African Ministerial Preparatory Meeting for the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) “Elimination and Prevention of all forms of Violence against Women and Girls”
14 January 2013, Addis Ababa — An African Ministerial Meeting to discuss enhanced collaboration and information-sharing among and between regions in Africa on strategies to End Violence Against Women and Girls kicked off today at the United Nations Conference Centre. This is a preparatory meeting for the 57thsession of the CSW to be held in March 2013 in New York. It brings Africans together to speak with one voice on the issue of Violence Against Women and Girls.
Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director, noted in her opening remarks that “a life free from violence is an obligation of States and a responsibility of us all.” She expressed her excitement to see so many high level participants at this important meeting. “In Africa and elsewhere in the world, eliminating violence against women must be our common effort and can be our common achievement” she added.
Furthermore, she emphasized that “violence against women must be recognized as a threat to democracy, peace and security; an obstacle to sustainable development; and an appalling human rights violation.”
Another keynote speaker, Dr. Carlos Lopez, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said in his opening remarks that “we need bold and urgent measures to tackle violence against women.” He added that “we also need the commitment of men” in this fight.
Ms. Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences,stated that “the lack of a holistic approach to violence against women has been an obstacle in identifying, preventing, and ultimately ending, all forms of violence against women.”
Her Excellency Ms. Zenebu Tadesse, Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs, Ethiopia, in her keynote address challenged the participants of this meeting to “define our position as Africa.” She reaffirmed her Government’s commitment to take the outcome of this meeting into account, and welcomed all to this important meeting.
This high-level meeting in its session from 14 to 16 January 2013 brings together representatives from Governments (Ministries of Women’s Affairs and Ministries of Foreign Affairs), the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Women, other UN agencies, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and experts in the field.
Participants will strategize on how to accelerate national, regional and global action to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls. The meeting will also set priorities and make recommendations that will be taken to the 57th CSW in March 2013, and evaluate the roll-out of the Africa UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women and Girls.
Communications Officer, UN Women East & Horn of Africa
Communications Officer, UN Women Ethiopia