UNGA & Women’s Empowerment

By Miri Cypers, Senior Policy and Advocacy Specialist

This week marks an important event in foreign affairs: the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With leaders gathered in New York City from around the globe, much of the attention of the week’s meeting has rightly focused on the question of Palestinian statehood. Two speeches on another topic, however, should be focused on as well.

On Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered an address at a UN Women Event where she stated, “We have tried to put women’s lives and women’s progress at the center of our foreign policy, in everything from our diplomatic efforts to our investments in developing countries.” This in itself is a truly incredible statement coming from one of our highest ranking elected officials. Secretary Clinton went on to address the need for women’s full economic and political participation which will strengthen global security and communities everywhere.

Yesterday, in President Obama’s speech to the full UNGA, he reiterated U.S. commitment to breaking down political and economic challenges that women and girls face and announced that the U.S. signed a new Declaration on Women’s Participation. As the U.S. government faces so many global challenges, from the situation in Libya to drought in the Horn of Africa, I applaud President Obama for focusing on women and girls and incorporating their advancement into our U.S. foreign policy goals.

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