5 April 2010

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

Secretary-General Says Giving Women Power, Respect Benefits Families,

Societies, at Kyrgyz President’s Signing of ‘UNiTE’ Campaign

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the presidential signing ceremony for the "Say NO-UNiTE Campaign", in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 3 April:

I am very happy to be here to witness this signing by the President [Kurmanbek Bakiyev], which is a concrete symbol of your commitment to ending violence against women and girls.

At the United Nations, all our years of work on development have taught us that if you educate a woman, then you educate her children, her community and her country.

If you give a woman power and respect, she will take decisions that benefit her family, and society as a whole.

But we all know that women are all too often subjected to horrific abuse and violence, around the world.  No country is immune.

We must UNiTE to end crimes against women, including domestic violence, sex trafficking, and early or forced marriage.

That is why we are calling on all countries to draw up new laws, and take concrete measures by 2015.

Our UNiTE campaign is galvanizing action across the United Nations system, and around the world –- throughout South America, Africa, and here in Kyrgyzstan.

I welcome your personal commitment, Mr. President, to these goals.

Let us reaffirm our respect for women's human rights.  Let us invest more resources in countering this violence and let us do all it takes to end these horrific crimes.

Rakhmat [thank you].

* *** *

For information media • not an official record