Noting that sustainable development and sustainable peace mutually reinforce one another, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed called for greater investments in basic services and in building equitable societies.
Speaking at the event, 'Rebuilding Shattered Lives and Communities: Chibok and Yazidi Girls and Women,' Ms. Mohammed said the atrocities against them require immediate and compassionate care, and comprehensive services.
“They are a testament to the failure of the international community to prevent violent extremism and to address the root causes of conflict.”
Underscoring that the best means for prevention is inclusive and sustainable development, the Deputy Secretary-General stressed that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offered the solution to do so.
Most importantly, education – especially for girls – needed to be prioritized, she said, adding that access to schooling would also be a critical component in rebuilding.
The problem is most acute in Nigeria, which has the highest illiteracy rate in the world, and two-thirds among them are women and girls. Conflict in the country displaced some 2.5 million people – over half of them children – and killed hundreds of teachers and damaged or destroyed some 1,200 schools.
“All UN agencies must join forces to address this, and all the needs and rights of women and girls,” said Ms. Mohammed, reaffirming the Organization's commitment to a system-wide approach so communities can be assisted quicker and better and with greater national ownership.
“Our efforts to magnify their voices and their stories, and ensure their health, justice and rights is an investment in our collective future,” she concluded.
The event, held on the margins of the ongoing high-level week of the General Assembly, was co-organized by Canada, Denmark, Iraq and Nigeria, the European Union and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).