Ambassador Betty E. King
Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva
United Nations, Geneva
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this Quilt Exhibit celebrating “Women, Peace and Security.” I would like to start by thanking our co-sponsors, UNFPA, the NGO Quilt for Change, and the Canadian and Colombian Missions to the UN.
It is appropriate to open this exhibit on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day to honor the 10th anniversary of the passing of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. To quote from one of the quilts on exhibit here, “Women are the future of mankind.” This sentiment could not come at a more appropriate moment.
Secretary Clinton recently alluded to the role of women shaping the future in Egypt, expressing her hope that as “Egypt looks to the future, it takes advantage of all its peoples talents.” In the past few weeks, as protests have toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the pictures broadcast around the world have primarily included men; but focusing on the role and safety of women, and making sure that the voices of women are heard remains one of the highest priorities for the U.S. Government in our work overseas.
Secretary Clinton has become the advocate in chief for women’s rights declaring “the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century.” Secretary Clinton asserts “Where women are disempowered and dehumanized, you are more likely to see not just antidemocratic forces, but extremism that leads to security challenges for us.”
It is our business at the United Nations in Geneva to call attention to discrimination and work to resolve these inequities as the rights of women are human rights once and for all.