“All Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are dependent on women having a say in their own development” explained Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in the opening address to the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2010 Substantive Session High-level Segment.
“Women are all too often the poorest and most marginalized” Mr. Ban observed, and “although the 2010 MDG Report shows we have made progress, the progress is uneven…with the least success for maternal health. This is a landmark year for gender equality.”
Under the theme of the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) — “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and empowerment of women” — more than seven hundred participants representing governments, multilateral organizations, aid agencies, civil society, private sector and academia are scheduled to discuss long-term commitments to improve and bring visibility to these issues.
A video from the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) opened the segment, and highlighted women from around the world and their contributions and importance in society. Thirteen countries have the opportunity to more directly present their experiences in implementing their national development strategies, including development strategies surrounding women, to achieve the internationally agreed goals through a series of panels and roundtable discussions.
“The place of women and girls in development is important and cannot be overstated,” Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development for the United Kingdom stressed in his opening address to the segment.
“We all need to deliver as we collectively combat poverty. We have a tremendous opportunity to save lives and deliver results,” Mr Ban said of the importance of the ECOSOC segment and upcoming sessions.
“The High-Level Segment must produce tangible results…results that can be understood by the public at large” President of ECOSOC, Hamidon Ali, similarly emphasized to all of member states and segment participants.
The Substantive Session will continue throughout June and July, with the Development Cooperation Forum opening 29 June 2010.