks that "there is no better investment than investment in girls' and women's education for poverty eradication, sustainable development and peace-building" received widespread agreement from the audience.
"We can achieve progress when will is combined with resources and when action is targeted where it is most needed", she concluded.
The Director-General signed the Joint Statement on "Ending Violence against Women and Girls" along with the heads of UN Women, UNDP, WHO, ILO, UNODC, UNICEF, UNFPA, OHCHR and the UNAIDS, adopted at this High-level side event.
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