Joint Statement – United Nations observance for International Women’s Day
This joint statement has been issued by the United Nations system in Georgia, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, the Council of Europe Office in Georgia the Embassies to Georgia of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The world needs gender equality – today and every day. With new and ongoing conflicts, a climate crisis and a shrinking democratic space, we are at risk of a major global recession in gender equality.
This year, the theme for the United Nations observance of International Women’s Day is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”. We wish to recognize the contribution of women and girls all over the world, particularly those leading the charge towards adaptation, mitigation and in response to climate change, and those building a more sustainable future for everyone.
Women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for effective climate action, by participating in sustainability initiatives around the world, their leadership results in more effective climate action. We must therefore expand the opportunities and help remove any constraints in order to empower women and girls, to give them a voice and to become equal players in the decision-making on climate change.
Running parallel with the global climate emergency, the world is challenged by conflicts and humanitarian disasters. The full-scale war in Ukraine has increased risks to both regional and global peace and security. The escalating violence has already resulted in many civilian casualties and deaths, including women and children, it has produced more than 1.7 million refugees, and it has forced hundreds of thousands of others to flee their homes in the country. Civilians always pay the highest price.
While frontline soldiers and military personnel – both men and women – are risking their lives, families are torn apart, and women and girls are impacted differently and disproportionately by war and conflict. Consequently, in line with the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, it is essential that women are included in decision-making and peace-making processes. Here as everywhere, women are at the forefront of the humanitarian response. We must ensure that the specific needs and the health, rights and dignity of women and girls are safeguarded right now and going forward.
The UN and its partners are committed to delivering life-saving support to all people, wherever they are, affected by conflict – particularly women, children, older persons, individuals belonging to minorities, and those with disabilities, the internally displaced, refugees and stranded third-country nationals at their time of greatest need. Partnerships with civil society, women’s rights activists and peacemakers are therefore crucial.
On this International Women’s Day, we, the international community in Georgia, extend compassion and solidarity to people affected by conflicts in this difficult time. This solidarity must be extended without any discrimination. We join the UN Secretary General’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. This conflict must stop now. The people of Georgia and the world demand it. We must give peace a chance.