This week the world marks International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic and political achievements of women around the world. In honor of the occasion, United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner issued the following statement.
“Since I created the UN Foundation in 1998, girls and women have been at the core of everything that we do. That’s because we know a simple fact: we cannot achieve our global development goals without investing in girls and women first.
“Today there are less than 700 days until the end of 2015. That’s the target date for the world’s to-do list, the Millennium Development Goals. We have made tremendous progress – the MDGs have spearheaded political commitments and momentum is gaining speed. But this is not the time to slow down — we know there is still much work to be done. In particular, we know that areas like maternal health, access to voluntary family planning and sanitation have lagged behind. As a MDG advocate, I call on civil society, the private sector, and individual citizens around the world to double down on efforts to ensure we deliver for girls and women. Because if we can deliver for them, they will deliver for their families, communities and our world.
“Conversations are already underway to determine our post-2015 development framework. We must use lessons learned from the MDGs and ensure that we are addressing the needs and rights of girls and women. We must focus efforts on the unique needs of adolescent girls, ensuring that they can be healthy, safe, educated and counted. We also must ensure that every person can fully realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the United Nations and our partners to drive progress with girls and women around the world. Together, we can reach our global development goals and achieve a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable world. Join us at unfoundation.org/iwd2014.”