Washington, DC

02 December 2016

Secretary-General's video message to United States Summit on Female Genital Mutilation

I am honoured to accept the Global Advocate for Girls Advancement Award on behalf of my dedicated UN colleagues.
 
I commend Equality Now and Safe Hands for Girls for organizing this US Summit to end FGM. And I applaud the Big Sister movement.
 
Women and girls are born perfect. But at least 200 million have endured FGM.
 
In the United States, more than half a million girls are at risk or have suffered.  This is shocking – and it must be stopped.
 
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to end FGM.
 
The UN is making a difference – but we cannot stop until every girl is safe.
 
I am inspired by young women like Jaha Dukurah. When we met last year, she said, “Women who know the pain are standing up to say: we do not want this.”
 
I call on all people – especially men and boys – to support their plea.
 
I thank the health workers, politicians, religious leaders, activists, policy makers, media outlets and young people who are speaking out.
 
For our common future, let us secure the rights, health and dignity of girls everywhere.
 
Thank you.