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Speech by Ms. Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Head of Office on behalf of Mr Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator at the Launching Ceremony on the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls 2017

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Event: Launching Ceremony on the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls 2017

Date: November 4, 2017

Venue: Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

  • Your Excellency Ms. Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh, Full Member of The Party Central Committee, Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; 
  • Your Excellency Ms. Đào Hồng Lan, Alternate Member of The Party Central Committee Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Vice Chair of Viet Nam National Committee for Advancement of Women
  • Your Excellency Ms. Nguyễn Thi Thu Hà, Former Deputy Party Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Your Excellency Mr. Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chair of Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee.
  • Representatives from ministries, cities, provinces and social organizations;
  • International development partners, private sector representatives, UN Colleagues and media;
  • Ladies and gentlemen;
  • A very good evening to you all. Xin chao!

On behalf of Mr. Kamal Malhotra - UN Resident Coordinator and the United Nations in Viet Nam, it is my pleasure to join you today in the launch of the National Action Month on Gender Equality and Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls.

We at the United Nations in Viet Nam, we very much value the partnership and commitment of MOLISA and People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City in the coordination and implementation of the 2nd national action month.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Despite significant improvement in the socio-economic situation of women, gender inequalities still persist worldwide.

Likewise, Vietnamese women continue to face serious obstacles in their daily lives, including poverty, limited access to higher education and employment opportunities, as well as persistent discriminatory attitudes and behavior.

Gender based violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development.

I think we can all agree that the time for complacency is gone. The silence on violence against women and girls has been broken and now is the time for stronger action.

Distinguished guests,

The UN in Viet Nam stands ready to assist the Government of Viet Nam to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 5 on gender equality, and its targets on ending discrimination and violence against women and girls in both, the public and private spheres.

In The One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 between the Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations (UN) in Vietnam, we made addressing all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls one of our top priorities in support of Viet Nam’s national development priorities.

Key areas where the UN Vietnam can join forces with the Government and the other stakeholders are:

  • First, developing reliable and meaningful data on GBV, that allows for evidence-based legislation, policies and programmes as well as for monitoring and evaluating the progress of efforts.
  • Second, strengthening multi-sectoral services for gender based violence survivors through the improved coordination of essential services and responses for survivors using globally agreed standards and guidelines to meet the safety, health, and other needs of women and girls subjected to violence.
  • Third, preventing gender based violence against women and girls by addressing the root causes of gender inequality and discrimination. This includes promoting of a culture of respect and equality, changing mindsets and behaviors, particularly of men, and openly challenging harmful traditional cultural norms and gender stereotypes.
  • Fourth and finally, strengthening partnerships among development partners, civil society and the private sector for promoting gender equality and ending gender-based violence against women and girls.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I see in the consolidated list of activities for the National Action Month, the spirit of the vision of the 2030 Agenda for a “just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met”. Achieving this vision requires resources, policies, commitments and programmes that focus on reaching the most marginalized communities and vulnerable groups.

Together, with the strong spirit which unites us today and which will sustain us during the national action month and beyond, I strongly believe that Vietnam can achieve this vision.

Thank you and I looking forward to a very successful national action month this year.

Xin cảm ơn.