New York

04 February 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at photo-op with Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a special pleasure for me and for the United Nations to welcome former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back to the United Nations. I am also very pleased to meet Chelsea again. She is making great progress.

I am very pleased to see you again.  We have had the great pleasure to work together in addressing many global challenges: international peace and security, development, human rights and women’s rights.  I know that of the many important roles you have been champion of women’s rights and girl’s rights, and I really appreciate it. 

We are standing at a critical time.  2015 will be a crucial year for the future of development and for the future of women and girls.

2015 is also a very important year, the target year of the Millennium Development Goals, and also that is the year when we have to adopt the post-2015 development agenda for sustainable development. And that is the year we have to have a global legal agreement on climate change.

Another important thing is that 2015 will also mark the 20th [anniversary] of the landmark Beijing World Conference on Women, where you played such a critical role, and I really appreciate it.

Now, as we are celebrating the twentieth year of the Beijing Conference Plan of Action, I think you will have a very important role to play.  Gender empowerment is one of my top priorities as Secretary-General of the United Nations.  We have seen a great deal of progress since 1995, but still too many women face far too much discrimination and violence.  We have to change this phenomenon.  I am very much committed to work together with you, and I really count on your continued leadership and engagement, working together with the United Nations.

This afternoon, I am leaving for the Russian Federation to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.  Sport has a very strong power of uniting people, regardless of gender, ethnicities or sexual orientation and age.  At the same time, it showcases a very good future for women’s power.

I understand that this year, women will compete for the first time in ski jump.

Of course, you will not see me at the top of the jump.  But I will be rooting for women athletes to jump as high and leap as far, I think that’s very likely. We have a responsibility to make a jump and [lay] the ground first so that they can jump.  That is our commitment, and I really count on your strong support and leadership in this regard.  You can also count on me and the United Nations. UN Women will be the lead agency and she [Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka] has such a great commitment. Let’s work together to make this world better for all, including women and girls. Thank you very much.