5 March 2009
Deputy Secretary-General

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks at the launch of the Secretary-General’s database on violence against women in New York, today, 5 March:

It is a great pleasure to be with you today to help launch the Secretary-General’s database on violence against women. 

Violence against women remains one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time.  It affects women in every part of the world.

In October 2006, the Secretary-General launched a study on this intolerable scourge.  The study highlighted the persistence of all forms of violence against women.  It also identified concrete ways to ensure a more sustained and effective response by all stakeholders.  The study also emphasized the importance of accurate and up-to-date information -- not only in relation to the scope of the problem, but also in relation to the effectiveness of measures to address it.

The General Assembly responded to the study with a comprehensive and action-oriented resolution.  It called on all stakeholders to intensify efforts to eliminate violence against women.  And it asked the Secretary-General to establish a database on the extent, nature and consequences of all forms of violence against women.  The impact and effectiveness of policies and programmes for combating such violence is also an indispensable part of the database.

Today, a little over two years after the adoption of that resolution, I am honoured to launch the Secretary-General’s database on violence against women.  This is the first global “one-stop shop” for information on measures undertaken by Member States to address violence against women in terms of legal, policy and institutional frameworks. 

It contains information on services for victims and survivors.  You will also find relevant data on capacity-building and awareness-raising activities for public officials.  It also provides data on the prevalence of violence and the criminal justice sector response to it.  In this database, everyone will have access to an extensive global body of information on violence against women -- all at the click of a mouse.

Having myself been a Minister for Gender Equality, I know that decision makers look for good practices or examples from other countries.  This is important when developing an action plan, working on a new law or setting up a stronger coordination mechanism.  Non-governmental organizations, for their part, take advantage of success stories from around the world to lobby parliamentarians and ministers.

This database will encourage exchange on initiatives and ideas, and the transfer of promising practices.  It will facilitate learning and show how progress is being made.  The database will also help us understand what remains to be done.  I hope it will inspire all of us to redouble our efforts to put in place the policies, services and other measures necessary to tackle violence against women.

The database will also give critical impetus for action in the framework of the Secretary-General’s “UNiTE to end violence against women” campaign.  It contains information on each of the campaign’s five key outcomes:  national laws; national plans of action; data collection and analysis; national and local campaigns; and sexual violence in conflict situations.

Women everywhere remain at risk of violence.  Step by step, we are working to create a world in which no woman or girl will have to endure such horror.  I thank all involved in making this possible.  And now, it is my great pleasure to pronounce the Secretary-General’s database on violence against women open to the world.

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For information media • not an official record