9 March 2005

Advancement of Women Deserves “Collective Action”, Says General Assembly President on International Day

NEW YORK, 8 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Jean Ping (Gabon), President of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, observed 8 March:

Today, the world is commemorating International Women’s Day. It gives the international community as a whole a renewed opportunity to review its action and assess the efforts done and those still to be achieved to advance the status of women worldwide. Our nations’ development requires women’s active participation.

Since Beijing, the General Assembly has continued promoting gender equality, not only as an end but also as an effective means to achieving the Millennium Goals.

Having set women’s empowerment and gender equality as targets to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Declaration has clearly underlined that we should reinforce the status of women at local, national and international levels.

Indeed, beyond the need to increase the involvement of women in the political governance, it is fundamental to create more economic opportunities for them and to strengthen their social and legal protection.

We still have to accomplish those objectives to enable women to play a more active role in the preservation of peace and security worldwide, as well as in the fight against poverty for a better social well-being.

On the verge of the High-Level Plenary Meeting of September 2005, the advancement of women remains a matter of concern which deserves our collective action.

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