UN RC/ UNDP RR's speech on 16 Days of Activism
Dear Ms. Hijran Huseynova!
Colleagues of the UN!
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
Dear Friends of the Media!
It is a great pleasure to be here with you today to mark the International Day Against Violence Against Women and launch 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. These 16 days will demonstrate the solidarity with women around the world to stop violence against women and to create the tools and concrete actions to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women.
On behalf of the UN System in Azerbaijan, I would like to thank the Chairperson of the State Committee for taking the lead in observing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
This international campaign originated from the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. The dates chosen for the campaign are for a good reason: from November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, to December 10, the International Human Rights Day. This is to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.
The Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women states ‘discrimination against women’ shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex, which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.’
Up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, or even murdered, which constitutes appalling violations of their human rights.
Regrettably, we still witness very different forms of discrimination against the women throughout the world. The list includes and is not limited to preferential treatment throughout entire life cycle, sex selection abortions, child marriages, double discrimination against women with different forms of disabilities, etc.
The United Nations is working on addressing violence against women to foster the joint efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, the UN Secretary General launched ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women’.
The UN in Azerbaijan has been partnering with the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs in marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women over the past six years. We do this to ensure that the basic principle of equality of rights for all persons is effectively realized in Azerbaijan.
The importance of gender equality is underscored by its inclusion as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Gender equality is acknowledged as being key to achieving the other MDGs.
National consultations held this year in Azerbaijan to identify priorities for the new sustainable development goals beyond 2015 when the MDGs will expire, revealed that the country is committed to improve the quality of and advance gender equality and empower women in line with its international obligations, but more can and should be done.
There are still gaps in promoting, protecting and achieving women’s rights and equality in Azerbaijan. This will require more coordinated efforts from the Government, the Parliament, civil society organizations, the media and each and every Azerbaijani citizen: men and women.
The United Nations in Azerbaijan remains committed to support the Government in its efforts to boost the national response to Gender-Based Violence in Azerbaijan.
The State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs cooperated on several initiatives with UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, and IOM.
On this year’s International Day, the United Nations is urging all partners to break the silence and act when they witness violence against women and girls. We are calling all nations, including Azerbaijan, to push for a multi-sector response to violence against women and girls, and require ACTION for full and effective implementation of the existing laws.
“Each nation must devise its own strategy,” UN Secretary General said. “But there is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”
We thank the Committee for our partnership in combatting Violence Against Women and look forward to our continued cooperation.
Choh sag olun!