27 February 2015

Opening remarks to the press at High-level event on Women in Power and Decision-Making in Santiago

Ban Ki-moon

Buenos días.

Es un gran placer estar en Chile. [“Good day. It is a great pleasure to be in Chile.”]

This is my third visit to Chile. I was last here in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake. It is particularly meaningful to be here on this day that marks five years after that devastating event.

I am honoured to once again express my solidarity with the Chilean people. Your impressive efforts to recover and rebuild clearly shows your strong spirit of resilience.

I am especially pleased to be here to take part in today’s High-level Conference on Women in Power and Decision-making.

I want to recognize and commend the leadership of President Michelle Bachelet.

In 2010, I was honoured when President Bachelet accepted my request to be the first to lead the newly created UN Women. She has inspired millions – and left a great legacy for women and girls worldwide.

As President, Ms. Bachelet continues to press for women’s rights nationally and internationally. This conference is a clear demonstration of that commitment.

I am proud to champion this cause as one of the UN’s top priorities.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. It remains the international blueprint for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Over the past two decades, important progress has been made but it has been slow and uneven.

We must unite to end violence and discrimination against women and girls. We must work together to empower women and expand opportunities in politics, business and beyond. And we must back up our resolve with resources because we know investments in gender equality yield great returns across society.

This is a vital year for advancing all of these goals.

The international community is hard at work on establishing a new sustainable development agenda that builds on the Millennium Development Goals and that will help shape policies and social investments for the next generation.

I often say that this is not a time for tinkering, it is a time for transformation.

To be truly transformative, the post-2015 development agenda must prioritise gender equality and women’s empowerment. Women’s voices and full participation is central.

I want to thank Chile for its contributions to these discussions. I also want to commend Chile for hosting a vital regional conference on financing for development, which will take place next month.

As a member of the Security Council, Chile is showing leadership in addressing conflicts and forging peace.

I also thank the more than 400 Chileans serving in UN peacekeeping missions – especially through vital contributions to stability in Haiti.

I applaud Chile for continuing on the journey towards a more just society that respects and protects the rights of all, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, culture religion or sexual orientation.

Once again, I am very pleased to be here and to take part in this very important conference. It is my firm conviction that women must be at the decision-making table at all levels. We all must do our part to break the glass ceilings and open the doors of opportunity. I am honoured and proud to add my voice and full support to this vital cause.

Thank you very much.

Muchas gracias.