UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday urged all governments to "live up to their obligations to end the global problem of violence against women and girls, one of the most widespread human rights violations."
The secretary-general, in a press statement released by UN Women, a UN entity working for empowering women and girls, said: " I urge all people to support this important goal."
Ban made the remarks to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which falls on Sunday. The UN secretary-general's appeal came ahead of the March 2013 session of the 45-member UN Commission on the Status of Women, which will focus on preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls. Thousands of government and civil society representatives are expected to gather together at the UN Headquarters in New York for the annual meeting.
According to the press release, the campaign "aims to raise public awareness and increase resources for preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world."
"States have concrete and clear obligations to address violence against women under international law, including the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women," said the press release, "Increased political action by States, backed by adequate resources, is also a major target of the Secretary-General's UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign."
Ban will also make remarks at the official observance of the International Day at the UN Headquarters in New York Wednesday. He will be joined by Marjon V. Kamara, the Liberian permanent representative to the UN who is the chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, as well as civil society leaders.
On Dec. 17, 1999, the UN General Assembly designated Nov. 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to organize activities designed to improve public awareness in this regard.