By Inés Alberdi, Executive Director, UNIFEM, et al.
Date: 3 March 2010
Occasion: Presented at a Reception by the UN Interagency Task Force on Adolescent Girls during the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 3 March 2010.
As leaders gather for the fifteen-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action, we, the members of the United Nations Adolescent Girls Task Force, jointly pledge to intensify our efforts to fulfil the human rights of adolescent girls. During the next five years, we will increase our agencies’ support to developing countries to advance key policies and programmes that empower the hardest-to-reach adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years.
Many of the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries remain invisible in national policies and programmes. Millions live in poverty, are burdened by gender discrimination and inequality, and are subject to multiple forms of violence, abuse, and exploitation, such as child labour, child marriage and other harmful practices. The full potential of these girls and their contribution to their communities have yet to be realized.
We are convinced that educated, healthy and skilled adolescent girls will help build a better future, advance social justice, support economic development, and combat poverty. They will stay in school, marry later, delay childbearing, have healthier children, and earn better incomes that will benefit themselves, their families, communities and nations. Investing in their rights and empowerment will help accelerate the achievement of internationally-agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
We will work with governments, civil society, communities, adolescent girls and boys on five strategic priorities:
We will work in a coordinated manner with other relevant global initiatives. We call on Member States to join us in accelerating efforts to protect the rights of adolescent girls. Together, we can build a future of gender equality and social justice.
Director General, ILO
Director General, UNESCO
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid
Executive Director, UNFPA
Ann M. Veneman
Executive Director, UNICEF
Executive Director, UNIFEM
Director General, WHO