Press release: High-level global UN meeting to focus on ending violence against women


On 9-10 December, over 150 high-level representatives from over 40 UN Member States and the Council of Europe (CoE), UN agencies, academia and NGOs plan to attend Ending Violence against Women: Building on Progress to Accelerate Change, a high-level global UN meeting in Istanbul to assess progress, identify challenges and renew global political commitments to end the pandemic of violence against women and girls.

A grave violation of human rights, and often used as a weapon of war, violence against women and girls is widespread and persistent. One in three women worldwide suffer violence, often by someone they trust. Globally, nearly half the women killed each year die at the hands of a partner or family member.

Ending violence against women global meeting

UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will also participate in the meeting as part of her first official mission to Turkey. In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), The Executive Director said “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence”.

Organised by UN Women and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN’s lead agencies in the fight to end violence against women and children, hosted by Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the meeting will bring together global experts to take an in-depth look at data and best practices from around the world to prevent and end violence against women.

Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey, Dr. Sema Ramazanoğlu, Turkey’s Minister for Family and Social Policies, UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin will make the opening speeches at the meeting.

The two-day meeting will be held 20 years after the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – Violence against Women, was adopted by 189 countries in 1995. Turkey, being the host of the international meeting, echoes the leading role the country has played as the first government to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which sets legally binding standards to prevent violence against women and girls, protect victims and punish perpetrators.

Meeting objectives include reviewing progress and challenges since the Beijing Declaration; sharing the latest data and good practices to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls; and, importantly in light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in September 2015, to get fresh political commitments from Governments to end violence against women.

“The gender equality goal, Goal 5 of the SDGs, aims to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls,” said Ms. Gisladottir. “It recognizes that violence against women is an obstacle to achieving the development agenda and provides comprehensive indicators on what we should do to end it. Violence against women can’t be eliminated if inequality between men and women is allowed to persist.”