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Source: United Nations secretary general

Distinguished delegates,
It is a pleasure to join you today to launch the Spotlight Initiative for the Pacific Regional Programme, alongside His Excellency Sujiro Seam, Ambassador of the European Union to Fiji and the Pacific.
I was grateful to visit your beautiful region, before the COVID-19 travel restrictions, to commemorate International Women’s Day. On that occasion, I met with strong, vocal women and drew attention to a difficult issue that affects us all: violence against women and girls.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, reports indicate that gender-based violence has increased globally.  The Pacific – where rates of violence were already among the highest in the world — has not been spared.
Collective and comprehensive action on ending this violence could not be more urgent.
In 2017, the European Union and United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative, a global partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.
Launched with a funding commitment of €500 million from the European Union, the Spotlight Initiative is a global effort to invest in gender equality as a driver for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the Pacific region, the Initiative will focus on domestic violence and intimate partner violence, working closely with key regional institutions and others.
Among those stakeholders is the Pacific Partnership on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Community.
This work is meant to join and complement existing action, by supporting efforts led by civil society and women´s rights movements that have always been at the vanguard of change.
With the launch of the Initiative across the region today, I count on you to be part of our efforts  to eradicate gender-based violence and deepen our engagement towards the SDGs.
Ensuring gender equality and ending violence are shared responsibilities.
We are all in this together.
Thank you.

MIL OSI United Nations News