Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to a virtual event on ending sexual violence and harassment on college campuses, in New York today:
I send my warmest greetings to the organizers and participants in this important virtual event to end sexual violence on college campuses. Gender-based violence and harassment are criminal and unacceptable in any context, including on college campuses. Such violence is a long‑standing issue rooted in millennia of patriarchy, inequality and discrimination against women.
I am very concerned about skyrocketing reports of gender-based violence during recent lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. I repeat my call for peace in the home and an end to this scourge, and I welcome the strong global response.
We must build on this momentum to end the “shadow pandemic” of gender-based violence once and for all. Please continue to speak out in support of survivors, and demand accountability from perpetrators. The United Nations stands with you. I wish you every success for your event.