Thursday, February 24, 2011

Statement: H.E. Mr. Garen Nazarian Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women

Commission on the Status of Women 
55th  session 
22 February to 4 March 2011 
H.E. Mr. Garen Nazarian 
Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women 

Opening remarks  
Deputy Secretary General, President of the Economic and Social Council, Under-Secretary-General,
Distinguished delegates,

 I am honored to welcome you all to the 55th  session of the Commission on the Status of  Women. I extend a special welcome to representatives from Capitals and in particular to Ministers  and senior Government officials, to the large number of non-governmental organizations and to the entities of the United Nations system that have joined us for this important gathering.

 We meet at a moment of tremendous expectations, excitement and promise.  
 In 2010, achieving the goals and commitments  for gender equality, development and peace
was the central objective of a number of review sessions, commemorations and summits.  
 Member States and other stakeholders strengthened the basis for real change for gender
equality, women’s rights and empowerment.  It is  now our responsibility to see to it that these
commitments are turned into reality for girls and women in all parts of the world.  
 The establishment of UN  Women has created an unprecedented momentum for action
towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. UN Women will be a key partner in all our
efforts.    It gives me very great pleasure to welcome UN Women, and its Executive  Director, Ms.
Bachelet, to the United Nations family.  

Distinguished delegates,  One of the key tasks of the Commission on the Status of Women is to monitor progress achieved and  problems encountered in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.   The annual sessions are the occasion where we focus on a specific theme in an in-depth manner, and identify good practices, lessons learned and results achieved.  It is also the occasion where we resolve to accelerate implementation of previous commitments and make additional  action-oriented recommendations  addressed to States and other  stakeholders.

We review the status of implementation of previously agreed commitments, highlight new
and emerging issues of concern, and exercise a catalytic role in promoting gender mainstreaming.  
This year, the main focus of our work will be on the role of education, training and science
and technology, and the transition of women from education into the world of work.  While much
progress has been, and is being made, inequalities between women and men persist in all parts of the

There will be ample opportunity for dialogue to share experiences and exchange views on
good practices and lessons learned in high-level roundtables and interactive expert panels.  
The Commission’s deliberations should result in a set of agreed conclusions on the priority
theme that are focused, practical and action-oriented, so that they can effectively guide the different
stakeholders towards implementation.   The Commission’s discussions should also result in a renewed effort to eliminate all forms of  discrimination and violence against the girl child, which is the topic of our review theme.  And they  should raise the visibility of gender perspectives in the preparatory process for the 2012 Conference  on Sustainable Development.   Many parallel events organized by Member States, United Nations entities, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders will further enrich our work.  I look forward to  two weeks of dedicated work with concrete outcomes that will improve the lives of women and girls  globally.

8th Annual World Educational Tour Launches

LOGO 2011 WT 

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is launching its eighth annual World Educational Tour from California, USA this year.  From there it circles the globe to countries including Bangladesh, Belgium, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Honduras and Thailand. This year's tour will increase the availability of YHRI educational materials to youth around the world and highlights the ongoing United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).
Knowing the importance of meeting with people in their own countries to observe the issues and challenges they face and to encourage their efforts, YHRI founder and president Dr. Mary Shuttleworth has personally led the World Tour team each year since 2004. "Youth are the heartbeat of our future. When they do not know their rights, they are vulnerable and easy prey for ill-intentioned individuals," explained Dr. Shuttleworth. "Youth who know that they have rights and responsibilities can defend against or report abuses, and strive to reach their full potentials." 
The Tour presents the YHRI human rights education programs to youth and educators in universities, schools, youth groups, juvenile detention centers and orphanages, as well as to dignitaries including kings, heads of government and officials of the United Nations and Commonwealth of Nations. The annual YHRI World Tour has reached 6 continents, more than 70 countries and hundreds of thousands of youth.

YHRI educational materials include the multi-award winning music video,UNITED, the 30 Public Service AnnouncementsThe Story of Human Rightsvideo, the educator's handbook and the What are Human Rights? booklet. YHRI audiovisual products have reached more than 500 million around the world in 17 languages, with local, national and international media coverage in print as well as radio and television.

The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace. As a nonprofit organization, YHRI collaborates with like-minded individuals, groups and organizations. Through their support and that of thousands of volunteers, YHRI has expanded to hundreds of affiliated chapters, groups and clubs in more than 100 countries around the world.

Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.