17 March 2013

Africa: U.S. Envoy Rice On Actions By UN Panel On Status of Women


Susan E. Rice

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Agreed Conclusions of the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women


I enthusiastically welcome the adoption of strong Agreed Conclusions at the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women. This year's Commission focused on the global scourge of violence against women and girls, and the Agreed Conclusions represent vital international recognition that women and girls everywhere have a right to live free from violence, exploitation, and abuse.

Importantly, the Conclusions call for robust measures to prevent violence against women and girls, accountability for gender-related violence and crimes, and comprehensive efforts to support women and girls at risk. They also acknowledge the central importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and reinforce that States have a duty--regardless of their political, economic, and cultural systems--to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls.

While we are very pleased with the outcome, the United States remains disappointed that the Conclusions did not explicitly recognize that women and girls should not suffer violence or discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Basic rights must apply to everyone, and the United States will continue to fight relentlessly to ensure equality for all people regardless of who they are or whom they love.

The Agreed Conclusions mark a milestone in our fight for the safety and dignity of women and girls everywhere. The United States celebrates this progress as we pledge to redouble our efforts to protect and support the fundamental rights of all women and girls, both at home and around the world.

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