UN: UN officials urge more girls' empowerment opportunities

New York, US (PANA) - The newly-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an opportunity
for a global commitment to breaking inter-generational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion
and discrimination, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Sundat on the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child.

Ban also said the SDGs provide the oportunity to realize ''our vision of a life of dignity for all''.

"Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give
girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030," Ban said in his message on the Day, referring to the newly–adopted 2030 Agenda and its landmark 17 Global Goals.

The UN Scribe stresesed the need to empower them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential.

"It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society," he said.

Ban recalled that just after the adoption last month of the Global Goals for, world leaders heard a ringing call from Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was flanked in the UN General Assembly Hall by young people from around the world.

She said: "Promise us that you will keep your commitments and invest in our future."

"Three years ago, on the International Day of the Girl Child, I condemned the attack against Malala and called for more opportunities for girls everywhere. Today, I applaud her courage and that of her peers, who only want the chance to contribute to our world.

"Let us resolve to invest in today's adolescent girls so that tomorrow they can stand strong as citizens, political leaders, entrepreneurs, heads of their households and more. This will secure their rights and our common future," he noted.

In her remarks, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the cadre of 15-year-old girls living today were born at the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into a world of hope.

"Not all of those hopes were fulfilled. Many have already dropped out of school to look after family members or take informal work to help support the family.

"More than 250 million of our 15-year-olds are already married, too many are facing the likelihood of HIV infection, especially given the high unmet needs for family planning and every 10 minutes somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies by violent means.

"These, and the generations that follow them, are the young women for whom we are working so hard," she said.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 11Oct2015

11 october 2015 16:38:59

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