In the News

10 October 2012

Creating a Future Where Women and Girls are Protected and their Rights Respected

It has been a landmark year.

In May, we announced that maternal deaths had been cut by nearly half. That means millions of lives saved … and millions of tragedies averted.

Thanks to UNFPA – and its many friends gathered here tonight – mothers survived childbirth. Women overcame fistula. Teens got supplies so they could attend school. Girls received hope for their future.

Tonight we salute the hardworking UNFPA staff on the frontlines. I have seen them in action at clinics in Africa and Asia.

Tonight we also honour, for the first time, a young male activist – because we need men and youth in this campaign for justice.

That is also why I established a Network of Men Leaders to stop violence against women. It includes presidents, diplomats and advocates for social justice – all speaking out for women’s rights.

Dr. Osotimehin is another great champion of this cause. I applaud your outstanding dedication and leadership.

A South African activist once said, “We cannot say we are free when our women walk in fear of their lives.”

UNFPA helps women to live free of fear.

Read the Secretary-General's full remarks at the UN News Centre