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 [Joint Announcement by the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General delivered by
H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mutlaq M. Al-Qahtani, Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly]

New York, 8 March 2012


Thank you Madam Chair.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I have the honour to read an announcement by the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and the Secretary-General of the United Nations H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon would like to jointly propose the convening of a Global Conference on Women by the United Nations in 2015, twenty years after the last women’s summit in Beijing.

Given that women compose the half of humanity and the inherent importance and relevance of women issues for the global progress, it is high time that such a world conference is convened, more so as the world is going through enormous changes in all fronts having both positive and other implications for women.

The President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General hope that the international community in general would welcome this joint initiative.

They also hope that the Member-States who have the final authority to convene the proposed conference would take the necessary step in that regard during the on-going 66th session of the General Assembly.

They believe that high point that the UN reached with the establishment of UN-Women in 2011 can be meaningfully substantiated with a global programme focusing on women and articulated at the Fifth Conference.

The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing which adopted in 1995 the current Forward-Looking Platform of Action was preceded by three such world conferences beginning in 1975 in Mexico City, in 1980 in Copenhagen and in 1985 in Nairobi, held in intervals of five years.

The enthusiasm of civil society, particularly women’s organizations, for such a conference has added extra strength to the general support expected for the proposal.

The President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General believe that a world conference on women would do justice in looking closely not only at the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action but also at the emerging issues, in particular  those relating to women and political participation, UNSCR 1325 related  issues on women and peace & security, equal access to decent work and to decision-making, involvement of rural women and girls as well as aid effectiveness, food security, trafficking, drugs, migration, environment, climate change, information technology  which impact on women in various ways  at all levels.

As a result, naturally these have implications for nations and societies as a whole. With their manifested complexities, all those areas need to be addressed in a holistic manner, benefiting from ever-widening potentials of global connectivity.

In all these, role and involvement of the young people, particularly women, would bring in an important dimension of intergenerational empowerment that did not get a deserving prominence in earlier conferences.

Thank you very much. Thank you Madam Chair.

And let me again wish a happy International Women’s Day to all of you, and to all women around the world!