10 January 2018 – Tackling gender inequality is our shared responsibility, and is fundamental to reaching a more just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world for all, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said today as she opened the 2018 Vienna UN Conference.
In a statement read out by the conference coordinator, Ms. Mohammed welcomed the focus at this year’s gathering on Sustainable Development Goal 5, achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. The Organization would count on all to meet these shared objectives towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC’s Director of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, highlighted some positive trends in the implementation of SDG 5. This included the decline in child marriage, reduction in the practice of female genital mutilation, and women’s increasing participation in national parliaments.
Efforts need to be redoubled though, Mr. Lemahieu continued, pointing to the remaining challenges such as the persistence of violence against women, low proportion of female senior managers and human trafficking that continues to disproportionately affect more women than men.
Mr. Lemahieu went on to present UNODC’s work in addressing gender inequalities, including increasing access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for women who inject drugs and women in prisons. The Office also reports progress in areas such as global data on femicide and homicide.
Also participating, Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), called on the international community to make fighting inequality a priority. “This way, the voice for championing gender equality will be amplified, thus contributing to a greater mobilization of resources required to achieve success,” he underlined.
The three-day conference provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the progress made and challenges that remain in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Attending the event, some 170 participants from governments, international organizations, civil society and academia will have a chance to share best practices while exploring avenues for collaboration.
Organized by the Vienna Liaison Office of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the conference featured panel discussions and presentations on SDG 5 and the research findings of the Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN).
This article was originally published by UNODC.