New York

21 December 2012

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on General Assembly Resolution to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

The Secretary-General welcomes five resolutions on the advancement of women passed unanimously yesterday by the General Assembly, including a historic resolution calling on countries to eliminate female genital mutilation.  These resolutions represent important steps towards a world free from violence for all.
Harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation, constitute a serious threat to the health of millions of women and girls worldwide and violate their fundamental rights.  The resolutions approved yesterday urge countries to condemn all harmful practices that affect women and girls, in particular female genital mutilation, and to take all necessary measures, including enforcing legislation, awareness-raising and allocating sufficient resources to protect women and girls from this form of violence.
The Secretary-General reiterates that ending violence against women remains a priority for the United Nations.  His campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women works in collaboration with governments and civil society to advance legislation, national action plans, social mobilization and data collection. In this context, the Secretary-General welcomes the COMMIT initiative, launched by UN Women on 25 November 2012, to highlight concrete new steps by governments to end violence against women.  The Secretary-General commends the 12 Member States that have announced new commitments in this regard and urges others to do the same.