“Promoting gender equality is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do”, said H.E. Ms Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s issues of the United States (US), during the National Voluntary Presentations held today in the frame of the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2010 Substantive Session High-level segment.
During the segment there were also presentations by representatives from the Netherlands, Guatemala, Moldova, France, Namibia, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Norway, Australia, Congo, and Mongolia.
Ms. Verveer reminded the meeting that US President Barack Obama considers the Millennium Development Goals as America’s goals and the US is committed to working with the world towards meeting the 2015 target and ensure that development gains are sustainable.
She stressed that MDG 3 on the promotion gender equality and empowerment of women is the linchpin; the means to achieve all the MDGs. “No country can get ahead if half of its citizens are left behind and the United States recognises that we cannot achieve any of the MDGs unless we invest in women and girls,” she said.
Ms. Verveer focused her presentation on three major development initiatives that illustrated the US’s commitment to achieving the MDGs through advancing women’s equality: President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative, the Feed the Future Initiative and the participation of women and girls in the US response to climate change.
The Special Policy Dialogue on “The role of Women in Countries in Special Situations” also discussed gender equality concerns worldwide and addressed the specific roles and challenges for women in countries in special situations in the policy areas of governance, economic development, and social development.