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SG/SM/20160
3 July 2020

Secretary-General Calls Gender Violence ‘Shadow Pandemic’, Spotlights COVID-19 Lockdowns, in Message to College Campus Event

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.

For information media. Not an official record.