UN: Morocco, EU Launch Group of Friends for Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls

MAP - Publié le Mercredi 9 Décembre 2020 à 12:15

New York (United Nations) - Morocco's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Omar Hilale, and his counterpart from the European Union have launched, in collaboration with the ambassadors of Argentina, Mongolia, New-Zeeland, Turkey and Namibia the Group of Friends for the elimination of violence against women and girls. The launch ceremony of the Group of Friends was attended by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed, one of the main supporters of this initiative, and more than 200 representatives of Member States, the UN system and civil society, who share the ambition to eliminate violence against women and girls. This new initiative was commended by the UN Secretary-General and the executive directors of UN agencies, including UN-Women and the United Nations Population Fund, as well as several representatives of international civil society.

In his welcome address, Omar Hilale said that he viewed the Group of Friends as a demonstration of international solidarity to protect and uphold the human rights of women and girls in all regions of the world. Thanking the 81 ambassadors, representing the five regions of the world, who joined this Group of Friends at its launch, Hilale said that this new platform will be open to all countries that share its values and fundamental objectives and will provide a forum to bring together expertise and improve coordination, advocacy and action within the UN. For his part, the EU ambassador Olof Skoog, noted that the international community has been united and engaged in its response to the "parallel pandemic" of violence against women and girls during lockdown, adding that the objective of the Group of Friends will be to materialize these commitments in terms of concrete actions. In this regard, he noted that a network of experts will be created to back the work of the Group of Friends, with the support of the Spotlight Initiative, which is a global partnership between the European Union and the United Nations aimed at eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030, with an initial budget of 500 million euros.

This Group of Friends also intends to organize ministerial meetings during the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly, at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), at the High Level Political Forum and during the 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women, which takes place annually from November 25 to December 10. Ambassador Omar Hilale, together with his counterparts from the European Union, Argentina, Mongolia, New Zealand, Turkey and Namibia, launched last April an initiative within the UN to support the UN Secretary General's Appeal to End Violence in Households. This initiative has garnered the support of 146 UN member and observer states.