Statement from Prime MInister Erna Solberg and Youth Delegate Celia Lima on the high-level meeting on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. UN General Assembly, October 1st 2020.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Twenty-five years ago, we agreed on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. And we do have much to celebrate today – women play a greater role in political and economic life. More girls are in school than ever before, and fewer women die in childbirth.
However, COVID-19 has highlighted how easily these achievements can be reversed. There is an alarming increase in women´s poverty. The risks of early pregnancy and harmful practices, such as child marriages, are growing. Acts of violence against women and girls have increased across the world.
So our response to this crisis must have a gender perspective at its core. Our recovery efforts must ensure that girls go back to school. That women are part of decision making processes. That they can access health care, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. And that efforts to rebuild and stimulate the economy are targeted at women.
The fact is that we will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without investing in women and girls.
The Norwegian Government recognizes the vital role young people play as partners and leaders in development. We are dependent on the hard work of committed girls and young women to achieve the targets set out in the Beijing Platform for Action. I would therefore like to give the floor to our youth delegate Celia Lima.
Beijing +25 Youth delegate Celia Lima:
As we mark the anniversary of the Beijing declaration, we stand on the shoulders of the women and queer people who fought for the rights we enjoy today.
The Beijing declaration was, and is, radical. But looking at the status of women globally, 25 years later, it is clear: to reach the 2030 Agenda, decision-makers need to be pressured by the impatient voices of youth.
Globally, youth are a powerful force for radical change. When the space for young women’s participation is widened, our claims to equal opportunities to education, work and a life free from violence can no longer be ignored.
I urge every UN member state to commit to ensuring meaningful youth participation in all processes that concern youth, and to take the particular actions needed for young women and girls’ voices to be heard. Because “Nothing about us, without us”.